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Windows 7: The Complete Guide - Turn Off The Junk & Crank Up The Speed

Updated on June 16, 2009

In one of my most popular Hubs of all time: How To Turn Off Vista's Useless Junk And Speed Up Your PC, I directed readers to a superb resource known as Black Viper, which outlines the plethora of completely useless (to most users) services which run in the background of all Vista operating systems and simply chew up CPU cycles and other computer resources, giving the user nothing but a sloooooooooooooooooow PC.

Even though Windows 7 is much much much faster than Vista in almost every measurable benchmark, that doesn't mean that Microsoft cut down the number of services that run in the background in the new operating system. As lightning fast as Windows 7 is, believe it or not it can be made even faster still by judiciously shutting off the numerous services which you have no use for whatsoever. The majority of these services in most cases are never used in everyday computer activities. They all do have a specific function and are applicable and useful for some people, but it's generally such a tiny minority that there really is no reason for the average computer user to put up with the slowdown.

Keep in mind that not all of these services are useless to all users, and you should familiarize yourself with the ones that you use on an ongoing basis. For example, if you are hooked up to a home network through Windows 7's great new HomeGroup feature, you would not be well advised to turn off HomeGroup Listener and HomeGroup Provider. Similarly, don't turn off BitLocker Drive Encryption Service and Bluetooth Support Service then come crying to me that you can't encrypt your USB key drive and that your Bluetooth devices no longer function!

The instructions on how to kill each of the services is available by clicking on each link which will take you to the fantastic Black Viper site.

ActiveX Installer (AxInstSV)

Adaptive Brightness

Application Layer Gateway Service

BitLocker Drive Encryption Service

Bluetooth Support Service


Certificate Propagation

Credential Manager

Diagnostic Policy Service

Diagnostic Service Host

Diagnostic System Host

Distributed Link Tracking Client

Encrypting File System (EFS)


Function Discovery Provider Host

Function Discovery Resource Publication

Health Key and Certificate Management

HomeGroup Listener

HomeGroup Provider

Human Interface Device Access

Interactive Services Detection

Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)

IP Helper

Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper

Media Center Extender Service

Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Service

Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service


Network Access Protection Agent

Offline Files

Parental Controls

Peer Name Resolution Protocol

Peer Networking Grouping

Peer Networking Identity Manager

PnP-X IP Bus Enumerator

PNRP Machine Name Publication Service

Portable Device Enumerator Service

Problem Reports and Solutions Control Panel Support

Program Compatibility Assistant Service

Remote Desktop Configuration

Remote Desktop Services

Remote Desktop Services UserMode Port Redirector

Remote Registry

Routing and Remote Access

Smart Card

Smart Card Removal Policy


Tablet PC Input Service


Windows Biometric Service

Windows CardSpace

Windows Color System

Windows Connect Now - Config Registrar

Windows Error Reporting Service

Windows Media Center Receiver Service

Windows Media Center Scheduler Service

Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service

Windows Remote Management (WS-Management)

Windows Search

WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service


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    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto

      debris: IE 7 & 8 seem to be showing some strange new behaviors lately, such as not connecting to anything when you launch them. I'm researching that right now and hope to have a Hub on it soon.

      Thank you so much for the exceptionally kind words. Much appreciated!

    • debris profile image

      debris 8 years ago from Florida

      I'm one of the few that didn't really mind the Vista operating system.  I just turned off certain things that I didn't like.  Explorer now crashes on me fairly frequently, which I have yet to figure out.  I've considered switching over to Ubuntu anyways.  I just wanted to come over here and compliment you on how fantastic it is that you write such comprehensive hubs.  It really is appreciated, and a great change from some of the more obviously thrown together hubs.

      Even now, I go back to each of my hubs and try to make them look nicer, fix any errors that my first couple of proof reads may have missed and make sure my links are working.  Anyways, thanks again.