How to speed up a slow computer
If you have a slow computer or suffering lag in any of your programs or games, below are tips on how to speed up the performance of your slow windows 10 computer.
There are a lot of tips out there on how to improve the running speed and performance of your PC which include; to upgrade your RAM, change your Hard Disk Drive (HDD) to a Solid State Drive (SSD), or even to get yourself a new and better computer. All these are great ways to improve the performance of your PC.
However, our focus here will be on solutions that do not require you to remove or change any of your PC hardware. The steps here will be a general order and how they appear in your PCs setting, control panel and other places on your computer.
Turn off tips and tricks notifications
Let’s start by turning off the window’s tips, tricks and suggestions notifications in the setting.
If you are new to windows the follow the following step;
- Left-click the start menu
- Select the settings icon
- Click system, then notifications and actions.
- On the right hand, scroll down to the notifications section, then uncheck or click the toggle to turn off get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use windows.
This, when turned off, goes a long way in improving system performance.
You can also turn off the other notifications too if you want. The only ones we recommend to be left on are;
- Show me the Windows welcome experience after updates and occasionally when I sign in to highlight what’s new and suggested
- Get notifications from apps and other senders.
Turn on Storage sense
Storage sense when turned on keeps clusters away from your PC. It automatically frees up storage space on your PC by deleting temporary files and contents in your recycle bin.
If your drives are filled up with a file that you no longer need, cleaning them up could give your PC a speed boost. Follow the following steps to removes files that you no longer require. Still in the system settings;
- Go to storage
- Click on storage sense toggle to turn it on.
To clean up your PC manually, follow the steps above to turn on storage sense, then select configure storage sense or run it now. Here too you can choose the frequency in which storage sense can clean up your PC. You can also change how often your file is deleted in your recycle bin, downloads folder, etc.
Set Internet to Metered Connection
Processes downloading updates in the background can have a major impact on the speed and performance of your PC. One way to reduce that impact is to set your internet connection to Metered. Follow the following step to set your internet connection to Metered;
From the settings home screen, that is windows setting;
- Go to Network and internet
- Select Ethernet or Wi-Fi, depending on your internet connection.
- Click on the network you are connected to
- Scroll down to Metered connection
- Click on the toggle to turn it on.
Doing this will reduce the number of processes downloading files and updates in the background.
Turn Off Transparency Effects
In addition to animations, windows 10 uses transparency effects in the tasks bar, actions center, and start menu. These use up system resources and the resultant effect is a slow system. Follow the steps below to turn those off. From windows settings
- Go to personalization
- Click on the colors tab, scroll down to more options
- Switch off transparency effects to free up more of your system resources
Note: you need to activate your PC’s windows before you can personalize your PC.
Turn on Game Mode
If you play games on your computer, turning on the feature can help to reduce your system slag. Follow the steps below to turn on Gaming Mode.
From windows settings;
- Go to gaming
- Select game mode
- Click the toggle to switch it on. This will reduce the number of background apps running and prevent windows updates from performing driver installations and sending notifications to restart. Game mode can also help out with any other program such as Adobe Premiere Pro which reduces GPU acceleration. If your PC is new, you may see little or no effects with game mode turned on, but on older PCs, the game mode may give the boost your system need. Either way, there is no harm in turning it on.
Change Active Hours
When windows update is running in the background, installing updates, it can sap your PCs resource. To free up resources when you are using your computer, follow the steps below.
From windows settings;
- Go to update and security
- In the right-hand side, select Change active hours
- Click on the toggle to turn it on
- Chose a start and end time. This is the time when windows can perform actions and automatically restart your PC.
For the next two tips, go to the control panel. The control panel can be found by going to search and typing control and selecting the Control panel.
Change Power Settings
One area that can have a huge impact on the performance of your PC is the power settings. Follow the steps below to change your PC’s power options.
From the control panel;
- Select power options. Depending on the manufactures of your PC, you may have all the power options listed. If your select power saver, you will save the run time of your PC at the expense of your PC’s overall performance. If you want the biggest performance boost, change your system power option or plan to High Performance. On the other hand, if you want to strike a perfect balance between how long the battery of your PC can last and performance, select Balance which is still a performance upgrade when compared with Power saver.
Turn Off Visual Effects
This tip is especially important if you have an older computer. Switching off all or some of your PC’s visual effects can cause a big performance boost. Follow the step below to turn off the visual effect of your PC.
From the control panel;
- Go to System. From the penal on the left-hand side, select
- Advanced system settings, in the advanced tab, click on
- Performance settings
- Select Adjust to Best Performance.
After making the change, it may require some tweaking on your part to get it right for you. You can always come back here to make adjustments as need. Enabling smooth edges of screen fonts is a good place to start.
Uninstall Programs You Don’t Need
Your PC may have software that you installed but you no longer need it. To boost the performance of your PC, you can uninstall these applications. Some of these applications take up valuable drive space while others load processes on PC startup using resourcing, thereby increasing the time it takes your PC to boot up. To uninstall programs from your PC, follow the steps below.
From your PC’s control panel;
- Go to Programs and Features
- Click on any program you no longer need
- Select uninstall
Some programs or applications may not show up on the control panel, especially those you have installed from the Microsoft store. For those, let go back to settings
- Click on Apps and find the programs or apps that you no longer need and would like to remove.
- Click on it and select uninstall.
Note, do not uninstall system programs and applications. That is applications from your system manufacturers.
Disable Startup Programs
If you have to many programs being launched and running in the background on system startup, this can give your PC a sluggish booting. To improve boot time and free up your system resources, follow the step below.
On your home screen;
- Right-click the taskbar
- Select task manager
- Go to the start-up tab, right-click any of the programs that you do not want to launch on startup and click Disable.
- Or type task manager on the search box,
- Click on more detail
- Click on startup, click any of the programs that you do not want to launch on startup and click Disable
Note; only disable those services and programs you know you wouldn’t need when your computer starts up.
Turn Off Search Indexing
If you have your PC’s indexing turned on, this makes searching your drives quick but at the same time it uses up a lot of system resources. This slows down your PC’s speed. Turning off indexing especially on low power and old PCs enhance system performance. To turn off search indexing, follow the steps below.
- Go to the search bar and type index
- Select indexing options, near the bottom of the window
- Click on modify
- Uncheck all boxes listed and okay when you are done.
Run Disk Cleanup
A handy utility that has been in the window for a very long time is the disk cleanup tool. To run disk cleanup follow the steps below.
- In the search box type disk cleanup
- Click on it and pick the drive you would like to clean up and click okay
- Check all the files you want to delete. When you are ready
- Click Cleanup system files.
Disable Schedule Maintenance
By default, Windows will run scheduled maintenance of your drives in the background weekly. During maintenance, people have reported that the performance of their PCs reduced. To disable scheduled system maintenance, follow the steps below.
- In the search box, type optimize
- Select defragment and optimize drives. From here you can see the status of your drive. If your hard drive crosses a certain level of fragmentation, it will defrag operation. On SSD, TREM is used instead.
- Click on change settings
- For the next step, only do this if you have serious performance issues as a result of the scheduled maintenance. Uncheck the box on run on schedule maintenance and click ok
Note; remember to come here periodically to manually optimize your drives.
Reset Your PC
If all the steps above fail to give your computer the need performance boost, then resetting your PC might just be the best option for you. To reset your PC, follow the steps below.
On the windows settings home screen;
- Go to updates and security
- On the left, select recovery
- You will see the option reset this PC. You have the option to keep or move your files.
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