Windows Optimization

July 8, 2017

This page will show you how to optimize Windows (at least minimally).

This subject has been addressed exhaustively, and you are encouraged to Google it and explore and compare with other treatments.


Of course, any system optimization efforts are premised on a completely up-to-date and protected software environment. You should ensure that:

ChkDsk Windows Disk Utility

The "chkdsk" program will ensure the integrity of the NTFS file system on your hard drive.
  1. In the Start menu, Click "Command Prompt"

    If "Command Prompt" is not in the menu, start "Windows Explorer", and navigate to the "C:\Windows\System32" directory
    Scroll down to the the file: "cmd.exe" (or "cmd" with the "Type" of "Application")
    Right-Click "cmd.exe", and in the drop-down menu, Left-Click "Pin to Start"
    Now repeat Step 1.
  2. Enter "chkdsk  /f  c:" (without the quotes)

    You will be informed that the disk is in use, and you may schedule the check for the next system restart
  3. Respond "Y"
  4. Restart the system.
Windows will restart and run the "chkdsk" program and fix any problems it finds. This may take some time.

CCleaner - Piriform's "Crap Cleaner"

CCleaner can delete temporary files from the system, optimize your browser(s), and clean-up other system files and functions.

Download / Install the Free Download version of CCleaner from: www.piriform.com.

Note that the default installation includes "System Monitoring" and "Active Monitoring", implemented by background tasks. These can be Disabled in CCleaner's "Settings".

Start CCleaner

CCleaner starts in the "Cleaner" mode --
  1. In the Windows Tab,
    Under Internet Explorer -
    Check "Internet Cache" and/or "Temporary Internet Files"
    Under System -
    Check all except "Start Menu Shortcuts" and "Desktop Shortcuts"
  2. In the Applications Tab,
    For all browsers
    Check "Internet Cache"
    Check "Compact Databases"
  3. Click "Analyze" to review what will be deleted (if you wish).
  4. Click "Run" to actually delete all selected items.

On the left, Click "Registry"
  1. Under the "Registry Cleaner" Tab, Check all items
  2. Check "Scan for Issues"
  3. Click "Fix selected Issues"
  4. You will be prompted to backup the changes: Click "Yes"
  5. On the ensuing "Save As" panel, Click "Save"
  6. On the ensuing (unnamed) panel Click "Fix All Selected Issues"
  7. Finally, Click "Close"

System Restore

While not really an Optimization, "System Restore Point" management is very important for the safety of your system. In the event of severe system errors, it allows you to restore a previous system configuration, hopefully before the error(s) were introduced.

So, while still in CCleaner Tools...

In the second column, Click "System Restore"

There should be at least 1 System Restore Point listed.
If not, Google "Windows System Restore missing" (or something similar), and obtain and execute a fix for this situation.

If there is an excessive number of Restore Points (depending on the dates, any previous damaged-system experiences, and your comfort level), Click (Ctrl-Right-Click for multiples) and then Remove them.

MalwareBytes - Anti-Malware Program

Malwarebytes will find and remove many types of malware: virus, adware, trojans, etc.
Even if you run an anti-virus program (and you must!), perform this step.

Download / Install the Free Download "Premium Trial" version of Malwarebytes from: www.malwarebytes.com.

The Premium Trial version is the same as their Premium version initially. After a trial period, it downgrades itself unless you purchase it. We will, however, only use it briefly.

Start Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes opens in the "Dashboard" mode --

Click the "Scan Now" button.

Malwarebytes will now download any updates to its database, and then scan all files on the system. The scan may take a long time.

At the end of the scan, if any Threats were Identified, follow the procedures to Quarentine or Remove them.

While Malwarebytes is Scanning, if you know how to, you might turn off your normal anti-virus program's file-system protection. This will speed up the scan. If you do turn your anti-virus protection off, close your browser and any other programs, and don't do anything that communicates with the internet.

When the Malwarebytes Scan is complete, and any malware-removal procedures have been performed, you should remove Malwarebytes from your system. This will allow your normal anti-virus program to once again operate optimally:

  1. Click Windows Start / Control Panel / Programs and Features
  2. Locate the "Malwarebytes" entry, Right-Click, and then Left-Click "Uninstall / Remove" to remove Malwarebytes from your system.
You may have to restart the system.

If Malwarebytes did find any Threats, you might consider running other Malware Removal programs just to be sure. Google it.

