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. This worked like a gem. I had a client who upgraded all his client pcs to Windows 7 Pro 64bit but still used a Windows Server 2003 SBS. They used an accounts application which was very slow after the upgrade. I made the changes above and everything ran like I would expect after an upgrade.

    Many Thanks

  2. OMG thank you sooo sooo soo much. This caused me so much headache itunes match was giving me connection reset error and windows update too!!! You ROCK!!!!

  3. Point #3 solved the problems in my new pc with Windows 7. Before doing this all of my programs were suffering of slow network speed. Thank you so much.

  4. umm… Hi!!! I already followed all the steps except for #6… I can’t find the Link Speed and Duplex in the Network Connection Properties…. So, what should I do? I hope to see your reply soon… thank you…

    • Just had a flick around to try and find it myself… i found it thus

      Network sharing centre,
      select change adapter settings on the left side
      Right click on the adapter then select configure….

      and follow step 6…… it took me a while to find it as like a dumb ass i didnt realise the tip is for wired connections….

      anyway hope it helps!

  5. While following step one of this article, I noticed that my “Net DNS State” was disabled. After making the change to “netdns=enable” my network started running at the normal speed again. Thanks for this article as it did indirectly point to the issue I was having 🙂

  6. Well I have windows 8.1 and I will surely try these maybe it can speed up some more. I have been using GS Richcopy 360 for quite a while and it has helped me a lot. Its multi threaded file transfer feature has saved me a lot of time. Although its a paid software but its affordable and saves time, so in turn its saving my money( time is money). Try it hope this comment helps!

  7. Run cmd prompt and type regedit.exe.
    Go to : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces

    Ensure you only have one network card, delete the other. This is because data tried to send to wrong network card wired or wireless.

    Works for me. Took me 3 months able to find this trick. 99% of experts failed on this one

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