Windows 10 quick tips: Improve Your PC/ Laptop Performance

If you want to speed up your slow Windows 10 laptop or PC? Take a few minutes to try out these tips! Make sure to double-check to see if there is malware, spyware, or a virus causing lags or slow speeds.

Having your computer goes from ‘new and speedy’ to ‘old and slow’ is a transition that everyone has experienced, probably more than once. It’s amazing how in a couple of years your computer’s performance can deteriorate so rapidly. While it’s easy to blame the speed of technology, most people (me included) simply forget or aren’t aware that your computer needs ongoing maintenance. Like a car that needs oil changes, tune-ups, and tire rotations, your computer needs similar servicing. While there are numerous ways to optimize your computer, here are my top five ways to get your PC running quickly again.

Speed up your startup: At one point I swear I could finish a cup of coffee by the time my computer booted up. This problem is twofold. The first problem is all of the programs that launch during start-up. This isn’t necessarily your computer’s fault and is more likely all the programs you have installed that are set to automatically open when you restart your computer.

The second problem is all the registry keys that have built up in your system after many installs and uninstall of different applications. Every time you install a program it places files called registry keys in your Windows registry which are needed for your operating system and applications to communicate. Unfortunately, every time you update or uninstall a program, old registry keys are left behind. Your system must sift through these keys upon start-up which can make for a painful process.

To remedy this, simply download a tool called Autoruns to easily disable certain programs during start-up.

Clean your Windows registry: Not only can unused registry files slow down your start-up; they can also become corrupt and cause programs to stop working and error messages to appear. Chances are you have encountered error messages that would only make sense to the techies at Microsoft and Google. These errors are generally rooted in the Windows registry and luckily a simple scan can uncover corrupt files and either repair or remove them. We’ve tested many registry cleaners over the years and CCleaner remains our favorite to date. Other options like SpeedyPC and Registry Repair did not uncover as many junk registry files, and CCleaner has the added benefit of performing all of the tips we mention in this article.

You may download a copy of CCleaner here, and run a free diagnostic to see how many registries issues your PC has.

Free Up Disk Space: Over time as you use your computer, different types of files build up on your hard drive causing your PC to slow down. This naturally takes place as you browse the web, download files and media from the internet, and install applications. Unfortunately, your computer doesn’t automatically check and remove these files and they must be removed manually. Here is a list of some of the files that should be removed regularly:

  • Temporary internet files
  • Downloaded program files, such as Microsoft ActiveX controls and Java applets
  • Empty the recycle bin
  • Windows temporary files, such as error reports
  • Optional Windows components that you don’t use
  • Installed programs you no longer use
  • Reboot the operating system Unused restore points and shadow copies from System Restore

Detect and repair disk errors: As you use your hard-drive, it can wear down and develop what is called ‘bad sectors.’ To use the car analogy again, think about how your tires wear down and develop bald spots over time. Well, the same thing happens as your hard-drive rotates, and it rotates much faster than your tires! Bad sectors diminish your hard drive's performance and can make saving files difficult. Luckily you do not have to replace your hard-drive to return it to its original state.

Speed up access to data: As you add more and more files to your computer (music, movies, PDFs, programs, etc.) they become stored in different pieces on different parts of your hard-drive, called fragmentation. Disk fragmentation slows the overall performance of your system. This is because your PC needs to work harder to find all the pieces and put them together before opening the file, making response time significantly longer. This can be solved by regularly running a disk defragmentation program; I suggest once a week.

Upgrade Your RAM/Add More RAM: To speed up Windows 10, one of the most effective ways is increasing the amount of virtual memory (RAM). Windows 10 requires a minimum of 4GB to run smoothly.

When your laptop or PC has too little RAM, it cannot support too many applications to run smoothly, and it will run very slowly. In this case, installing a new RAM chip to increase the RAM capacity is quite effective for improving the performance of your computer. To see the specific condition of your RAM, In Task Manager, click "Performance" and "Memory".

If the total amount of memory is constantly high (around 80 percent), you should consider adding more memory.

If you perform these tasks on a weekly basis you will soon start to realize their benefits. Your hardware and software will run smoothly, you will eliminate certain error messages, speed up boot time, create disk space, and have a quicker and more stable computer. If you’ve tried everything and you’re still running into problems, the last resort might be to use a fresh install of Windows.

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