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11 basic & advanced tips to improve Windows 10 PC/Laptop performance to make it run faster


If your Windows 10 PC is running slowly, and causing issues while working, the following eleven basic and advanced tips/tricks might help speed things up.

Listed below are top 11 tips (in order) to help improve the performance of a Windows 10 PC. You can follow the tips one by one, starting with the first one, and then continue to the next one if the former does not help.

Make sure you have the latest updates for Windows and device drivers:

The best way to keep your Windows 10 PC running smoothly is to keep your Windows OS and any device driver up-to-date.

On your PC, go to Settings > Update & Security  > Windows Update  > Check for updates.

If there are any updates available, select Install now . You may have to restart your computer.

Close extra browser tabs, and apps. Restart your PC:

Closing any non-useful browser tabs and apps can have a huge impact on your PC performance resulting in slow down of your PC.

Best practice – open just the apps, programs and browser windows you need.

Use ReadyBoost to help improve performance:

If your PC has a small amount of RAM, then you can take advantage of something called ReadyBoost technology.

This allows you to use a USB flash drive, to improve your PC’s performance by adding more memory (RAM), without adding any physical RAM.

Of course, the USB flash drive you are using should support faster data rates and has to have at least 500 MB free space.

To determine whether the drive supports the technology or not, right-click the USB flash drive (or SD card) in My Computer, then select Properties.

If it does, you should see the new ReadyBoost tab. Select Use this device to start adding more memory to your PC.

Make sure automatic page file management is turned on:

Di you know Windows uses an area on your hard disk as memory? Yes, it does, to some extent. It is called paging file and there’s a setting in Windows 10 that manages the page file size automatically.

Here is how:

  1. Type advanced system in Windows search bar, and then click on View advanced system settings from the results.
  2. Go to the Advanced tab, and select Settings under Performance section.
  3. In Performance Options, select the Advanced tab, then select Change in the Virtual memory area.
  4. Make sure the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box is selected. If it’s not, select it and then restart your PC after saving all the changes.

Free up space (Storage Sense):

Freeing up space on your hard drive can also help improve the performance of the PC.

On Windows 10, Microsoft has included a free tool known as Storage Sense.

When configured properly, Windows will automatically look for unnecessary files—including files in your recycle bin and get rid of them to free up space.

To turn on and configure Storage Sense

  1. Select the Start  button, then select Settings System  Storage .
    Open Storage settings
  2. In the Storage area, turn on Storage Sense.
  3. Select Configure Storage Sense or run it now.
  4. In the Storage Sense area, choose how often you want Storage Sense to run.
  5. In the Temporary Files area, select Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using
  6. Select which files you want Storage Sense to delete (your choices are files in your Recycle Bin and in your Downloads folder), then select the corresponding time intervals.
  7. Scroll down and select Clean now. This will remove any files related to previous version of Windows.

Turning off visual effects in performance options:

Turning off visual effects, such as animations and shadow effects can also help in boosting up your system performance, especially if you have a PC with a smaller amount of memory (RAM).

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type performance, then select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows in the list of results.
  2. On the Visual Effects tab, select Adjust for best performance > Apply.
  3. Restart your PC and see if that speeds up your PC.

Pause OneDrive syncing:

Syncing up your files from PC to OneDrive can also affect the performance since the service keeps running in the background regardless of whether any files are downloading/uploading.

You can pause OneDrive syncing temporarily and see if it helps improve your PC performance.

To stop syncing to OneDrive

  1. On the taskbar, look for OneDrive icon.
  2. Click/right-click OneDrive  > More  > Pause syncing, and then choose a time period. 
  3. Restart your PC.

Disable unnecessary startup programs:

Some programs are designed to run automatically whenever a user logs on / turns on a PC. This can slow down the PC because such programs keep running in the background.

Some programs may be helpful but not all of them are gentle on the memory.

To check which programs are allowed to run at start up, follow these steps:

  • Right click on taskbar and select task manager.
  • Go to Startup tab and you will find a list of programs.
  • Look carefully to find out which of them have a “High” startup impact.
  • If you find any, right-click on the program and select Disable.
  • You can disable multiple programs at once and then restart your PC to see if it helps.

Check for and remove viruses and malware:

In most cases, a virus or malicious software could cause your PC to run slowly. The best away to keep them away is by running antimalware and antivirus software and keeping it up to date.

Luckily, another helpful tool comes to the rescue – Windows Security (formerly Windows Defender Security Center), which is included in Windows 10.

Scanning viruses using Windows Security (Windows 10 Version 1809 or later)

  1. Select Start   > Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Security   and then select Open Windows Security.
    Open Windows Security settings
  2. Select Virus & threat protection, then select Check for updates under Virus & threat protection updates.
  3. On the Protection updates screen, select Check for updates to make sure you have the most recent updates.
  4. Select Virus & threat protection, then select Quick scan.
  5. Depending on the results of the scan:
    • You can also run advanced scans like full, custom and Windows Defender Offline Scan. This scan takes longer but searches more extensively for threats on your PC.

If Windows Security finds a virus or malware and can’t remove or quarantine it, contact Microsoft Support for help.

Using system restore point to Restore your PC to earlier state:

Sometimes making changes to your PC also results in weak performance, unwillingly. Maybe you installed an app, or updated a Bluetooth driver, resulting in slow down.

To mitigate such issues, and get things running normally again, you can revert your computer to an earlier point, called a restore point.

To restore your PC from a restore point

  1. Type restore point in Windows Search, then click on Create a restore point from the list of results.
  2. On the System Protection tab, select System Restore.
  3. Select Next, then choose the restore point related to the app, driver, or update that might be causing the problem. Then select Next > Finish.
  4. Restart your PC and see if performance has improved.

If you don’t see any restore points, it might be because system protection isn’t turned on.

To turn on system protection

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type restore point, then select Create a restore point from the list of results.
  2. On the System Protection tab, select Configure.
  3. Select Turn on system protection > OK.

After following all the tips mentioned in detail above, you should expect a better performance from your PC. If not, try re-installing Windows.

Use Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling:

You can use hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling to reduce latency and improve performance, if you are running Windows 10 version 2004.

How to turn it on:

Go to Settings–>System–>Display–>Scroll down to Multiple Display section—>Graphic settings–>turn on hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling

You will need to restart your PC after turning on the GPU scheduling.

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