Knowing how to speed up Windows 10 is something that might be considered a necessary skill if you don’t have your computer seen to by a professional every once in a while.

Today, we are living in an incredibly fast-paced world. Nobody has the time to stop and smell the roses or wait until the timer on the microwave hits zero, or have your cake cool down fully before you dig in. 

But most of all, we become terribly frustrated when we are trying to chase a deadline. When the laptop we are working on just won’t cooperate. An average American spends TWO full hours every week simply waiting for a computer to load!

A slow computer can contribute to increasing our stress levels

a man with fists on the table on either side of his laptop with his head hung low

As the clock ticks down the seconds to the deadline of a project, and the screen still shows the loading sign for our content, our anxiety, frustration, and stress can increase.

But what if we told you that there was a way out of this? By following these tips, you will definitely speed up your computer to some degree.

Tips and tricks on how to speed up your computer

No, we are not talking about inventing a time machine and going back in time so you could get started on the assignment a little earlier. We are referring to resolving the root cause of the problem – your painstakingly slow, exasperating Windows 10. 

Did you know that there are ways that you can make your computer run faster? In the following paragraphs, we will discuss the many tips and tricks you can use to speed up Windows 10 and meet that important deadline you were worried about.

1. Prevent unnecessary programs from loading every time on startup

start selection items in task manager's start tab area

If you are wondering how to speed up Windows 10, disabling programs on startup that you do not need to run every time is probably one of the first things that should be on your checklist.

When you get a new device from the store with Windows 10 preinstalled, there will be many programs that were installed by default (by the manufacturer) that you don’t need. Having these programs load up every time you start up Windows 10 can slow down your computer significantly. 

By disabling these programs from loading using the task manager, you can definitely improve the speed of your personal computer.

2. Lower the number of visual effects

visual effects selections in windows 10

When you are wanting the best performance possible from your computer, sacrificing some eye candy goes a long way. There are a lot of visual effects that slow down Windows 10 that most people probably wouldn’t even notice.

If you would like to know how to adjust the number of visual effects, please refer to our article on adjusting the visual effects for better performance.

Lowering the visual effects will take some processing load off your computer. Once you reduce the visual effects, you will immediately notice that Windows will become more responsive.

3. Check hard drive space

c drive space in windows file explorer

When the hard drive space of your computer gets reduced past a certain level of free space, your computer’s performance will be compromised.

There will be no more room for the paging file to work correctly and for other temporary files to be created.

If the speed of the operating system is slow, programs will be slow to run and the startup time of Windows will be greatly increased.

There is a very useful free program that shows you graphically as to what is using most space. It’s called WinDirStat, you can download it here.

Start with the largest items taking up space and work your way down. It’s the easiest way to free up space quickly and with accuracy.

4. Uninstall unused software

remove apps in settings area in windows

By uninstalling unnecessary programs, you will not only free up hard drive space but if any of these programs run on startup, they won’t be present on startup once they are uninstalled.

This will free up RAM and less processing will be required. I’ve seen computers speed up on many occasions simply by removing software that the owner would never use.

5. Check the pagefile size

settings area for the pagefile or virtual memory of windows

Your page file is vital for your operating system to run efficiently. Making sure that it’s set for Windows to manage it is probably the best setting you can have it set to.

We show you how to do it in our article on adjusting the page file for the best speed.

Your paging file uses hard drive space for temporary operating system and software functions that would otherwise overuse RAM. So having an incorrect size set, can cause serious slowdowns as a result.

6. Check that you have the correct power plan selected

power plan options in windows

Your power settings can keep your CPU running optimally and ready for action at any time.

You can start by adjusting your computer’s power management to the best performance profile and compare it with other profiles to examine the change in performance.

Having a good trade-off between performance and power usage is especially ideal for portable computers using a battery.

7. If you are not using an app right now, shut it down

close application window

Did you know that you are losing approximately $3,019 every year due to slow technology? And you thought the only cost of your sloth-like computer was just the aggravation it caused you!

Now, losing thousands of dollars every year is not what we want for you. So when our computer starts to slow down in the middle of a program repeatedly, we do not sit around simply waiting for it to start up again. Instead, we Google how to speed up Windows 10, fix the problem, and get to work.

One of the most common reasons why a computer may begin to lag is because of running multiple unnecessary applications.

