Turning off Remote Differential Compression (RDC) in Windows Vista

Windows Vista was released in 2006 and it gained instant popularity because of a unique newer user interface. There are some people who are still running their old Windows XP computers, but Microsoft has introduced so many new features in Windows Vista that you will feel left out on if you don’t migrate to Windows Vista soon. The newer Windows 7 will also be released soon, so perhaps you may want to wait for that as well.

There is a new feature in Windows Vista called Remote Differential Compression (RDC). What this does is that it speeds up the file synchronization over a local network using data compression alogorithms. When two computers over a LAN have some files that differ only a little, it transfers only the differences between those files and this saves a lot of network bandwidth. Not to mention that it will also reduce the time taken to transfer the files.

For example, if two computers have 1 GB file with a difference of only 200 kB between the two computers. When RDC is enabled instead of transferring the entire 1GB, it will transfer only the different bytes (200 kB) and everything is done in a few seconds.

While this feature is a great asset for a networked office, it is just a system resources hog for an individual user using the computer at their home. When this feature is not really needed, you can speed up your system by turning it off. Here is how:

  1. Press the keyboard combination Win + R to bring up the Run dialog.
  2. Type OptionalFeatures.exe in the Run dialog and press Enter.
  3. This would open the Windows Features window. Scroll down and un-check the checkbox labeled Remote Differential Compression.Turn off Remote Differential Compression in Vista
  4. Click OK to save the settings.

Some advanced users have used specialized software to calculate system performance before and after disabling RDC and the results look a little much better when RDC is disabled. So basically, if you do not use your PC over a LAN then you can just disable it and make your PC perform a little better.