So, why do you need to optimize your PC for Windows 10 – or at least any versions? As technology advances, so do the capabilities of the operating systems we use daily. Microsoft Windows is no exception – with each new release, there are more features and improvements. However, these new additions can sometimes come at the expense of your computer’s performance.
So, if you want to keep your PC running smoothly and efficiently, read on for our top tips on optimizing your PC running Windows 10!
What's In Here
1. Keep Windows 10 Updated
One of the most important things you can do to keep your computer safe is to keep your Windows 10/11 operating system up to date. Microsoft releases regular updates for Windows 10 that include security fixes and new features. It’s important to install these updates as soon as they’re available to keep your computer safe from the latest security threats.
To install updates for Windows 10, open the Settings app and go to “Update & Security.” From here, you can check for new updates and install them on your computer. We recommend that you set Windows 10 to install updates automatically so you don’t have to remember to do it yourself.
2. Identify Which Programs Slowing Your Computer
Your computer is working slowly as a process is utilizing those resources. For instance, if a runaway process starts to work slowly, it could possibly be using 99% of your CPU resources. Or perhaps the software is using a lot of memory because of a memory leak, forcing your computer to swap to disk. Another possibility is that a program is using the disk heavily, which slows down other programs that need to load data from or save it to the drive.
If you rely on software that consumes a lot of memory and processing power, i.e. JAVA applications then it is best to assess your memory allocation and daily consumption and compare that data to the memory requirements of those programs you use often.
Another culprit of the sudden slowness of computers is high-level apps that launch automatically and run in the background occasionally hogging your memory. Or perhaps a program you opened but forgot to close. Your computer can run faster and even have extra room on the drive if these programs are removed or closed.
How To Terminate Pointless Windows Background Processes
Windows Task Manager is a built-in tool that will help you find out all the apps running on your computer. You can use this to optimize your PC for Windows 10 or Windows 11 by closing those unnecessary programs running in the background.
To open the Windows 10/11 task manager, either right-click your taskbar and choose “Task Manager,” or press Ctrl+Shift+Escape simultaneously from your keyboard.
To sort the list by the applications utilizing the most resources, click the “CPU,” “Memory,” and “Disk” headers from the Task Manager. If an application is eating a significant amount of resources, you may want to force it to close by choosing it here and clicking “End Task.”
You can read our other ways how to force-quit an application in Windows 10 if the Task manager is not working for you – which happens sometimes.
3. Remove Unnecessary Startup Programs in Windows 10/11
Many programs are set to run automatically when a computer is turned on. Or there are programs that, although initially required for startup, are just no longer required. Computer performance issues can be resolved by disabling these.
You can press the Ctrl+Shift+Escape keys simultaneously and then click the Startup tab from the Task Manager to view the list of apps that are launched when your computer turns on.
The items that are scheduled to open as soon as the computer starts can be seen on the Startup tab. You can click that Status header to sort the value of each program whether it is Enabled or Disabled. “Enabled” status means that the specific program will automatically run in the background every time you boot up your computer. The “Disabled” status is the opposite.
When you start up, consider on what you absolutely need to open, then turn off the other programs.
4. Reduce Programs Running From The System Tray
If you have already closed the applications or processes running in the background and Windows startup, you might want to check also your system tray. Most programs often operate on the system tray.
These programs frequently begin operating shortly after your computer boots up and remain hidden behind the up arrow icon in the bottom left corner of your screen.
To free up resources, click the up arrow icon next to the system tray, right-click any running background programs, and then close them. If that does not work, you can find these programs from the Task Manager to end each one of the applications you don’t need.
5. Boost Your Windows 10 By Reducing The Animations
Windows makes extensive use of animations, especially newer versions, which might give the impression that your computer is running slowly. If you turn off the corresponding animations, Windows, for instance, can improve the speed of your computer.
The “Settings” button under Performance in “Advanced System Settings” by right-clicking the Start button and choosing “System” or pressing Windows Key+X will turn off animations.
To disable all animations, pick “Adjust for best performance” under Visual Effects; alternatively, select “Custom” to only disable the specific animations you don’t want to see.
