Switch Off Unnecessary Animations
Ever since Windows Vista , Microsofts operating system has become cluttered with fancy graphics and animated flourishes that do little to improve productivity. By default, Windows will automatically disable some of these based on how powerful your system is, but if youre willing to sacrifice a bit more aesthetic appeal for the sake of speed, its easy to switch all of the graphics off and run on the bare essentials.
To do this, open that Start Menu and start typing in ‘Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows’. Click on this option and from the scroll menu untick everything you don’t wish to see on the desktop . Click OK and this will change the desktop to something more basic looking.
On systems other than Windows 10, switching everything off gives the desktop a Windows 95-style look and feel. Its surprising to note how much of the so-called ‘flat look’ of Windows 10 relies on graphical flourishes once everything is switched off.;
A Few Words Of Warning
Some of our tips and guides concern critical areas of your system. But if you follow them carefully, nothing bad will happen weve tested everything on countless machines!
Nevertheless, if you consider Murphys Law, then you should back up your system. At the very least, create a system restore point. To do that, open the File Explorer, right-click on This PC, and select Properties. From there, click System Protection in the top-left corner and create a restore point. If anything goes awry, you can return here and revert all settings.
Delete Windows Programs You Dont Use
While its tempting to hoard apps and programs just in case youll use them in the future, its really not a good idea.
Keeping programs that you dont use can slow down your laptop since they use precious resources and processing power. There are even programs that quietly run in the background.
Audit your applications and programs and uninstall the ones that you dont need anymore. This way, youll be freeing up precious resources.
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Use Cloud Storage If Youre Running Out Of Local Space
If all the cleaning methods mentioned above arent giving you the space you need, you might consider uploading some of your larger files to a cloud service, such as OneDrive or Google Drive. While accessing files from the cloud might take a bit longer, cloud services are a good solution if youre constantly running low on hard disk space.
Remove Web Results From Windows 10 Search
Search indexing in Windows 10 has come a long way from its origins in previous Windows versions. What this feature does is create an index of files and folders throughout your system, along with their metadata, to find them more efficiently when you try and look them up using the operating systems built-in search function. In recent years, the way Windows handles search indexing has been radically improved, but it can still be worth optimising if you want to make your system more efficient.;
First, you can disable the web results that appear in Windows 10s search menu, because let’s face it, youll almost certainly use a web browser for searching. Simply hit the Windows key, type gpedit.msc and hit enter to bring up the Group Policy Editor. With this open, click on Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search.
Find the policies labelled ‘Do not allow web search’, ‘Don’t search the web or display web results in Search’ and ‘Don’t search the web or display web results in Search over metered connections’, then double-click to edit them and set preference for each one to enabled. Youll need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect, but once they do, you should stop seeing web results and suggestions in your system search bar.
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Turn Windows Features On Or Off
While youre in the Programs and Features screen, you might want to check to see if there are any Windows components you dont need. Click Turn Windows features on or off and youll see a list of these components.
Youll want to be careful you dont turn off anything you actually need. So again, a search for anything youre unsure about is a good idea.
Reduce The Starting Loadup
The biggest thing you can control that will speed up the Windows 10 startup is to turn off Windows features and programs that you dont need, but that normally load at startup and there are a lot of them. The Task Manager gives you an overview of your startup software in Windows 10. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager to open it, and then select the Start-up tab as below.
There you can choose a startup item and select Disable to remove it from the startup. Those with high startup impact will slow it down more. Consequently, its best to disable those programs with higher impact. Be careful some of the things in this list are components that you use all the time.
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Make Windows 10 Search Faster
If you want to further improve the speed of your machines search function, you can also change the locations that Windows Search indexes to exclude stuff you know you don’t need to find. This can include locations such as the App Data folder that contains web browser cache and cookies, among other things. If you don’t use Internet Explorer or Edge you may not want these indexed either.
To manage these, open the Indexing Options by pressing Windows and Pause to open the System control panel, then click on ‘All control panel items’ in the location bar at the top, and then find and click on Indexing Options. This then opens a window that shows all the locations that are included in Windows 10’s search indexer. Here you can choose which locations to include or exclude to speed up this search function.
Reset Your Pc / Reinstall Windows
If the other tips here didnt fix your problem, the one timeless solution to fix Windows problems aside from rebooting your PC, of course is getting a fresh Windows installation.
