It doesn’t take long for Windows 10 to slow down. However, it’s easy to speed up Windows 10 with just a few tweaks and some regular maintenance. You may even be able to get your system running even smoother than when you bought it.
Uninstall Anything You Don’t Use
If you’re like most users, you likely have several programs, apps, and toolbars that you don’t use. Some may have appeared when installing other programs or it could just be bloatware (the extra stuff that’s installed when you buy a new computer).
Getting rid of any programs and apps you don’t use helps to speed up Windows 10. Go to Start > Settings > System > Apps & features. Select any program or app you no longer need and press Uninstall. You can also right-click Start and select Control Panel > Programs & Features if you prefer to just see programs instead of programs and apps (such as those from the Windows Store).
Turn Off Background Apps
If you have apps from the Windows Store installed, they’re likely running in the background. The more apps that are running, the fewer resources you have for browsing the Internet and running other programs. The apps are designed to run in the background to give you notifications (such as social media and email apps) and update live tiles (such as weather).
Turn off any that you don’t absolutely need by going to Start > Settings > Privacy > Background Apps. Always leave Settings turned on.
Learn More: How to Install & Uninstall Windows 10 Apps
Use Disk Defrag & Disk Cleanup
Temporary files and fragmented files often slow down your system. Speed things up by using two built-in Windows tools – disk defrag and disk cleanup.
The disk defrag tool helps organize your hard drive by putting fragmented files back together, which speeds up how quickly files open. Go to Start and type defrag. Select Defragment and Optimize Drives. Select your hard drive and click Analyze. Click Optimize if your drive’s over 5% fragmented. Please note that the more fragmented the drive is, the longer the process takes.
Disk cleanup scans your hard drive for temporary files, such as cookies and left over files from program installations. It lists files along with how much space you’ll save by deleting them. Go to Start and type disk cleanup. Select Disk Cleanup and your hard drive. Wait for it to analyze your drive. Check each file type you want to delete and press OK.
Learn More: Recover Disk Space in Windows 10
ReadyBoost is a feature Microsoft first introduced with Windows Vista. However, it’s still an option to help speed up Windows 10. The tool is designed for older and lower-end computers, especially those with 4 GB of RAM or less. It’s not as helpful for computers with more memory or those with an SSD (solid state drive) versus a standard platter hard drive.
ReadyBoost uses a USB drive to cache files, which boosts how quickly Windows is able to open files or programs. Think of it as a faster way to multitask, even if your computer is slower. To enable it, first insert an empty USB drive into an available USB port. Open File Explorer (open any folder or right-click Start and select File Explorer).
Right-click your USB drive name (click This PC on the left to view your drives) and select Properties. Select the ReadyBoost tab and select Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost. Click OK.
Learn More: How Ready Boost Can Improve PC Performance
Adjust Your Power Settings
Your power settings could be to blame for some of your computer’s slower performance. Speed up Windows 10 by adjusting your power settings for optimal performance.
Go to Start > Settings > System > Power & sleep. Click Additional power settings at the bottom of the list. Your options may vary slightly based on your computer’s manufacturer. Most computers have a manufacturer power plan that’s designed to balance both performance and energy.
To optimize performance and speed, expand Show additional plans and select High Performance. Click Change plan settings to customize it if you wish. Be aware that this plan does use more energy.
Scan for Viruses & Malware
If you’re noticing sudden performance issues, the problem might be a virus or malware. Slow performance is a main indicator that something nasty is running in the background. Scan your system with an anti-virus program, such as Digital Care AntiVirus Complete. For best results, use a real-time anti-virus program that updates and checks your system in the background to catch issues before they have a chance to wreak havoc on your system.
Learn More: How Malicious Files Infect Your Computer
Check Your Startup Settings
Do you know how many programs want to start when Windows starts? It’s surprising how many different programs and apps set themselves to boot with Windows. The result is a boot process that takes forever.
Luckily, you have control and can change your startup settings to speed up Windows 10. Right-click Start and choose Task Manager. Click the Startup tab. This tab lists all non-essential programs that start with Windows. Right-click any program you don’t need to immediately start with Windows and click Disable. It’s a good idea to leave your anti-virus program enabled.
Learn More: Ultimate Guide to Windows 10 Settings
Enable Fast Startup
Finally, speed up Windows 10 by enabling Fast Startup. If you’ve installed Windows 10 from scratch versus upgrading, this feature may already be enabled. The feature saves your current computer state and shuts down. It’s a hybrid shutdown option between a complete shutdown and hibernation.
Right-click Start and choose Power Options. Click Choose what the power button does on the left. Under Shutdown settings, check Turn on fast startup (recommended). Click Save Changes.
Adjust Which Services Run
This option is only recommended if you’re comfortable researching running services on your computer. Disabling the wrong service could actually cause performance problems. However, the more services you have running, the more your system is bogged down.
Right-click Start and choose Task Manager. Open the Services tab. Click Open Services at the bottom of the window. Right-click the service you want to change and click Properties. Choose the startup type in the Startup type drop-down box.
You should only change services if you know what they are and how changing them will affect your computer.
Doing a combination of all of the above should speed up Windows 10 and make it much easier to do all the things you love on your computer.
Related Read: 5 Quick Fixes for Annoying Windows 10 Issues
Contribution by Crystal Crowder
About the Author
Crystal lives and breathes tech. She’s spent over a decade writing tutorials, reviews, and more on tech, business, and lifestyle sites. Her idea of fun is settling down with the latest tech and gadget news.