When thinking of ways to improve the speed and overall performance of Windows 10. Other than upgrading to a better performing laptop, an obvious idea is to replace your mechanical hard drive with an SSD if you haven’t done so already. This for sure will boost your Windows speed and performance remarkably. A second idea would be to expand on your RAM, either by doubling or tripling the size. This also, can make some noticeable difference in speed. However, other than such hardware related solutions there are several other software-based solutions that can significantly improve the overall speed and performance of your Windows. Some techniques will produce more obvious results if you’ve been running your Windows over a long period of time, like for many months or years, than say if you just recently installed your Windows 10. But in any case, it doesn’t hurt to implement these techniques at any point in time, and you can always repeat them over time, especially if you begin experiencing any lags in your Windows operations.
Here I’m using the latest version of Windows 10 at the time of writing this post, which is the 1903 build. If you are yet to update your windows to the latest version, then I will suggest doing so, because Microsoft understands that users want their Windows running as fast as possible. As such, they are constantly working on new techniques to improve both speed and overall user experience, these improvements are offered in the form of updates and with larger updates, you have a whole new build which is normally released a couple of times a year. They could be buggy at times but the idea is to roll out the latest developments and improvements in Windows. So as much as possible, do keep your Windows updated so as to benefit from the latest features and improvements.
With that done;
- The first technique would be to disable all unnecessary start-up programs. To do that, press the keyboard combination Ctrl+Shift+Esc to go to your task manager, or simply right-click an empty space on your taskbar and select task manager from the list. With the task manager open, click on the startup tab. There you should see a list of all programs that start automatically when you boot up your windows, so here you have the names of the programs, the publishers, the status, and then the startup impacts. By default, all the programs on this list are enabled, so the two key parameters to look out for would be the publisher and the startup impacts. This is important because sometimes you might find programs you haven’t installed on this list, so you won’t know for sure how relevant they might be. One way to verify would be to do a quick check on the Internet, another way would be to check the publisher. Usually, I wouldn’t disable programs from Microsoft cooperation except if I’m sure of what the program does, and I’m sure I don’t need it during startup. This is because some other programs might have some dependency on them, so disabling them might cause other programs to malfunction. Here you can right-click on any unwanted program and select disable from the options to disable it. This is a very important technique for speeding up your system because some of these programs have several other subprocesses running under them. So disabling them will definitely save your computer some startup resources, hence speeding up the start-up process.
- With that the second technique is to disable unwanted runtime services. To do that, go to your Windows search and type system configuration, then click on system configuration from the search results. On this system configuration window, click on services. Here you would see a list of all your system services, the manufacturers as well as the status of each service. Here again I wouldn’t want to tamper with Microsoft services and I recommend you don’t because even if you might not directly need some of the Microsoft services, they might have other needed services that depend on them, so disabling one could affect a bunch of others. Windows has made it easy to avoid this mistake so by clicking on Hide all Microsoft services, you will be left with only the other services and then you can check and see if they are actually useful to you or not. You can use the Enable all and Disable all buttons to disable or enable all the services. To disable specific services, you can simply uncheck them, and then hit apply for the changes to take effect. On hitting ok, it will prompt you to restart your PC. Here you can save your work and click on Restart to complete the process.
- The third technique is to adjust your power settings. To do that click on your Windows search and type power and sleep settings. Then click on Power and sleep settings from the search results. It should take you to this power and sleep settings page.On the right side of the page under related settings, click on Additional power settings, it should take you to this page where you can customize your power plan. If you have yours set to balanced, then you may want to change it to high performance, if you don’t see it her, then you can click on this drop down to reveal other options. Of course, the high-performance plan will put a bit more demand on your power usage, but this additional power will be channeled towards improving the overall performance of your Windows.
- The next technique is to uninstall all unwanted programs. Often you come across programs you don’t remember installing among your other programs. Such programs not only occupy unnecessary disk space, they sometimes run some background processes that could be slowing down your Windows. To identify and uninstall such programs, go to your start menu and click on the gear icon to open up your windows settings. On this page click on apps. It should take you to these apps and features settings page. Here you should see a list of all the programs you have currently installed on your PC. If you check through this list, more than likely you would find a number of programs you don’t remember installing or programs you simply don’t use again. Click on such unwanted programs to select them, then click on uninstall to remove them. Remember to wait for each program to finish uninstalling before clicking on another.