On modern versions of Windows that is, Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 its easier to get a fresh Windows installation than ever. You dont have to get Windows installation media and reinstall Windows. Instead, you can simply use the Reset your PC feature built into Windows to get a new, fresh Windows system. This is similar to reinstalling Windows and will wipe your installed programs and system settings while keeping your files.
If your PC is still using a mechanical hard drive, upgrading to a solid-state drive or just ensuring your next PC has an SSD will offer you a dramatic performance improvement, too. In an age where most people wont notice faster CPUs and graphics processors,;solid-state storage;will offer the single biggest boost in overall system performance for most people.
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Clean The Hardware Itself As Well
Remove your laptop cover and use a compressed air blower to get the dust out . It’s surprising how dust can hide inside a computer. The reason you want the dust out isn’t just aesthetic. They can block vents, stop fans turning, and clog the heat sinks, so your computer can’t cool itself down. That can affect performance and drain your battery faster too.
Store Your Files Elsewhere
If you find your hard disk is getting full, one way to improve performance could be to store your big files somewhere else.
- get an external hard drive – a good idea anyway so that you can back up your files
You’ll want to keep files that are vital to your day to day work on the laptop, but past projects, films you’ve watched and want to keep, and other files you don’t need every day can easily be removed off your hard drive, freeing your laptop up for the things you really need.
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Bite The Bullet And Buy A New Laptop
Although this might be seen as a last resort, its an option worth considering. Of course, buying a new laptop isnt some frivolous purchase in fact, it can be quite expensive. But if youre already spending more than you’d like on repair costs, it might actually be more financially sustainable to invest in a brand new device. After all, most come with at least one year of warranty, which means that some issues, such as faulty hardware or operating system malfunctions, will be eligible for free repairs.
Moreover, there are plenty of affordable, good quality laptops out there. Although some might find it difficult to let go of their beloved hardware, there are plenty of great options available on the market and some might be just as good if not better than your old favourite.;
Getting a new laptop does require some;research. This is a great opportunity to reevaluate your hardware needs, whether they are personal or business-related, as well as any additional requirements you would like to see in your new perfect laptop.
Last years shift to remote working has prompted many manufacturers to reimagine their offerings and make them more suitable for the current working conditions – HP, for example, recently unveiled a new line of home office laptops designed to power hybrid work environments and growing personal creative studios.
Work And Browse Faster: Upgrade Computer Ram & Get A Fast Ssd
There are two major limiting factors to any office PC or laptop: its RAM and hard drive.
Your first limitation is your PCs available physical memory where your computer holds the programs that youre using. Think of RAM as your PCs short-term memory.
These days, 4 GB of RAM should be the minimum to run a PC. Thats mostly because of two types of applications:
Resource-intensive applications like video editing, gaming, Photoshop, programming apps, and online streaming platforms.
Browsers. Fire up Google Chrome and load up 10 of your most popular sites: Youll likely see RAM usage skyrocket to more than 2 or 3 GB. That leaves barely enough room for Windows itself, let alone any other program.
The result: Without sufficient RAM, your PC needs to shuffle things in and out of its short-term memory, and performance suffers. This is where all the annoying load times and freezes come from. Our advice: Upgrade your memory if youve got anything less than 4 GB of RAM.
Unless youre playing games or working with insanely large files, 8 GB should be fine. RAM comes cheap these days, with prices starting as low as $30 for a 4 GB module. If youve got a laptop, make sure its upgradeable .
Desktop owners are a little luckier here: Open up the case and locate your memory slots. Check the specifications of your PC to make sure your new RAM module fits .
Upgrading to an SSD
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Disable Programs That Run On Startup
One reason your Windows 10 PC may feel sluggish is that youve got too many programs running in the background programs that you rarely or never use. Stop them from running, and your PC will run more smoothly.
Start by launching the Task Manager: Press Ctrl-Shift-Esc, right-click the lower-right corner of your screen and select Task Manager, or type task manager into the Windows 10 search box and press Enter. If the Task Manager launches as a compact app with no tabs, click;More details at the bottom of your screen. The Task Manager will then appear in all of its full-tabbed glory. There’s plenty you can do with it, but we’re going to focus only on killing unnecessary programs that run at startup.
