Last Updated on July 13, 2021 by David Baddeley
You want to make Windows 10 run faster, but you’re not sure where to start, and you can’t afford to spend money to upgrade your PC. If you find yourself in this situation do not worry, in this article we are going to give you a series of tips that will help you improve performance without having to invest a single penny.
Before we start, it is important to remember that, although we can always make Windows 10 work faster if we know what and where to “touch”, it is also true that there are a series of limitations and insurmountable barriers that in the end will be determined by the hardware of our team. For example, if we have a PC with very basic hardware, such as an Intel Celeron chip or an AMD APU from the Bulldozer stage, and it has little RAM (one or two gigabytes), our experience of using that operating system it will never be really good.
However, I understand that for many of our readers updating a PC, or buying a new laptop, is a decision that cannot be taken lightly , and that on many occasions we are forced to “extend the useful life” of our equipment. until we can extend or renew it. I myself had to go through these types of situations, and that is why I like to share articles of this type with you, because I fully understand how complicated it is to deal with a team that performs below your needs every day.
To improve performance and make Windows 10 work faster, I recommend you follow, one by one, all the tips that we are going to give you in this article. They do not follow any kind of hierarchical order, so you can put them into practice in the order that is most comfortable and easy for you, and even start applying them gradually and see how they affect performance.
Tips to make Windows 10 run faster
1.-Reduce graphic and visual effects
Graphics effects and animations in Windows 10 are resource-intensive and therefore require a minimum level of hardware to run smoothly. If you have a computer with a very modest hardware configuration, this should be the first adjustment to make to make Windows 10 run faster.
Reducing the graphic and visual effects of Windows 10 is very easy, totally safe and can be reversed at any time in a matter of seconds, so do not worry, if at any time you update your PC you will be able to use the high graphic quality settings again . These are the steps you must follow to make this change.
- On your keyboard, press “Windows + R” at the same time , this will open the “Run” window .
- Inside this window we write “sysdm.cpl” .
- In the advantage that opens up, we enter “System Properties” and follow the path “Advanced Options> Performance> Configuration” .
- Here we can choose between a series of default settings, such as “Adjust for Best Performance”, and we can also activate and deactivate different options to create a custom configuration, by checking the “Custom” option . The simplest and quickest way to make the adjustment for performance is to choose the first option we have indicated, the one with the best performance.
2.-Use the high-performance power plan
Power plans affect the performance of the computer, its components, and therefore can make Windows 10 run faster, or slower. For example, the low-power modes significantly reduce the power consumption of the computer, but at the cost of lower performance, while the balanced mode seeks a middle ground. In contrast, high performance mode prioritizes performance at the expense of consumption.
If we use a desktop PC with powerful hardware, the balanced mode can more than meet our needs in most cases, and on laptops, where autonomy plays an important role, it is also an excellent option. However, if the components of our PC offer very limited performance, the high performance power plan can make a significant difference.
Changing the power plan in Windows 10 is very easy, we just have to follow these steps:
- On the keyboard, we press the Windows key and type « Edit Power Plan» .
- Now we enter the first result and choose the option «Change Advanced Energy Settings».
- Here we will have the possibility to choose one of the predetermined plans, but we can also create a personalized plan if we want to adapt it to our needs as much as possible.
- We can change the power plan again at any time by repeating this same process.
3.-Do a clean boot of the system
In those computers that have very limited resources (and especially little RAM ), doing a clean boot can help us start the system with more available resources. This can make a noticeable difference in many cases, although it is especially useful for PCs and laptops that have between 1GB and 2GB of RAM.
By doing a clean boot of the system, we will make Windows 10 work faster, reducing the number of applications and processes that load initially and remain in the background, consuming resources both at the level of RAM and CPU (in some cases). The amount of RAM that we can free can vary considerably, but in some cases it can reach the gigabyte.
These are the steps we must follow to make a clean boot of the system:
- We press the Windows key and type “msconfig” . Once done, we choose the result “System Configuration” .
- We enter the “Services” tab of the “System Configuration” dialog box , and activate the ” Hide all Microsoft services “ option . Finally we click on «Disable All» .
- Well, now we go to the “Start” tab of the “System Configuration” dialog box and click on “Open Task Manager”.
- We go to the “Start” tab of the ” Task Manager”, select all the startup items and click “Deactivate”.
- We close the “Task Manager” and return to the “Start” tab of the “System Configuration” dialog box , click “OK” and restart the computer. We will notice a big difference in the on and off times.
4.-Eliminate unnecessary applications that consume resources
With the daily use of the equipment, it is normal to install numerous applications and tools that can be very useful at first, but that do not always maintain that utility or that functionality.
Ideally, the moment those applications are no longer useful to us, we remove them from the system to free up resources and allocate them to other new applications that will be more useful to us. However, we do not usually do it, we have a bad habit of leaving those useless applications installed , and these in many cases not only consume storage space, but also start loading and consume RAM memory when remaining in the background.
To make Windows 10 work faster, it is essential to eliminate those unnecessary applications. You can do it in two ways:
Closing background apps and disabling apps that load at startup
- Press the Windows key and type “Task Manager.”
- In the “Processes” tab you will find a list of running applications. By right-clicking on any of them you will be able to select the option «End task».
- If you want to make them stop loading at startup, go to the “Start” tab and right-click on the programs you want to disable. You can re-enable them at any time by repeating this process.
- Note that startup-loading applications can have a low, medium, or high impact on startup time, and some may appear as “unmeasured.”
Elimination of unnecessary applications
- On the keyboard, press the Windows key and type “Add or Remove Programs.”