- Next is to disable all unnecessary or unused Windows settings. To do that go to your start menu and click on the gear icon to open your settings. Beginning with Privacy, under the general settings.Here, you might have turned off during some of the settings during Windows installation, if not then you might want to turn off all these options, except if for some particular reasons you want to have any of them turned on. Next, move to the location, and turn off allow apps to access your location.You can also disable the location service for the device entirely by clicking on this change button, and then turn off location access. Next move to the camera, and then disable the camera for all apps that you don’t need a camera on. Same also goes for the microphone, as well as all the other services. Under voice activation, I will turn off these two options since I never use them. I’ll do same for notifications.Account information.Contacts.Calendar.Call history.Email.Radios.For feedback and diagnostics, you want to select basic.With that, only necessary diagnostic data gets sent across. You can also turn off tailored experience.Then scroll down to feedback frequency and set it to Never if you don’t want to send Microsoft any feedbacks.Next is the background apps, here you can disable all background apps you don’t use, and leave only the necessary ones.Afterwards, go back to the settings page and click on System.Under notification and actions, you can uncheck these 4 additional notification options. Then scroll down further and disable other unnecessary notifications for specific applications.Here you can also turn off the settings under tablet mode if you don’t use it.
- The next technique is to turn on the fast startup utility. Now, this is mostly applicable if you’re experiencing unusual delays when starting up your windows after a shut do. To turn on the fast start-up utility, open your power and sleep setting. On the page below, click on additional power settings on the right.The power option settings page should pop up. Here, click on choose what the power button does.On the page that follows, click on change settings that are currently unavailable.Here ensure that the turn-on fast startup is enabled, if not click to turn it on and then save changes.
- The next technique is to disable ULPS feature using the registry editor. Now, this is applicable only if you are using an AMD GPUs with multi-GPU CrossFire configuration. ULPS is short for Ultra-Low Power State. With this feature enabled, windows will turn off the second GPU when it isn’t in use. However, for some chipsets and processors, this could become a problem. A typical sign is an unusual delays during windows startup or a prolonged black screen on startup. To disable the ULPS feature, go to your windows search, type regedit and click on Registry Editor from the search results.That should take you to the registry editor.On this page, use the keyboard combination “ctrl+f” to open the find dialog box. Here type in “EnableULPS”, hit enter and wait for the search results to come up. If you don’t have an AMD GPU, you may not see this file from the search results, in which case you should proceed to the next technique. If you have the EnableULPS on your search results.Double click on it, and change the value data to 0.Hit OK and close the registry editor.
- Next you want to delete all unnecessary files. To do that you go to your search and type run, then click on the run app from the search results.On the run search box, type %temp% and hit enter. This will show the temporary files from your applications, so here select all the files in this folder using control C, then right-click and select delete to remove these files. If some files can’t be deleted, just skip them and continue with the process. Next, go back to run and type temp, then hit enter. This will show windows temporary files, again here select all the files and hit delete to remove them. Go back to run once more and type prefetch and hit enter. Again here select all files and hit delete remove them.
- The next technique is to perform a Disk cleanup. To do that go to your search and type “Disk Cleanup”, click on the disk cleanup app from the search results.Here ensure your C drive is selected, then hit ok.Wait for the disk cleanup utility will run for some time. Afterwards a window like this will pop up.Here it should say how much space you can free up. First go through the list of files and folders and select all unwanted ones, then hit ok. It asks if I’m sure I want to permanently delete these files, here I will select delete these files and wait for the process to complete. If afterward you don’t recover the full disk space earlier analyzed to be recoverable, then you should run this process multiple times till you see a corresponding amount of disk space recovered.
- With that the next technique is to defragment and optimize your disk. This is only applicable to mechanical hard disks, if you’re using an SSD, then you can just skip this step and move to the next. Disk defragmentation basically assembles your file fragments back together as single units, thereby enabling faster access to such files. To defragment your disk, simply go to your windows search and type defragment, click on Defragment and optimize drives from the search results.You should see a window like this.Here you should select the drive where you installed your windows, this is usually the C drive, so select the C drive and click on optimize. I won’t be doing that here since I’m using an SSD. If you have a mechanical hard drive then you can click on optimize and wait for the optimization process to run. Afterwards, simply close the window and restart your PC.
- With that the next technique would be to change some personalize settings. To do that, simply right-click on your desktop and select personalize.Here go down to start and turn off all unnecessary settings.Please share your comments, questions and feedback in the comment section below. The following video demonstrates the solutions in this tutorial.