Windows 7 Network Slow – 6 Easy Ways to Make it Fast, Suitable for Windows 8.1 and 10 too

Though system and network performance are kept improving on every latest Windows OS and Windows updates, still the following methods will be helpful to make Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10 network faster. You might face network slowness issue on your Windows computer mostly when you try to access or make network communication (data transfer) with other older versions of Windows.

The network is a major factor in computing. Windows 7 computers will be slow in accessing network shares on old MS Windows servers and non MS Operating systems including Sun and Linux.  It is applicable for Windows 10 and 8.1 too. Accessing data and transferring data over network are still problem in this case. Resolving DNS requests internally (LAN or WAN) and externally (Internet) also could be slow on Windows 7. The following methods worked for me to speed up Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 networking with NT, 2003 and Sun servers and other clients. It does not harm to try below steps and see whether they are improving your computer network speed.

Some of the below screenshots are taken from Windows 7 computer, but you can find similar ways and steps on your Windows 10 or 8.1 computers. As said earlier, these steps will improve the network speed on the Local Area Network (LAN) to access (read and write) files. Not all steps will help in improving the Internet speed.

If your Windows 10 computer is not getting IP through cable network or Wi-Fi and saying ‘Limited connectivity’ issue, please refer this guide. It has solved the issue and that has been acknowledged by many users.

How to Fix Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10 Network Slow Problem?

1) Disable Autotuning

Disabling autotuning will help lot on DNS lookup and network discovery issues. It also improves the data transfer speed over the network. Disabling autotuning in Windows 7 and 10 are very similar to Windows vista method. Read more here about disabling autotuning in windows vista.

To recap the important steps;

Start command prompt as administrator, and follow the commands as shown in below example.

Windows 7 Network slow

2) Remove RDC ( Remote Differential Compression)

This feature was introduced from Windows Vista to transfer data over the network in compressed format. The same RDC feature continued in Windows 7 and other versions. Since most of the old operating systems came before vista do not support this RDC feature, it may slow down network data transfer in Windows 7. You can remove this RDC (Remote Differential Compression) on Windows 7 by visiting control panel and programs and features. Click on ‘Turn Windows features on or off’, as shown below. The same steps are applicable for Windows 10 and 8.1.
Remove RDC (Remote Differential Compression) in Vista

Windows 7 Network slow

3) Remove IPv6 from network properties.

If your internal or external networks do not use IPv6 protocol, better remove it under network connection properties. Sometimes keeping IPv6 on your computer may slow down network by trying to register IPv6 addresses, or trying to get IPv6 address, or trying to resolve IPv6. Better remove it if it’s not required. Since we have not started using IPv6 addressing scheme in most of the LAN and WAN, it is recommended to remove it.

It can be done in the control panel as shown below to improve Windows 10 network speed and issues.

remove ipv6 on Windows 10Read Also: Best external hard drives to get for Windows and Mac support

4) Clear DNS Cache

You can remove the DNS cache from computer, so next time DNS request will be solved by the DNS server. This will avoid your computer to try broken or changed DNS records from cache.

To clear DNS cache, open Command prompt as administrator and type ipconfig /flushdns

5) Disable Wireless Network and any additional (including Virtual) network adapters.

This is to reduce the network confusion on your Operating System. If you will not be using wireless network (but its is connected when LAN is active) I recommend you to disable wireless network and see whether it is helping this case. If it’s enabled, Windows 7 computer will be trying to connect available wireless networks around you.  Also if you have installed any desktop virtualization sofware, you would find few virtual network adapters on your computer. Disabling them when you face network slow problem may help in speeding it up.

6) Modifying Link Speed & Duplex Value in Network adapter Properties.

Sometimes this step also helps when you face the problem with Windows 7 network. I can’t say which option will work better because it depends on your physical network setup (network adapter, cable type, LAN speed and network switch). By default it is set for ‘Auto Negotiation’. But you can play around with Value options and find out which is working better for your computer and network.

Windows 7 Network slow

Bonus Tips in Making Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 Network Fast

Addition to above 6 steps, you can try below steps.

7) Update the network adapter driver

Updating your Wi-Fi and LAN driver will bring some improvement to the network (if changes done by the manufacture). Make sure that your computer is connected to the Internet, then try to update the driver as below.

update driver 8) Windows Update

Doing the Windows update may bring the improvement and fix the network related bugs. Since Windows 10 update can check for latest drivers as well, checking and doing the Windows update will do the both jobs and can solve your network slow problem.

