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

Chris Hoffman 10-12-2012

make windows 8 fasterWhatever you think of Windows 8 (at MakeUseOf, our opinions are mixed We've Actually Used It - What Does MakeUseOf Think Of Windows 8? If you haven’t installed Windows 8 yet; don’t worry, we’re technology writers - it’s our job to test these things out for you. Quite a few MakeUseOf staff including myself have taken the plunge and... Read More ), 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 The Windows 8 Guide This Windows 8 guide outlines everything new about Windows 8, from the tablet-like start screen to the new "app" concept to the familiar desktop mode. Read More .


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 The Windows 7: Ultimate Guide If you are afraid to upgrade from Vista or XP because you feel it is completely different to what you are used to, you should read this new guide. Read More ) 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 Windows 8 Is Almost Here - Here Are 5 Reasons To Upgrade The next version of Microsoft’s world-changing operating system is preparing to hit the shelves. I know what you’re thinking: "Already?" It seems like yesterday that Windows 7 was the newest and coolest, but yes, it’s... Read More 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).

make windows 8 fast

Manage Your Startup Programs

The Windows Task Manager now allows you to easily disable programs that start with your computer How To Make Windows Boot Faster Than Ever Before One… two… three… how many minutes does it take your computer to start up? Hopefully not more than three, but it wouldn’t surprise me if you said it surpassed that time. The thing is, our... Read More . 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 Five Surprising Facts About Windows 8 Windows 8 is full of surprising changes – whatever you think about Windows 8, Microsoft certainly isn’t being timid this time around. From integrated antivirus protection and less-disruptive updating to the removal of the Windows... Read More . Windows now includes an antivirus – while it’s named Windows Defender, it’s basically the same as the popular Microsoft Security Essentials Free Anti-Virus Comparison: 5 Popular Choices Go Toe-To-Toe What is the best free antivirus? This is among the most common questions we receive at MakeUseOf. People want to be protected, but they don’t want to have to pay a yearly fee or use... Read More 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 How To Shut Down Windows 8 Windows 8 brings the biggest changes to the familiar Windows interface since Windows 95. The Shut Down option isn’t where you’d expect to find it – in fact, the entire classic Start menu and Start... Read More . Microsoft wants to encourage you to use Sleep mode Windows 7 Power Options and Sleep Modes Explained When Windows 7 launched, one of Microsoft's selling points was that it was designed to help your battery last longer. One of the main features users will actually notice is that the screen dims before... Read More 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 3 Excellent Defrag Utilities & Why You Still Need to Defragment In 2012 Accessing files from the hard drive is a speed limiting step in operating a computer. Hard drives used to be a major bottle neck and fragmentation of data slowed them down even further. With the... Read More , 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 Windows 7 Search Tips Read More 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.


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


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 The Windows 8 Guide This Windows 8 guide outlines everything new about Windows 8, from the tablet-like start screen to the new "app" concept to the familiar desktop mode. Read More .

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

Related topics: Computer Maintenance, Windows 8.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Anonymous
    June 7, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    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.

    • Anonymous
      July 16, 2015 at 4:57 am

      man you answered you question your self or you just did not read it care fully firstly you said you upgraded you anti-virus and as stated by guide such program have high impact on start up you can change that should it be started as you laptop does you should it be started manually by you this can be done by pressing ctrl+alt+Delete then selecting task manages and from startup tap disabling it you might prefer to do so with a few other high impact programs too
      now next step you said their is a slow start when you put it to sleep and then wake it up well it can be solved by 2 methods first is De-fragmentation which would allow you computer to load resources and programs faster and then changing your power setting to high performance as well as plugging it to power as laptop tent to give a lot of pressure on resources to help it survive battery life
      now step 3
      optimizing files manually well when your hard drives are full mostly C drive you main drive it slows down as in you C drive there is most of the programs meaning it takes more time to load this can be solved by removing and deleting junk files permanently from computer and recycling bin and also its a good idea to move most of the files to an other drive like D or E or to and external drive you can get 1 TB HDD hard disk drive at very low cost these days also you you are a kind of person who downloads a lot you should change you download location to a different Drive to help save some performance
      now your computer should be some what optimized so well here are some other tips as well
      you can open task manager and end programs which use high resources before putting your laptop to sleep and putting windows defender to work than avast will help on some performance
      if you sill want to use avast use silent or gaming mode which would help some performance this can be done my opening task menu which is left to you clock on right down side and complete it by right clicking on avast icon and left clicking on silent mode

    • 12345678
      December 30, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      man u f*kd up, dont U?

