Whichever version of Microsoft's OS is discussed, one of the most common questions is how to make it faster. In this manual, we’ll talk about why Windows 10 slows down and how to speed it up, what can affect its performance and what actions can improve it in certain situations.
It will not be about improving the performance of a computer by changing any hardware characteristics (see the article How to speed up a computer ), but only about what often causes Windows 10 brakes and how to fix it, thereby speeding up the OS .
In my other articles on a similar topic, comments like “I use such and such a program to speed up a computer and I have it fast” are often found. My opinion on this matter: automatic “boosters” are not particularly useful (especially those hanging at startup), but when used in manual mode, you should still understand what exactly they do and how.
Programs at startup are the most common reason for slow work
One of the most common reasons for the slow operation of Windows 10, as, indeed, of previous versions of the OS for users is those programs that start automatically when they log in: they not only increase the boot time of the computer, but can also negatively affect performance already working hours.
Many users may not even suspect that they have something at startup, or be sure that everything located there is necessary for work, but in most cases this is not so.
Below are examples of some programs that can start automatically, consume computer resources, but do not bring special benefits when working continuously.
- Programs of printers and scanners - almost everyone who has a printer, scanner or MFP automatically downloads various (pieces of 2-4) programs from their manufacturer. At the same time, for the most part, no one uses them (programs), and these devices will print and scan without launching these programs - in your usual office and graphic applications.
- Programs for downloading something, torrent clients - if you are not constantly busy downloading any files from the Internet, then there is no need to keep uTorrent, MediaGet or something else like that at startup. When needed (when downloading a file that must be opened through the appropriate program), they will start themselves. At the same time, a torrent client constantly running and distributing something, especially on a laptop with a regular HDD, can lead to really noticeable system brakes.
- Cloud storage that you do not use. For example, Windows 10 launches OneDrive by default. If you do not use it, it is not needed at startup.
- Unknown programs - it may turn out that you have a significant number of programs on the startup list that you know nothing about and have never used. This may be the program of the manufacturer of the laptop or computer, or it may be some hidden software. Look on the Internet for what kind of programs are named after them - with a high probability they will not be needed at startup.
Details about how to view and remove programs in startup, I recently wrote in the Startup instructions in Windows 10 . If you want to make the system run faster, keep only what is really needed there.
By the way, in addition to the programs in startup, examine the list of installed programs in the "Programs and Features" section of the control panel. Delete what you don’t need and keep only the software that you use on your computer.
Slows down the Windows 10 interface
Recently, on some computers and laptops, lags of the Windows 10 interface with the latest updates have become a frequent problem. In some cases, the cause of the problem is the default CFG (Control Flow Guard) function, whose function is to protect against exploits that exploit memory access vulnerabilities.
The threat is not too frequent, and if you get rid of the brakes of Windows 10 - more valuable than providing additional security features, you can disable CFG
- Go to the Windows 10 Defender Security Center (use the icon in the notification area or through Settings - Updates and Security - Windows Defender) and open the "Manage applications and browser" section.
- At the bottom of the settings, find the "Exploit Protection" section and click "Exploit Protection Settings".
- In the Control Flow Protection (CFG) field, set to Off. Default".
- Confirm the change of parameters.
Disabling CFG should work right away, but I would recommend restarting the computer (keep in mind that shutting down and starting up on Windows 10 is not the same as rebooting).
Windows 10 processes loading processor or memory
Sometimes it happens that the malfunctioning of a background process causes system brakes. You can identify such processes using the task manager.
- Right-click on the Start button and select the menu item "Task Manager". If it is displayed in a compact form, click on the "Details" button at the bottom left.
- Open the “Details” tab and sort by the CPU column (by clicking on it with the mouse).
- Pay attention to the processes that use the maximum processor time (except for "System Inaction").
If among these processes there are those that actively use the processor all the time (or a significant amount of RAM), look on the Internet for what kind of process it is and, depending on what is discovered, take action.
Windows 10 Tracking Features
Many have read that Windows 10 spies on its users. And if I personally have no concerns about this, then in terms of the impact on the speed of the system, such functions can have a negative impact.
For this reason, turning them off may be quite appropriate. Details on these features and their disabling in the How to Disable Windows 10 Tracking Features Guide.
Start Menu Applications
Immediately after installing or upgrading to Windows 10, in the start menu you will find a set of live application tiles. They also use system resources (albeit usually slightly) to update and display information. Do you use them?
If not, a reasonable step would be to at least remove them from the start menu or disable live tiles (right-click - unpin from the start screen) or even delete them (see How to remove embedded Windows 10 applications ).
