It may have been one of the fastest operating systems around, but even Windows 10 can become sluggish after you've had it for a considerable time. This isn't just a Windows issue, it's a fact of life, computers become slow in their old age.
It's one of the big frustrations of modern life. Buffering circles, slow loading pages, freezing screens – we don't have time to sit and wait for software and interfaces to catch up, particularly if it's for work.
One of the biggest culprits of a slow computer is bloatware; loading your PC up with too many files, applications and programmes eventually take a toll. Often these are old files you no longer use or extensions you don't need, clogging up the system and robbing it of storage space.
But this isn't the end of your relationship with Windows 10, it's just a matter of spring cleaning. Below we offer some tips to de-clutter your desktop and free up your storage space.
Here is how you can attempt to speed up your windows 10 computer.
Make login into Windows 10 quicker
If you’ve set up your machine to request a password when signing into your computer, you may want to skip this process, as long as you always use your computer in a safe and secure place, on a secured network.
You may find you only save seconds typing your passwords in and hitting return, but the time you’ll save essentially re-booting every time your computer’s gone to sleep may make your experience at least a little smoother.
Of course, passwords are essential for security, so if you store confidential information on your PC, or travel with it or use it in coffee shops or even at work, you will probably want to keep your password. But if that's not the case, you can uncheck the box requiring you to enter a username and password to log in. Click apply, confirm your password, and Windows will never ask you for it again. It is worth noting, though, that even your home may not be the most secure environment, as everybody can be burgled.
And disabling your password also means that anybody can fire up your Windows 10 PC and use it. This makes doing so a big no-no for portable laptops, but desktops are a safer bet.
Make shutting down Windows 10 faster
If you like to shut down your computer after a hard day’s work, then you will realise that the process still requires three clicks. To speed this up you can use a shortcut. Simply right-click anywhere on a free part of the desktop then click New > Shortcut. In the Location field, type in the following.
%windir%System32shutdown.exe /s /t 0
Click on the Next to finish. Now each time you click on that shortcut, your PC will immediately shut down. Be careful though!
Disable Startup programs in Windows 10
Virtually every version of Windows allows you to disable startup items, and Windows 10 is no exception. Stopping some programs from starting up will speed up the OS.
To find this option, right-click the taskbar and choose Task Manager. Tap 'more details' and then click on the Startup tab. Here you can disable the programs you don’t want to start up.
Remove bloatware in Windows 10
No one likes bloatware (except PC manufacturers) but it does mean your system is slightly cheaper as a result. For the most part, these are programs such as disc burning software, backup tools from the manufacturer or other utilities that you don’t necessarily need.
Why programs such as PC Decrapifier and CCleaner do a sterling job of getting rid of bloatware, if you have a brand new (but bloatware laden) computer, then a clean install of Windows 10 could be the best way of clearing out unnecessary software clogging up your system.
Make the Windows 10 Start menu and other Windows zippier
Although Microsoft's new snazzy Windows 10 Start Menu is a breath of fresh air compared to the older version, bringing it up to speed with the likes of Apple's sleek interface, it can be a little slow to pop up if your machine isn't brand spanking new. This is because it takes more processing power to make it appear and if your machine doesn't have a newer chip, you might be waiting a few seconds for it to react. However, it's pretty straightforward to shut down some of the animations to make it show up without the wait.
To do this, open up Systems Properties (type in the search field sysdm.cpl and press Enter), then click on the Advanced tabs and settings in the Performance options. By default, the Animate windows when minimising and maximising box will be ticked. Click to deactivate and then click Apply.
Not only should this add some speed to the Start menu opening up, but also other windows that appear on your desktop. You can also disable all of the visual effects throughout Windows 10 to speed up everything. Just click on the tick boxes to turn them off individually, or choose the "Adjust for best performance" option to optimise the performance for your machine.
Turn on Windows 10 Fast Startup
With Windows 10 there is a new “hybrid” startup mode that should cut down on bootup times. It does this by putting the PC into hibernation instead of fully shutting down.
To enable this, click on the Start button and type in “Control Panel" and press enter. In the control panel click on Hardware and Sound. A new page should appear, here click on Change what the power buttons do. Then click on Change settings that are currently unavailable. Finally, tick the box marked Turn on fast startup.
Disable services on Windows 10
As with all versions of Windows, working in the background are services. While some of them are vital to the smooth running, quite a few aren’t for day-to-day use. If you disable these services, you can speed up Windows 10.
To turn off services in windows, type: “services.msc” into the search field. Then double-click on the services you want to stop or disable.
There are many services that can be turned off but which ones depend on what you use Windows 10 for and whether or not you work in an office or from home. A great guide to the services that can be switch off can be found here.
Remember, though, stopping or disabling services can have unforeseen consequences. Many components or applications may stop working properly, so proceed with caution.
Clean up your Windows 10 disk
Thankfully, Windows 10 has a built-in Disk Cleanup tool which is extremely useful when you want to get rid of unnecessary files. To launch the tool, click on the Start button and then select the File Explorer link. Right-click Local Disk C: and choose Properties. Navigate to the General tab and then find the Disk Cleanup button. Once there, click "unnecessary files (temporary internet files, etc.)" then hit OK.
For advanced users, you can select the "Clean up system files" button to get rid of even more files. Following this, you can then...
Defragment the hard drive on Windows 10
Defragmenting your hard drive is one of the most basic ways to speed up your computer. This consolidates the different parts of your files into the smallest possible sequential area on the disk. This means the read/write heads have to travel smaller distances so will be faster at completing requests.
It is worth mentioning that this only applies to physical, platter-based drives instead of solid-state drives. Since SSDs (solid state drives) store data in a particular way, fragmentation has little effect on performance. Defragmentation is pretty much unnecessary because of this.
For those of you with physical HDDs, regular defrags are an essential way of ensuring your computer remains up to speed. To defrag the hard drive, click on the Start button and click the File Explorer link. Right-click Local Disk C: and choose Properties. Select the Tools tab, then click "Optimize and Defragment Drive".
Migrate Windows 10 to an SSD
Perhaps the most effective, but most disruptive way to improve the speed of Windows 10 is to move the operating system or your entire hard drive onto a brand new SSD.
SSDs are essentially much larger and more sophisticated versions of a standard USB stick. Unlike hard drives which use a moving arm to read and write onto a physical disk, SSDs don't contain any moving parts, and as a result are able to process data far faster than their older counterparts.
It's common for PC users to have both an SSD and hard drive running side by side, with the operating system running on the much faster hardware. However, with falling prices and larger capacities entering the market, it's now relatively cost effective to migrate the entirety of your data, including software, onto an SSD.
Importantly, Windows 10, or any operating system for that matter, performs wonderfully on an SSD, drastically reducing load times and boot times to mere seconds. If you're buying a new laptop or PC, you'll want to cast an eye over the spec sheets to make sure they have an SSD installed.
Windows 10 can be migrated over to an SSD on an existing system, we can offer this service for £35, for more information, visit our computer repair basildon page or call 01268 982969. On average we can order 240GB SSD's in from our supplier and arrive the next working day and complete the migration from HDD to SSD in 1-2 days maximum.