Understanding the Windows Experience Index

by Barry Dysert
(last updated October 29, 2018)

The Windows Experience Index is a rating calculated by your computer to give you an idea of how well it performs. It does this calculation by rating certain hardware elements (i.e., the processor, hard disk, memory, and graphics card) and presenting you with a score between 1.0 and 9.9. The higher the score, the better your computer will perform.

In order to see your Experience Index if you are using Windows 7, go to Start | Control Panel | System and Security | Check the Windows Experience Index (under the System heading). You will then be presented with a window similar to this: (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Windows Experience window.

The Windows Experience Index (WEI) was removed with Windows 8 and wasn't reintroduced in Windows 10, although it is possible to get the WEI scores with the later versions of Windows. There are several methods to get the desired WEI report. The following method uses the System Diagnostics Report.

  1. Press the Win+R keys to open Run. Type "perfmon" (without the quotes) in the Open box and click on OK. Windows opens the Performance Monitor. (See Figure 2.)
  2. Figure 2. The Performance Monitor window.

  3. Expand (open) the following menu items listed on the left pane of the window: Reports | System | System Diagnostics. Click on a report that has been created that you want to view to generate a diagnostics report.
  4. Click on the section with the Hardware Configuration heading to open it up. (You may need to scroll down to get to it.)
  5. Click on Desktop Rating, expand Query, and then expand Returned Objects.

If you don't have a System Diagnostics Report after following Step 2 above, you can generate a new report by following these steps:

  1. Press the Win+R keys to open Run. Type "perfmon" (without the quotes) in the Open box and click on OK. Windows opens the Performance Monitor.
  2. Expand (open) the following menu items listed on the left pane of the window: Data Collector Sets | System.
  3. Right-click on System Diagnostics and press Start. (See Figure 3.)
  4. Figure 3. Generating a new System Diagnostic report.

  5. The report will now begin collecting data for at least 60 seconds.
  6. When the data is finished being collected, follow the first set of steps to view the System Diagnostics Report.

After you have completed Step 4 in the first set of steps, you will then be presented with a window similar to this (with the above steps marked): (See Figure 4.)

Figure 4. The Hardware Configuration section of the Performance Monitor window.

The Base score is the lowest of the subscores listed in the report. By looking at the individual subscores you can see what components are causing the worst performance issues and make decisions accordingly. For example, since the subscore of the Graphics component is low I can improve my system's performance by getting a faster graphics card. On the other hand, my hard drive and processor performance are higher on the scale, so upgrading my CPU or adding a faster hard drive would have less impact on my system's overall performance.

 This tip (12071) applies to Windows 7 and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

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