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Windows 10 Tips to Speed Up Your PC

April 22nd, 2020 by admin

While working remotely, your PC's speed, performance, and reliability are more important than ever! If you want to speed up your Windows 10 operating system, take a few minutes to try out these tips. Your machine will be faster, more responsive, and less prone to performance and system issues.

laptop user at desk

1. Change your power settings

If you're using Windows 10's "Power saver" plan, you're slowing down your PC. That plan reduces your PC's performance to save energy. (Even desktop PCs typically have a "Power saver" plan.) Changing your power plan from "Power saver" to "High performance" or "Balanced" will give you an instant performance boost.

To do it, launch the Control Panel app, then select Hardware and Sound > Power Options. You'll typically see two options: "Balanced (recommended)" and "Power saver." (Depending on your make and model, you might see other plans here as well, including some branded by the manufacturer.) To see the "High performance" setting, click the down arrow by "Show additional plans." Change your power settings in Control Panel to give your PC a performance boost.

To change your power setting, simply choose the one you want, then exit Control Panel. "High performance" gives you the most oomph but uses the most power; "Balanced" finds a happy medium between power use and better performance; and "Power saver" does everything it can to give you as much battery life as possible. Desktop users have no reason to choose "Power saver," and even laptop users should consider the "Balanced" option when unplugged — and "High performance" when connected to a power source.

2. Disable programs that run on startup

One reason your Windows 10 PC may feel sluggish is that you've 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. Click the Startup tab. You'll see a list of the programs and services that launch when you start Windows. Included on the list is each program's name as well as its publisher, whether it's enabled to run on startup, and its "Startup impact," which is how much it slows down Windows 10 when the system starts up.

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 Outlook. But you may not recognize many of them. The Task Manager helps you get information about unfamiliar programs. Right-click an item and select "Properties" for more information about it, including its location on your hard disk, whether it has a digital signature, and other information such as the version number, the file size, and the last time it was modified.

You can also right-click the item and select "Open file location." That opens File Explorer and takes it to the folder where the file is located, which may give you another clue about the program's purpose. Finally, and most helpfully, you can select "Search online" after you right-click. Bing will then launch with links to sites with information about the program or service.

3. Shut off Windows tips and tricks

As you use your Windows 10 PC, Windows keeps an eye on what you're doing and offers tips about things you might want to do with the operating system. In my experience, I've rarely, if ever, found these "tips" helpful. I also don't like the privacy implications of Windows constantly taking a virtual look over my shoulder.

Windows watching what you're doing and offering advice can also make your PC run more sluggishly. So if you want to speed things up, tell Windows to stop giving you advice. To do so, click the Start button, select the Settings icon, and then go to system> Notifications & Actions. Scroll down to the Notifications section and uncheck the box marked "Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows." Turning off Windows' suggestions for you should help things run more smoothly.

4. Turn off search indexing

Windows 10 indexes your hard disk in the background, allowing you — in theory — to search your PC more quickly than if no indexing were being done. But slower PCs that use indexing can see a performance hit, and you can give them a speed boost by turning off indexing. Even if you have an SSD disk, turning off indexing can improve your speed, because the constant writing to disk that indexing does can eventually slow down SSDs.

To get the maximum benefit in Windows 10, you need to turn indexing off completely. To do so, type services.msc in the Windows 10 search box and press Enter. The Services app appears. Scroll down to either Indexing Service or Windows Search in the list of services. Double-click it, and from the screen that appears, click Stop. Then reboot your machine. Your searches may be slightly slower, although you may not notice the difference. But you should get an overall performance boost.

You can turn off indexing only for files in certain locations also. To do this, type index in the Windows 10 search box and click the Indexing Options result that appears. The Indexing Options page of the Control Panel appears. Click the Modify button, and you'll see a list of locations that are being indexed, such as Microsoft Outlook, your personal files, and so on. Uncheck the box next to any location, and it will no longer be indexed.

5. Clean out your hard disk

If you've got a overstuffed hard disk filled with files you don't need, that could be slowing down your PC. Cleaning it out can give you a speed boost. Windows 10 has a surprisingly useful built-in tool for doing this called Storage Sense. Go to Settings > System > Storage and at the top of the screen, move the toggle from Off to On. When you do this, Windows continuously monitors your PC and deletes old junk files you no longer need — temporary files, files in the Downloads folder that haven't been changed in a month, and old Recycle Bin files.

You can customize how Storage Sense works and also use it to free up even more space than it normally would. Underneath Storage Sense, click "Configure Storage Sense or run it now." From the screen that appears, you can change how often Storage Sense deletes files (every day, every week, every month, or when your storage space gets low).

You can also tell Storage Sense to delete files in your Download folder, depending on how long they've been there, and set how long to wait to delete files in the Recycle Bin automatically. You can also have Storage Sense move files from your PC to the cloud in Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage if they're not opened for a certain amount of time (every day, or every 14 days, 30 days, or 60 days).

We hope these tips help you work smarter and easier from home. If you need assistance, please reach out to us at support@icxmsp.com.

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