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25 essential Windows 7 tips

Plus performance-enhancing tweaks for Vista and XP


Windows 7 is a brilliant OS and offers us loads of long-overdue improvement and upgrades. However, like any OS it can benefit from a few tweaks. We've rounded up 25 essential tips to make your PC run faster.

Make it safer

Still looking for a good reason to trade Windows XP in for Windows 7? One word: security. The new OS is inherently better at fighting infections, blocking hackers and thwarting phishing attempts.

And with the extra tools described here, you can lock it down like a digital Fort Knox.

Install Microsoft Security Essentials
Works in:
XP, Vista, 7

Windows 7 comes equipped with some solid security tools, including a robust firewall and the spyware-blocking Windows Defender.

On top of that, you need a good antivirus program, one that works quietly in the background and won't bog down your system.

Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection against viruses and other kinds of malware, and its performance impact is negligible.

Sounds like a fine alternative to paying an annual fee for virus protection.

Install web of trust
Works in: XP, Vista, 7

The seemingly innocent act of clicking a link - even one that's at the top of a Google search-results page - can result in 'drive-by downloads' infecting your PC. Scary, right? But how do you know whether a link is safe to click?

Try Web of Trust, a browser add-on that will warn you of unsafe sites.

Specifically, the plug-in adds colour-coded icons to each link that your search engine produces: green for safe, yellow for risky and red for dangerous.

You can also right-click any link, such as one that appears in an online forum, and choose View WOT scorecard to perform a manual safety check.

WOT is free, and available for both Firefox and Internet Explorer. Although its rating icons add a little clutter to some web pages, we recommend it very highly for anyone concerned about security.

NEXT PAGE: More tips to make Windows safer

  1. These tricks will make your PC even faster
  2. Switch to Chrome
  3. Remove Shovelware
  4. Make it safer
  5. More tips to make Windows safer
  6. Make it easier
  7. Reload all your apps after a reboot
  8. Make Windows more fun
  9. Watch tuner-free TV in Media Center
  10. More expert tips


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