Speed Up Windows With 10 Tricks and Hacks

Ben Stegner 23-11-2017

You’d love to get more speed out of your PC, but don’t have a ton of time to spend. Some of the most important speed benefits, like upgrading your hardware Which Upgrades Will Improve Your PC Performance the Most? Need a faster computer but aren't sure what you should upgrade on your PC? Follow our PC upgrade checklist to find out. Read More , can take hours to shop, ship, and physically replace.


That’s why we want to show you quick tricks to speed up Windows 10 Quick Fixes to Make your Windows Computer Faster Advice for speeding up your PC abounds, but not all methods are equal. Here are ten quick tips for making your Windows computer a little faster. Read More in no time at all. Here are 10 different ways to squeeze a little more speed out of your system without investing hours of your time.

1. Remove Some Startup Programs (5 Minutes)

One of the easiest ways to improve your PC’s performance is removing unnecessary programs from running at startup Remove Windows Startup Items to Fix Your Slow Computer for Free Programs launching at boot can affect both the Windows startup speed and your computer's overall performance. Fix your slow computer by removing applications from auto-start. We show you how to catch them all. Read More . Many apps, like Skype, Spotify, and Chrome, run by default as soon as you log into your PC. If you’re not using them right away, this wastes resources at boot and throughout your session.

To view what programs run at startup on Windows 8.1 or 10, right-click an empty spot on the Taskbar and click Task Manager. Select the Startup tab to review everything. On the rightmost column, you’ll see the Startup impact of each item. Windows determines this and it isn’t always accurate, but it gives you an idea. Windows 7 users can access the Startup menu by typing msconfig into the Start Menu and selecting the Startup tab.

Windows 10 Task Manager Startup Items

Go through the list and if you see anything that doesn’t need to run at startup, right-click it and choose Disable. Don’t disable vital programs here, like your antivirus or backup software. Review our list of some items to remove from startup 10 Startup Programs You Can Safely Disable to Speed Up Windows Computer booting slowly? You probably have too many programs running at startup. Here's how to disable startup programs on Windows. Read More if you’re not sure. Once you take a few off the list, your computer should boot up faster.


2. Disable Windows Visual Effects (2 Minutes)

On all but the weakest machines, Windows includes a bunch of fancy effects that make using it more pleasant. These include animations when minimizing or maximizing windows, fade effects, and font smoothing. Disabling them will free up extra resources for performance 14 Ways to Make Windows 10 Faster and Improve Performance It's not hard to make Windows 10 faster. Here are several methods to improve the speed and performance of Windows 10. Read More instead of eye candy.

To do so, type performance into the Start Menu and select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows. You’ll see the Performance Options window with several options on the Visual Effects tab. Read through them and decide which ones you want to keep, or just select the Adjust for best performance option to disable them all. Click OK, and Windows will apply your changes.

Windows 10 Performance Options

Of course, disabling these will make Windows rougher around the edges. But after a few days of it, you probably won’t even notice.


3. Check Your Power Plan (3 Minutes)

Windows includes several power plans that let select how it uses energy How Much Energy Does Your PC Use? (And 8 Ways to Cut It Down) Wondering if computers use a lot of power? It's time to learn how much electricity your computer is using and how to reduce it. Read More . On a laptop when you’re trying to conserve battery life How to Optimize Windows 10 for Battery Life Battery life is a pretty important factor for mobile devices. While Windows 10 does offer new features to manage power settings, the defaults are not necessarily contributing to optimal battery life. Time to change that. Read More , an energy-saving plan makes sense. But on a desktop where you don’t have to worry about power consumption, it’s silly to limit your PC’s performance with this.

To check your power plans, open the Settings app and navigate to System > Power & sleep. Select the Additional power settings link to open the Power Options entry in the Control Panel. Here, check to see that you’re using the Balanced plan.

customize Windows power plan

Windows, by default, also offers a Power saver plan and High performance option under the bottom drop-down menu. The Balanced plan is the best option for most users, as it automatically adjusts power usage based on what you’re doing. Selecting the High performance plan doesn’t really provide any additional benefits.


Click Change plan settings if you’d like to tweak any of the options Save Energy & Extend Your Battery Life With Custom Windows Power Plans Read More , like how long your PC waits before it automatically goes to sleep.

4. Uninstall Old Apps and Bloatware (5-10 Minutes)

Uninstalling programs won’t make your computer faster on its own. However, removing unnecessary apps can have a positive effect on performance if those apps are running in the background, accessing the internet, using Windows services, etc. This is especially true for bloatware programs that nag you to buy their premium product.

To review your installed software, open Settings, select the Apps entry, and scroll through the list of programs you have installed. When you find an app you haven’t used in forever (or a program you don’t need 12 Unnecessary Windows Programs and Apps You Should Uninstall Wondering which Windows 10 apps to uninstall? Here are several unnecessary Windows 10 apps and programs you should remove. Read More ), click it and choose Uninstall. Follow our guide to easily removing bloatware 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 for specific tips on those programs.