Defraggler - Piriform's Disk Defragmenter

When Windows and users programs execute, they write both temporary and permanent files to disk. After many write/copy/erase/re-write operations, the files become fragmented. That is, parts of a file may be spread out over a large area on the disk drive (they aren't contiguous).
This causes extra overhead for the disk drive to read a file: It may have to move it's read/write head great distances to access the separated parts of the file, thereby creating a much slower response.

Defraggler will organize the separated parts of these files into an efficient layout.

Download / Install the Free version of Defraggler from: www.piriform.com

Start Defraggler

Under Drive, Click the designation for the "C:" drive.

Now, Click the "Defrag" button.

This operation may take a considerable amount of time, depending upon processor speed, disk-speed, -size, and -utilization (number of files), etc.

When Defraggler is finished...

Click "Settings"
Click "Boot Time Defrag"
Check "Run Once"

You will be prompted to "Re-boot Now" --

Click "Yes"

The system will shutdown and restart.

TCP Optimizer

"TCP" is the "Transmission Control Protocol" that computers and network devices use to move "packets" of information across the internet. There are many parameters required for its optimal operation.

Click this link: TCP Optimizer Help
to see how to optimize your Windows internet speed with a free program from www.speedguide.net named "TCPOptimizer.exe".

Startup Programs and Services

When your system starts up, there are many programs and services that are started to support various tasks: audio, video, human-interface (mouse, etc.) devices; network configuration, internet, telemetry services; etc., etc. The list is very long.

However, there may be services that are no longer be needed.
For example, your pc manufacturer may have included a service to periodically check/update an installed copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF (a common document format) viewer.
Some modern browsers now display PDF files internally (no longer calling the Acrobat program). Or, you may have elected to use a different PDF viewer and so downloaded and installed it.
But the service that checks for Adobe Acrobat updates may still be loaded each time the system starts. In this case it is completely useless.

So, once again...

Start CCleaner

On the left, Click "Tools"

In the second column, Click "Startup"

You will be shown a list of the programs that Windows starts when the system is booted. Google any of the entries, and if you decide to experiment, you can Click to highlight an entry, and then Disable it. This will prevent it from starting on the next system boot.

Autoruns - Microsoft Technet Program

A much more advanced view of what programs, tasks, and services are started on the system is provided by the Microsoft "Autoruns" program.
Click this link to see full details on it: Autoruns For Windows

Windows Paging File

Most modern computer systems like Windows utilize a virtual memory scheme.
This allows the operating system (Windows itself) and user programs to be loaded into real memory when executing (or just being accessed), and written to a paging file on disk ("PAGEFILE.SYS") when not active.

If the paging file is on an SSD (Solid State Disk) this is not a concern.

However, if the paging file resides on a mechanical, rotating disk, then basically what you need for performance, is to keep the disk's read/write head as close to a single location as possible.

There are innumerable considerations here:
Are you viewing or editting large disk-resident video files? Are you listening to disk-resident audio files while you do other computing? Do you run several programs at the same time? Is there only 1 disk in the system? Is it partitioned (divided into more than 1 "logical" disk)? etc., etc.

These factors can lead to a very complicated environment. For more details, Google "Windows Disk Optimization".

Now, for minimal Windows Optimization, the previous execution of Piriform's "Defraggler" and the following check should suffice:
  1. Click Start / Control Panel / System [and Security] / Advanced System Settings
  2. Under Performance Click "Settings"
  3. Click the "Advanced" Tab
  4. Under Virtual Memory Click "Change"

Ensure that either:

For a single, non-partitioned disk system (only "C:")
Check: "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives"
For a single, partitioned disk system ("C:" and others)
Select "C:" logical drive and Check: "System managed size"
Select all other logical drive(s) and Check: "No paging file"
For a multiple disk system
Select only 1 logical drive for each physical disk and Check: "System managed size"

Advanced Disk Optimization

In some instances, it may be desirable to re-locate the paging file or re-locate entire groups of files (small vs large, system vs user, program vs data, etc., etc) on the disk.

The following link: DefragPJD
describes a downloadable implementation of the "MyDefrag" program by J. C. Kessels, with scripts that re-arrange and defragment files on the hard drive for improved performance.

There is also a procedure to follow which allows you to re-locate the paging file to a specific location on the disk.
This is rarely required, but in some cases can vastly improve performance.


The following websites may be useful to your optimization efforts: