Reclaim PC performance with Vista Services Optimizer

Disable or delay performance-hogging services with this unique freeware.

Many programs install services such as update helpers that start with Windows yet are rarely needed. Turning off or modifying the startup behavior of unnecessary services can cut the time it takes Windows to boot and boost your system's performance. Power users are familiar with such tweaks, but the inexperienced user who has the most to gain is often too intimidated to even try it.

Help is available in the form of Vista Services Optimizer, a free program that tweaks your Windows PC's performance by shutting down or modifying services that you don't need or don't use. Its unique question-and-answer format helps any user reduce a computer's startup time and reclaim some of its original zip without making the wrong changes. Despite the name, Vista Services Optimizer is for Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Vista Services Optimizer's interface has the typical look of a premium system utility, with large buttons and fonts and a colorful, up-to-date design. The Home Window displayed our PC's drive, memory, and CPU usage in graphs and offered some useful tips, as well as links to the program's Help menu and Facebook and Twitter accounts.

We clicked Services Diagnostic to get the ball rolling. The program analyzed our system and displayed all our Windows Services in the Diagnostic Results tab, with color codes and legends indicating whether the service needed optimizing and what if any action to take. Clicking Fix performed all the selected actions at once. Vista also offers two tune-up modes, Automatic and Manual; both do basically the same thing, only the Automatic tune-up uses your User Profile, while the Manual tune-up walks you through each step. We tried the Manual mode first. Vista asked a lot of questions, such as whether we used Windows Media Player as a default media player and whether we used a printer or network printer. We could save our tweaks as a Profile. A Gaming Mode allows for temporary optimization for maximum gaming performance.

If your PC seems slower than it used to be, try Vista Services Optimizer. It's the safest tool of its type we've tried, and the easiest to use, too.

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