  2. Irwansyah
    March 27, 2015 at 2:40 am

    Thanks for all the tips, it runs faster now...

  3. johnpaul
    February 12, 2015 at 2:32 am

    it works GOOD!

  4. TheMoondoggie
    May 30, 2013 at 2:46 am

    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.

  5. Ethan Waterman
    April 3, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    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.

    • Anonymous
      July 16, 2015 at 4:58 am

      well you are right but i don't this people use SSD as a drive to start programs they mostly use it for multi media

  6. Chrissy
    February 26, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Pressing the Windows key in 8 gets you the 8 tile screen. It also renders this article useless to basic users.


  7. JP
    February 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    The tips were very useful to me.. Now, the performance is a bit faster. Thanks a lot!

  8. Adam Basha
    January 21, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    You may also like :
    All the tutorials are dealt with.

  9. Yamini Guptha
    January 16, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    i am also starting to use windows 8.I have seen some tips over [Broken URL Removed] .And now this one also helped me so much.Thanks Chris and MUOf people. :)

  10. Viril Johnny
    January 3, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Thanks man! my pc flies now. Coupled with some of the steps from , windows 8 speed on my pc and laptop is now on niro.

  11. Nik KAsar
    January 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    The Articles Awsome,You may also like this, it states such great reason that will simply tempt to go for windows 8 . [Broken URL Removed]

  12. Ben Hayes
    December 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    These are some very helpful tips, I plan to try some of these out, Thank you very much!

  13. Kade Musgita
    December 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    lets give it a try...

  14. David Yaroshevsky
    December 16, 2012 at 2:25 am

    thanks for the tips! i definitely noticed that my computer became a lot more active after the upgrade (a lot more of the processor has been active even when i don't have many programs doing anything), which means that there have been lots of background programs eating at my battery.

    December 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Actually I'm using windows 7 and was looking for more information about windows 8, so when I started reading your article found a very valuable information. Thanks

    December 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I like it easy to access start and shut down process,firstly. It's an great experience to work with win 8,. it is an extraordinary , i like just because of their processing period ,it's really rocking, and their feature is unpredictable, and easily apps are available their, the more you have,the more you can do.....It's awesome !!!!!!!.

    December 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    I like it easy to access start and shut down process,firstly. It's an great experience to work with win 8,. it is an extraordinary , i like just because of their processing period ,it's really rocking, and their feature is unpredictable, and easily apps are available their, the more you have,the more you can do.....It's awesome !!!!!!!.


    December 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I like it easy to access start and shut down process,firstly. It's an great experience to work with win 8,. it is an extraordinary , i like just because of their processing period ,it's really rocking, and their feature is unpredictable, and easily apps are available their, the more you have,the more you can do.....It's awesome !!!!!!!.

  19. Brandon Lockaby
    December 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Really no need for me, I have a Solid State Drive. But these tips are great.

  20. Rick Harris
    December 12, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    I like most things about Win 8 so far--yes there are the little annoyances like the missing start menu and lack of easy to access shut-down/re-start, etc. But a little tweaking and searching for work-arounds fixes those. The thing I find most disturbing is that even after several weeks of working with it I still feel "in the dark" a great deal of the time as to where things are and how things are set up and working. Much the way I do when working in Apple OS--everything is hidden, behind the scenes, and I'm just supposed to "assume" that it's all ok and working (and will continue to work). One of the key beauties about MS (vs Apple) is the openness that has always been inherent in the Windows environment, and I miss it. Maybe it's because I still remember the good(?) 'ol days of DOS with a certain degree of fondness. It feels like the weather is changing at MS and those in charge are caving in to the pressure to make things more "Apple-like."

  21. Marko D
    December 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I still whink that win7 is better. Cant get over the fact that they removed start button. (Yes i know i can download it from third party developers, but i want it by default, officially supported).

  22. Noer Wahid
    December 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    is there any pdf format ???

  23. Ishan Gunawardana
    December 12, 2012 at 8:36 am

    But I don't think windows defender is useful.. coz it cannot detect small viruses...

  24. Alan Wade
    December 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Add a shortcut to the Start and Desktop screens to shutdown. Then its only one click to close Windows, saves a few seconds!

    • Adam Basha
      January 21, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      Alternatively, you can use Alt+F4 to bring up shutdown screen

  25. Carolyn Barnett
    December 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I think you have the best tips. I do not have windows8 yet but will soon.

  26. Gordon Hay
    December 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    The search term given for disabling animations doesn't produce any results in Windows 8 - what you want to do is press Winkey, type "adjust", click on "settings" then click on "Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows" to get the Performance Options dialog box shown above.

