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Optimize and Maintain a Windows 7 Computer

Summary: How to run various tools to improve the performance of Windows 7.

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Article Content


This article is for Microsoft Windows 7.
Click below to change the operating system.

Table of Contents:

  1. Automatically Optimize and Maintain Windows 7
  2. Basic Maintenance of the Windows 7 Operating System
  3. Internet Explorer 8 Maintenance
  4. Keeping Your Windows 7 Computer Secure
  5. Using Multiple Antivirus Programs in Windows 7

This article describes how to optimize Windows 7 performance, as well as perform routine maintenance and avoid program conflicts.

Issue 1: Automatically Optimize and Maintain Windows 7

Microsoft has created a pair of built-in automated troubleshooting packs to optimize and maintain Windows 7 performance.
Dell Recommended: To attempt to fix this problem automatically, click the Fix it link below. Then, click Run in the File Download dialog box and follow the steps in the wizard.


Or follow the steps below to run the troubleshooters built into your computer:

  1. Open the Performance troubleshooter by clicking the Start button , and then clicking Control Panel.
  2. In the search box, type troubleshooter, and then click Troubleshooting.
  3. Click View All and then click the checkbox to show online troubleshooters.

The two troubleshooters are Performance and System Maintenance.
You can also view the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article:
"Ways to improve your computer's performance"

Issue 2: Basic Maintenance of Windows 7

There are a few key housekeeping tasks that should be routinely performed on a computer to keep it running smoothly

  1. Run Windows Update - Make sure that all key operating system updates are installed. Visit Microsoft KB article "Updating Your Computer" to learn more.
  2. Defragment Your Hard Drive. Files on your hard drive can sometimes become spread out, or fragmented, across different sectors of the drive. Defragmenting the hard drive aligns the pieces of those files in one sector, which increases the efficiency of the operating system to open the files. To learn more, see Microsoft KB article:
    "Improve performance by defragmenting your hard disk"
  3. Update the Drivers on the Computer. Old drivers may cause certain applications to not run correctly, or may have bugs that have been fixed in later releases. Drivers should be checked for updates at least twice a year. Click the button below to visit the Dell Drivers and Downloads website to update your drivers!

Issue 3: Internet Explorer Maintenance

Internet Explorer stores your history, website cookies, and passwords, as well as your Favorites. If you are experiencing problems with Internet Explorer, use the Windows 7 Internet Explorer Performance Troubleshooter to clean up your web browser and get the most out of your browsing experience.

Issue 4: Keeping Your Windows 7 Computer Secure

Along with regular maintenance, you will want to make sure that Internet Security Software is installed on your computer and is kept up to date.
Main Article: Protect Your Computer or Remove Malware in Microsoft Windows
You can find many home security products available for download at the
Dell Download Store Home Security Center.
Also, full retail (shrink-wrap) versions of security software are available at the
Dell Antivirus and Security Store

Issue 5: Using Multiple Antivirus Programs in Windows 7

The use of multiple anti-virus programs may cause your system to lock up. Anti-virus programs come pre-installed on most Dell Computers, so customers sometimes install other anti-virus programs without realizing that there is already a system installed. If you decide to install an alternate anti-virus software, it is important that you first uninstall any other anti-virus programs that may be running on your computer.

Choose only one anti-virus program and reinstall it. It is not recommended to have more than one anti-virus software package installed on your computer.

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Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021



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