How To Speed Up Windows 10 (Tips to Boost Windows)

Knowing how to speed up Windows 10 might be considered a necessary skill if you don’t have your computer seen 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, wait until the microwave timer hits zero, or have your cake cool down fully before you dig in. 

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

A slow computer can contribute to increased 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 there was a way out of this? Following these tips will speed up your computer to some degree.

Tips and tricks on how to speed up your Windows 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 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 and meet that vital 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 you can speed up your system, 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 improve the speed of your system.

2. Lower the number of visual effects

visual effects selections in windows 10

When you want 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 want 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 system and speed up Windows. Once you reduce the visual effects, you will immediately notice that Windows will become more responsive.

3. Optimize 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 operating system’s speed is slow, programs will run slowly, and the startup time of Windows 10 will significantly speed up.

A beneficial free program shows you graphically what is using the most space. It’s called WinDirStat.

Start with the essential 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

Uninstalling unnecessary programs will free up hard drive space, but if any programs run on startup, they won’t be present on startup once 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 10 to manage 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 systems and software functions that would otherwise overuse RAM. So having an incorrect size set can cause severe slowdowns as a result.

6. Select the correct power plan

power plan options in windows

Your power settings can keep your CPU running optimally and ready for action anytime.

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.

A good trade-off between performance and power usage is 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 the aggravation it caused you!

Now, losing thousands of dollars yearly is not what we want for you. So when our computer starts to slow down repeatedly in the middle of a program, we do not sit around simply waiting for it to start up again.

Instead, we Google how we can 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.

You are not using these apps at the moment, but they are still up and running on your computer. Unfortunately, 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 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 ensure 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 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 the harmful activity of malicious malware.

Viruses and the like have been around for years. And so, in response, Microsoft now has an antivirus in its Windows products 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 you prefer is necessary to keep 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 an excellent 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 opening the Windows Task Manager and looking at the CPU usage. For example, you may have an infection if it’s constantly at 100% from a fresh startup (even minutes later).

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 10 updates done 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 specific 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 eliminate all the manipulations 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 Windows 10 issues in one hit before you back everything up first.

12. Turn off some unused services

How to select a service's properties.

Most of us don’t use many services running on Windows 10 by default. Turning some of these off can help speed up your system without causing any harm.

To open the Services panel, open the Start Menu and type services. The Services app should appear as one of the results. You can simply select it to open it.

You will see a long list of services. Some will be running. Some won’t. Either way, you safely disable some of these services to experience a boost in speed.

  • Windows Mobile Hotspot Service.
  • Fax.
  • Remote Desktop Configuration.
  • Remote Desktop Services.
  • Windows Insider Service.
  • Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service.
  • Windows Connect Now.
  • Smart Card.
  • Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service.
  • Certificate Propagation Service.
  • Universal Telemetry Client.
  • Broadcast DVR Server.

If any of these items look like something, you might use, leave it running. Otherwise, you can right-click on the service you want to be stopped at every startup and click on Properties.

After that, stop the service by clicking on Stop and then selecting Manual or Disabled from the Startup type drop-down option box.

Select Manual if you would like to allow other services or software to be able to start the service if needed. If you see others you would like to disable, research them first to find out if you aren’t disabling something that might be essential.

Otherwise, if you select Disabled, nothing will be able to start the service again unless you start it or change the option back to manual, automatic, or automatic with a delayed start.

13. If all else fails, upgrade essential hardware components

a new cpu being placed into the cpu socket

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

Upgrade HDD to a solid state drive

An old hard drive, for example, can slow down everything to a crawl. As a result, you will notice slow startup speeds and specific programs loading slowly.

Upgrade RAM

Not enough RAM is another item that can cause massive slowdowns. In addition, it can cause unusually high hard drive activity and all-around poor performance.

Upgrade the CPU and cooler

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

And if that fails, look at my recommended CPU cooler to ensure your CPU is adequately cooled.

Sometimes upgrading the CPU isn’t an option due to availability or a ceiling that your motherboard imposes. But replacing your CPU with a faster model can significantly boost performance.

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

14. Use ReadyBoost when RAM is limited

In a situation where you have a limited amount of system RAM and have difficulties expanding the total amount, ReadyBoost can help.

If you have less than 8GB of RAM, it might pay to grab a spare USB drive and keep it plugged into your computer after enabling ReadyBoost on it.

You can turn on this feature using any USB drive by right-clicking on the drive in Windows Explorer and selecting Properties.

After that, select the ReadyBoost tab, click on Use this device, and select the amount to allocate to increase memory size.

15. Keep your computer clean

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 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, and it will help to speed up Windows 10.

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

Keeping your computer on a desk instead of sitting on the carpet can help reduce the amount of dust entering your computer.

Contact support

If you don’t have support that you can contact provided by your computer manufacturer, consider a forum like Microsoft’s community support forum.

There are other sites like Reddit or Facebook groups where you can reach out and ask for some insights to speed up your system.

In Conclusion

If you feel you need some extra in-depth cleaning of Windows 10, 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 often, 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.