Windows Tweaks and Advice of Doubtful Value

There are some Windows tweaks and advice which can at best be considered to be of doubtful value. Though most of them may not cause much harm, some of them, may actually hurt performance. Some of them may have worked with older Windows versions, but are redundant now. Frankly speaking, the best “tweak” is to improve performance is to throw RAM at it! Or else even one simple thing like ‘reducing start ups’ will make a lot of difference in performance.

Dubious Windows Tweaks & Advice

Here is a list of some tweaks or advice which have no value or are of doubtful value.

dubious-windows-advice

Use Registry Cleaner or Optimizer to make Windows run faster

Using a safe registry cleaner to remove orphaned and left-over registry entries, is fine. But do not expect Windows to run faster. If you are using a Registry Cleaner with a view to speeding up your system, it may not really help. If your registry had been corrupted or has a problem, it is unlikely that using a registry optimizer will make that problem go away. If you are trying to remove the residual registry junk; yes it may have its own use.

Do not go blindly with the changes, which some 1-click optimizers recommend. Most such software normally ask you if you would like to perform the optimization with a single click, or if you would like to check each suggestion, before accepting it. Go for the latter option and check each of the recommendations, and only if you are sure what the tweak does, should you allow the change.

Hmm… Are Registry Cleaners good or bad.

Clear Junk files and make Windows perform better

Deleting junk files in general, is a good idea from the point of good PC maintenance and house-keeping. But some people like to go on cleaning rampages with the mind-set that they are improving performance. All they are doing is freeing disk space, since NTFS performance does not degrade with increased file numbers. Windows is not going to perform better just because you deleted junk files.

Cleaning or tweaking the Prefetch Folder

Every time you clean up the Prefetch folder, you delay application load times, the next time you launch them. Its only after the second time that you regain optimal application load times. Only one Prefetch file is created per application. Windows cleans this folder at 128 entries, down to the 32 most used Application’s prefetcher files.  In Windows Vista and later, this folder does not occupy more than around 50MB. Cleaning the Prefetcher can therefore be construed actually as a temporary self-inflicted un-optimization. Now why would you want to do that? The developers of the memory management system, in recent versions of Windows have done a good job and so it is best you leave the Prefetcher alone.

Read more on the Prefetch Folder.

Disabling Certain Services to speed up Windows

Don’t take this advice to its extremes, for in fact this could actually cripple your system.

For instance Disabling the Task Scheduler to improve performance actually prevents the Prefetcher and the Layout.ini file from forming or being updated, forcing, inter alia, longer application startup times.

Never ever shutdown the System Restore Service… because you never know when it may save your day.

Disabling the DNS Client Service may decrease the overall performance of the client computer, and the network traffic for DNS queries increases if the DNS resolver cache is deactivated. This effectively reduces Internet Performance for sites you have previously visited and puts an unnecessary load on your ISP’s DNS server.

These are just a few examples. So do refer a good Services Guide like Black Vipers before you decide to disable Services. Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP users may use our freeware SMART, a utility for tweaking Windows Services. It is based on the Black Vipers guide. Shutting down services indiscriminately is a sure shot prescription for trouble.

Always Unload DLL to free up memory

Using this tweak on Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 has absolutely no effect. This registry key is no longer supported in all post-2000 Windows OS’s.

The ReadyBoost Tweak

Several ways being suggested on the net as to how to make your USB ReadyBoost compatible by changing the value of Device Status to 2, ReadSpeedKBs to 1000, WriteSpeedKBs to 1000 in the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /SOFTWARE /Microsoft /Windows-NT /CurrentVersion /EMDgmt

But using such methods only fools Windows into thinking that such USB drive are ReadyBoost compatible. Expect no performance gains in such cases.

Tweak Solid State Drives to improve performance

Tweaking SSDs will bring no real performance improvements in Windows 8/10. It is best to leave the values at their defaults.

Read about Superfetch & Prefetch for SSD in Windows.

Process Idle Tasks to clear memory and make PC run faster

Does Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks really clear memory? Not really! This command simply puts Windows into an idle state, enabling it to perform tasks that it wouldn’t otherwise normally do while the PC is in use

Read the misconceptions about Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks.

Disable Quality of Service to increase bandwidth

QoS allows Windows to set priorities to its traffic. By default, programs can reserve up to an aggregate bandwidth of 20% of the underlying link speed on a computer.The Windows Operating System reserves a fixed percentage of the total Internet bandwidth for the QOS or Quality of Service usage like Windows update, license renewal, etc. But disabling QoS will not lead to an increase in network bandwidth. Microsoft has already clarified long back about this:

One hundred percent of the network bandwidth is available to be shared by all programs unless a program specifically requests priority bandwidth. This “reserved” bandwidth is still available to other programs unless the requesting program is sending data. By default, programs can reserve up to an aggregate bandwidth of 20 percent of the underlying link speed on each interface on an end computer. If the program that reserved the bandwidth is not sending sufficient data to use it, the unused part of the reserved bandwidth is available for other data flows on the same host.

Read more on how to configure & limit Reservable Bandwidth Setting In Windows using Group Policy.

RAM or Memory Optimizers

Memory Optimizers claim to free up memory that is not being used or is being unnecessarily used by idle processes. Memory Optimizers move computer memory data into the virtual memory or Page File and thus trick users into believing that they freed up computer memory. You may have noticed that your computer in fact appears to be unresponsive after you have used some RAM Optimizer. Using Memory Optimizers may actually degrade performance.

So then… Do Memory Optimizers work?

Reduce Windows Boot Time with Advanced Boot

This tweak advised you to open msconfig > Advanced tab > Advanced button and change the Number of processors to 2 or 4, instead of 1. This too makes no difference, and it all depends on your system configuration.

Know of any tweaks or advice that you consider as bad or of doubtful value? Please do share here for the benefit of others.

If you are a tweak enthusiast, you may want to read this post on how to make Windows Startup, Run, Shutdown Faster.

Post updated and ported from WinVistaClub

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.