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7 simple tricks to speed up Windows 10

There are a wide range of mixed opinions about Windows 10, from hatred to appreciation. The general consensus seems to be that it’s an improvement on previous editions. However, whether you hate or love it, it’s hard to disagree that a quicker computer is a better computer. To help make this possible, we’ll give you some tips and tricks to speed up Windows 10. If you’re reading this article, you probably already know that having lots of applications open, a computer infected with viruses, or no storage space all make your computer slow. Beyond these commonly known issues, we’ll help you figure out some other ways you can make Windows 10 faster.

Disable shadow and animation effects

Windows 10 has a much-improved UI (please don’t send me hate mail for saying this), but if you care more about function than beauty, you can take away the shadow and animation effects to make Windows 10 faster. Running these extra effects increases your CPU and RAM loads, compromising system performance.

The degree to which you can tell a difference depends on your computer’s CPU and RAM, but if you’d like to disable it, Microsoft doesn’t make it difficult.

First, if you’re comfortable with the command line, run sysdm.cpl in Windows RUN (using Win + R) box to open System Properties. Otherwise, Open System > Properties > Advanced system settings, then go to the Advanced Tab.

Look under the Performance group and click Settings. Here, there are quite a few options that you can disable. You can select “Adjust for best performance,” or if you’d prefer to choose manually, we recommend unchecking the following:

  • Animate controls and settings inside windows
  • Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
  • Animations in the taskbar
  • Fade or slide menus into view
  • Fade or slide ToolTips into view
  • Fade out menu items after clicking
  • Show shadows under windows

After doing this, you should notice some immediate differences, not just with the changed animations, but with your computer’s speed.

Disable unnecessary startup programs

This one is a simple one, and not new to Windows 10, but if you take two minutes to complete it, it’ll save you valuable startup time.

All you have to do is right-click the taskbar, select Task Manager, press “More details,” and click the Startup tab. From here, simply right click to disable all the programs that aren’t necessary on startup. I told you it was simple, didn’t I?

Disable certain services

This one shouldn’t be attempted by people who don’t know their machine very well because it could leave you with some unintended consequences or failures. Also, be aware that service settings are global, which means that they apply to all users.

To do this, just open the Start menu and type in “services.msc,” then hit the enter key. Double-click the item you want to disable and adjust the drop-down to “disabled” or “manual,” depending on your preference.

The difference between these two options is that a disabled service will stay off regardless of whether you need it and try to start it or not. Then, any other services or applications that need this disabled service to run will fail.

Manual, on the other hand, means that if Windows or another service needs it, it’ll start. You can also manually start the service by entering the command “net start servicename” in the command line. The next time you reboot, though, the service will again be off until you restart it.

Changing services that you don’t need to start automatically can often safely be switched to manual to help you make Windows 10 faster.

This means that, if you’re unsure, manual is the safer choice and more services can be switched to manual than can be disabled. However, you shouldn’t be disabling your services in the first place if you’re unsure. A short, helpful conversation on the manual vs. disabled debate can be found here.

Some services that are typically safe to be disabled (although this list isn’t true for everyone) are:

  • Diagnostic Policy Service
  • Distributed Link Tracking Client
  • Portable Device Enumerator Service
  • Print Spooler (if you don’t have a printer)
  • Secondary Logon and Security Center
  • Superfetch
  • Background intelligent transfer

This website is helpful if you’re looking for a more in-depth guide.

Make Windows 10 faster on startup

Windows 10 gives you the option to select a hybrid startup mode that cuts down on boot up time by just putting the PC into hibernation rather than fully shutting down.

To enable this, click Start and type in “Control Panel” and press enter. From here, click Hardware and Sound. On the new page that appears, click “Change what the power buttons do” under Power Options. Next, click “Change settings that are currently unavailable” and check the box marked “Turn on fast startup.”

Voilà, you now have a quicker startup.

Disable low disk space check

Windows is constantly checking your disk space and notifying you about low disk space, even when you still have enough. To disable this check and free up some more resources on your machine to make Windows 10 faster, type “regedit” into the search box to launch Registry Editor.

Then, open HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies. From the Policies folder, find “Explorer.” If this doesn’t exist, create a new DWORD value with the name Explorer.

Select it, go to the right pane, then right click and select DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name this “NoLowDiskSpaceChecks” then right click on this and choose “Modify.” In the edit dialog box, set the Value data to 1 and press Ok.

Utilize Disk Cleanup

Windows 10 built in a Disk Cleanup tool for you to get rid of unnecessary files. To open it, just click the Start button and select File Explorer. Then, right-click on Local Disk C: and select Properties. Find the General tab and from there click Disk Cleanup.

Here, inexperienced users can select “unnecessary files (temporary Internet files, etc.)” while more experienced users can also choose “Clean up system files” to clear even more files to make Windows 10 faster.

Defragment the hard drive

If you have a solid-state drive, you can skip this tip. Because of the way SSDs store data, fragmentation doesn’t affect performance as much as it does for physical, platter-based drives.

Defragmenting your hard drive works to make Windows 10 faster by consolidating “the different parts of your files into the smallest possible sequential area on the disk. This means that the read/write heads have to travel smaller distances.”

If you have a physical HDD, you can defrag it by clicking on the Start button then selecting the File Explorer link. Then, right-click on Local Disk C: from This PC and select Properties again. Choose the Tools tab, then click Optimize under “Optimize and defragment drive.” After this, you should see a noticeable difference in the speed of your Windows 10.

Photo credit: Pixabay