Windows 10 is Microsoft’s most powerful operating system.
It’s full of features and integrations that make it ideal for business users. However, many of these functionalities require lots of system resources to run, causing some computers to run slowly. Temporary files, resource-hungry hardware, and general ‘bloatware’ can sap a computer’s performance.
But slow performance doesn’t mean you need to contact IT services. There’s plenty you can do to speed it up again — here are ten ways to make Windows 10 run faster, today.
1. Restart Your Computer
It’s tried-and-tested IT consultant advice — and for (several) good reasons.
Many users keep machines running for weeks on end, rarely shutting their computer down. But doing so actually allows background processes to keep running. In time, the accumulation of processes will bring your computer to a grinding halt.
A system restart ensures all programs shut down. It stops unnecessary processes. And it refreshes the software so that when you reboot, your computer is back at top speed.
2. Update As Often As Asked
Update reminders quickly get tiresome, causing many users to click, ‘Ignore.’
But Microsoft releases these updates to fix bugs and improve performance, so ignoring them is at your peril. In truth, doing so actually harms your productivity more than taking the 15-minute break that allows your computer to install the update… which brings us to our next point.
If you haven’t had an update reminder for a while, type ‘Update’ in the Windows menu search bar and click, ‘Check For Updates’ — if one is available, save your work, close all programs, and click ‘Update.’
3. Check Start-up Apps
Some software likes to auto-run on start-up. Meaning the second you switch your computer on, it’s already bogged down by too many programs wanting to run in parallel. The good news? You can prevent this.
- Open ‘Task Manager’ by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete
- Click the ‘Start-up’ tab
- Click ‘Disable’ on programs you don’t want to launch on start-up
The quickest way to improve your computer performance is to disable programs with a high ‘Start-up Impact’ — as this value indicates a program is sapping precious resources from your device.
4. Run A Disk Clean-up
Running a disk clean-up is a little like restarting your computer, only without actually switching it ‘off-and-on-again.’
You can use it to clear the operating system of temporary files (including thumbnails, downloads, and cached webpages: file-types that quickly accumulate and drastically impair computer performance). Find the function by typing ‘Disk Cleanup’ in the Windows menu search bar. Now, choose which files to remove by ticking the check-boxes and hitting ‘Begin.’
Once complete, you can review how much space you’ve saved — if you need to save more: try deleting any files on your hard drive that you no longer need, starting with those in the ‘Downloads’ folder.
5. Delete Unused Software
Computers come with pre-installed third-party software, much of which you’ll never use. Equally, you’ll often download programs to help with one-off tasks, like designing a brochure, that you’ll use once and never need again.
It’s good practice to clean your device of such unused software regularly. You can do this by checking ‘Control Panel’ > ‘Programs’ > ‘Programs & Features’ > ‘Uninstall A Program.’ Right-click the programs you don’t need. Click ‘Uninstall’ — and hit ‘Yes’ when Windows asks for permission to change the system settings.
6. Run System Maintenance
Windows 10 has a built-in maintenance function.
It carries out routine tasks, like defragging the hard drive, checking for updates, and scanning for malware. If your computer performance suddenly decreases, it’s time to kickstart this functionality.
- First, save any open files
- Then close all programs
- Now open the Control Panel
Click ‘System and Security,’ and select ‘Security and Maintenance’ — from here, expand the options menu, then run the scan by clicking ‘Start Maintenance.’
7. Disable Special Effects
Microsoft has gone heavy on special effects with Windows 10. And while they can improve the user experience, features like fade-in and fade-out are remarkably resource-intensive.
If you’re struggling to keep your computer moving, search ‘System’ in the menu bar, and click ‘Advanced Settings.’ Here, you’ll find ‘Performance Settings’ and ‘Visual Effects’ with a radio button for ‘Custom’ — uncheck the boxes next to the special effects you can live without, now hit ‘Apply.’
8. Disable Transparency
Windows 10 uses transparency on features like the task menu. And while you may think disabling it won’t make much difference, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Much like special effects, transparency slows your computer down. But you can disable it by typing ‘Make Start, taskbar, and Action Center transparent’ in the menu search bar. The command should open the ‘Color’ settings — from here, you can select to disable transparency.
9. Install More RAM
Random Access Memory (RAM) is your computer’s virtual memory. And the amount of available RAM determines how quickly your computer runs.
Windows 10 needs at least 4GB available for optimal performance, so if you find your device is slow, it could be because you’re running short of RAM. What’s the solution? Install more. Computers have RAM slots into which you can insert new chips, just be sure to check the type of memory you need by opening Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del), clicking ‘Performance,’ and noting the memory the computer uses.
You can take your computer to a hardware store if you don’t want to install the chip yourself, although adding new chips is relatively straightforward.
10. Install An SSD (Or Get IT Services To Do It For You)
SSD stands for ‘solid-state drive.’
Solid-state drive devices use flash memory, enabling much faster access and writing times than typical hard drives, which rely on magnetized disks. SSD devices are more expensive than traditional hard drives, which is why few computers have them pre-installed.
But the cost comes with the benefit of much faster run-times and a more responsive system. Still, installing an SSD yourself can be tricky — first, you have to get the correct size for your device, and then you need to copy the content from your current hard drive to your new SSD.
If you’d like help, give Mid-Coast Tech IT services a call on 207-223-7594: we’d be delighted to guide you through the process.