To stop a program or service from launching at startup, right-click it and select Disable. This doesn’t disable the program entirely; it only prevents it from launching at startup you can always run the application after launch. Also, if you later decide you want it to launch at startup, you can just return to this area of the Task Manager, right-click the application and select Enable.
You can use the Task Manager to help get information about programs that launch at startup and disable any you don’t need.;
Many of the programs and services that run on startup may be familiar to you, like OneDrive or Evernote Clipper. But you may not recognize many of them.
Driver Support Can Refresh Your Computer
Do the right thing for your old computer and give it the boost it needs with Driver Support.
Established in 1996, Driver Support has been helping people just like you for over 20 years. Install the software and enjoy a computer that runs almost as it did when you took it out of the box.
for your computer today and enjoy a smooth running machine without the headaches of performing manual updates.
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Ditch The Fancy Stuff
Windows has a few special effects up its proverbial sleeve. They look nice, sure, but they will cost you some speed. This is especially true if youre using an older PC.
To disable all shadows, animations, and visual effects:
Type sysdm.cpl into the Windows search box and press enter.
The System Properties dialog box will appear. Choose the Advanced tab.
Under Performance, choose Settings.
You can choose to enable or disable any of these animations and effects. If youre unsure which to choose, select Adjust for best performance at the top of the screen.
Who doesnt love free?Tap or click for 15 tech upgrades you can get without paying a dime.
Clean Out Your Registry
Under the Windows hood, the Registry tracks and controls just about everything about the way Windows works and looks. That includes information about where your programs are stored, which DLLs they use and share, what file types should be opened by which program, and just about everything else.
But the Registry is a very messy thing. When you uninstall a program, for example, that programs settings dont always get cleaned up in the Registry. So over time, it can get filled with countless outdated settings of all types. And that can lead to system slowdowns.
Dont even think of trying to clean any of this out yourself. Its impossible. To do it, you need a Registry Cleaner. There are plenty available, some free and some paid. But theres really no need to outright buy one, because the free Auslogics Registry Cleaner does a solid job.
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Overclock Your Cpu Or Gpu
Your processor and graphics card work at specific clock frequencies, which determine how many operations per second your hardware performs. For example, a Core i7 6700HQ clocks from a base rate of 2.6 GHz and boosts up to 3.5 GHz. The GeForce Titan X runs at just over 1500 MHz. Overclocking increases these frequencies in order to get more processing power.
Overclocking also increases the stress and heat put on your PC’s hardware, though its not as dangerous as it used to be. In most cases, your CPU or GPU simply turns off when overstressed or overheated, and Windows freezes before any real damage occurs. Still, due to these effects, overclocking is considered an advanced process that requires you to carefully monitor CPU temperature. In other words, dont overclock your hardware unless you know what youre doing.
Overclocking the CPU
Unless youre doing a lot of CPU-intensive tasks like multimedia editing or running lots of applications at the same time, you wont feel the difference of an overclock. But for those who want absolutely optimal performance, try Intels own Extreme Tuning Utility.
With this tool, you can easily adjust the CPU clock speed, but we advise you to increase it only in increments of 50 MHz and then test your systems stability under various high-stress scenarios before increasing it further.
Overclocking the GPU
Disable Unnecessary Startup Programs
When you turn on your PC, some programs start automatically and run in the background. You can disable these programs so they dont run when your PC starts.
Many programs are designed to start automatically when Windows does. You dont realize they’re running, but they’ll open quickly when you go to use them. This is helpful for programs you use a lot, but not for programs you dont use often because it increases the time it takes Windows to start.
Find the programs that start automatically
Sometimes you can;determine which programs start automatically by looking at the program icons in the notification area on the far right of the taskbar. Check there first to see if there are any programs running that you dont want to start automatically. To try to find out the name of the program, point to the icon with your mouse pointer. Make sure you select Show hidden icons , so you dont miss any programs.
Notification area with mouse pointing to show hidden icons
Even after you check the notification area, you might still miss some programs that run automatically at startup. Heres how you can find all the programs that start automatically, and stop the ones that you dont want to start automatically when Windows starts.
To stop a program from starting automatically
Select the Start; button, then select;Settings;;>;Apps;;>;Startup;.
In the Startup Apps area, find the program you want to stop from starting automatically and set it to;Off.
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