As of early 2021, Windows is the most common desktop operating system (OS) in the world, with over 75% of computers running it.
Popular as it is, though, it can cause headaches from time to time. Windows 10, in particular, tends to slow down over time, despite the multitude of amazing features it offers.
Luckily, there are several tricks you can use to remedy this. Here are 5 tips for speeding up a slow Windows 10 PC to peak performance again.
Give your Hardware a Once-Over
First, start by showing your hardware a bit of TLC.
If your computer has been running for a while – only going into standby overnight – be sure to switch it off and only restart it after giving it a break of a few minutes.
While it’s switched off, get rid of dust and other dirt that may have accumulated inside it. The longer you use your computer, the more dust piles up in its internal components. This can prevent your machine from cooling properly, and slow it down as a result.
Use a can of compressed air to fix this issue. Simply blow the air into your machine’s vents to dislodge the dust particles.
Optimize Performance Settings
Second, move on to optimize your software components.
The easiest way to start going about this is to adjust Windows’ performance settings. To do this, search for “adjust” or “appearance” in the Start menu, then select “Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows”. This will lead you to the Performance Options in the Control Panel, where you can select “Adjust for best performance”.
The effect? Windows will cut back on fancy graphical effects which can significantly slow down your machine.
Disable Start-Up Tasks and Uninstall Unneeded Software
Next, it’s time to get rid of start-up tasks and software you no longer need.
In terms of software, review the programs that came pre-installed, as well as the ones you installed yourself a while ago. Get rid of anything you rarely use. If you find yourself needing a program, you can always reinstall it – usually in a newer and better version.
In terms of startup, there can be countless programs that boot automatically in the background when you start up your machine, slowing it down.
To fix this, open the Settings panel and search for “Startup”. Then, you can open the Startup Apps panel and toggle the programs you no longer want to run automatically at startup.
For even greater control, you can use dedicated software utilities such as CCleaner, or Microsoft’s own Autoruns.
Switch Off Search Indexing
Another setting to adjust is search indexing. Windows 10 automatically indexes your hard drive in the background. This allows you to search for files more efficiently, but also slows down your PC.
To switch off search indexing, type services.msc in the Windows 10 search box. Next, the Services app pops up, and you can scroll down to either Indexing Service or Windows Search. Select the option that applies in your case and click Stop.
Install Updates Regularly
Finally, install updates as soon as they become available, both for your OS and any programs you run.
While it may be annoying to surrender use of your computer for a while, updates provide invaluable performance optimizations as well as fixes of known security risks.
The latter especially can help you prevent malware infections – the ultimate slow-down of any PC!