These are the apps that you are not using at the moment, but still, they are up and running on your computer.  These apps use up your RAM and can slow down your computer significantly.

To take care of this problem, look at all the programs you have open in your taskbar and close the ones that you aren’t currently using.

8. Check up on the integrity of your operating system

system scan in windows from command window

Sometimes, it is operating system files that get corrupted which causes a computer to slow down to an annoying level. If corruption is extensive, it might even lead to your system crashing.

To make sure that this does not happen to you, fix any corrupted files on your computer before they have had a chance to cause any harm. An easy way to get this done is by using the system file checker utility.

9. Scan your device for malicious malware

abstract virus scan radar

Another reason that might have caused your computer to take an unnatural amount of time to load is a harmful activity by malicious malware.

Viruses and the like have been around for years. And so, in response, Microsoft now has an anti-virus in its Windows by default called Windows Defender. 

Making it a habit to check for the presence of any malware, using this tool or any other antivirus tool that you prefer is necessary for keeping your Windows 10 at its best.

If you feel you may have infections that Windows Defender cannot remedy, try the two following free software tools:

  1. Avast Antivirus
  2. Malware Bytes

They are a good free option that will solve most infections. Download, install and run full scans for both of them.

One of the telltale signs that you may have an infection, is by opening the Windows Task Manager and taking a look at the CPU usage. If it’s constantly at 100% from a fresh startup (even minutes later), you may have an infection.

10. Make sure Windows is up to date

a list of updates to be installed under windows update area

Trying to work on your computer while a backlog of Windows updates is trying to happen in the background, will result in a drop in performance.

Focus on getting all Windows updates done first before you start working on your computer.

Also, working on a fully updated system will reduce the chance of using any under-optimized aspects of Windows.

Updates can also remedy certain software bugs, which can also help reduce frustrations.

11. Reset your Windows 10 computer for ultimate PC performance

reset windows in the settings app

When you have tried all of the above tricks but your computer refuses to speed up, try resetting Windows 10

Going for this extraordinary step will get rid of all the manipulations that have been made on your operating system – either by you or by the different apps you have used on your computer. Therefore, all the things that went wrong are also erased simultaneously.

It’s a chance to start over on a clean slate and solve any Windows 10 issues in one hit. Before you go ahead with it, back everything up first.

12. If all else fails, upgrade essential hardware components

a new cpu being placed into the cpu socket

There are a few computer components that can hamper the performance significantly simply from being old or lacking in the ideal specifications for working well with the rest of the hardware.

An old hard drive, for example, can slow down everything to a crawl. You will notice slow startup speeds and certain programs loading slowly.

Not enough RAM is another item that can cause huge slowdowns. It can cause unusually high hard drive activity and all-around poor performance.

Sometimes an overheating CPU can also be the cause. If you suspect your computer to be overheating, try cleaning the system out and reapply some new heat transfer compound on the CPU.

And if that fails, have a look at my recommended CPU cooler, to make sure your CPU is adequately cooled.

Another option is to upgrade your motherboard, CPU, and RAM to do a full upgrade without replacing your drives and case, etc. Here’s an article we have on how to upgrade your motherboard and use your old drive.

13. Keep your computer clean (Bonus Tip)

a girl with leaf blower and safety glasses about to clean a computer

When heatsinks for other components become covered in dust, your performance will suffer from increased heat.

We mention all about this in our other article on how to keep your computer clean from dust. Taking your computer to be serviced once a year for a dust cleanout is wise. Your parts will last longer and deliver better performance.

So, either pull out some compressed air to clean it yourself or take your computer to your local computer store to give it some love.

Keeping your computer on a desk instead of sitting on the carpet can help a great deal with reducing the amount of dust entering your computer.

In Conclusion

If you feel that you need some extra in-depth cleaning of Windows, have a look at how to stop your computer from sending automated queries. It’s a guide we wrote walking you through a step-by-step cleaning process to clean any bloat or infectious files.

Whether you are a stressed-out student who did not start with the assignment until the last day of submission, a professional gamer who does not like to be interrupted by a slow loading computer, or a business professional trying to get your presentation straight for the meeting in the next hour – a slow computer can be the ultimate bane of your life at that moment. 

But many times, it is not the fault of your hardware that results in this sloth-like speed. Instead, it could be the operating system or software on your computer that is slow.

In these instances, try the above tips and tricks to speed up your Windows 10.