I’m sure that above steps will help to solve Windows 7 network slow problem which is applicable for other Operating Systems like Windows 10 and 8.1. Feel free to suggest any additional steps you have done to improve network speed.

70 thoughts on “Windows 7 Network Slow – 6 Easy Ways to Make it Fast, Suitable for Windows 8.1 and 10 too”

  1. First of all,my router support ipv6 for what i know researching around but is not because my internet cable company started introducing ipv6 around zone and it new ipv6 routers for rent.
    what I know ipv6 give us more security and until I get new router I going to unchecked ipv6 to improve speed.
    I followed all steps in this web site for my windows 7 64x to improving more speed and now I don’t need wait 3 to 10 seconds anymore for browser start page and page to page websites where is 100Mbps speed.
    what I need to know what helped more of all steps and what is going to happens later.
    in short,I really thank you and helps me allot.

  2. Thanks! Disabling RDC seemed to do the trick, but then lately, transferring files between my Win7 netbook and XP desktop would still sometimes bog down to <100KBps–even when both were hardwired to my gigabit switch! Killing Autotuning did the trick this time. Now it max out @ ~9% of the link speed, which is about would I'd expect from the netbook's 100Mb connection.

  3. Thanks, disabling the IPv6 did the trick for me in my Win 7 PC (i7, 1Terrabyte RAID 1, gigabit NIC and gigabit switch/Router). I nearly threw my Synology 212j NAS out the window :-(. This disabeling means a substantial difference in speed: unchanged from 30 MB/s to less than 1.5 MB/s after 5 minutes. After disabeling IPv6: from 25 MB/s to 15 MB/s after 5 minutes and remaining stable at 8 MB/s.

  4. I tired everything, and in the end, it was the disabling of the autotuning that finally fixed the slow Win7 transfers. I was in the process of backing up my stuff to revert back to XP, because I was so fed up with the slow network speeds of Win7 when I found this article. Thanks!

  5. Amazing tweeks… I can’t believe it… I was giving up on Win7. But thanks to the writer of this article!!!

  6. For the RECORD! YOU DON’T EVER DO #3. IP6 is a critical component of Windows 7. Removing it breaks things! Lots of things…crap like this gets read by average users and then they wonder, why we don’t do these things at the corporate level, then we have to waste time and effort expplaining it to them.

  7. Thanks for your help. Autotuning disable helped to solve my network problems with external harddisk and other XP Pc’s, which drove me crazy !! Got the tip from this website from our IT guy in our company where we had exactly the same problems before ! Thanks again folks !!

  8. Thanks for the tips. However, I would recommend people not change the setting mentioned in #6 to anything other than auto unless they are connected to a managed switch and have locked in the duplex and speed on the switch port. When you lock in the speed and duplex settings on your nic you prevent the nic for autonegotating these values with the switch. Many older switches will default to 100mb half duplex if they do not receive auto negotiation from the device connected on the port. That can lead to a duplex mismatch which will lead to collisions and ultimately a slower connection. Both the switch port and the nic should be set the same. Either both sould be auto or the duplex and speed should be specified on both. If you don’t have a managed switch then you should always leave your nic on auto.

  9. Disabling both Autotuning and RDC Works for me. Windows 7 network copy took forever or would outright fail until I did that. 🙂

  10. tried this, now its slower!!!!!
    massive fail!

    win 7, 64bit, wifi (strong signal)
    Wireless N (only) router to gigabit NAS box

    was getting 2.5MB/Second, now getting 1.8MB/Second

  11. I have 3 pc’s that were previously on a DLink 24 port switch, all hardwired and an HP 4600n as well. Went wireless with the 3 pc’s and put the printer on the ethernet port of the router. 2/3 pc work well, but one of the pc’s is accessing the data slowly off of the Peachtree server, both wired or wirelessly. We’re on Win 7 64 Pro.

    Drag and drop transfer rates to/from all of the pc’s dangles around 1-4MB/s 🙁

    Internet is stable.

    Followed said ideas, disabled all firewalls and no improvements. Working off of a Belkin N750.

  12. comments helped me with my Linksys NAS200. EONS faster (well, i’d say 10x at least actually)… and I’m a networking guy (I thought it was me…).

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