Performance Tweaks


This page allows expert computer users to fine tune their system. Novice and intermediate users should use Auto-Optimize instead.


Tweaks explained


After selecting a new value  or enabling/disabling a checkbox the change is written immediately to the system registry. Make sure to create a backup of your settings before doing any modifications. All tweaks need a system reboot in order to become effective. If you close the Cacheman control window you will get an option to reboot immediately.


Creation of short filenames


If disabled Windows file system will stop generating an 8.3 filename for each new file created on the volume. If you don't use 16 Bit (Windows 3.x) applications, turning off this checkbox can speed up file system operations. Please keep in mind that even some modern applications (e.g. installers from Norton Systemworks or ATI Catalyst drivers) are still 16 bit and will not work with this option turned off.


Defragment hard disk when idle


If enabled Windows will defragment the hard disk in times of low activity.




Windows keeps a record of all files on the Hard Drive so when you do a search it is faster. There is a downside to this - it will slow down normal file commands like open and close.


NTFS last access update


By disabling this option, Windows file system will not record the last time a file was accessed. This can speed up disk operations if applications read or write many small files very frequently.


Reserve more space for the master file table


The Windows file system contains a file called the master file table or "MFT". There is at least one entry in the MFT for every file on an NTFS volume, including the MFT itself. Because utilities that defragment NTFS volumes cannot move MFT entries, and because excessive fragmentation of the MFT can impact performance, NTFS reserves space for the MFT in an effort to keep the MFT as contiguous as possible as it grows. With this setting enabled NTFS will reserve a larger space for this file. Enable this setting only if you have a huge amount of files. Works best when activated before files are copied to a volume.


Explorer network crawling


With this tweak active and if there are less than 10 systems on the network, your Windows Explorer will (in the background) search the network to locate all network shares, which are then displayed directly under "My Network Places".


Scheduled Tasks network search


When you attempt to view the computer share list on a Microsoft Windows 98/ME-based computer from a Windows XP/Vista/7-based computer, you may experience a delay of up to 30 seconds. This problem can occur when your Windows XP/Vista/7-based computer is checking to determine if scheduled tasks are enabled on the Windows 98/ME-based computer. You can disable the Scheduled Tasks search by unchecking this tweak.


Limit reserved bandwidth


This setting determines the percentage of connection bandwidth that Windows can reserve for QoS (Quality of Service) traffic. If you don't use QoS applications lowering this value will increase network bandwidth.


Max IE connections per server


When you try to download more than two files at the same time, the "Save This Program To Disk" option may not appear until one or more of the previous downloads is finished. This behavior can occur because Internet Explorer strictly adheres to the specifications for HTTP 1.1, which state that clients must not create more than two simultaneous connections per server. You can increase the value to force IE to ignore this limitation.


Network Throttling Index


This setting determines the appropriate balance between network performance and audio/video playback quality.


AVI scanning


Windows can run slowly when attempting to access a folder that contains a large number of AVI media files. By disabling this checkbox you can speed up the process by stopping Windows from extracting file information from AVIs.


Windows Experience Index


This service starts a weekly benchmark to measure your computers performance.


Show menu delay


Decreasing this value makes the Start Menu cascading menus appear more quickly.


Executive paging


Parts of system code and device drivers can be swapped out to paging file when the system needs more RAM. The system slows down when it needs that code or drivers since it must load them from the paging file. Windows stops while the required code is swapped in or out of RAM dependent on very long Hard Drive access times. If you have more than sufficient RAM, disabling Executive paging should improve performance


Run startup scripts asynchronously


Use this option to optimize the startup/logon processes so users can logon before startup scripts have finished.


WMI logging


Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is a component of the Windows operating system and is the MS implementation of Web-Based Enterprise Management. The log files created by WMI and various providers record events, trace or diagnostic data, errors, and various activities. Turning WMI logging off can decrease disk activity and improve performance.


Additional critical | delayed worker threads


A computer that's placed under heavy load conditions quite often may benefit from having more system worker threads, which perform things like clean-up after a process quits running.


System Responsiveness


Determines how much CPU time is reserved for background tasks.


Time stamp interval


A "last alive" time stamp is written to the registry at a default interval of 5 minutes. Changing this value can result in slightly less disk activity. Auto-Optimize disables writing the time stamp at intervals. Instead only the boot and normal shutdown stamps will be written.


WMI Backup Interval


The Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) repository backup occurs every 30 minutes on a Windows Server. You can increase the value to improve performance slightly.