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A slow PC isn’t an annoyance, it’s an affliction. The upgrade to Windows 10 has been simple for some, but for others, the upgrade has led to serious problems 8 Annoying Windows 10 Issues & How to Fix Them 8 Annoying Windows 10 Issues & How to Fix Them The upgrade to Windows 10 has been smooth for most, but some users will always encounter issues. Whether it's a flashing screen, network connectivity issues, or battery drain, it's time to resolve these problems. Read More . Some even report the upgrade to Windows 10 has slowed down their computer.

A slow computer is also a tough problem to troubleshoot. Many websites that claim to have the “best trick” or “top tips” to speed up your computer are peddling registry tweaks or cleaners that have no real effect. Instead, use these tried-and-true methods to instantly speed up your Windows 10 PC.

1. Windows Boot

No one should suffer from a slow startup. Now, you don’t have to. Windows 10 has a Fast Startup This Little Tweak Will Make Windows 10 Boot Even Faster This Little Tweak Will Make Windows 10 Boot Even Faster Here's a simple setting you can enable on your PC that will speed up Windows 10's boot time. Read More feature, which reduces the Windows boot time This Little Tweak Will Make Windows 10 Boot Even Faster This Little Tweak Will Make Windows 10 Boot Even Faster Here's a simple setting you can enable on your PC that will speed up Windows 10's boot time. Read More . It functions in a similar manner as Hibernation. In Hibernation mode Sleep Mode vs. Hibernate Mode: Which Power-Saving Mode Should You Use? Sleep Mode vs. Hibernate Mode: Which Power-Saving Mode Should You Use? What exactly does Sleep mode do? How is it different from Hibernate mode, which is an extra option on Windows computers? Which should you choose, and are there downsides to using them? Read More , Windows saves the state of your computer, open programs and all, to the hiberfile. Then, it activates that state again when you power on. Fast Startup works by pre-loading your Windows kernel and installed drivers Don't Panic! Everything You Need To Know About Kernel Panics Don't Panic! Everything You Need To Know About Kernel Panics If you’ve used a computer, you will have no doubt encountered the Blue Screen of Death, or a kernel panic, where the machine restarts without warning, costing you all your work. Read More before your computer turns off. Powering on your PC normally reloads your Windows kernel, taking a longer time to start your computer.

fast_startup_options

To activate Fast Startup, you first have to enable hibernation mode Windows 10 Does Have a Hibernation Mode -- Here's How to Turn It On Windows 10 Does Have a Hibernation Mode -- Here's How to Turn It On If you're a fan of the Hibernate option in Windows, you might be dismayed to find it's not in Windows 10 by default. Here's how to get it back! Read More . To do so, right-click the Start Menu or press Windows key + X to launch the Power User Menu, select Command Prompt (Admin), and copy and paste the following line into the command prompt:

powercfg /hibernate on

Return to the Power User Menu (Windows key + X) and go to  Control Panel > (System and Security >) Power Options >  Choose what the power button does > Change settings that are currently unavailable. Here set a checkmark for Turn on fast startup and click Save changes. Fast Startup should now be activated on your computer.

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Warning: When Fast Startup is enabled on your PC, your computer will not shut down as it normally does. This may lead to update issues. If you want to update your PC, or need to shut down your PC entirely, turn off Fast Startup, manually shut down the computer via the Start or Power User Menu (Shut down or sign out > Shut down), or perform a common restart. Restart is unaffected by the Fast Startup feature.

2. Boot Performance

Configuring which programs start up with your computer is a vital step in speeding up your PC. You can configure boot in many different ways. One is through your Windows 10 Task Manager 10 Windows Task Manager Tricks You Didn't Know 10 Windows Task Manager Tricks You Didn't Know If the only time you open the Task Manager is when an application is frozen and needs to be killed, you're overlooking some of its more powerful features. Read More . Right-click on your Taskbar and select Task Manager. You can also reach Task Manager using the keyboard command CTRL + SHIFT + ESC. Head to the Startup section and check to see which programs you’d like to activate or deactivate.

