All I’ve heard from my dad since he upgraded to Windows 10 is “my computer used to be so much faster.” He said the same for the previous upgrade, Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. Computers are a great tool when they perform to our expectations and we’re all a little too familiar with the frustrations of technology. Well Dad, you’re not alone. If your computer seems to be running slower since installing Windows 10 or just generally running slowly, take a look at these simple steps to enhance your computer’s performance.
1. Startup Programs
Your computer has programs that will start running automatically as soon as the computer boots up. Each program will slow down your computer’s startup time and may continue to slow down your computer after startup. When you review these programs, think about what really needs to run at startup. You should notice your antivirus software listed here; that is an acceptable program to have running on startup.
To review startup programs, right-click the start button and select ‘Task Manager’ or press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. On the Task Manager window, select the tab labeled Startup. This will provide you with a list of all the programs that start automatically when you turn on your computer. The startup impact column will give you an idea of how each program affects your startup speed. To disable a program on startup, right-click on the program and select ‘Disable’. If you’re not sure what the program is, right-click on it and select ‘Search online’ to figure out what it is. You can always go back and re-enable the program. This will not remove the program from your computer; this just stops the program from running when your computer starts up.
2. Power Options
Take a look at your computer’s power options, especially if, you have a Windows laptop. Windows computers typically come preset to some sort of energy-saving mode. Microsoft seems to think that you will prefer an energy-saving mode over a speedy computer. Energy-saving modes do have their benefits but, if your computer’s performance is poor, try setting your computer to high performance. This will use up your laptop’s battery faster but, there’s nothing more frustrating than watching the loading icon spin and spin and spin to no end.
To check your power options, right-click the start button and select ‘Power options’ or use the taskbar search and type in ‘Power options’. Change your power plan to ‘High performance’. You may have to click on the drop down arrow to the right of ‘show additional plans’ to see the high performance option.
3. Performance Options
Windows 10 comes loaded with a bunch of visual effects that can hinder performance on older/slower computers. Newer computers shouldn’t be affected by this, however, if performance is poor, try turning off visual effects to increase your computer’s performance.
To turn off visual effects, right-click the start button and select ‘System’ or use the taskbar search and type in ‘System’. In the windows left pane, select ‘Advanced system settings’. On the System Properties window, select ‘Settings…’ under performance (first option). On the Performance Options windows, select ‘Adjust for best performance’ to turn all visual effects off. Select ‘Apply’, then ‘OK’ to save settings.
4. Remove Adware, Bloatware, & Malware
Windows 10 may not be the cause of your computer’s poor performance. Your computer may be affected by adware, bloatware, and/or malware. You may have picked up some of this while on the Internet and some of it (adware & bloatware) may have been installed by your computer’s manufacturer. Removing this software can have a huge impact on your computer’s performance as it will free up your system resources.
To begin, start with running your security software such as Norton Security, Bitdefender, TrendMicro, AVG, Avast, etc… to scan your computer for viruses, malware, and adware. It’s recommended to use a second program such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (free version will scan and remove threats) to see if anything was missed by the first security software.
Once that is completed, you can move onto removing bloatware. First, let’s understand what bloatware is. Any program that came with your computer can be considered bloatware if you don’t use it. It’s mainly there as an advertisement from companies hoping you will subscribe to their service after a free trial period. Removing software you don’t use can increase your computer’s performance. For example, your computer may have come with programs and apps such as, Hulu, Netflix, Skype, Blio, Snapfish, Sprint Mobile broadband, etc. If you use these - no problem. If you don’t, you need to remove them. Just because you don’t use it, doesn’t mean it’s not going to affect your computer’s performance.
There are a bunch of free programs available to assist you with removing bloatware from your computer. Highly recommended software from multiple computer/technology magazines are ‘PC Decrapifier’, ‘Should I Remove It?’, ‘Decrap’ and ‘Slim Computer’. Just as it was with the adware & malware scanning, it’s recommended to run more than one of these programs to make sure some bloatware wasn’t missed by the first scanning program.
Have any questions? Did you try this?
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