How To Make Windows 8 Go Faster: 8 Tips For Improving Performance

Ads by Google

make windows 8 fasterWhatever you think of Windows 8 (at MakeUseOf, our opinions are mixed), it’s certainly speedy. Windows 8 boots faster than previous versions of Windows, has lower memory usage, and has a desktop that feels nice and snappy. Like all versions of Windows, Windows 8 has a variety of settings you can tweak to speed things up and make it even faster. You can learn a whole lot about tweaking the OS in our Windows 8 guide.

Some of the tips here also apply to previous versions of Windows, but Windows 8 has some new tricks up its sleeve. As always, there are trade-offs when using some of the below tricks – there’s no magic “Go Faster” button.

Disable Time-Wasting Animations

Windows 8 (and Windows 7) display animations when you minimize, maximize, open, or close application windows. The animations are slick eye-candy, but they do introduce a delay. You can disable the animations and window transitions will happen instantly, eliminating the delay.

To disable the animations, press the Windows key, type SystemPerformanceProperties, and press Enter. Uncheck the Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing option. You may also want to disable some of the other animations, such as the Fade or slide menus into view and Fade or slide ToolTips into view. This will make menus and tooltips snap to attention instead of fading in with an animation.

make windows 8 faster

Pinpoint Apps Using Lots of Resources

Windows 8’s new task manager allows you to easily pinpoint the programs slowing down your computer. To open the Task Manager, right-click the desktop taskbar and select Task Manager.  Click the More details option if you don’t see the full interface.

Applications using a lot of resources will be highlighted, making it easy to see which programs are using up your computer’s resources. This list also shows a simplified list of applications, which is easier to understand and skim than the old-style processes list (if you prefer the old-style process list, it’s still available on the Details tab).

Ads by Google

make windows 8 fast

Manage Your Startup Programs

The Windows Task Manager now allows you to easily disable programs that start with your computer. Click the Startup tab in the Task Manager to access these options.

Windows also analyzes how long each program takes to start and displays this information in the Startup impact column. Select a program and click Disable to prevent it from starting with Windows, speeding up your startup process.

make windows 8 fast

Use Included Security Programs

Instead of installing third-party security suites that often slow down your computer, try using the included security applications. Windows now includes an antivirus – while it’s named Windows Defender, it’s basically the same as the popular Microsoft Security Essentials application.

make windows 8 fast

Windows 8 also includes a SmartScreen feature, which analyzes how trustworthy programs you download are. As in previous versions of Windows, Windows also includes a firewall that blocks incoming connections. If you want more settings and options, you may want to install a third-party security suite – but most users will find that Windows 8’s included security programs are finally complete enough to rely on.

Modify Power Settings

Windows 8 uses power plans to determine whether battery life or performance should be prioritized, just as previous versions of Windows do. To view your power plan settings, press the Windows key, type Power Plan, click Settings, and press Enter.

In the default Balanced mode, Windows automatically reduces your CPU’s speed when maximize speed isn’t needed. This saves power. To squeeze all the performance you can out of your hardware, you may want to try High performance instead. In High performance mode, your CPU’s speed is never reduced. It runs at full speed all the time.

However, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Even high-performance gaming PCs are used for web browsing some of the time and it doesn’t make sense to run the CPU at full throttle while browsing the web. This just wastes power and generates additional heat.

Whichever plan you choose, make sure you aren’t using Power saver. This is only useful if you want to squeeze as much battery life out of your laptop as possible.

make windows 8 run faster

Put Your Computer To Sleep

One of Windows 8’s most controversial aspects is the way it buries the Shut Down option in a hidden menu. Microsoft wants to encourage you to use Sleep mode instead of shutting down your computer. When you use Sleep, your computer goes into a very low-power state that uses just enough power to keep your programs and open files active in your computer’s RAM. When you come back to your computer, it will resume from sleep almost immediately. Using Sleep instead of Shut Down can dramatically speed things up when you sit down at your computer.

You’ll find a Sleep option under the power button in the Settings charm. (Press Windows Key+C, click Settings, click Power, and select Sleep). Your computer’s power button may also be configured to use Sleep automatically. You can change this option by clicking the Choose what the power buttons do option in the Power Options window mentioned above.

make windows 8 run faster

Optimize Your Hard Drives

Windows 8 includes the standard Disk Defragmenter, now named the Optimize Drives tool. To access it, press the Windows key, type Defragment, click Settings, and press Enter. Note that Windows 8 automatically optimizes (defragments) your drive once per week by default. However, if you move a lot of files around, you may want to optimize your drives sooner.

As on previous versions of Windows, click the Analyze button to see exactly how fragmented your file systems are.

make windows 8 run faster

Control Windows Indexing

The Windows indexing service automatically scans the files on your computer and monitors them for changes, allowing you to quickly search for files without waiting. Indexing uses some CPU time (and uses more CPU time if you frequently change a lot of files) so disabling it can help you reduce CPU usage.

Bear in mind that indexing speeds up searches. If you regularly use the Files search feature on the Start screen or the search feature inside Windows Explorer, you won’t want to disable indexing. You should only disable indexing if you don’t use the search feature.

To disable Windows Search, press Start, type services.msc, and press Enter. Scroll down in the list, locate the Windows Search service, right-click it and select Properties.

windows-search-service

Set the Startup type box to Disabled, click the Stop button to stop the service, and click OK.

windows-search-service-properties

Instead of disabling the indexing service entirely, you may also want to control which folders Windows Search indexes. By default, it indexes your Users folders. if you have some folders full of files you don’t want to search, especially ones that frequently change, you may want to exclude these folders from being indexed. To control these settings, press the Windows key, type Indexing, click Settings, and press Enter.

make windows 8 faster

For more information about Windows 8, be sure to download our free guide to Windows 8.

Do you have any other tips for improving Windows 8’s performance? Leave a comment and share them!

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
Windows Troubleshooting
Windows Troubleshooting
11 Members
Windows_10
Windows_10
9 Members
Windows Hacks & Customization
Windows Hacks & Customization
22 Members
Best Windows Software
Best Windows Software
15 Members
Ads by Google
Comments (49)
  • germilyn gonzalez

    my laptop is running slow every startup after acquiring grime that avast brought since I upgraded my avast anti virus.. and also when I put my laptop to sleep mode whenever I resume I have to spend thirty minutes waiting before I can continue to do my task.. and I don’t know how to remove the grime.. I tried looking for solution in the internet but in only recommends to acquire a grime fighter but when i scrolled down to read the comments the said grime fighter is not working well, which actually my friend told me so, not to avail any because its a waste of money… so what should I do? I’m not a computer geek at the same time I’m only a new owner of laptop that doesn’t know much about software and maintaining the performance of it.. hope you could help me.

  • Irwansyah

    Thanks for all the tips, it runs faster now…

  • johnpaul

    it works GOOD!

  • TheMoondoggie

    Thanks for your guide. I ran windows 8 on a new ASUS laptop. But I ran into problems when it ran Excel 2010 so slow. I found that Power Saving reduces processing power thanks to your guide.

  • Ethan Waterman

    Don’t defragment your drive if you have a Solid State. It dramatically reduces the lifespan, and does more harm to the drive than good.

Load 10 more
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.