Apps & Software

How to: Speed up Windows 10

Written by techgoth

With all the features Windows 10 boasts, now and again the operating system can run a little slow – especially when it’s on an older PC. But don’t worry – if you’re using Windows 10 and feel like you’ve sacrificed speed for all those extra bells and whistles, you can make it run faster.

Make starting up Windows 10 quicker

Whenever you start Windows 10 up, it’ll ask for your password – good security but maybe unnecessary if you work from home, or keep the device in a secure location.

You can actually do away with this requirement though. All you need to do is click on the Search field – found adjacent to the Start menu – and type ‘netplwiz’ before hitting Enter. Next, untick the box by ‘Users must enter a username and password to use this computer’, hit Apply and enter your password to finish the change.

Careful though, doing this means any login authentication methods will be disabled, allowing anyone and everyone to use your device. If you store or handle sensitive or valuable information on it, you’re better off leaving authentication requirements intact. Moreso, you should never bypass password requirements on laptops.

Make shutting down Windows 10 faster

If you like to shut down your computer after a hard day’s work, then you will realise that the process still requires three clicks. To speed this up you can use a shortcut. Simply right-click anywhere on a free part of the desktop then click New > Shortcut. In the Location field, type in the following. 

%windir%System32shutdown.exe /s /t 0

Click on the Next to finish. Now each time you click on that shortcut, your PC will immediately shut down. Be careful though! 

Disable Startup programs in Windows 10

Virtually every version of Windows allows you to disable startup items, and Windows 10 is no exception. Stopping some programs from starting up will speed up the OS. 

To find this option, right-click the taskbar and choose Task Manager, and then click on the Startup tab. Here you can disable the programs you don’t want to start up. 

Remove bloatware in Windows 10

No one likes bloatware (except PC manufacturers) but it does mean your system is slightly cheaper as a result. But you can ditch this crapware. For the most part, these are programs such as disc burning software, backup tools from the manufacturer or other utilities that you don’t necessarily need. 

Why programs such as PC Decrapifier and CCleaner do a sterling job of getting rid of bloatware, if you have a brand new (but bloatware laden) computer, then a clean install of Windows 10 could be the best way of clearing out unnecessary software clogging up your system. 

Make the Windows 10 Start menu and other Windows zippier

The brand new Windows 10 Start menu can be slower to pop up on older machines. This is because making this appear in a whiz-bang fashion consumes compute power. To turn off this animated feature, bring up Systems Properties (type in the search field sysdm.cpl and press Enter.)

Click on the Advance tab, then click on the Settings button in Performance. Untick the box for Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing, then click Apply.

This should speed up not only the Start menu but also all other windows that appear on your desktop. 

If you really wanted to, you can disable all visual effects to really speed Windows 10 up. Just click on the radio button next to Adjust for best performance.

Turn on Windows 10 Fast Startup

With Windows 10 there is a new “hybrid” startup mode that should cut down on bootup times. IT does this by putting the PC into hibernation instead of fully shutting down.

To enable this, click on the Start button and type in “Control Panel” and press enter. In the control panel click on Hardware and Sound. A new page should appear, here click on Change what the power buttons do. Then click on Change settings that are currently unavailable. Finally, tick the box marked Turn on fast startup. 

Disable services on Windows 10

As with all versions of Windows, working in the background are services. While some of them are vital to the smooth running, quite a few aren’t for day-to-day use. If you disable these services, you can speed up Windows 10.

To turn off services in windows, type: “services.msc” into the search field. Then double click on the services you want to stop or disable. 

There are many services that can be turned off but which ones depend on what you use Windows 10 for and whether or not you work in an office or from home. A great guide to the services that can be switch off can be found here

Remember, though, stopping or disabling services can have unforeseen consequences. Many components or applications may stop working properly, so proceed with caution.

Clean up your Windows 10 disk

Windows 10 has a built-in Disk Cleanup tool that is very good at getting rid of unnecessary files. To run its click on the Start button, then click the File Explorer link. Right-click Local Disk C: and select Properties. Where the General tab is, click the Disk Cleanup button.  Click “unnecessary files (temporary internet files, etc.),” then click OK. 

There is also a “Clean up system files” button for advanced users that gets rid of even more files. After this, you can then….. 

Defragment the hard drive on Windows 10

Defragging the hard drive is really only applicable if your machine has a traditional hard disk (it is not recommended for solid state disks). 

To defrag your hard drive, click on the Start button, then click the File Explorer link. Right-click Local Disk C: and select Properties.  Click the Tools tab, then click “Optimize and Defragment Drive”.

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