Turn Off Visual Effects

If Windows is running slowly, you can speed it up by disabling some of its visual effects. It comes down to appearance versus performance. Would you rather have Windows run faster or look prettier? If your PC is fast enough, you don’t have to make this tradeoff, but if your computer is just barely powerful enough for Windows Vista, it can be useful to scale back on the visual bells and whistles.

You can choose which visual effects to turn off, one by one, or you can let Windows choose a bunch for you. There are 20 visual effects you can control, such as the transparent glass look, the way menus open or close, and whether shadows are displayed.

Picture of the Performance Options dialog boxThe Performance Options dialog box lets you turn on or off up to 20 visual effects

To adjust all visual effects for best performance:

  1. Open Performance Information and Tools by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Performance Information and Tools.
  2. Click Adjust visual effects. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. Click the Visual Effects tab, click Adjust for best performance, and then click OK. (For a less drastic option, select Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer.)

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