As the hardware for our PCs becomes more advanced, so does the software we run on them, and that also reigns true for the Windows operating system. This is especially evident when it comes to the Windows start-up. However, once the system is up and running, there are other things that one must take into account. Even the most powerful systems today are known to experience some slowdowns, from time to time, and not everyone is willing to take the plunge to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11. The tips outlined in this article work for virtually every modern version of Windows.
One of the main problems a lot of articles will present, when telling you how to make your PC experience faster, is them telling you to switch off certain features, many of which can be quite fun, like visual animations. The tips in this article however, will show you how to make your system faster without having to compromise on functionality and visuals. Most of the tips can be put into practice, free of charge, however, some may involve spending some money on new hardware. If you’re on an older system, and are interested in getting more performance out of your rig, then there are a few things you can do, hopefully this article will be of use to you.
One thing that is imperative, when it comes to Microsoft Windows, is to ensure it is always up-to-date. This is something everyone should be doing, which is why I’ve decided to note it here. You can visit Settings -> Windows Update to see whether there are any new updates available for you to install. Such updates may also result in a faster system, since some of them come with new driver updates.
With that said, continue reading for a list of 5 tips that you can implement, to make your system faster.
1. Disable Startup Tasks That Are Unnecessary
When your system boots up, there are a number of tasks that will run in the background automatically, without your confirmation. Some of these tasks are required, while others are not – it’s these unnecessary ones that you want to target.
One of the more effective ways to make your system faster is to disable unnecessary tasks. This can be done, by doing the following:
First, right-click on your Taskbar, then select Task Manager. When Task Manage loads up, click on the Startup Tab.
From here, you will need to go through all the different tasks, and disable the ones that are not needed. To do that, simply, right-click on each and select Disable. Once done, close Task Manager, and restart your system. With less tasks set to run, you should experience a speed improvement.
2. Clean the Disk
To do this, you will need to use Disk Cleanup. This tool can be accessed by typing Disk Cleanup into the Type here to search box, in the Taskbar, then clicking on Disk Cleanup. This tool is designed to find junk files on your system, whether they be temporary files, installer files, offline web pages, and any redundant data that is simply taking up space on your hard drive. If you haven’t emptied your Recycle Bin for some time, then you may notice that it has a lot of data in it. However, emptying the Recycle Bin will only improve the speed of your system, if your hard drive is close to full.
If you have a mechanical drive, then you’ll want to have the disk defragmenter set to run on a regular basis. You can find this tool, by typing its name into the search box on the Taskbar. Note, if you have an SSD, defragging will be useless, since it doesn’t contain any moving parts, which means no data to arrange.
Another newer method that you can use to monitor your storage usage is the feature Storage Sense. It can be configured to automatically remove space from certain areas of your system, such as the Recycle Bin and Temporary folders.
3. Disable Redundant Background Services
Just like with tasks, services are also loaded during a Windows boot up. These services are typically configured to run in the background during the entirety of your Windows session. Some of these services are either rarely used or never at all. However, these background services may continue to eat up resources, slowing everything down.
One way you can address this problem is by identifying these unnecessary services and disabling them. You can do that by pressing the Windows Key + R, then typing Services.msc into the Run box, then clicking on OK. This will open up the Services applet.
From here, you will need to go through all the various services, and shortlist the ones that are unnecessary. Naturally, this would require additional research on your part. Once you’ve done that, double-click on the service, then set Startup type to Disabled, then click on OK.
I suggest you do some research on the various services, what they do, and whether you can turn them off, before anything else.
4. Tweak Your Power Plan
By default you’ll find that your Windows operating system sets your power usage plan to Balanced. The problem with this, is that it can hamper performance. The Balanced power plan will make your CPU runner slower at lower loads, while putting certain components into a power-saving mode, when not in demand.
To change your power plan, simply press Windows Key + R, then type Control Panel into the Run box, and click on OK. When Control Panel loads up, type Power into the Search Control Panel box, then click on Choose a power plan.
5. Add Additional RAM
The two latest iterations of Windows (10 & 11) have been designed to manage memory more efficiently than its predecessors, but you can never have too much memory. If you have a desktop unit, then you should definitely look into acquiring additional memory. The first thing you’ll need to establish is the type of RAM your system needs, and what size it’s actually compatible with. The easiest way to solve this issue is to open up your motherboard manual, and locate its recommended memory list, there you should see a list of compatible memory types that you can acquire.
Depending on how old your system is, you could also consider using ReadyBoost, which requires you to have a USB stick. Probably the best option for really older systems, or for cash strapped individuals. This feature works by using your USB stick as a caching device, to speed up memory access times.
To access this feature, simply go to File Explorer, then right-click on and select Properties (for the USB stick), then select the ReadyBoost Tab, and follow the onscreen instructions. For up-to-date systems, this feature would provide no speed improvement, but older systems should notice some improvement.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website https://www.compuchenna.co.uk.