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As PC hardware continues to advance, so does software, and the Windows operating system is no exception. This is true for the initial period. Once you get up and running, however, there are other performance factors to consider. Even the latest version of Windows is not immune from slowdowns, and not everyone is ready to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 right now. These tips for speeding up Windows are the same whether you are using version 10 or 11.
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The problem with most of the articles that tell you how to speed up Windows is that they are telling you to turn off some of the funnest features of the operating system, such as graphics. Many of our recommendations show you ways to speed up your Windows system without compromising its appearance and functionality. Most of the tips can be done for free, but some involve spending a lot of money on software or hardware. For those who have older and powerful machines that need a speed up but don’t care for extra goodies, you will find some recommendations at the end of this list.
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Note that you must click on “Speed up your PC!” Be careful! Ads for data cleaning, which often leads to bad things. Microsoft does not explicitly support the use of registry cleaners (opens in new window) for Windows 10.
, although we do not list this as an explanation because everyone should do it regardless. Periodically go to Settings > Windows Update to see if there are any security and reliability updates that you should install. Your PC may run faster after an update because it may include device driver updates. Do it even if you don’t want a big update – you can delay those big updates in the same section of Settings.
There are some cleaning applications for Windows 10 that can speed up your computer, but this category of software is not as popular as before. Many of these utilities speed up PC performance, but sometimes only by small amounts. There are a lot of crap products out there that claim to speed up your PC, so be sure to stick with a product that has been tested and proven. For example, Iolo System Mechanic is a good choice.
Although the situation is improving, the problem with some new computers is that they come with a lot of unwanted software, sometimes called bloatware, crapware or PUPs for programs that may not be needed. A few years ago, the Lenovo PC we tested had about 20 so-called utility programs that popped up sometimes and interfered with what we were doing. Microsoft doesn’t blame this game either, as it includes some games and mixed reality programs on computers that you may not like.
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Right-click anything you don’t need on Start and select Remove. Doing so will remove the program immediately. You can also right-click on the Windows logo Start button and select Most Wanted Programs and Features. Or just type programs in the search box next to the Start button.
You can often find crapware culprits by sorting through the list of applications installed by your PC manufacturer. Other good options are to scan recently to see if there are any programs you didn’t know you had installed; Or size, to get rid of the big stuff you don’t need. When you find any junk you don’t want, select it and click Remove. Unfortunately, you can delete it one at a time. If you have a bunch of bloatware, spend half an hour or more on this project.
Don’t forget to take an ax to apps you’ve installed but don’t want anymore—and apps you don’t want installed with you.
Remember that Windows 10 and 11 have two types of software: standard software and Microsoft Store (formerly Windows Store) software. You’ll see both types on the Apps and Features page of the Modern Settings app. For non-Store apps, the Control Panel opens, where you can remove old desktop apps. Or, you can sort by size, installation date or name or search for a specific application.
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One of the reasons that uninstalling programs helps in the performance of many programs that install systems during the drive and use RAM and important CPU. When you’re in the Programs and Features section of Control Panel, you can also click on or off Windows features and view the list to see which ones you don’t want. used. For more help on uninstalling, read How to Rid a PC of Crapware.
As mentioned, most of the programs that install the system side are run every time you start your PC, and some of them are not something that you need to run on your device every time. . Compared to Windows 7, where you have to use the MSCONFIG utility, the new version of Windows gives you an easy way to limit what runs at startup with an updated Task Manager.
The easiest way to use the task manager is to press Ctrl-Shift-Esc. Go to the Startup tab, and you’ll see all the programs that load at Windows startup. There is also a column in the dialog box that shows you how each item starts. The Status column shows whether the program can run at startup. You can click on any information to change this setting. It’s usually easier to see what you don’t want to run. For example, if you don’t use iTunes, you may not need iTunesHelper to run all the time.
From the Start menu, install Disk Cleanup to open the trusted utility that has been part of Windows for many generations of the OS. Disk Cleanup finds junk on your PC such as temporary files, web pages and files and offers to delete them all at once. You may also notice that your recycling bin is exploding—usually, it only affects speed significantly when your vehicle is about to run out.
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If you don’t have a disk partitioner set up regularly, set it up with the Optimize Drives tool, which you can access by typing its name into the box search next to the Start button. Note that if your main disk is an SSD, you do not need to bother with defragging, since there are no moving parts to read the disk.
A new way to monitor storage usage is to enable the Storage Sense option (see the image above). It automatically frees up space by removing temporary files and Recycle Bin items. For complete information on how to use this feature, see How to Free Up Hard Disk Space in Windows.
Both Windows 10 and 11 manage memory better than previous versions of the OS, but more memory can speed up the PC’s performance. If you are still using the desktop tower, this article can show you how to increase the RAM. The websites of many RAM manufacturers (Critical, Kingston, Corsair) all offer product finders to show you the type of RAM your PC takes, and the prices are reasonable. You can get 8GB of high quality DDR4 RAM for less than $50.
If you have $50 or more and your computer is older, has a hard disk instead of an SSD (see below), and has less RAM, you can try using ReadyBoost with a USB stick. It hides data on the mobile device’s storage to speed up memory that slows down when spinning hard drives. Just go to the USB File Explorer entry, right-click to open Properties, and switch to the ReadyBoost tab to continue. For most modern systems, this feature will not be available and will not provide any performance improvements.
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Adding RAM is not always an option, however, not everyone can use this information. With some Windows devices today, such as the Surface Pro tablets, this is not possible. Games and business computers still allow RAM upgrades, but it’s rare. Newer, slimmer Ultrabooks and convertibles often sport non-volatile memory.
Installing and running demanding applications like Adobe Photoshop is faster with an SSD. SSDs are also very useful for Windows startup. Microsoft Store apps can be easily removed from the hard drive to the SSD in the Apps and Features page of Settings.
To speed up the system, it is appropriate to change your internal startup drive, and if you use a computer, this may also be an option. But an external SSD with a USB 3.0 connection can also give you a speed boost in applications that use a lot of storage. For help choosing which device to install, check out our list of the best SSDs.
You can run Windows Defender or a third-party application to do this, but you’re best served by expert security expert Neil Rubanking’s top picks for malware. Don’t forget to always use malware protection. Some AV products have a
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