5. Clean Up Your Hard Drive (5 Minutes)

Like uninstalling programs, cleaning up old files doesn’t instantly speed up your computer. But if you have tons of files filling up your hard drive 6 Tips to Free Up Disk Space in Windows 10 Even a terabyte of storage space is quickly filled with media files. Here we'll show you how to easily free up gigabytes of disk space in Windows 10 by removing redundant system files. Read More , giving it some breathing room can indeed improve performance.


You don’t need to install any new software to clean up old files. Type Disk Cleanup into the Start Menu and let Windows scan for unnecessary data. To find more files, select Clean up system files once you see the Disk Cleanup window.

Windows Disk Cleanup Options

Take a look through here to see what you’d like to remove and how much space this can free up. Most of them, like Temporary files and error logs, are safe to remove. However, you should think carefully before removing the Previous Windows installation and Windows upgrade log files entries.

When you upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10 How (Not) to Upgrade to the Latest Windows 10 Version The Windows 10 October 2018 Update will roll out soon. Whether you want to latest feature upgrade now or wait, we show you how. Read More , Windows saves your old installation in a folder called Windows.old. If you decide you don’t like the new version, these files make it easy to roll back in just a few clicks Regret Updating Windows 10? How to Revert to an Earlier Version If you've updated to the Windows 10 Creators Update and wish you hadn't, you can roll back for a limited time. Here's how to get your old Windows version back. Read More . However, if you delete Windows.old from this menu, you’ll have to manually downgrade — which is more time-consuming.

Thus, we recommend waiting until you’re sure that you have no issues Why You Should NOT Get the Windows 10 Creators Update Yet Just because it's here, doesn't mean you have to jump on it. The Windows 10 Creators Update could harbor trouble. We explain why you should delay this Windows update and how to do it. Read More with a new Windows 10 Update before cleaning these options.

6. Replace Some Software (5-10 Minutes)

Perhaps it’s not Windows that’s slow, but the software that you’re using.

You should first check for updates in your most-used apps to take advantage of new features and speed enhancements. Further, we’ve looked at the most efficient software in several categories Increase Your Windows Resources, Use the Most Efficient Software Do you know how much popular software uses your computer's resources? Let's put them to the test and see which apps are the most efficient. Read More if you want to get the most out of your PC’s resources.

Replacing a few programs with lighter alternatives could increase performance.

Windows 10 Task Manager Processes

For example, removing the bloated Norton Antivirus and letting the lightweight Windows Defender take over 4 Reasons to Use Windows Defender in Windows 10 In the past, Windows Defender was overshadowed by other options, but now it's quite a contender. Here are a few reasons why you should consider dropping your security suite in favor of Windows Defender. Read More is a great idea. Chrome is known for gobbling up RAM Why Is Google Chrome Using So Much RAM? Here's How to Fix It Why does Google Chrome use so much RAM? What can you do to keep it in check? Here's how to make Chrome use less RAM. Read More , and you don’t need Adobe Reader This Is Why You Don't Need Adobe Reader Adobe Reader is bloated, slow, and a liability. In short, it's unnecessary. Do you need a PDF Reader at all? We show you how to open PDF files without Adobe Reader. Read More when there are lighter alternatives 4 Very Light Alternatives to Adobe Reader Are you still using Adobe Reader for PDF documents? It's time to move on to an alternative PDF reader that is lightweight, launches quickly, and yet keeps your documents save. Read More .

7. Check Your Internet Speed (5-10 Minutes)

While we’re discussing potential solutions that aren’t related to Windows itself, we should also mention your internet connection speed. Even a powerful computer can slow to a crawl when browsing on a slow network connection.

To improve this, you can implement some fixes to speed up your home network 9 Quick Ways to Instantly Speed up Your Home PC Network If you have a wired or wireless home network, chances are you'll be looking for ways to optimise it so that it is running as fast as possible. Read More , as well as tweak Windows to correct internet problems How to Speed Up Your Internet With 7 Windows Tweaks Here's how to improve your internet connection speed in Windows with simple tips and tweaks anyone can use. Read More . Just ignore the myths about boosting internet speed 5 Myths About Boosting Internet Speed and Why They Don't Work Internet speed is a critical measurement in the 21st century. However, there's a lot of misinformation online about how to make your connection faster. Here are five myths you shouldn't believe. Read More .

8. Let Windows Look for Problems (5 Minutes)

Did you know that Windows includes built-in troubleshooting tools 13 Troubleshooting Tools to Fix Windows 10 For every Windows issue, there's a tool you can use to fix it. Find your problem in this list and pick one of the 13 troubleshooting and repair tools for Windows 10. Read More ? While they’re not always successful, these can scan for and detect common issues, like problems with Windows Update How to Resolve Windows Update Problems in 5 Easy Steps Has Windows Update failed you? Maybe the download got stuck or the update refused to install. We'll show you how to fix the most common issues with Windows Update in Windows 10. Read More .

To access the performance troubleshooter, type Control Panel into the Start Menu to open it. In the upper-right corner, change the View by entry from Category to Small icons. Select Troubleshooting and under System and Security, click Run maintenance tasks.

