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Disable System Restore And Drive Indexing

Can You Get More Space Or Speed From Your SSD?

Disable System Restore

How to disable:

  • Right-click on Computer in the Start menu and select Properties
  • Select System Protection
  • Select Configure 
  • Then, select Turn off system protection

Disabling System Restore serves two purposes. 

First, it limits the number of writes to an SSD. Now, there is much debate about how worried enthusiasts need to be about writing unnecessarily to solid-state storage. As you probably know, write endurance is the specification that matters most in defining the longevity of memory cells that compose an SSD. Some people say not to worry; you'll probably not see the day when your drive's cells stop storing data reliably. Others do everything in their power to minimize writes, taking no chances. Turning off System Restore helps placate that latter group. Additionally, we've seen chatter indicating that System Restore potentially degrades performance over time due to the way it interacts with the TRIM command. Check out this story for more depth on that.

There's also a capacity discussion to be had. Restore points eat up space. And for all of the value that gets heaped on System Restore, it's not always able to facilitate a clean recovery. Turning it off frees up room on the SSD. So long as you're using a third-party software solution to back up on a regular basis to some other medium, doing away with System Restore shouldn't compromise any of your data.

Disable Drive Indexing

How to disable:

  • Open up Computer in the Start menu
  • Right-click your SSD and select Properties
  • Un-check the box marked "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties".
  • A pop-up screen may appear, stating there is an error applying attributes. This is normal. You should select "Ignore All" and continue.

Indexing is another feature that can be disabled for multiple reasons. First, it was intended to help improve the performance of mechanical drives in finding files more quickly. These response rate-oriented concerns are hardly applicable to solid-state drives, which are near-instantaneous. Thus, the benefits of indexing on an SSD are questionable at best.

Second, you have the potential for unnecessary writes, just as with the System Restore tweak above. The impact of indexing is minimal. However, if you're worried about write endurance, every little bit you can do to minimize data written to flash should help.

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