startup_task_manager

The rule of thumb with startup programs is simple. If the program isn’t used every day, disable it. If the program is not for a hardware component like a keyboard or printer, disable it. Third-party software like CCleaner also features a startup configuration option. Open CCleaner and head to Tools > Startup. This feature will also allow you to enable or disable various startup programs.

ccleaner_startup

Most users stop their startup configuration at these two programs. Some tools, however, reveal additional startup programs. Microsoft’s Autoruns program — part of their official Sysinternals toolkit — does just this. Autoruns’ Logon tab showed double the startup programs as CCleaner’s startup feature. To disable a startup program in Autoruns, uncheck it. It’s that simple, and controlling your startup programs will undoubtedly speed up your computer.

autoruns_startup

To finish optimizing your startup, make sure you disable the Background Applications present on Windows 10. You can access these settings in your Privacy window. Press Windows key + I to launch the Settings app and head to Privacy > Background apps (at the very bottom).

background_apps

Turn all of these applications off, except for your Settings.

3. Optimize CPU Usage

Certain programs love to hog your CPU power Intel Core i3 vs. i5 vs. i7: Which One Do You Really Need? Intel Core i3 vs. i5 vs. i7: Which One Do You Really Need? Shopping for a new computer but confused by whether to get an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor? Here's everything you need to know in layman's terms. Read More . These programs slow down others, or may prevent them from working altogether. It’s difficult to troubleshoot every single program that may hinder processor usage. A few, however, are readily avoidable.

CPU_list

Certain unnecessary system processes hinder CPU performance. One such process is OneDrive. OneDrive syncs in your background 5 Smart Ways to Customize & Improve OneDrive in Windows 8.1 5 Smart Ways to Customize & Improve OneDrive in Windows 8.1 OneDrive can be a blessing or a curse. It's deeply integrated into Windows 8.1. You'll either want to get the most of it or disable it completely. We can help with both. Read More , which is an issue when you’re not a OneDrive user. To disable it, open your Local Group Policy Editor How to Access the Group Policy Editor, Even in Windows Home & Settings to Try How to Access the Group Policy Editor, Even in Windows Home & Settings to Try Group Policy is a power tool that lets you access advanced system settings. We'll show you how to access it or set it up in Windows Home and 5+ powerful Group Policies to boot. Read More . Press Windows key + R to open the Run menu, enter gpedit.msc and hit Enter. Head to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > All Settings > Prevent the Usage of OneDrive for file storage > Enable.

OneDrive_settings

Show me tips about Windows is another Windows process to avoid. It may seem harmless, but this process scans your computer Is Microsoft Gathering Data From You in Windows 7 and 8? Is Microsoft Gathering Data From You in Windows 7 and 8? You haven't upgraded to Windows 10 because you're worried about privacy? Microsoft has released a series of updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 that introduce similar diagnostics tracking. The good news is, you can remove... Read More to give your tailor-made Windows tips at the cost of performance. To disable, head to Start > Settings > Notifications & actions > Show me tips about Windows > Off.

notification_settings

This small tweak offers a surprising performance boost for some users.

4. Optimize RAM Usage

RAM is a large factor in computer speed. Unfortunately, certain system processes hog RAM speeds and increase the amount of time it takes to open files. Such processes, like your default Windows 10 appearance settings, may have been dragging you down since installation.

You can optimize your RAM usage by lowering the visual quality of Windows. Access this option under Windows key + X > Control Panel > System and Security > System > Advanced system settings > Advanced > Performance > Visual Effects. Click on Adjust for best performance.

visual_effects

Switch to the Advanced tab. Under Adjust for best performance of select Programs. After that, click Change… under Virtual memory. In the Virtual Memory window, uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drivers. Select Custom size and enter the Recommended number in the Initial and Maximum size entries.

paging_file

Click OK and your programs should open and run much faster.

