How to Speed up Windows 10

By Sadira Sittampalam | Published: 2:00 AM Sep 5 2020
Tech Talk How to Speed up Windows 10

By Sadira Sittampalam

A problem that almost everyone can relate to is having a computer that runs really slow. Now, while you may just have a laptop that cannot handle a lot of applications, there are still a lot of things you can do to speed up your system to make sure you don’t spend any unnecessary time waiting for things to load or for your system to start up.

Update as often as you can

While you may find the constant updates that Windows sends your way tiresome, they are there for a reason. While a lot may be to ensure that your system is as secure as possible, there are just as many that are there to maximise the efficiency of your system. 

Microsoft continuously releases updates that are designed purely to fix common bugs that reduce your system performance, so next time your system seems to be lagging, try checking whether there are any new pending updates.

 Furthermore, it is not as if you are on your laptop 24 hours a day - there is always time for you to schedule in an update while you are doing something else. It is all about planning. So don’t make excuses about updating your system - it is there for an important reason. 

Shut down not sleep

For the longest time, I was the type of person to just put my computer to sleep once I was done using it. I neglected to shut it down and just kept it running for weeks at a time until the fateful moment that it got stuck and I was forced to force shut it down. 

Needless to say, this is a bad way to take care of your computer. Putting your computer to sleep may put the display to sleep, but all the processes on your computer that you have previously started will continue even while it is asleep. 

These accumulate over time and make your computer slower and slower. The obvious solution to this is to shut down your PC each day after you have finished using it. You should also make sure that you close any running programmes before you do this. 

Check startup apps

One of the reasons I preferred to put my computer to sleep and not shut it down was because it took so long to start back up again. Little did I know that this was because my PC was being bogged down by all the various apps that would start up immediately as I put my computer on again. 

This happens as many installers will instruct your computer to run their programmes immediately after you start it up, which slows down system speed purely due to the sheer number of programmes that are all trying to start up as your computer starts up.

 Thankfully, you can change this by simply opening up your Task Manager by clicking the Ctrl + Shift + Esc Buttons and then clicking the ‘Startup’ tab. Here, the computer will display all the programmes that open upon start-up, along with a column that displays the ‘Startup Impact’ values for each programme. 

If it says that a certain app such as Skype has a ‘high’ start-up impact, you can easily disable it by right-clicking on it and clicking the ‘disable’ function. You can do this with as many apps as you want until your start-ups are nice and smooth. 

Uninstall unused software

When you get your PC, more often than not, it is already loaded up with a lot of third party software. This is often called ‘Bloatware; due to its large size and unnecessary nature. You also may be in the habit of installing certain software for a specific purpose and then forgetting about it. 

All of this software takes up space on your hard drive and can reduce the performance of your computer. This is why you should make sure you uninstall all of these redundant applications.

 Deleting an application and uninstalling it are also two different things. Deleting the folder you think it is located in will simply delete all of those contents, but still leave a lot of the application floating around in different parts of your computer. This is why you should always uninstall the software, which deletes all parts of the software on your computer. 

You can do this by going to control panel, then clicking ‘programmes’, then clicking ‘programmes and features’ and finally, ‘uninstall a programme’. You can right-click on any programmes you don’t need anymore and select uninstall. Windows will then ask for permission to make changes to your system, and you simply have to click yes to seal the deal. 

Disable special effects

Windows 10 is a little on the flashy side. There are just a lot of features that are designed to make it look cool such as certain fade in’s and fade out’s, animations or translucency features - but all this can take up a lot of performance speed, especially if your computer already isn’t very fast.

 To keep your PC looking nice and humble, you can take it back to basics by going to the Control Panel, going to System, clicking on advanced settings’ and then selecting ‘performance settings’. Under the ‘visual effects’ tab, you can click ‘custom’ and uncheck the tick boxes for any flashy effects you want to disable. Unchecking all of them make the visual side of things work mild as possible on your system performance. 

Run disk cleanup 

This feature is actually an in-built Windows utility that you can use to clear out temporary files which gather up on your PC. These can be things like image thumbnails, downloaded programme files and offline webpages. To get started, you can search for ‘Disk Cleanup’ in the search bar. 

The programme will offer you a variety of choices of files to remove, which you can choose using the checkbox next to each option. Then click ‘clean up system files’ to start the cleanup. The programme will also calculate the amount of space you will save after you delete these files. 

System maintenance

Usually, system maintenance tasks are done routinely by Windows 10. It performs tasks like defragmenting the hard drive, scanning for updates and checking for malware. These tasks are usually done in the background while your PC is idle.

 However, if you have noticed an unusual issue with your system performance after doing all the above steps, you can run maintenance manually. To do this, simply open the Control Panel, select ‘System and Security’, then choose ‘Security and Maintenance’. From here you can select ‘Start Maintenance’. 

Upgrade your RAM 

All of the above solutions have been ones that do not involve any cost. However, if your computer is still running very slowly and you need it to work faster, you can improve your PC’s overall speed by increasing the amount of RAM or virtual memory.

 Windows 10 has a requirement of at least a 4GB RAM to run smoothly. However, this does not take into account any other applications that might need a little more RAM such as video games, or editing software. You can do this at a PC store for a small fee.

By Sadira Sittampalam | Published: 2:00 AM Sep 5 2020

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