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A technology writer for over a decade, Matt Elliott is a PC tester and Mac user based in New Hampshire.
How To Make My Windows Computer Run Faster
Sarah is a freelance writer and How To blogger. Its primary focus is Windows, but it also covers everything from mobile technology to video games to DIY hardware projects. He likes to push buttons and see what happens, so don’t let him get anywhere near the controls.
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If your once-glossy new Windows 10 PC is starting to lose its luster, there are a few ways to get a little zest back into its stride. Here are some quick and easy ways to improve its performance without replacing any hardware.
Windows 10’s new Start menu is sexy and transparent, but that transparency will cost you some (light) resources. To restore these resources, you can turn off transparency from the Start menu, taskbar, and action center. Open the Settings menu and go to Personalization > Colors and turn off the Start, taskbar, and transparent action center.
Making the Start menu, taskbar, and action center transparent is one thing, but Windows 10 still has a lot of clever built-in special effects. To:
Click Advanced System Settings to open the System Properties menu. On the Advanced tab under Performance, click Settings…
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This will open the Performance Options menu. On the Visual Effects tab, select Adjust for best performance to disable all unnecessary animations and special effects, or select Custom and deselect any visual effects you feel you can live without. When you’re done, click OK to apply your changes.
If your computer is taking a long time to boot up and you have Fast Startup enabled and all, there may be too many programs running when you turn on your computer. To fix this, click the Start button and click Task Manager. Click the Startup tab (click More details if you don’t see the Startup tab) and check the list of programs that started on your computer. If you see a program that shouldn’t be there, right-click it and click Disable. You can also sort the list of programs by Startup effect if you want to see which programs are using the most resources (and time).
Windows 10 has a built-in performance troubleshooter that can help you find and fix any issues that might be affecting your PC’s speed. To open the troubleshooter, right-click the Start button and click Control Panel. In the Security and Maintenance section at the top, click Fix common computer problems. Next, under System and Security, click Run maintenance tasks.
When your computer boots up, the boot menu is displayed for some time before the operating system loads. This gives you time to do things like start Windows in safe mode. You can reduce the start time by a few seconds by changing the boot menu timeout, which is set to 30 seconds by default.
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To do this, click the “Start” button and click “Control Panel”. Go to System > Advanced System Settings and click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
Next to Time to display a list of operating systems, change the value from 30 seconds to 10 seconds and click OK.
To help, Windows 10 sometimes gives you tips on how to get the most out of the OS. To do this, it scans your computer, a process that can slightly impact performance. To turn off these tips, go to Start > Settings > System > Notifications and actions and turn off Get tips, tricks, and suggestions when using Windows.
This is a win-win. This will increase performance and free up space on your hard drive. Disk Cleanup has been around forever, but this trusted Windows utility can still help clean up temporary files, installers, and other junk cluttering your hard drive. To run it, simply search for disk cleanup, run it, and click the button labeled “Clean up system files”.
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If your PC has any preinstalled apps you don’t want or need, get rid of them. The same goes for any app you install that you later find to be little or no use. Right-click the Start menu, select Control Panel, and under the Programs heading, click Uninstall a program. Go through the list from time to time and select the programs you no longer need and click “Uninstall” at the top of the list.
Make sure you don’t use a power saving plan if you don’t need to. Even the desktop will sometimes show you power saving options which are of no use to you unless you are trying to save battery life. Open Control Panel and go to Hardware and Sound > Power Options to see which power plan you are currently using. For better performance, make sure you use a high-performance or balanced package (or a package from the PC manufacturer that says it is balanced).
Is speeding up your PC as easy as… rebooting? Possible. Restarting your PC will clear memory and stop any processes that might be hogging resources. Also, turning off your computer is not the same as turning it back on; shutdown affects Windows 10’s Fast Startup, which saves an image of your PC and its processes in a hyperfile for faster boot times. It’s rebooting
Fast Startup affects fast startup, so if you enable Fast Startup, restarting your computer is the only way to completely clear memory and kill processes. editors independently select and review products. If you make a purchase via an affiliate link, we may receive a commission that helps support our testing.
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Computers have come a long way since the old beige box, but even at speeds measured in gigahertz and gigabytes per second, they still involve the occasional wait. If you’re tired of solving Rubik’s Cubes while waiting for your computer to boot up, here are some ways to speed up the process.
Windows has a feature called Fast Startup that does exactly what it sounds like, and it’s the obvious first stop in your search. Basically, it’s kind of halfway between hibernation and shutdown. It won’t put your open apps into hibernation, but it will put the underlying OS into hibernation mode, helping you get a clean start faster.
However, restarting is not affected, so if you have problems with Windows Update or accessing the BIOS, you may have to restart your computer to perform this task instead of shutting down. It’s probably enabled by default on many machines, but if you’ve ever disabled it, or if it’s not enabled on a desktop you created, you can flip the switch pretty easily.
Open Control Panel and select Power Options > Select power button function. In the list of options, you will see a box next to “Enable fast startup”. If it’s grayed out, you’ll first need to click the Change settings that aren’t currently available link at the top of the window, then enable Quick Start. character. Make sure to click Save Changes when you’re done.
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Some computers have a Fast Boot setting in the BIOS. Unlike Fast Boot in Windows, the Fast Boot setting (or whatever it’s called on your motherboard) goes through several initial tests that your computer runs when it first starts up. If you overclock or need regular access to the BIOS, you can disable it, but most people would benefit from enabling it if they haven’t already.
Restart your computer, press “Erase” to enter BIOS setup (or another key if prompted), and look for any fast boot settings in the list. Some people have also recommended changing your Boot Order Priority (make sure your hard drive is at the top of the list, not a DVD drive or network boot), but I’ve never found this to move the needle much.
Every motherboard is different, so go to your UEFI/BIOS settings to see if there are any other features you can enable or disable to speed up the boot process; your PC’s motherboard or manual can point you in the right direction.
The more programs you set to run at startup, the longer it will take for your computer to be in a usable state when you restart it. Some of your newly created programs may need to run all the time, but most likely won’t.
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To see what’s running at startup, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager. Click More Details at the bottom, then go to the Startup tab. You’ll be presented with a list of programs that start up on your computer, along with an estimate from Windows of how much impact they will have on your startup time.
You’ll also see “Last BIOS Time” in the top right corner, which tells you how long it will take the BIOS to hand over control to Windows, so if this number is longer than a few seconds, you can take:
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