6. Check Your Internet Speed
Yes, the Internet speed can also affect the performance of your computer – or at least you will perceive that your computer is running slow when working with online applications.
Some programs may require a huge amount of download and upload bandwidth to perform well. And if you are connected to a slow Internet connection, then it can affect the application you are using. This in turn will give you the impression that your machine is slow.
Quickly run a speed test by Ookla and see if you have the required Internet connection to run the program. To effectively use the online speed test, choose the closest server to your host or the server where you are connecting. For example, if you are trying to connect and work to a server in Dublin, then change the target server closest to that location.
Or you can use a continuous PING command and see if the speed is consistent or if there will be instances of timed outs (which could possibly mean an unstable connection).
7. Offload Unnecessary Browser Addons or Extensions
Browser addons or extensions might be helpful in many ways but these small applications can also affect the speed of your computer – especially when browsing.
First, check to see if you have the most recent version of your internet browser if you notice that your computer is running slowly. There will be an “About…” selection to show you the version number, albeit the location of the information differs by the browser. Enable the option to automatically install updated versions if it exists.
Second, it is possible that you use your web browser frequently, so it might just be a little slow. Use as few browser add-ons or extensions as you can because these slow down your web browser and consume more RAM.
Also, if there are browser tabs that you do not need to access at the moment, close them off. This will help optimize your PC for Windows 10 or 11.
Or you can switch to private or incognito mode to surf the Internet with lesser add-ons or browser extensions.
8. Defragment your hard drives
Over time, your hard drive can become fragmented, which can lead to decreased performance and stability – especially if you are still using a hard disk drive (HDD).
Imagine yourself folding and stacking your clothes in your cabinet. You have a separate drawer for your shirts, shorts, pants, underwear, etc. And once you need to put something on, you will need to get each and combine them together. That’s how an HDD works, your data is saved in small groups in different locations.
As a result of use and time, relevant data can become dispersed across the entire disk. When you start a software or app, the system then needs more time to locate each piece of data and put it back together for use.
By reconstructing related pieces of data and reducing the time it takes for the system to find the data it needs, defragmenting your hard drive can help to solve these problems and speed up this process.
In Windows 10 or 11 (even on higher versions), you don’t need to worry about defragging your hard disks manually. Press the Start key and type “defrag” to find the “Defragment and Optimize Drives” app. Then you can select your hard disk drive and configure the scheduled optimization. You can set it to daily, weekly, or yearly.
Should You Defrag SSD?
For solid-state drives (SSDs), defragmenting is not advisable or recommended. The technology behind SSD is different from the conventional HDD we know. First, the average seek-time of SSD is about 0.1ms. So, defragging SSD will not provide additional benefits in optimizing the speed of your computer. Also, defragging SSD will shorten the write cycles of your device.
What you should be doing to maintain your SSD is by using TRIM. TRIM is an ATA command set that was originally developed to maintain a Solid State Drive’s peak performance over the course of its lifecycle.
With the help of the TRIM feature, Windows 10 or any other supported operating system can alert an SSD to which data blocks are no longer in use and can be securely erased to make them writable once more.
The SSD will last longer if this procedure is completed in advance because the drive won’t have to spend time deleting a specific block when the room is needed to store new data.
How to verify and enable TRIM on your Windows 10 computer
First, you will need to open a command prompt with administrative privileges to enable (or disable TRIM) on your Windows 10 or 11 computer.
- Open the Power User menu by pressing the Windows key + X, then choose Windows PowerShell (Admin) from the list of options. Or you can press the Windows key and type “command prompt” and select Run as administrator.
- Inside the console window, type
fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify
- The result “(Disabled)” can be a little bit deceiving but the only thing you have to know if TRIM is enabled or disabled is by looking at the value of
DisableDeleteNotify. If it is “0” then TRIM is enabled. If it is “1” then TRIM is disabled.
- To enable TRIM on your Windows 10 or 11 machines, just type the command
fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0.
To optimize your PC for Windows 10, it is recommended that you switch to SSD – especially your main drive where most of the work happens. For your slave drive, where you can put your other data, using an HDD is just fine, and just set a scheduled optimization for it.
