If you are using the Ultimate, Home Premium, Enterprise or Business version of Vista then you probably have the Aero effect turned on (unless you have already turned it off manually). The Aero effect makes your operating system have a glass like effect on the windows which looks good but really serves no purpose to the end user (end user being you). The Aero effect also has another feature called Windows Flip 3D which is a fancy version of the Alt + Tab combination which allows you to flip through your open programs. To activate the Window Flip 3D, open a few programs, hold down the windows button and press the Tab button a few times. You should see your open programs rotate in a fancy way. These features really serve no purpose to the average person so here’s how to get rid of them:
Click Start, click on Control Panel and on the left hand side make sure that the Control Panel Home is selected. Click on Appearance and Personalize, click on Personalize, click on Windows Color and Appearance and at the bottom select “Open classic appearance properties for more color options”. Now in this new window under the Color Scheme drop down box select Windows Vista Basic. Click Apply and then OK. This should turn off the Aero effect.
One of the biggest features that Vista has that is pretty much useless is the sidebar. Unless you are actually using the Windows gadgets on the sidebar regularly then its probably best that you get rid of it. It literally serves no purpose to the average user except to make your computers desktop look nice. Here’s the process:Right click on the windows sidebar icon in the System Tray and select the properties option from the drop down menu ( if your not sure what the system tray is, its that little group of icons in the bottom right hand corner). Now, in the Windows Sidebar Properties dialog box uncheck the box that says “Start Sidebar when Windows Starts” and select Apply and then OK. Now just right click on the Windows Sidebar Icon in the system tray again and select Exit.
By doing both of these things you have now given yourself some more resources to use which in the long run will make your computer faster.