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Essential Windows 7 Tweaks: Part 2

Essential Windows 7 Tweaks: Part 2

Every person has different tastes when it comes to their installation of Windows.  Through the years that have been many things that I do right off the bat when getting my install “just right”.  In the XP days, the first thing I would do was to stretch the taskbar, enable Quick Launch, add an address bar, unlock it, then move those around a bit.  If my taskbar wasn’t set up this way, I HATED IT… in fact, I would move other people’s around when I worked on their computers!  Windows 7 is no different for me, however, the list isn’t as exhaustive yet. We covered Part 1 earlier and this is part 2 of a multipart series.

6. Disable Search Indexing (recommended for OLD systems only)

Search indexing can be useful to speed up the search process in Windows.  However, it comes at a cost.  Many times, I have noticed my hard drive thrashing and the search indexing was the cause.  If your computer is older this can have a positive impact on performance.  If you have a newer system with a decent processor, HDD, and RAM, this need not apply.

Remember though, this comes at a risk. If you disable search indexing you will lose the ability to search from start menu and you will also lose the ability to search Media Center if you are using the rig as an HTPC.

  1. Hold down the Windows (between the Ctrl and Alt Keys) key then pres R , type services.msc, and then click OK.
  2. Right click the Windows Search and click Properties
  3. Under the General Tab, use the drop down menu titled Startup type: and choose Disabled.
  4. Reboot your computer

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About Joe DiFiglia

I have always had a passion for everything computing. In early 2000, I decided to take my passion to the web. Thus, C.O.D. was born. Through the years we have made many great friends at C.O.D. and hope to continue our journey for years to come.
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  • pmjacoby

    Thanks Joe, I never noticed the option to use check boxes for selecting! This goes great with my setting for Single-Click to open/Point to Select. (It's 12:20am and I just learned something new. I guess I can take the rest of the day off now.)

  • Todd

    Rather than disabling Search Indexing, you'd be better off adjusting what locations are indexed. Without search indexing, the power of the Vista/Windows 7-style Start Menu is significantly reduced, because it's all about searching now. By default, indexing is configured only for the Start Menu, Users folders, IE history, and email. If you're really seeing that much churn, it's probably email-related or you're creating a lot of indexable files in your User directory. You can remove those from the Indexing Options, while leaving Start Menu as part of the indexer. That way, the only time you're likely to see indexing kick in is when you install a new application that writes to the Start Menu and you'll still be able to quickly use the search bar in the Start Menu.

    • http://computingondemand.com Joe DiFiglia

      Excellent tip.

    • Qazme

      Not to mention if you turn off Windows Search you can't search the guide in Media Center, if you use it.

    • http://computingondemand.com Joe DiFiglia

      I have updated the article to reflect my initial intention. On OLD systems with older processors, limited ram, possibly aging hard drives, disabling search indexing can positively effect performance. If you have a newer system, capable of running Aero and the like, this need not apply.