One More Way to Make Your Computer Fast Again – Turn Off Visual Effects

People love special effects. We like those little things like transparent window edges, and menus that seem to slide out from nowhere. Yet those effects also take up computer resources and slows it down a bit.

The effects don’t really accomplish anything though. They just look cool. But which would you rather have? A computer that looks cool doing things slowly or a computer that does things fast but plainly. For this column, let’s go with fast but plain.


Your first step is to click on your Start button. Then click on Control Panel. Now click on System. A new window will open.

Look to the top-left area of the new window. There will be a link that reads Advanced System Settings. Click on that. You might need Administrator rights to do this. If you don’t have Administrator rights, talk to the person that does. They will be able to help you.

After clicking on Advanced System Settings, the System Properties window will open. It should already be on the Advanced tab. If not, click on the Advanced tab.
Near the top of this window, you’ll see a choice called Performance. Click on the Settings button just below that.

The Performance Options window will open. It will already be on the Visual Effects tab. If it isn’t, click on that tab.

At the top of the Visual Effects tab, you’ll see a series of radio buttons. This is the easiest and simplest way to change visual effects. If this is as far as you want to go, just click on the ‘Adjust for best performance’ option. That will turn off all visual effects.

Choosing the ‘Let Windows choose what is best for my computer’ button may turn off some effects, but leave others on. It should give you a balance of speed and nice appearance.

If you really want certain effects to still work, you can pick and choose in the window with all the check boxes. Click the Apply button to see what your choices will look like.

If you don’t like your new visual effects settings, you can go back in at anytime and change them to your heart’s desire.

Once you have the visual effect settings you want, click on the OK button. The changes will now take effect. You should find that Windows is now working a bit faster again. All it took was removing some Window dressing. Happy computing!

First Published: The Guysborough Journal, Vol . 21, No. 47, November 25, 2015

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