5. Explore Files Faster

For the average user, the default Windows File Explorer works fine. For the power user, the Windows 10 File Explorer How to Get the Most Out of the Windows 10 File Explorer How to Get the Most Out of the Windows 10 File Explorer Windows File Explorer is one of the most underrated features of Windows 10. Here we demonstrate how to manage and control the Windows 10 File Explorer from the bottom up and reveal features you never... Read More simply doesn’t cut it. Even more so with work that requires modifying multiple file types in multiple folders.

clover_file

You can use a custom file explorer to speed up the amount of time it takes to explore and manage your files. My personal favorite is Clover — a Chrome-like file explorer that allows you to open folders in tabs, rather than using multiple windows, or middle-click a folder to open it in a new tab. This tip won’t turn your computer into a speed demon, but I don’t know how I managed files without it.

6. Delete Bloatware

Congratulations, your new Windows 10 operating system is ready to go. Wait, what’s this?

candy_crush

Unfortunately, Windows 10 is not free of bloatware Tired of Bloatware? How to Purge Windows 10 Store Apps Tired of Bloatware? How to Purge Windows 10 Store Apps For Microsoft, Windows 10 is a cash machine. With future updates, more apps will be pre-installed and promoted on the Start Menu. Let us show you how to easily remove pre-installed Windows Store apps. Read More . The issue with these types of programs isn’t just that they take up drive space. They also update on a regular basis. Some may run in the background, hindering your computer’s performance.

You can use the default uninstall program on Windows 10 to remove these programs. To open the default uninstall program, Windows key + X > Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall a program. If you see a toolbar or widget program, uninstall it immediately. If you don’t know what a program does, research it online to confirm or rule out its necessity.

I would recommend Revo Uninstaller as a third party option 3 Best Third-Party Uninstallers & Why You Need Them 3 Best Third-Party Uninstallers & Why You Need Them To uninstall a Windows program, you can’t just hit 'Delete’ -- you need to run the software’s uninstaller. Unfortunately, the 'Uninstall a program’ option in the Windows Control Panel does not always completely remove it... Read More , which does a thorough job of uninstalling programs. It also has a Hunter Mode feature. If you have an annoying popup on your computer, activate Hunter Mode and click on the icon. Revo Uninstaller will find the program and uninstall it within seconds.

Don’t downplay the importance of uninstalling bloatware because those programs are a potential source of malware.

7. Faster Shut Down

There’s no end to speeding up Windows 10, including shutdown and hibernate speeds. Some PCs take a while to shut down because the running processes close slowly. To fix this issue, create a shortcut to quickly shut down your computer How to Shutdown or Sleep Windows 10 With a Keyboard Shortcut How to Shutdown or Sleep Windows 10 With a Keyboard Shortcut The fastest way to shut down or sleep a Windows 10 computer is not with a mouse -- it's with the keyboard! Read More . These shortcuts not only allow for quick access to the shut down function, but hibernate, restart, and advanced startup as well.

If your computer is taking too long to shut down,  right-click on your desktop and select New > Shortcut. Choose an action from the list below, copy and past the respective command (excluding the hyphen) in the following prompt, and name the shortcut after its corresponding action.

Shutdown - %windir%\System32\shutdown.exe /s /t 0
Hibernate - %windir%\System32\shutdown.exe -h
Restart - Shutdown -r -t 00
Advanced Startup - %windir%\system32\shutdown.exe /r /o /f /t 00

Would you like to access these commands even faster? Create keyboard commands to activate these programs. Right-click your file, select Properties, and place your cursor in the Shortcut key field. After clicking the entry, tap a key on your keyboard and Windows will create a CTRL + ALT + [Letter] command. I’ve chosen CTRL + ALT + H to activate the Hibernate feature, but you can use whatever key you’d like. You can also hide these programs so they don’t clutter your desktop: Right-click on Desktop, choose View, and uncheck Show desktop icons.

8. Consider an SSD / SSHD

No tweak you find on the internet will match the speed gained by switching from a hard disk drive (HDD) to a solid state drive (SSD), period. SSDs takes full advantage of a faster type of memory called flash memory, similar to random access memory (RAM).

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM) Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM) Powered by Samsung V-NAND Technology; Optimized Performance for Everyday Computing. Buy Now At Amazon $89.99

Unfortunately, SSDs cost three times more on average — per gigabyte of storage — than HDDs. If the high price is an issue and you’d only like to run a couple of gigabytes on your lightning-fast SSD, solid state hybrid drives (SSHDs) allow for a large amount of HDD space and a smaller amount of SSD space in a single package.