You’ll see the troubleshooting window pop up. Select the Advanced link and make sure the Apply repairs automatically is checked. Also, choose Run as administrator so the tool can fix additional problems. Then click Next, and give the tool a few moments to run. If it detects any issues, you’ll see a summary of them at the end.

Windows 10 System Maintenance

9. Scan for Malware (10 Minutes)

If your PC drastically slowed down all of a sudden, you might have a malware infection. Install Malwarebytes and run a scan to find any threats.

Malwarebytes Premium

Once you’ve confirmed your system is malware-free, make sure you’re using the right security software to prevent issues in the future.

10. Restart! (2 Minutes)

Don’t forget that one of the easiest ways to give your PC a boost is restarting it! When you haven’t shut down your system in weeks, Windows has more performance problems and feels sluggish. A simple restart of your system can fix issues Why Does Rebooting Your Computer Fix So Many Issues? "Have you tried rebooting?" It's technical advice that gets thrown around a lot, but there's a reason: it works. Not just for PCs, but a wide range of devices. We explain why. Read More and give you better performance with little work.

Note that thanks to Windows 10’s Fast Startup feature, which makes booting up from scratch faster How to Speed Up Windows 10 From Boot to Shut Down Registry tweaks and ominous cleaners rarely fix a slow computer. We have compiled a list of tried-and-true methods that will give your Windows 10 computer an instant performance boost. Read More , shutting down and rebooting isn’t a proper restart. Make sure to select Restart from the power menu to do it correctly.

How Do You Speed Up Windows?

These 10 methods let you speed up Windows without investing a lot of time. These software tweaks won’t speed up the system as much as installing an SSD 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 , but they’ll certainly help. You can try these next time you have a few minutes, and most of them don’t require installing any new software.

While you’re tweaking Windows, you should avoid making maintenance mistakes that could cause more problems 7 Windows Maintenance Mistakes You Should Never Make If you want to keep your Windows PC running smoothly, you need to avoid making these big mistakes. They could shorten your computer's lifespan and make your experience frustrating. Read More .

What quick tweaks do you use to make Windows run faster? Did these tips boost your PC’s performance? Tell us what you think, and add your own tricks, down in the comments!

Explore more about: Computer Maintenance, Malware, Windows 10.

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  1. Bob H.
    December 31, 2017 at 12:03 am

    Just install a SSD and boom you'll be in hyper speed!

  2. Doc
    November 27, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Please don't forget to run something like MalwareBytes (in "free" mode; don't forget to shut it down if it continues running in the "tray") or ClamWin as a "second opinion" to your antivirus; also, I see no mention of cleaning the **physical computer** every couple of months (electronic components generate some static, which attracts a lot of dust into the vents of your PC!)

  3. Doc
    November 25, 2017 at 3:18 am

    "For example, removing the bloated Norton Antivirus and letting the lightweight Windows Defender take over is a great idea."
    Probably the single worst idea I've heard all year - and the year is almost over. Even Microsoft (at one time) said that Windows Defender was just useful enough to protect the computer long enough to download another antivirus - and it's failed AV comparison tests enough times to be a laughingstock. Grab Avira or Avast if you don't like "the bloated Norton Antivirus," but don't expect Windows Defender to do an adequate job of protecting your PC. There are other decent, free antivirus programs - Bitdefender, Sophos and Panda come to mind, for example.

  4. linhkiendienthoai
    November 24, 2017 at 10:32 am

    They are really useful tricks for us. Thanks so much for sharing to us, Ben.

  5. ???? ???????
    November 24, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Best way is to speed up is to uninstall windows and install Linux

    • Doc
      November 27, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      Unfortunately, that's not an option on a company-owned PC, or for anyone who wants to use Windows-only apps and games. I'm so sorry that Linux isn't good enough for everybody yet, but I appreciate your trolli...uh, enthusiasm for free software.

    • Mike
      December 1, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Ugh... I thought I might get through one comment list without a Linux or Mac troll comment. I dual boot Linux and Win 7 or 10 on all my PC's. Linux is fine but its also a P.I.T.A., mostly in the area of updating. I've broken several iterations of ubuntu during updating to the point where I now avoid them. When the *$@(# hits the fan and i need an iso image or app to run properly for work, I'm firing up Win7 or even 10. Linux and Mac fanboys, your posts always read as if the world still runs on Win98 and its flawed kernel. Move on already!

    • Oh My
      June 10, 2019 at 12:46 am

      Oh My your so funny... Can't stop laughing.... Hiccup.... Hiccup..... Hiccup...…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………………………………………………………….. Hiccup!

  6. Josh Carbin
    November 24, 2017 at 8:18 am

    A good way to speed up windows is to replace the overloaded bloated laggard with Ubuntu or even Androidx86

  7. Don
    November 24, 2017 at 3:23 am

    I disagree with #1. Well Ms config is a good place to start to find out what's running at startup, the offending entries should not just immediately be disabled from there. Disabling them might be a good troubleshooting step to find out if they actually are causing slow down but find out what program is actually created them and either disable it within that software's interface or uninstall it completely. Especially in cases where this might be malware and needs to be scanned deeper to find the root cause. In either case, the software might repeatedly try to recreate the entries possibly slowing down the computer even more.