Speed up your system with Registry hacks – Part 1


The Windows Registry is a database that holds your operating system’s configurations and settings. This includes everything from how long your mouse must hover over a taskbar icon before the preview pops up (in Windows Vista and Windows 7) to performance settings. Windows 7 (and Vista) have more eye-candy features built into the operating system, but a number of Registry hacks and tweaks can speed up–or, at least, appear to speed up–the performance of your computer. Before we start mucking around with your PC’s guts, however, we’re going to make sure that you have a reliable backup of your Registry in case something goes sour.Though editing the Windows Registry is not nearly as scary as it sounds, making an incorrect change can cripple your system. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, it’s important to take the precaution of backing up part, or all, of the Registry before you proceed.

To back up your Registry, you can use the free Registry-specific backup tool ERUNT(Emergency Recovery Utility NT). ERUNT is simple to use, more reliable than System Restore, and works with Windows XP, Vista, and 7 (even 64-bit versions). ERUNT also saves each restore point independently of the other points, unlike System Restore (in System Restore, all restore points are dependent on other points).

If you’re changing just one part of the Windows Registry, and you know which part that is, you don’t have to back up the entire Registry. Instead, you can back up the part you plan on changing using the Registry’s export feature.

  • First, go to Start, Run, type regedit, and press Yes. This will open the Registry Editor.
  • Next, find the part of the Registry you’re going to change. Right-click on the Registry key you plan on changing, and click “Export.” The Registry Editor will prompt you to save a .reg file to your hard drive.
  • To undo Registry changes, just find your .reg file and double-click it. The .reg file will reset your Registry values to their existing values (but will not remove values that you’ve added).

Now that you’ve backed up your Registry–perhaps more than once–it’s time to start hacking away. To get to the Windows Registry, go to Start > Run (in Windows Vista/7 you will have to type run into the Start menu search bar and press Enter). Type regedit, click Yes, and the Registry Editor will open.

Hack 1: Speed Up Aero Peek

Windows 7’s Aero Peek lets you see the desktop when you move your mouse cursor over to the “show desktop” button at the end of the taskbar. The standard delay time for the Aero Peek preview is 500 milliseconds, or half a second. Here’s how to speed it up:

1. Open the Registry Editor and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer > Advanced.

2. Right-click on the right pane and click New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new DWORD “DesktopLivePreviewHoverTime.”

3. Double-click on DesktopLivePreviewHoverTime to open it. Under “Base,” click Decimal and then enter the delay time (in milliseconds) in the “Value data” field. Click OK, and your Aero Peek time will be set. You can set the value to higher (a longer delay time) if you’re activating it too often by accident, or to lower (a shorter delay time) if half a second is just too long.

4. Log off and log back on for the change to take effect.

Hack 2: Speed Up Taskbar Previews

When you roll over taskbar icons in Windows Vista and in Windows 7, little previews appear. The standard delay time for these previews is 400 milliseconds, or just under half a second. If this is too slow (or too fast) for you, you can adjust the delay time with an easy Registry hack.

1. Open the Registry Editor and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer > Advanced.

2. Right-click on the right pane and click New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new DWORD “ExtendedUIHoverTime.”

3. Double-click on ExtendedUIHoverTime to open it. Under “Base,” click Decimal and then enter in the delay time (in milliseconds) in the “Value data” field. Click OK to set the time (default is 400 milliseconds).

4. Log off and then log back in for the change to take effect.

Hack 3: Speed Up Menus

If you’d like to speed up the menus in Windows Vista or Windows 7, try this easy Registry tweak:

1. Open the Registry Editor and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Control Panel > Desktop.

2. Find MenuShowDelay and double-click to open. Adjust the value in milliseconds (the default is 400 milliseconds, or just under half a second).

3. Log off and then log back on for the change to take effect.

Source : PCWorld

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