This tutorial was written to show all Windows Vista users how they can help maximize the performance and power of their PC by deselecting certain visual effects on their computer. Read below to find out how you can optimize the display settings on your computer for optimum performance in just minutes.

The first thing you must do is click the “start” button. Clicking the “start” button will bring up the “start menu” like so:

Clicking the start menu


From the “start menu” you must click “Control Panel”. Once you have clicked “Control Panel” you will be presented with the “Control Panel” window, which will appear like so:

Control Panel


You will notice a large list of icons in the window as shown above, if yours is appearing categorically then you must click the “Classic View” text, which is circled in the top left of the window as shown above. Once you have done so you must select the “System” icon, which you should have to scroll down to find like so:

Control Panel - system


Once you have found the “System” icon, you must double-left-click the icon, which will bring up the “System” window like so:

Changing settings - System


As you can see there is a red circle around the text “Performance”. You must click the text “Performance”, which will lead you to the “Performance Information and Tools” window. This window is used to change many aspects of your computer’s performance. The window should appear like so:

Adjusting visual effects


In the image above, you will notice that the text “Adjust visual effects”. You must click this text. Once you have clicked the text “Adjust visual effects” and accepted any security prompts, you will be presented with the “Performance Options” like so:

Performance options


From the “Performance Options” window you may deselect or select as many options as you choose, although in order to maintain a relevantly attractive computer at the same time as optimizing its performance, I recommend that you disable all of the effects except for the effects listed below, which should be kept in order to maintain a good looking desktop:

  • Show shadows under menus
  • Show translucent selection rectangle
  • Use visual styles on windows and buttons
  • Show shadows under mouse pointer
  • Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop

You must click within the small white box in each of the visual effects that are not one of the five listed above in order to remove the check from the box, thus disabling each effect.


Once you have deselected all of the effects except for the five listed above, you muse then click the “Apply” button and then the “OK” button, which are both located in the bottom right of the “Performance Options” window.


Once you have clicked the “Apply” and “OK” button, your desktop will appear to change. Once this change is complete, which should only take a few seconds, your desktop will be more responsive and your overall processor usage should drop slightly if not dramatically. Your computer may ask you to restart in order for the changes to take effect, if this is the case then you must restart your computer and once it restarts you will then notice the difference.

Congratulations! You have just modified the visual effects settings for your Windows Vista PC. Enjoy your newfound Windows optimization knowledge.