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HowTo: Slimming down your Windows 7

November 3, 2009

When I was on Windows XP I had this crazy obsession with making XP as slim as possible. I made custom XP installs slipstreamed with the most recent updates, disabled all the unnecessary services and only used apps that had small memory footprints.

I believe I got it down to around 18 processes on start up. Then I moved to Ubuntu and all these obsessions went away. I mean, Ubuntu would just keep chugging no matter how much crap I chucked at it.

Now I’m on Windows 7 and whilst those crazy obsessions have NOT returned, it does interest me as to what I can disable to get the most out of my system.

So here is a list of all the services I decided to disable. Just type services.msc in the start menu and hit enter. Double click the service, select stop and then “disable” from the drop down.

Disclaimer: I’m not responsible for ANYTHING yada yada yada.

  1. Diagnostic Policy Service
    This is basically that thing that goes “Windows have detected a problem, would you like to check for solutions?” TBH, the advice from that thing is actually quite useful. But I don’t really need it.
  2. Distributed Link Tracking Client
    Keeps tracks of all the “linkages”. E.g. You create a shortcut to document A. You move document A to another location. Windows will automatically update all shortcuts to point to that new location so you don’t get “File Not Found” errors. Not very useful if you ask me, unless you’re a shortcut junkie.
  3. Function Discovery Provider Host
    Used for Home Groups. Not useful if you don’t care about sharing files or have other methods of doing so.
  4. Function Discovery Resource Publication
    See 3.
  5. IP Helper
    It’s meant to help transition to IPv6 but I don’t know of any ISPs that even support IPv6 so until they do this service can go bye bye.
  6. Offline Files
    Disgusting.
  7. Peer Name Resolution Protocol
    When was the last time anyone used Remote Assistance?
  8. Peer Networking Grouping
    See 7.
  9. Peer Networking Identity Manager
    See 7.
  10. Problem Reports and Solutions Control Panel Support
    This can be disabled in the control panel. I don’t care too much for error reports.
  11. Windows Connect Now – Config Registrar
    Unless you have a “Compatible with Windows 7” sticker on your router, this is useless.
  12. Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service
    Interesting service, but I won’t ever be sharing music over the network.

I recommend you keep a list of all your changes and revert back if there are any problems.

That’s it for now. I have several other blogs lined up but just haven’t been bothered posting them. The lack of comments saddens me.

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3 Comments
  1. Ben permalink

    This post was very useful to me.

  2. andy permalink

    Thanks 🙂 Nice guide!

  3. ita permalink

    thanks from ita!

    if anything – not enough tweakage, what can we delete?

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