Has your PC started running slower than usual? There could be a number of reasons for this decrease in speed and performance. If you have Windows 10, or newer, and have noticed less than ideal performance, we have some tricks and tips for you that may help your PC run smoother and more efficiently.
1. Start With Startup Programs
If your PC takes longer than usual to boot up, then it might be time to see what’s going on each time you start up your computer. One reason why you may be experiencing slower-than-usual booting times is that you might have too many programs running at startup. To check and possibly prevent these programs from running, you’ll need to open your task manager (type task manager in the search box).
Once the task manager is open, go to the Startup Tab and comb through all programs that run at startup. If you see unnecessary programs that are launching at startup, disable them from running automatically.
2. Turn Off Tips
The intentions for this feature are great, but if you already have a general understanding of Windows, the helpful tips features can really impact your PC’s overall speed. A quick and easy way to help your computer run a bit faster can be as simple as disabling this feature.
To turn this feature off, click the Start button and go to Settings. Once you are in Settings, go to System > Notifications & actions. Scroll down to the Notifications section and uncheck the box marked “Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows.”
3. Disable Shadows, Visual Effects, Animations
This may not seem like it would have much effect on computer performance, but turning these features off can significantly impact speed if you have an older or slower PC. If you have a newer PC or a solid-state drive (SSD), leaving these features likely will not affect speed.
4. Disable Transparency
Windows 11/10 does come with some features that look and feel cool and modern. In addition to disabling the visual effects from the previous tip, you should also disable the transparency feature that is designed to spruce up the appearance of the Start menu, Action Center and Taskbar. Again, this may seem like a simple fix, but if you are using an older PC, this can make a world of difference.
5. Modify Power Settings
When it comes to speeding up Windows, there are a lot of small fixes that can help – we will get into the more advanced ways in a moment – but one of the most straightforward methods is to check your power settings. With Windows 11/10, there is a built-in Power Saver plan that slows down your PC while you are using it. This feature reduces performance and speed to save energy but will leave your PC feeling sluggish. You can change these settings to High Performance but keep in mind that it will use more power. If you want to find the happy medium, try the Balanced setting.
6. Performance Troubleshooting
Did you know that Windows 11/10 have a built-in troubleshooter? It can be pretty effective when used as a first step. The performance troubleshooter can help identify issues that are slowing down your PC and fix them. To get to the Windows 10 troubleshooter, you can click Start -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Troubleshoot. For the Windows 11 troubleshooter, click Start -> Settings -> System. Click Troubleshoot in the right window.
7. Try Using Windows 11/10 ReadyBoost
The latest Windows system will regularly store cache data on your hard disk drive. When your PC needs data, it fetches it from the hard drive, which takes time and can significantly affect performance and speed depending on the speed of your hard drive. If you have an SSD, you shouldn’t have this issue, but if you are using a traditional hard disk, you can use Windows ReadyBoost to help the problem. This feature tells windows to store cache to data onto a USB drive which is closer and faster than keeping it on the hard drive. You will need to take additional steps to use ReadyBoost, but doing so should help improve Windows 10 speed.
8. Restart Your Computer
This is the oldest trick in the troubleshooting world, but there’s a reason why restarting your computer can help improve speed. By restarting your PC, you are clearing out excess use of RAM that can only be cleared by the reboot. Restarting your computer will also clear any processes that are running — and slowing down your speed — but are no longer needed. The ol’ turn it off and turn it back on trick works!
9. Utilize Storage Sense
Storage Sense is Windows 11/10’s modern take on Disk Cleanup — the original utility program that was used on older versions of Windows to clear space and delete unwanted files. By using this built-in feature, you are allowing Windows to monitor and delete old files, junk files, and temporary files that you no longer need. To help speed up Windows by clearing up this space, in either Windows 11 or Windows 10, go to Settings > System > Storage and then toggle from off to on.
10. External Performance Solutions
If none of these tips help speed up your PC, then it may be time to look for external or third-party solutions. The System Mechanic is a software program from iolo that boosts speed, removes bloatware, repairs problems, and cleans up clutter. This program can get your PC running like new, and the System Mechanic essentially gives your PC a much-needed tune-up.
When you are ready to improve the performance of your PC, refer to this guide to see if you can do everything possible to improve speed before upgrading to a new PC.