6 can’t-miss tips to improve Windows 10 performance

Windows 10 was Microsoft’s attempt to experiment with the existing platform and proceed in a bold new direction. And for the most part, they succeeded. Boasting of aesthetic changes together with helpful new features, the operating system has become well-regarded for its improved performance. However, in spite of being a great system, Windows 10 users still encounter issues like reduced performance and speed, clogged processes, and fragmented data. To rid your machine of such issues and improve Windows 10 performance, follow the manual cleaning steps given below:

1. Disable Windows 10 startup programs

Is booting up your computer a lengthy and time-consuming process? It could be that a lot of programs are starting up as soon as you switch on your system. To solve this problem, right-click the “Start” button. Then head over to “Task Manager.” Open the “Startup” tab to see the list of programs that turn on with your machine. If you find a program that you think is unnecessary, simply right-click on it and then select the “Disable” option. It is also possible to list the programs as per Startup Impact to get a better idea about which ones are using the most resources, and increasing the boot time.

2. Switch off visual effects

Windows 10 performance

Microsoft has made it quite easy to turn off visual enhancements in Windows 10. All you need to do is go to “System” and open the “Advanced System Settings.” Select the “Advanced” tab and open the “Settings” option under “Performance.” To shut off all the visual effects, simply check the “Adjust for best performance” radio button. You will begin noticing the advantage shortly, especially if you’re using an older system. However, the visuals will be downgraded. If you want, you can enable the “Smooth edges of screen fonts” option to read text more easily.

3. Boost Windows 10 performance by managing Windows Update

Windows 10 performance

Windows Update consumes a lot of resources if it runs in the background. So, you can change the settings to improve the overall performance of your system.

  • Change settings to run at specific times

The first thing you must do is configure the program so that it runs at a particular time of the day, like when you are not using the device. This will prevent your system from restarting while you’re in the midst of a crucial task.

Begin configuring the Windows Update schedule by typing in “Windows Update Settings” into your Windows Search Bar. Click on the configuration utility. Click on the “Update Settings” option and then select “Change active hours.” Set your preferred time on this menu.

  • Make your Internet connection a metered one

Windows Update affects the performance of your WiFi connection significantly since updates keep on getting downloaded in the background. The only way to stop this from happening is with a metered Internet connection. This is going to disable Windows Update. A few security patches may still get downloaded but most updates will get blocked.

Just go to the “Windows Settings” page and then click on the “Network & Internet” option. Go to the “WiFi” settings and choose the network you are connected to at the moment. Under the “Metered connection” tab, go to “Set as metered connection” and turn it on. Keep in mind that this change is applicable only for WiFi connections, and Windows 10 does not support metered Ethernet connections.

4. Prevent tipping

Windows 10 performance
Flickr / Natalia Balcerska Photography

Windows 10 shows tips to users on the best ways to use the platform. While this is supposed to be helpful, it comes off more as an annoyance than anything else. What’s worse, in order to provide these tips, the system scans the entire computer. This disrupts the performance of the whole machine. Thus, it’s better if you switch these tips off. Go to “Settings” and click on “System.” Select “Notifications & actions” and switch off “Get tips, tricks and suggestions as you use Windows.”

5. Use new power settings

Your computer slows down when you select the “Power Saver” mode on Windows 10 because the plan saves energy at the cost of PC performance. (This setting is useful only for laptops, not plugged-in desktops.) When you switch from “Power Saver” to “Balanced” or “High Performance,” the system receives a performance boost.

First, go to “Control Panel” and then choose the “Hardware and Sound” option. Head over to “Power Options” and you can see two options — “Power Saver” and “Balanced.” Click on “Show additional plans” if you want the “High Performance” setting. Some computer models may present other custom plans as well. Changing the power setting is easy. Just select the option you want and then close the “Control Panel.”

6. Remove bloatware

A lot of the times, Windows 10 is not responsible for slowing down your computer. The fault lies with adware or bloatware that consumes a lot of system and CPU resources. Bloatware and adware are especially harmful because you have not downloaded these programs yourself; they are included by the manufacturer. The best part is, ridding your PC of this bloatware causes it to run faster.

The first thing you need to do is begin a system scan to hunt down malware and adware on your computer. You can use the antimalware app that comes bundled with Windows 10 – Windows Defender – for this purpose. Simply type “Windows Defender” in the Search box and then press Enter. Click on the “Scan Now” button to start scanning for adware and malware. The Windows Defender program can remove these from your system.

Once the process is complete, you are free to check for bloatware and remove any you find on your system. There are lots of free programs available on the Internet that help you with this process. You should try running several of these programs until your PC is entirely free from bloatware.

Windows 10 is a fast OS, but you can increase both its speed and efficiency by following some of the tips given here. They are quite easy and should not take up too much of your time.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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7 thoughts on “6 can’t-miss tips to improve Windows 10 performance”

  1. I noticed that certain settings have more of an impact on certain computers than others. Disabling startup programs offered a huge boost in performance for me while disabling visual effects did absolutely nothing. A friend of mine had the exact opposite effect.

    1. Sure. I suppose it depends on your graphics card capabilities as to whether visual effects will speed up performance.

      If you have a decent graphics card then the visual effects shouldn’t be an issue.

  2. While you use the politically correct term “bloatware”, many of us call it “crapware” .

    In addition to removing programs from Startup (now found in TaskManager) you also have the option of setting a “delayed” start for things you know you don’t need immediately. These items are delayed until after the user interface comes up so they don’t delay the perceived startup.

    One of the big impact startup items is OneDrive. If you don’t use it (much) you can turn it off to make a noticeable improvement on startup time.

    As well as removing startup programs, you can go another step further and disable or delay “Services”. Out of the Box, Windows ships ready to support lots of “extra stuff”. If you aren’t using things like Bluetooth, or WiFi, turn the services off too. This technique is known as “Hardening” because it reduces the number of places hackers can attack running programs. This technique started back in the 90’s when hardware was much more constrained. On todays machine with GB of RAM and GHz of CPU cycles not being used, hardening probably doesn’t have much visible performance effect.

    1. Hi Ron MVP

      Thanks for adding valuable action points for all of us. I’d still go for switching off Bluetooth and Wi Fi when I know I am not going to need them, purely to reduce the attack surface area, particularly while using my laptop in a public space with public networks.

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