  27. susendeep dutta
    December 11, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Nice article.Only power users won't like to have a tradeoff.

  28. VS Vishnu
    December 11, 2012 at 6:50 am

    disable the lock screen, sign in screen..saves time.

  29. Qin Tang
    December 11, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Great article, thanks for the tips, it will help me much.

  30. Junil Maharjan
    December 11, 2012 at 4:07 am

    have tried some of these and it works great especially my boot up and shut down time has gotten pretty fast after deleting my antivirus to use windows defender.

  31. Giggity Goebbels
    December 11, 2012 at 3:18 am

    Anybody can hack the desktop window manager?i want my windows classic back

  32. Chris Powell
    December 11, 2012 at 2:55 am

    I would never have known about this, great tips and thanks for the snapshots!

    Chris Powell

  33. pp potana
    December 11, 2012 at 2:16 am

    Nice article....For defrag do you suggest windows software ?

  34. Kenice Noel
    December 11, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Awesome tips.

  35. Sebastian Hadinata
    December 11, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Nice tips as always.

  36. Hugo
    December 11, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Defrag is a great idea, but if you have an ssd, you better disable it, the ssd drives have a number of times that could be recorded before die, and defrag is actually pretty hard on write times.
    And, it doesn't help in anything on a ssd.

    • Douglas Mutay
      December 11, 2012 at 7:57 am

      Good to know. thanks

    • Rick Harris
      December 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Is the reason it doesn't help on an ssd simply/only because there's no physical hardware involved? There's no efficiencies gained when accessing large files that are all located in a contiguous block?

      • Hugo
        December 12, 2012 at 6:22 pm

        That's one of the reasons, the other is that ssd's have a great random lecture speed.

        • Rick Harris
          December 13, 2012 at 1:19 am

          I'm not sure I know what "random lecture" speed is, but have an idea based on context. So would it be safe to say that contiguous blocks might actually be accessed a little faster, but not to any degree that is noticable, and certainly not worth the wear/tear and reduction of useful life? Thanks for the tutelage.

        • Hugo
          December 13, 2012 at 1:48 am

          There are basically two types of data reading/writing on any drive.
          1.- The secuential. Is when two or more blocks of information from the same file are physically next to each other. (In hard drive disk, this is the optimum type of reading and writing).
          2.- The random: This is where the blocks of the file are dispersed in the disk.

          The defrag theory is that for a hard drive, who has mechanical parts, is better to read the files in a sequential way, for the "needle" who has to move severall times in a random data operation.
          This doesn't make any sense in a ssd drive, for the reasons that i've explained in a previous answer.

          (By the way, sorry if my english lacks a little, i'm chillean)

        • Jim
          March 27, 2013 at 11:54 pm

          Is this your pawn shop?

    • odiebugs
      April 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

      Win 8 will not defrag a SSD, win 8 has optimize for SSD's, what optimize does is sends TRIM command to the SSD, no one has to worry about defrag with SSD's.

      Anyone running a RAID 0 array only has TRIM working, if they have a 7 series chipset. They can use a modded Intel option ROM for 6 series and X79 chipsets, And you must also use a RST driver with a version higher then the 11.6 version for win 8.

      Do you have any clue of the life of a SSD. People don't even need to worry about TRIM, the newest SSD's, they have such a fast GC (garbage collection) that the LBA's get cleaned at idle points, it doesn't degrade the SSD having GC and not TRIM clean.

      For the person who mentioned Windows Defender. Windows defender is the worst garbage on the planet, micro bought it when it was giant anti, since then micro has turned it into absolute garbage.

      Please, anyone post the wild's that this junk has picked up.

      Gdata, Bit defender, Avira, F-secure, Kaspersky, Norton, Eset, Avast, these are the top anti-virus out. There are a few free, like Avira and bit, avast, if you can't afford it.

      MS config, working MS config to save CPU, go to the application, use their options and turn them off from startup.

  37. mmaduekwe stanley
    December 11, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Thanks for such wonderful tips.

  38. Félix S. De Jesús
    December 11, 2012 at 12:55 am

    What about MSCONFIG to start up your system fast??

    • Hugo
      December 11, 2012 at 1:28 am

      It sends you to startup manager in the task manager.

  39. Arun Vishnu
    December 11, 2012 at 12:01 am

    thanks for your very good in detail explainations about these handy tools in windows 8,it will be very helpfull to me because i am using windows 8 proffessional.but there is a question and i found some answers for some problems that why third party app developers are taking long survays about windows 8 like anti virus companies.will they lost their chance with windows defender pre-installed?