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Managing Visual Effects and Performance

The Windows interface offers many visual effects, such as animation, fading, and shadows. These effects can be entertaining or useful, but they chew up processor time and can degrade performance noticeably (particularly if you're short on RAM, video processor speed, or battery power). Windows lets you turn off individual visual effects, perhaps making your system more responsive. It's worth experimenting.

To turn off visual effects:

  1. Choose Start > Control Panel > System and Maintenance > System > Advanced System Settings (on the left).

    If a security prompt appears, type an administrator password or confirm the action.

  2. On the Advanced tab, in the Performance section, click Settings > Visual Effects tab (Figure 4.76).
    Figure 4.76

    Figure 4.76 The Performance Options dialog box lets you turn visual effects on and off.

  3. Select Custom, uncheck the boxes for the effects that you want to turn off, and then click OK in each open dialog box.
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