9. Remove Unnecessary Software
Another area that you should be looking at to boost the performance of your Windows 10 or 11 machine is by offloading programs you don’t need. Some (if not most) of these applications are not only consuming space in your drives which can affect the read/write cycles but they might also be running processes in the background, consuming chunks of computer memory.
Open your Control Panel and then select Programs. Then check all the applications installed and see which of the installed software you do not actually need and uninstall them.
10. Scan Your Computer For Malware, or Adware
To give you a piece of high-level information about malware and adware, here’s a quick definition of the two.
A piece of software known as malware is created with the express purpose of damaging, disrupting or gaining unauthorized access to a computer system.
When a person is online, adware is software that automatically displays or downloads promotional materials, which is frequently intrusive.
Given the nature of these malicious programs, it is more likely to expect that when any of these small codes are triggered, they will consume your computer’s resources.
Scan your PC with an antivirus application to be extra safe. You should run a thorough antivirus scan (full scan) on it, as this will detect many “potentially undesirable programs” (also known as PUPs) that other antivirus software tends to miss. You almost likely don’t want these apps, which try to install themselves when you install other software, on your computer.
11. Upgrade or Replace Your RAM
Your RAM serves as short-term storage, temporarily storing current data so that it may be accessed quickly, in contrast to the long-term storage of your SSD or hard drive. Consider it to be a desktop area where you have organized the documents, notes, and tools you are now utilizing.
To have a better understanding of how you utilize your RAM, know that your computer’s memory is being used when you are:
- Moving your joystick, trackpad, or mouse
- Accessing and surfing on different Internet browser tabs
- Creating, opening, or updating documents
- Accessing your emails
- Playing games (especially those heavy or high-end games)
- Watching videos (offline or streaming online)
- Video or photo editing
- And many more…
The more RAM you have, the more simultaneous jobs your computer can quickly accomplish. Simple fixes for persistent slowdowns when using or switching between programs include adding extra memory. That is if you have the budget and you want to optimize your PC for Windows 10.
12. Reinstall Your Windows 10 To Reset
If the slowness of your Windows 10 PC does not improve after doing most of the guide above, even after rebooting your computer, then you might want to consider refreshing your Windows 10 installation.
You ought to do this especially if the slowness of your Windows 10 or 11 PC was unexpected. Unexpected in a way that you have not installed anything new or saved huge files. It is possible that one or more of your system files were corrupted and needs to be replaced with a fresh installation.
Unlike back in the old days, you no longer need to get the installation discs or media when reinstalling a Windows 10 or 11 on your PC. Instead, you may simply use Windows’ built-in “Reset this PC” feature to install a brand-new copy of Windows. This will remove all installed programs and system settings while keeping your files, much as when you reinstall Windows.
13. Fix registry problems To Optimize Your PC for Windows 10/11
Another area to check to optimize your PC for Windows 10/11, but not recommended, is the Windows registry. If your computer is running slow or you’re seeing error messages, you may have registry problems. The registry is a database that stores information about your computer’s hardware and software. Over time, the registry can become cluttered with old data and invalid entries, which can cause problems.
Luckily, there are several ways to fix registry problems. You can use a registry cleaner to scan your registry and remove any invalid entries. Or, you can manually edit the registry to fix specific problems. If you’re not comfortable editing the registry, you can also use a tool that will do it for you. One of the recommended registry tools with a good review is Wise Registry Cleaner.
The majority of registry cleaners tools are bad to use on your computer since they may damage it just as easily as they can fix it. This is Microsoft’s stand when using registry cleaners:
1. Microsoft does not support the use of registry cleaners.
2. Microsoft is not responsible for issues caused by using a registry cleaning utility.
3. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the use of a registry cleaning utility can be solved.
Using a registry cleaner is useless if you don’t understand how the registry functions and what the entries you are altering, updating, or removing are for.
Concluding Words To Optimize Your PC For Windows 10
Unless you really want a full upgrade by replacing most of your Windows 10 or 11 hardware – or totally replace the whole PC then go for it. But to speed up a slow computer, you don’t need to make any significant adjustments. You can achieve quick and long-lasting outcomes by making a few tiny, doable changes. Your PC will run quicker thanks to these modifications and upgrades, which will eventually help you save time, worry, and money.