Quick Vista Hack to Get You Browsing at High-Speed Again

by Linsey Knerl on 16 April 2008 36 comments
Photo: Tony Harrison

I’m not a Windows Vista fan. In fact, my new PC runs on XP, but uses OpenSource applications for most of my business needs. So why do I even care about a trick to get sluggish Vista browsing back to an acceptable speed? My mom uses Vista, and I love my mom.

I’m also no techie, so I’ll preface this piece by acknowledging that this won’t work for everyone. There are lots of reasons why Vista is a good choice for some; my mom has few qualms with the operating system, and I’ve even adjusted to using her PC for quick tasks when I’m away from home. One thing that just wouldn’t do for me or my mother, however, was the horribly slow browsing in Vista. Sites that should have taken little time to load were met with the white screen of death, or a notoriously lingering blue circle that signaled the page was still loading. A check of the connection supported my theory that it wasn’t anything else but Vista. Here’s how we fixed it – for good.

PC Magazine’s May 2008 issue held the key to our problems. Its Ask Neil column featured our problem, and the answer was simple: Disable Vista’s “Auto-Tuning” feature, which may not be (in our case it wasn’t) compatible with certain routers and networking devices. To turn it off:

At the Start menu type command, but don’t immediately launch the command prompt. Instead, right-click it and choose Run As Administrator. Type this command:

netsh interface tcp show global

If the line Receive Window Auto-Tuning Level does not say “disabled,” enter this command:

netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=restricted

If this doesn’t help, do the whole process again, but this time substitute this command:

netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled

Viola! You should be cruising now! (By the way, I had to go through the whole process, using the last command to get it going good.) If it works, you should notice the difference in browsing speeds immediately. If it doesn’t work for you, and you feel the need to put things back the way they were, you can type this command:

netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=normal

Good luck, Vista users! (And if you’re looking for some additional reading, check out all the green topics covered in this month’s issue of PC Magazine!)

5
Average: 5 (2 votes)
Your rating: None
ShareThis

comments

36 discussions

Add New Comment

CAPTCHA
This test helps prevent automated spam submissions.
Guest's picture
Guest

Thanks! That totally sped things up!

Myscha Theriault's picture

My husband is so excited. Thanks, Linsey.

Myscha Theriault's picture

Yup; and I'm still using this post to speed up our computers, almost four years later! Great post!

Guest's picture
Laura

Thanks, I'll try this! I'm also having trouble with Vista's internet not working after auto updates. Everything is connected correctly, but I guess this is a common issue (according to the tech person I spoke with). Hopefully Vista will continue to improve!

Guest's picture
Matt

I'm curious how many people who are having this problem are connecting through wireless. I had horribly slow connection speeds on my 802.11g network. Eventually I discovered that Vista has a feature that turns your wireless connection off to save power enabled by default. I flipped the switch on it in my network settings and everything immediately sped up.

Guest's picture
dreamiste

Matt, Can I ask you how exactly you turned off that feature under network settings? My vista's wireless connection to the internet is dead most of the time and I know its definitely some setting in Vista and I'm trying to figure it out. Like other people, the only option I've found people post in response to this problem is just to execute the commands to turning the autotuninglevel, chimney, and rss to disabled but this only works some of the time and usually I'm left just staring at my access to the Internet displaying "Limited Connectivity" and left using my old laptop with XP instead. I'd really appreciate it if you could please let me know what you did. Thank you in advance.

Linsey Knerl's picture

My mom wasn't connected via wireless, however, she has satellite connection hardwired into her PC.  I don't know if this makes a difference or not.

Good to hear it is working for some folks! 

Guest's picture

Thanks a lot sweetie :)

Will surely have to try this......tks again

--------
www.RedesignYourBiz.com

Guest's picture

You can select --> copy & paste

not necessary to type

Guest's picture

I've never played with my tcp settings and my Receive Window Auto-Tuning Level was set to 'highlyrestricted'. I wonder if Vista watches for TCP errors and changes the setting automatically.

Guest's picture
Guest

Everywhere I have seen this discussed(including MS sites) the command was:
netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=
You have:
netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=

Not sure if it matters, just something I noticed when looking into what auto tuning was doing.

Linsey Knerl's picture

I personally tried it the way mentioned in my article, and it worked.  I have seen many web sites picking one or the other.  I'm not sure the difference, or which one is better.

Guest's picture
Ryan

I followed the steps and my Auto-Tuning level was set to highly restricted. I wonder if this issue was fixed with the Windows Vista SP1 update.