- Select the first result and choose, from the list, the applications you want to uninstall by clicking on them.
5.-Free up space and optimize your storage units
Storage space is a very valuable resource , but also very limited . If we run out of space, we will not be able to install new applications and programs, and some of the ones we have installed may stop working properly, or may be severely limited. This can also affect the performance of the operating system.
Freeing up storage space, and optimizing our drives, can help us make Windows 10 run faster. It is effective, simple and fast , since we only have to follow these steps to do both tasks:
- To free up space we can delete applications by following the previous steps. We can also use the “Disk Cleanup” in Windows 10. To access it, press the Windows key and type its name.
- We enter the first result, we choose the unit in which we want to free up space and we select the boxes corresponding to the contents and files that we want to delete to free up space.
- We can also reclaim space with the “Free Up Space Now” function. To get to that option, we just have to press the Windows key and type “Storage Settings”.
- To optimize the storage unit, press the Windows key and type “Defragment and Optimize Units . ” We enter the first result, we choose the unit that we want to optimize and that’s it.
6.-Disable the fast startup of Windows 10
I know it may seem contradictory, but the fast start of Windows 10 is a function that, due to the peculiarities of its operation, can end up giving important problems and make the computer start much slower than it should.
When it is activated, all sessions of the computer are disconnected and it enters a hibernation mode where, previously, the configuration of the system memory dump is carried out, a process that can end up generating those errors to which we referred. With that in mind, it’s easy to understand why turning off this feature can make Windows 10 run faster.
To deactivate the fast start we just have to:
- We press the Windows key and type «Control Panel».
- We enter the first result, and we go to the path «Hardware and Sound> Power Options> Change the actions of the Start and Shutdown Buttons».
- Once there, we deactivate the option «Activate Quick Start».
- We can reverse the process at any time by repeating these steps and checking the activation box again.
7.-Take care of the safety of the equipment
Security is a fundamental aspect of any computer system, not only for all that it means for the protection of the same, and of the user’s data and files, but also because it can have a huge impact on the performance of the computer
In this sense, I especially remember the case of a family member who, many years ago, called me in despair because he had suffered a malware infection that prevented him from accessing the Internet, and which consumed so many resources that the system worked extremely slowly . That case took place with Windows 7, but I have seen it again in Windows 10.
Taking care of the security of the PC and keeping it protected will help us make Windows 10 work faster, and for longer. To achieve this, I recommend:
- Be careful when browsing the Internet , avoiding sites and links of dubious reliability.
- Do not open files or click on links received by email that come from unknown contacts , or that we are not entirely sure that they originate from trusted sources.
- Perform security scans with a reliable antivirus on a regular basis , and use real-time infection and intrusion blocking functions.
8.-Keep the system, and the drivers, updated
I know that updates have been, and continue to be, a controversial topic when we talk about Windows 10, but deep down they are a central pillar that determines the user experience and the support of said operating system. Yes, they are very necessary, and forgetting about them can end up giving us problems.
Drivers are also very important because they act as a link between hardware and software and can have a huge impact on performance. For Windows 10 to work faster, without compromising its stability , the ideal is that you always follow these recommendations:
- Update the drivers frequently, but using only those that are in their final version (no betas), and that come from the manufacturer’s official website (forget about third-party websites).
- It is important to make sure that they are compatible with our hardware, that we have chosen the correct options, and that they are the correct version for our operating system.
- For Windows 10 updates, it’s best not to be the first to install the updates. Waiting will allow us to see if these are causing problems , and we will avoid acting as beta testers.
9.-Increase the virtual memory available
With this setting we can make Windows 10 work faster on those computers that have little available RAM. It is especially useful on systems with between one and two gigabytes of RAM , although it can also help in configurations with three to four gigabytes.
The virtual memory works in a clear and simple, when there are no more free RAM, the system consumes a portion of the storage HDD or SSD and used as virtual memory . Increasing the available virtual memory will cause the system to consume a larger portion of storage, and you will be able to use it as virtual RAM.
Normally, it is managed automatically by Windows 10, but we can adjust it manually and set a minimum value equal to the total RAM we have installed, and a maximum of three times. So, for example, if you have 2 GB of RAM, the minimum virtual memory will be 2 GB and the maximum 6 GB . To modify it, we just have to follow these steps:
- We press the Windows key and type «System».
- We follow the path «Advanced System Configuration> Performance> Configuration> Advanced Options».
- Now we enter “Change” and uncheck the option to manage automatically.
- We select which unit we want to use and what values we want to use (in megabytes). We accept and that’s it.
10.-Maintain the equipment
Regular maintenance is an essential part of any computer, not only because it can affect its performance, but also because it has a significant impact on its useful life. A PC that has never been cleaned on the inside, and whose thermal paste has never been changed is doomed to age very poorly, and could fail prematurely.
Dust and dirt can block the ventilation slots, reduce the cooling capacity of the fans and create a perfect setting for the temperatures to increase. This could lead to excess heat that reduces the performance, and life, of certain components.
On the other hand, thermal paste, which acts as an element to accelerate heat transfer between the CPU, GPU and their cooling systems, degrades and dries out over time , causing it to lose properties and heat end up accumulating with greater intensity in these components.
To take care of your equipment, and keep it in good condition, just follow these steps:
- Clean your equipment thoroughly at least once a year.
- Change the thermal paste on your CPU at least once every two years.
- In the case of the GPU, not all of them need maintenance with the same frequency. Control the temperatures from the second year after purchase, and if you see that the working temperatures rise, prepare to make a change of thermal paste.