Table of Contents
- 1 1. Reboot your computer
- 2 2. Disable unwanted startup programs
- 3 3. Regularly defragment your HDD
- 4 4. Delete unnecessary files
- 5 5. Delete unnecessary programs
- 6 6. Set your Visual Effects to Performance
- 7 7. Turn off Transparency
- 8 8. Set your Power Plan to High Performance
- 9 9. Switch to SSD/replace faulty drive
- 10 10. Remove malicious programs
Columnist Kim Komando shares tips on using Windows to do more, faster.
Windows 10 is considered one of the most lightweight and optimized versions of Windows up till now. However, there are still many ways for us to unwillingly slow down our system.
The good thing is that for every problem there is always a solution. So, here are 10 ways to make your Windows 10 computer faster.
1. Reboot your computer
Have you tried turning it Off and On? Windows computers do need a reboot every now and then to clean up on RAM.
If you run out of RAM, your PC will become unbearably slow as it will have to rely on your main drive for RAM storage. Needless to say, that your main drive is likely much slower than your RAM memory.
2. Disable unwanted startup programs
Chances are that there are lots of apps starting up automatically when you boot your system, are you sure that you need all of them?
For an example, if you do not use Steam, One Drive, and Google Drive you can disable them from launching automatically. They can all be started when you need them at any time, just not at boot time.
This can provide a significant boost on your boot times and the overall performance of your computer. Just be careful not to disable anything of importance.
To disable start-up programs, right click on your taskbar -> Task Manager -> Start-up tab, then select the program of your choice and click on “Disable”.
3. Regularly defragment your HDD
Due to the way that they work, HDDs can get fragmented over time and that will increase your loading speeds, thus making your computer feel slower.
To defragment a drive, open your Windows search bar and type “Defragment”, then choose the “Defragment and optimize” option.
There is the option of setting this tool to automatically defragment the drives manually, weekly, or monthly.
SSDs are different than HDDs and do not need to get defragmented because they contain no moving parts. If you click on the “optimize” button for an SSD, Windows will send a “Trim” command on the drive which is an entirely different thing that has nothing to do with this article.
4. Delete unnecessary files
Running out of space is one easy way to slow down your computer. So, do make sure that you absolutely need every file that you have got on your main drive right now.
Other than that, do clean-up the temporary files of Windows as well. By temporary files, I am mostly referring to old Windows Updates which you no longer need, temporary internet files, etc.
You can clean-up your temporary files by searching for “Disk Clean-Up” on your Windows search bar and clicking on the Disk Clean-Up program.
5. Delete unnecessary programs
Applications can also take a lot of disk space and we do tend to install a lot of random programs. So, do take a stroll through your installed programs and consider if you truly need all of them. You can find them at Settings -> Apps.
6. Set your Visual Effects to Performance
Windows 10 has a lot of small visual candy, such as animations, shadows, and stuff like that. You can turn off every single one of these for a little performance gain.
To do that, open your Windows search bar and type “Control Panel”, then go to System and Security -> System -> Advanced system settings -> Performance settings -> Adjust for best performance.
Your average mid-range computer should not have any issues with such things. However, a low-end machine might be able to take advantage of performance tweaks like this one.
7. Turn off Transparency
Transparency effects do look wonderful and everything, but they can also introduce some minor slowdowns on low-end machines.
To turn off transparency, go to Settings -> Personalization -> Colors -> Transparency effects -> Off.
8. Set your Power Plan to High Performance
Windows has power plans where it can determine how much power to use for performance gains or how much power it will save by sacrificing performance.
The balanced power plan will adaptively lower and raise the CPU frequency depending on the task that you are performing. (intended for laptop that are running on batteries)
The high-performance plan, on the other hand, will try to use the full power of your computer at all times. (Should be used on all desktops and AIO computers)
To change your power plan, go to your Windows search bar and type “Power”, then click go to Edit power plan -> Power options -> High Performance.
9. Switch to SSD/replace faulty drive
Sometimes the problem might not be in the software but in the hardware. Consider upgrading from an HDD to an SSD if you have not done so already as you will notice huge performance improvements by doing so.
Other than that, do make a small check up on your drive as well to ensure that everything is working well with it. A very useful tool for checking the health status of an HDD is Crystal Disk Info.
10. Remove malicious programs
Malicious programs are a common cause of unexpected PC slowdowns so do make sure that there is nothing nasty on your computer.
Windows Defender does have an Antivirus program pre-installed, but you can also use 3rd party solutions such as Malwarebytes.
George Cox is the owner of Computer Diagnostics and Repair. He can be reached at 346-4217.
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