Guest's picture
dai

yEP!

It works!

Great idea!

nabin

Guest's picture

Great tip. Testing it now!

Guest's picture
kage

XXOO

Guest's picture
LizLovely

Thank You.

Guest's picture
Jigar

hmmmmmm

thatss gr88

how u learnn that

i want one thin from uu

how to hack others wireless network

or how to hack his passwordd

bcos i found lots of wireless network n its secured

thats yy mann

thanxxx 4 thattt

Guest's picture
m77

your an idiot. this was about how to fix something, not an in for script kiddies to request how to hack their neighbors wireless.

Here's a great hack for wireless ... get a job, subscribe to broadband, buy your own wireless router.

Guest's picture
m77

Oh, and thank you Matt ... that really helped out alot.

Guest's picture
Web Talk

great post. some weeks ago i spoke about this little trick and my readers found it amazing. I tried it myself and despite it didnt improved a lot my internet connection i think i can surf 10% faster
feel free to visit my site http://www.webtlk.com

Guest's picture
Viper

well ive just spent the best part of an hour figuring out how to get CMD to run as admin... on VISTA HP in CMD normal mode it tells u to elevate ure privileges.... if ure like me and ure the only person that uses the laptop and are set as admin u think to ureself oh ill just right click and runs as Admin.... well think again... lol it doesn't work

u have to disable UAC first/restart/run cmd and that's it.. type the commands to either restrict/disable/normal. then re enable UAC/restart...n enjoy :)

Hells_Guardian_Angel@hotmail.co.uk
Cisco Networking + Army network admin :)

Guest's picture
Guest

what do you mean by your UAC?

Guest's picture
Guest

if u change the
(netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=restricted) to
(netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=highlyrestricted) the internet moves a little faster then if u just did restricted

Guest's picture
Guest

I am a bit confused. My connection was so slow it would sometimes just timeout and not connect at all. I checked the autotuning as the article directed and it was set to highly restricted. I changed it to "restricted" and it seemed to work much better. Would disabling it or setting it to normal be better or worse?

Guest's picture
Darren

This is SOO cool it even works on different browsers such as opera and safari. THANK SO MUCH!!!!

Guest's picture
Guest

POTATO LOVE

Guest's picture
laura

Hey this helped A LOT!! THANK YOU!

Guest's picture
bliss

I'm on dial-up. (Yeah, I said it. lol)

This worked like a charm.

Thanks for the info. :o)

Guest's picture
msutton

ok if you dont want to have to put in the extra codes just do the following:

1. open up the admin prompt
2. type in netsh interface tcp show global to see what the setting is already.
3. Then just skip the other codes and go straight to the one that says netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled
4. then put in the first code and make sure the autotuning says disabled and there you go

simplified

Guest's picture
Guest

can this do anything potentially harmful to your computer?

Guest's picture
Cadillac parts

Cadillac's innovative design and precision manufacturing it jumped to the head of the pack as a luxury vehicle from the beginning. Named after the French explorer sieur de Cadillac, who also founded Detroit Michigan. Detroit went on to become one of the top automobile manufacturing areas in the world. Cadillac automobiles became a household world and still means excellence in the new millennium.

Thanks

Cadillac parts

http://www.iautobodyparts.com/cadillac/

Guest's picture
Guest

This used to work on my vista. nasty new virus out so "I have 3 types of comp science degrees started programming at 18 in late 40s now. I am using an elevated command promtp it worked until now. Now no matter what I put in it stays at highly restricted. I need it deactivated to get my full browsing speed. I actualy spend 3-4 days useing regedit and litraly reprogram the os. Going to go see if can find a way turn this damned auto tuneing off I dont want it nor do I need auto tuneing. I prefer doing my own tuneing damn microsuck!

Guest's picture
Guest

Ok,  I am not a computer professional, so try at your own risk, but I had constant problems and tried this.  It helped, but my final solution was this.  Go to task manager and select services.  Open the services window and select Network Location Awareness Service turn it off.  Now you will notice that you lose the network list service, which means your little icon at the bottom may not tell you if your network is connected or not, but blazingly faster browsing.

Guest's picture
Tom

You are awesome! I was about to give up on my Vista laptop forever. Now, it works! Thank you!!!

Guest's picture
Guest

hi i just tried typing this command in "netsh interface tcp show global" and where it says the auto-tuning level, it says "highlyrestricted". i guess that means i'm ok right? thanks in advanced