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12 Vista features your PC doesn't need

Improve performance by turning off the bloat

From Aero to Remote Assistance, we've rounded up the 12 most unnecessary features that simply bloat Windows Vista and can be turned off immediately.

7. Windows Ultimate Extras

One of the best things you can do exclusively in Vista Ultimate Edition is turn off the really pointless features that are found exclusively in Vista Ultimate Edition. I refer, of course, to Ultimate Extras, a set of downloadable add-ons available only to Ultimate users. If you didn't pay for the most expensive version of Vista, these useless add-ons aren't a concern.

If you do own Ultimate, go to Windows Update (Start, All Programs, Windows Update), click View available updates and check out all the worthless stuff Microsoft has made available exclusively to people who paid through the nose for the most bloated version of Vista.

As of this writing, the extras include a poker game, some BitLocker and EFS enhancements that hardly anyone uses, several sound schemes and an odd tool called Windows DreamScene that lets you waste your precious system resources by using video as your wallpaper.

You can turn Windows Ultimate Extras off in the Windows Features control panel by clicking Turn Windows features on or off to open the Windows Features dialog box, and then unchecking Windows Ultimate Extras.

8. Tablet PC stuff

I own a tablet PC, and I love Vista's tablet-oriented features - especially the Input Panel for writing with the stylus. But if you don't have a tablet, these features are useless to you.

Turning off Vista's tablet features is a two-step process: Start in the Windows Features dialog box. If you're not already there, see the Internet Printing Client tip above for instructions on getting to it. Once there, simply uncheck Tablet PC Optional Components.

You complete the job in the Services window, which you open by clicking Start, typing services and pressing Enter. Find and double-click Tablet PC Input Services. In the 'Startup type' drop-down menu, select Disabled and then click ok.

9. ReadyBoost

If you're not using this much-hyped Vista feature, which supposedly speeds up Vista by caching memory to a flash drive, it's actually slowing your system down a tiny bit. (And if you are using ReadyBoost, it's probably still a drag on your PC.

You turn off ReadyBoost in Services. If you aren't already there, click Start, type services and press Enter. Find and double-click ReadyBoost. In the 'Startup type' drop-down menu, select Disabled and then click ok.

NEXT PAGE: Search indexing and offline files

  1. Improve PC performance by turning off these wasteful features
  2. Assorted interface beautification options
  3. Windows Ultimate Extras
  4. Search indexing and offline files

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