The issue with many guides on how to speed up Windows is that they advise you to disable some of the more enticing components of the operating system, such visual animations. The majority of our advice demonstrates how to speed up your Windows system while maintaining its good looks and usefulness. Most can be done for free, but some involve spending a little cash on software or hardware. A number of the suggestions you’ll discover at the end of this article do improve system performance at the sacrifice of visual bling for folks with older, low-power machines who desire a speed boost but don’t care about extra luxuries.
Keep in mind that those “Speed Up Your PC!” adverts for registry cleaners should be avoided because they frequently lead to malware. Registry cleaners are categorically not supported by Microsoft when used with Windows.
Uninstall can be selected by right-clicking on any unwanted app icon in Start. The software will be promptly uninstalled if you do this. You can also select the top option, Programs and Features, by performing a right-click on the Windows logo Start button. Alternately, just put “Programs” into the search bar located next to the Start button.
You can usually find crapware culprits by sorting the list of installed apps on the name of your PC maker. Other useful options include sorting by Size or Recent to get rid of extra-large items you don’t need and discover programs you didn’t realize you installed. Choose the unwanted garbage apps you find and click Uninstall to remove them.
The fact that many programs launch processes at boot time and consume important RAM and CPU cycles is one reason why eliminating apps improves speed. You can also click Turn Windows Features On or Off while you’re in the Programs and Features section of Control to look through the list and see if there are any features you don’t use.
Reduce startup procedures
By hitting Ctrl-Shift-Esc, you can open the Task Manager with the most ease. All of the programs that start up with Windows are visible when you select the Startup tab. Even a column in the dialog box that displays each option’s influence on startup is there. The Status column indicates whether or not the software is set to launch automatically. If you want to change this status, right-click any entry. Typically, it’s not too difficult to see things you don’t want to miss. For instance, if you almost ever use iTunes, iTunesHelper generally doesn’t need to be running constantly.
Get Your Disk Clean
To launch the dependable tool that has been a part of Windows for multiple OS iterations, type Disk Cleanup into the Start menu. Disk Cleanup claims to erase any undesirable items found on your computer, including temporary files, offline web pages, and installer programs. Even if your recycle bin is bulging at the seams, that normally only slows your drive down noticeably if it is almost full.
Increase the RAM
Although Windows 10 and 11 both manage memory more effectively than prior OS versions, adding extra RAM can always speed up computer activities.
But not everyone has the option to add RAM, so not everyone can apply this advice. It’s simply not doable with some of the Windows devices available today, including the Surface Pro tablets. The ability to update RAM is still common on business and gaming laptops, although it is vanishingly rare. Most of the time, the newest, smaller ultrabooks and convertibles have fixed memory.
Add an SSD Startup Drive.
With an SSD, installing and executing demanding programs like Adobe Photoshop happens significantly faster. The startup of Windows is also substantially enhanced by an SSD. The Apps and Features page in Settings makes it simple to transfer apps from the Microsoft Store to an SSD.
It makes sense to replace your internal startup hard disk for system speedup, and if you use a laptop, this might also be a choice for you. However, apps that require a lot of storage can benefit from a speed increase from an external SSD with a USB 3.0 connection.
Do a virus and spyware check
You can use the built-in Windows Defender or a third-party app to scan for viruses and spyware, but it’s preferable to use one of the top malware removal tools that PCMag’s lead security researcher Neil Rubenking has evaluated. Use continuing antiviral protection as well, don’t forget. Different goods among them have different effects on system performance. For more information, see our comprehensive list of the top antivirus programs. Try MalwareBytes Free, as seen above, or just use Windows’ free built-in Microsoft Defender malware scanner if you’re hesitant to pay for anti-virus software.
Set Best Performance instead of Power Mode.
The high performance power setting on your computer may increase computing speed, but it will also use more electricity. Go to System > Power & Sleep in the Settings app, and then hit the Additional Power Settings link. From here, select High Performance by clicking the Show Additional Plans drop-down arrow on the right-hand side.
In Settings > System > Power & Battery on Windows 11, you may choose between Better Performance and Best Performance. As with Windows 10, there is no requirement to select Show Additional Plans. Windows 11 also recently implemented features in this panel intended to further the company’s push towards environmental friendliness, with energy-saving suggestions.
Search for troubleshoot by selecting the Start button. You can opt to execute the troubleshooting tools recommended by Windows automatically or manually. Run the additional troubleshooters, such as Hardware and Devices, Windows Store Apps, and Search and Indexing, just to be safe.
Also, go to the old-style Control Panel. Click the Start button and enter “Control Panel” to launch it on either OS version. Enter maintenance in the Start menu search box or navigate to the System > Security > Security and Maintenance tab, click Maintenance, and then select Start Maintenance. You can alter the time it runs each day, and it happens automatically.
Alternate Performance Options’ Appearance
Use the radio button labeled Adjust for best performance at the top of the dialog or choose from the extensive list of check boxes below these selections which eye-catching features you can live without. You lose all the visual effects if you select the overall best-performance button. For instance, while dragging a window to move it, you won’t see the contents of the window; instead, you’ll just see a rectangle that represents the window’s edges. It’s probably best to keep the effects that you like checked in the dialog.
Deactivate search indexing
Open the Indexing Options Control Panel window to disable indexing (you can alternatively just enter “index” in the Start button search field to see Indexing Options at the top of the list of results). Uncheck any locations you don’t want indexed by clicking Modify. To make wise decisions, you’ll probably need to uncollapse the files inside of your user folder. You can select which file types should and shouldn’t be indexed by selecting Advanced.
Deactivate tips and notifications
To modify the notification settings, just access the Notifications page in the Settings app. With a switch at the top, you can simply turn off all notifications, but you’ll also see a list of specific apps that can send alerts; uncheck the ones you don’t want to hear from. If you have a lot of them, browse the list; you’ll undoubtedly identify sources from which you don’t need to receive notifications. Even just your sense of how quickly you use your PC might be accelerated by the reduction in distractions. Tap the Do Not Disturb button at the top of the Notification right-sidebar to quickly pause notifications. This approach also makes things simpler.
Use game mode and other features, gamers
Game Mode is a feature included in Windows 10 and Windows 11 that performs a few things to enhance performance while you’re playing PC games. According to Microsoft documentation, it “helps achieve a more stable frame rate depending on the specific game and system.” It also limits background processes, pauses notifications, prevents the PC from updating the OS while you’re playing, and limits background tasks and notifications. For games that are found, it is activated by default. Be aware that results in performance tests conducted online for various games and hardware configurations vary, so you might want to try turning the mode off to discover which approach yields the best performance.