Seagate 1TB Gaming SSHD SATA 8GB NAND SATA 6Gb/s 2.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000LM014) Seagate 1TB Gaming SSHD SATA 8GB NAND SATA 6Gb/s 2.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000LM014) Solid State Hybrid Drive, boots and performs like an SSD Buy Now At Amazon $80.69

Transferring your files or an entire Windows installation from an HDD to an SSD How to Move Windows from HDD to SSD to Improve Performance How to Move Windows from HDD to SSD to Improve Performance A Solid State Drive upgrade really improves performance. But how can you squeeze a large Windows installation onto a tiny SSD? Windows users can comfortably migrate from HDD to SSD in very little time. Read More is a simple process as well. If you doubt it would make a difference, let me tell you — as a recent convert from HDD to SSD, I haven’t had a startup that took longer than a couple of seconds in months.

Don’t Settle for a Slow Windows 10 Experience

You shouldn’t have to settle for a slow Windows 10 experience, ever. Although there are certain habits you can pick up 5 Simple Habits to Stop Your Computer From Running Slow 5 Simple Habits to Stop Your Computer From Running Slow Only three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and slow computers after hours of Internet browsing. Let us show you habits to keep your Windows computer as fast as new. Read More which ensure your computer is running optimally, implement the tips above for a drastic, one-time performance boost.

What methods do you use to speed up Windows 10? Wish we’d mentioned your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

  1. MHCDiels
    September 15, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Fast Shutdown :

    Creating a %windir%\System32\shutdown.exe /s /t 0 shortcut on de desktop is nice.
    Creating a shortcutkey is nicer.

    I simply dragged the shortcut to the taskbar.
    Fixed it and moved it to the far left.
    Rightclicked to open properties.
    Selected Change pictogram.
    Switched to shell32.dll.
    Selected the closedown pictogram.

    I know, a detail, but nice to have.

  2. nokiahelp
    August 21, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Hello, in "1. Windows Boot", you wrote "To activate Fast Startup, you first have to enable hibernation mode". Why ?

  3. Steve
    July 6, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Is there anyway to do these tweaks using PowerShell as I manage many computers that would all benefit from these steps and a PowerShell Script would be very helpful in starting down that road?

    I am familiar with removing the Bloatware, I am more interested in the actual "Tweaks".

  4. Greg Olsen
    July 5, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Why would Windows by default favor background (of which there are a mind-boggling number) programs???

    "Under Adjust for best performance of select Programs."

    No wonder my laptop was constantly laboring every time the stupid OS decided to index something.

  5. Errol
    June 30, 2016 at 11:54 am

    How about using your SD card slot (which in most cases is unused most of the time) with a fast SD dedicated to ReadyBoost?

    • Tina Sieber
      July 2, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      That won't do much unless you're using a HDD and very little RAM.

      • Errol
        July 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm

        I am using an older laptop with a HDD. I thought this article was more relevant to slower older computers. If I had the latest hardware I wouldn't be worried about speeding it up.

        • Tina Sieber
          July 2, 2016 at 5:39 pm

          Fair enough! Does ReadyBoost give you great improvement in performance? What's your experience?

        • Errol
          July 3, 2016 at 12:23 pm

          It appears to, but I haven't done any controlled testing. Maybe makeuseof can determine whether Microsoft's ReadyBoost really does provide any benefit.

  6. Davin Peterson
    June 24, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    In Windows 10, you can't uninstall apps such as Candy Crush from Control Panel - Programs.
    Instead, go to Settings - System - Apps or Go to All Programs on the start menu and right click the app and choose uninstall from the menu.

  7. Rob
    June 24, 2016 at 9:09 am

    After 4. Optimize RAM Usage, Adjust for best performance check the box "show thumbnails instead of icons" to keep seeing thumbnails of your images.

    • Tina Sieber
      July 2, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      Thank you for this bonus tip, Rob!

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