Before you rush to buy new hardware, try these simple tricks to speed up your machine again – and keep it that way.
A slow running computer can be a real headache, affecting your productivity and causing unnecessary stress.
But before frustration kicks in and sends you running to buy a new machine, there are some simple and effective steps you can take to speed up your current PC. From freeing up space on your hard drive to updating drivers, these tips can help revive your sluggish computer and have you back at work in no time.
And while a few years ago this seemed like a job only an IT specialist could do, today Windows makes it very easy for anyone to manage a few simple settings that can make a lot of difference.
Where to start?
Here are 10 tips to try on Windows 11 or Windows 10!
1. Free up space
There’s a good chance you’ve been using your slow computer for a few years, and if you’re anything like me, you can’t even remember the last time you cleaned out your “Downloads” folder. So, start there:
- Open the Downloads folder and all other folders where you have stored documents, photos or videos, and delete what you don’t need.
- Or, you can too use a backup drive or cloud storage to upload and store all those files that take up a lot of space and that you don’t need on a daily basis. In fact, it is highly recommended that you always keep a backup of all important files in case your slow PC, one day, decides to go on vacation without asking permission.
- And, by the way, remember to empty your recycling bin!
2. Manage your apps
Go to Start Menu and click Arrangement. On the left side, select Application And Installed Apps. Go through a list of all the software on your computer and if there’s something you don’t need, click on the three dots in the right-hand corner and select Uninstall.
Not only will you save space, but you’ll also save a lot of background activity because the services associated with those apps are no longer taking up unnecessary performance.
3. Clear your storage
Since Windows 10, Microsoft has included a neat feature called Storage Sense which helps you have a better idea of how your PC’s storage is being used, allowing you to let Windows take care of cleaning up your computer for you. This includes automatically deleting your temporary files, emptying the recycle bin, or deleting your old download files. To turn it on and set how it works, open it again Arrangement menus, click System in the left column then select Storage.
However, if you’re afraid that Windows will delete something you want to keep, you can do it manually. At the same time Storage select menu Cleaning Recommendations. Here you can start by checking if you have any suggested large files that you haven’t opened in a while and might be taking up too much space. When finished, click See Advanced Options and browse the list of files that can be deleted, paying special attention to deselect Downloads if you want to keep them. Press Delete Files.
Your PC should now only have the apps and files you really need.
4. Manage the apps you need at startup
One of the biggest frustrations most of us feel when our PCs are slow is during startup, when you turn on your computer. And no, letting it sit for weeks on end is a bad solution, but we’ll get there.
To make it easier for everyone, both you and your machine, limit the apps you give permission to start when you’re logged in. To do this, open Start menu and type Task manager and press Enter. On the left side of that window press Startup Applications. You may be surprised to find that rarely do you need things to boot up right away when you turn on your PC. Choose only the apps you know about and don’t touch anything you don’t know about; windows it may take some time to start properly. Once you have selected an application, place your mouse over it, do a right click and Disabled he. Hopefully, this will save you a few seconds each morning.
5. Adjust your Privacy settings
This is a very important point. This not only helps you speed up your computer, but also lets you control how apps use services as your location or microphone.
Back to Arrangement on Start menuchoose Privacy and Security and enter App permissions browse through each of those points: Location, Camera, Microphone, etc. And disable access of apps that don’t need those services.
For example, you might want to turn off Mic for Cortana if you don’t use the Microsoft assistant, and you can disable all apps’ access to Notifications. Of course, this means your program won’t be able to notify you of something it’s programmed to alert you to, but it may greatly help your system’s performance.
Remember, even if your PC is working properly, always look at this menu so that you can know exactly what permissions you give to installed apps.
6. Manage energy performance
On your ArrangementChoose System and go to Power and Battery. Windows is pretty good at managing Power Modeespecially helpful if you’re using a laptop that isn’t plugged into a power source and, in this case, you can choose Balanced mode or Best Power Efficiency if your battery is low. But, if your PC is installed and slow enough, then go for it Best performance. While your computer may experience higher temperatures and you may hear fans ready to take off like an airplane, you’re sure to push your machine to work as fast and as hard as it can.
7. Disable visual effects
This one might make your Windows uglier as we’ll turn off the pretty animations, but it’s a worth the tradeoff if your PC gets really laggy. To do this, open it ArrangementChoose Accessibility then choose Visual effects. Go ahead and disable it Transparency effect and Animation effect.
8. Update your PC
This is important. Updating your PC will ensure you take advantage of some fixes and tweaks that may provide better performance for certain applications, thereby making your overall experience much smoother. At the same time, the update provides much-needed protection against vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers.
In Start Menu type Windows update and press Enter. Windows will display all available updates. All you need to do is click Download and install. Windows will notify you for future updates, but if you want to make sure you’re always up to date, check this menu from time to time.
9. Check for malware
While memory usage might increase as security software scans for all kinds of malware, it’s well worth the effort. To avoid having scans running in the background when you need that performance to work, you can choose to perform those scans manually, plus make sure you’re running the latest version of your preferred security software. Or, you can use ESET’s free online scanner. Protecting your PC from malware prevents your computer’s resources from being used for malicious purposes and protects your files, activities and personal information.
10. Reset your PC
While this is not the same as a full formatting of your PC, it is the last action you can do at home without seeking professional help. If nothing on this list works and you want to try a near new PC version, you can select it Reset this PC. To do this, open Arrangement, System and choose Recovery. You can then choose to keep your files or delete everything for a factory reset. Again, remember that even if you choose to keep your files, you might lose them if something goes wrong, so always keep a backup of all important documents and information.
Finally, a bonus tip! Don’t let your PC run for days on end just because you think it will take too long to start up. Instead, you can let it go Sleep instead Turn off, but be sure to restart your PC every two or three days. Contrary to what you might think, shutting down your computer does not close all running processes, while restarting your computer will make it do all the necessary installations and updates and close all applications.