Modern operating systems use more resources than ever before. Usually, this is not an issue because platforms like Windows, macOS, and most Linux distributions are optimized for modern computer hardware.
However, sometimes you will find that Windows runs slower than you remember. There can be many reasons for this and 9 ways to make Windows 10 faster will deal with most of them.
Turn off your computer
Before changing your computer’s settings, it’s a good idea to consider how long it’s been since you last powered off your computer. Putting your computer to sleep or hibernation is fine for the short term, but occasionally powering down or restarting is essential.
Restarting allows Windows to install necessary updates, reset Wi-Fi and other peripherals, and clear cache. Powering down your computer overnight is even more worthwhile as it can provide a better indication of any new hardware problems.
Sometimes the computer will work fine when it first starts, then it can slow down. This is usually a sign of a cooling problem that can be fixed with a new fan or a new application of thermal paste on the Central Processing Unit (CPU).
Windows 10 comes with power settings designed to get the most out of your hardware and battery. A side effect of this provision is that less power is allocated to the computer hardware, which affects performance.
Windows 10 uses a Balance power pack by default, you can change it by clicking the battery icon in the bottom right. Move the slider to the right for maximum performance on your machine.
This is especially important for processor-intensive tasks such as video editing or video editing play game.
Turn off Windows 10 visual effects
Windows 10 is the most aesthetically pleasing version of Windows, and it’s highly customizable. Windows 10 default visual effects include animation, drop shadow, and transparency.
While it looks good, the visual effects compete for processor and memory attention. Turning them off creates a more efficient system:
- Click Windows Key and type sysdm.cpl open System properties
- Choose Performances
- Test Tuned for best performance
This window gives you granular control over what effects you’ll see, but turning them all off is the best way to ensure top speed. To turn off transparency, press Windows Key and type Color. Unchecked Transparency effect.
Remove Bloatware Windows 10
Anything on your computer that you don’t use often is bloatware. This could be software you installed and no longer use, or programs included in Windows 10. The first step to removing bloatware is to remove software you no longer need.
- Click Windows key and type Add or remove programs
- Search in the list of software you no longer need (you can filter and search using the dialogs provided)
- Click on each app, followed by Uninstall to remove it from your system
That step will remove any programs you no longer need, but some of the apps that come with Windows are harder to remove.
If you want to get your hands dirty, you can use Windows10Debloater from Sycnexone PowerShell script designed to automate the bloatware removal process. Full instructions can be found on the GitHub page for the project.
Note: Make sure you read the instructions carefully. Some Windows 10 apps can be difficult to restore after being deleted.
Clean up your startup folder
Many programs themselves add them to your computer’s startup process as part of the installation process. As well as being very stealthy, unnecessary background software takes up valuable resources.
If you don’t need a background software, remove it from your startup by pressing Windows key and type Startup Application. You will see a list of programs that automatically start with your computer. Uncheck any items you don’t need.
Limited backup service
A backup service is a great idea, and keeping essential files on the cloud or on a Local Area Network Attached Storage device can save a lot of headaches in the long run. Online services like Dropbox and Google Drive automatically back up specific folders from your computer.
Controlling when this happens is important, as syncing large files and folders can slow down both your computer and your internet connection. When you need your computer to run at full capacity, pause any sync services.
Create hard drive space
With so much digital media and games often requiring up to 100 GB of disk space, running out of space is inevitable. Unfortunately, this isn’t great for keeping your computer faster. Iterating over large amounts of files can be an expensive process, and if your system drive is almost full, your computer will slow down and behave erratically.
It’s best to delete files and games you don’t use to keep your system drive as light as possible. If possible, one External Hard Drive or SSD is a great way to store large files.
If your computer uses hard drive, not SSD, defrag can make a big difference to performance. To start defrag, press Windows key and type Defragment and optimize the drive. Click Optimization to begin.
Note that you no need to defragment an SSDbut don’t worry if you’re not sure which drive you have – Windows 10 automatically detects your drive type.
Turn off indexing
Search indexing is designed to speed up your computer by analyzing and categorizing data for easy retrieval. Ironically, most modern systems don’t require this feature and it really slows down the system.
We have an in-depth guide to indexing and why you want it removed, but in a nutshell:
- Click Windows key and type Indexing options
- Option Change > Show all locations
- Select each item in Summary of selected locations list
- Uncheck the boxes in Change selected location above list
Any modern computer with an SSD doesn’t need indexing enabled. If you’re not sure if your computer has an SSD, you can disable indexing to see if you experience any changes in speed. If it doesn’t work (or makes things slower), you can re-enable indexing by reversing the process above.
The need for speed
These 9 tips will make a noticeable difference to the speed of your computer. If you want to go further, consider clean your computer’s registry.
There are also tools you can use to speed up your computer. Please handle these with caution, like Popular options like CCleaner can be unreliable.