SuperFetch: what is this service and should it be disabled

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SuperFetch: what is this service and should it be disabled
SuperFetch: what is this service and should it be disabled

Since the release of one of today's most popular operating systems, Windows 7, it has implemented a unique technology called SuperFetch. Not everyone knows what kind of service this is. However, if you remember the Prefetcher technology in Windows Vista, everything will fall into place. Let's try to figure out what it is.

SuperFetch: what is this service?

Before we deal with the service itself, let's start with the basics. If anyone does not know, when starting any program, its executable or configuration files and components are first read from the hard disk and then loaded into RAM. After the application terminates, reopening the program follows the same process.

superfetch what is this service
superfetch what is this service

To speed up access to programs and directly optimize the operation of system processes, SuperFetch technology was developed. What is this service? Simply put, this is a kind of intelligent system that tracks the most frequent use of certain programs by the user, whichallows you to cache application files (put them in RAM) to speed up access to them. That is, the launch of the program is much faster, because the data is already in the “RAM”, and is not read from the hard drive, which, of course, takes more time.

sysmain superfetch
sysmain superfetch

In the process tree of later systems than Vista, in the standard "Task Manager", it is represented as the SysMain process (SuperFetch - in the service description).

What is the difference between Prefetch and SuperFetch?

The original technology was first used very timidly in Windows XP, but seriously continued in Vista, only then it was called Prefetcher (prefetching). She was responsible for optimizing the loading of system components and startup application modules before the actual launch.

superfetch disable or not
superfetch disable or not

Starting from the "seven", the service was somewhat redesigned, called SuperFetch (super-selection) and began to work a little differently (although there is also a Prefetcher module). Prefetching has a number of disadvantages. The fact is that the number of programs loaded into RAM is limited, and when an application ceases to be actively used, its data is again uploaded to the hard drive, and to the swap file.

In Windows, SuperFetch tracks user activity and, in addition to creating special maps, also saves the configuration of frequently used programs. If for some reason one application was unloaded from memory, the serviceanalysis of the unloading, and after the completion of the process that caused the unloading, it again initiates the loading of the modules of the previous program into the “RAM”.

In general, the service increases the speed of application startup and even provides a more stable increase in system performance. True, it is worth paying attention here that sometimes there may be problems with loading "RAM" if its volume does not exceed 1 GB, but more on that later.

Managing SuperFetch service settings

So now let's see how the SuperFetch parameters are managed. What kind of service, I think, is already a little clear. Let's go directly to the setup.

According to many experts, it is best to use the system registry or group policies for these purposes. However, the second option, in fact, duplicates the first, so let's focus on the registry. The editor is called by the regedit command in the Run menu (Win + R).

windows super fetch
windows super fetch

Here, using the HKLM branch, in the system partition you need to find the PrefetchParameters directory (these parameters can also be found using a search query). Here we are interested in two keys: EnablePrefetcher and EnableSuperFetch. If there is no second key, it must be created (DWORD parameter) and given an appropriate name. Four values can be entered for each key:

  • 0 - complete shutdown;
  • 1 - optimization of only running programs;
  • 2 - optimization of only the launch of system components;
  • 3 - Balanced acceleration of both apps and system.

The recommended parameter is set to automatically optimize both the system and programs ("3").

superfetch error
superfetch error

Another way to manage the parameters of a service (and its SysMain SuperFetch process at the same time) is to use the services.msc command, which opens the settings window for executable services and processes. Here you need to find SuperFetch and open the service properties by double-clicking, then set the required parameter from the launch type drop-down list.

SuperFetch: disable or not?

The issue of using the service itself is quite controversial for many. In principle, with a small amount of RAM, it is better not to use the service. So, for example, if the amount of "RAM" does not exceed 1 GB, the memory load can reach 600 MB, not to mention virtual memory and the paging file. However, almost all modern computer systems, even with a minimal configuration, are initially equipped with fairly large amounts of "RAM" of the order of 3-4 GB and more. So disabling the service is not recommended. Even with 2 GB, SuperFetch can be used, in general, without problems.

Error starting SuperFetch service

But sometimes there are problems associated with the SuperFetch service (disable or not, that's up to everyone). The failures themselves at the system level do not particularly manifest themselves and do not have a critical impact on the operation of the "OS".

However, in the SuperFetch module, the error is that this service simply does not activate, even if the necessary parameters are entered in the same registry. HowAs a rule, a message is issued about abnormal completion (SuperFetch terminated) or access denied. The point here is only that there is not enough RAM or there is a conflict between the "RAM" strips.

Naturally, the best option would be to completely disable the service, but if there is enough memory, it is better to initially test it, eliminate possible problems, and only after that make a decision about disabling or further use.


Based on the general description of SuperFetch, what kind of service it is is probably already clear. But the question of disabling or using this process should be decided by the user himself. General recommendations are such that with a small amount of RAM it is better to turn it off, and with a normal amount, on the contrary, leave it activated. At least it won't do any harm.

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