Another reason for the slow operation of Windows 10, with more users than you might expect, is the lack of original hardware drivers. This is especially true for video card drivers, but may also apply to SATA drivers, the chipset in general, and other devices.
Despite the fact that the new OS seems to have "learned" to automatically install a large number of original hardware drivers, it will not be superfluous to go to the device manager (via the right click on the "Start" button) and look at the properties of key devices (video cards in the first place) to the “Driver” tab. If Microsoft is specified as the supplier, download and install drivers from the official website of the manufacturer of your laptop or computer, and if it is a video card, then from the websites of NVidia, AMD or Intel, depending on the model.
Graphic effects and sounds
I can’t say that this item (disabling graphic effects and sounds) can seriously increase the speed of Windows 10 on modern computers, but on an old PC or laptop it can give some performance boost.
To disable graphic effects, right-click on the "Start" button and select "System", and then, on the left - "Advanced System Settings". On the Advanced tab, in the Performance section, click Options.
Here you can turn off all animations and effects of Windows 10 by checking the box “Ensure the best performance” at once. You can also leave some of them, without which the work becomes not very convenient - for example, the effects of maximizing and minimizing windows.
Additionally, press the Windows key (logo key) + I, go to the Accessibility - Other Settings section and disable the option “Play animation in Windows”.
Also, in the "Settings" of Windows 10, under the "Personalization" - "Colors" section, turn off transparency for the start menu, taskbar and notification center, this can also positively affect the overall performance of a slow system.
To turn off the sounds of events, right-click on the start and select "Control Panel", and then - "Sound". On the “Sounds” tab, you can turn on the “Silent” sound scheme and Windows 10 will no longer have to go to the hard drive to search for a file and start playing sound when certain events occur.
Unwanted and malicious programs
If your system inexplicably slows down, and no methods help, then there is the likelihood of malicious and unwanted programs on the computer, while many of these programs are “invisible” to antiviruses, no matter how good they are.
I recommend that now, and in the future, occasionally check your computer with utilities like AdwCleaner or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware in addition to your antivirus. Read more: the best malware removal tools .
If browsers are slow, among other things, you should look at the list of extensions and disable all those that you do not need or, worse, are not known. Often the problem is precisely in them.
I do not recommend to speed up Windows 10
And now a list of some things that I would not recommend doing in order to hypothetically speed up the system, but which are often recommended here and there on the Internet.
- Disabling the Windows 10 swap file is often recommended if you have a significant amount of RAM to extend the life of the SSD and the like. I would not do this: first of all, with a high probability there will be no performance gain, and some programs may not even start without a swap file, even if you have 32 GB of RAM. At the same time, if you are a novice user, you may not even understand why, in fact, they do not start.
- Constantly "clean the computer from debris." Some, on a daily basis or automatically, clean the browser cache from the computer, clean the registry, and clean up temporary files using CCleaner and similar programs. Despite the fact that using such utilities can be useful and convenient (see Using CCleaner wisely ), your actions may not always lead to the desired result, you need to understand what exactly is being done. For example, clearing the browser cache is necessary only for problems that, in theory, can be solved using it. By itself, the cache in browsers is designed specifically to speed up page loading and really speeds it up.
- Disable unnecessary Windows 10 services. The same as with the swap file, especially if you are not very good at it - when there is a problem with the Internet, a program, or something else, you may not understand or remember that it is caused as once disabled "unnecessary" service.
- Keep in startup programs (and indeed, use them) "To speed up the computer." They can not only not accelerate, but also slow down its work.
- Disable file indexing in Windows 10. Except, possibly, when SSD is installed on your computer.
- Disable services. But on this account I have an instruction What services can be disabled in Windows 10 .
In addition to all of the above, I can recommend:
- Keep Windows 10 updated (however, it is not difficult, because updates are installed forcefully), monitor the condition of the computer, programs at startup, the presence of malware.
- If you feel like a confident user, use licensed or free software from official sites, have not encountered viruses for a long time, then it is possible to consider using only the built-in Windows 10 protection tools instead of third-party antiviruses and firewalls, which will also speed up the system.
- Monitor the free space on the system partition of the hard drive. If it is not enough there (less than 3-5 GB), this is almost guaranteed to lead to performance problems. Moreover, if your hard drive is divided into two or more partitions, I recommend using the second of these partitions only for storing data, but not for installing programs - it is better to put them on the system partition (if you have two physical disks, this recommendation can be neglected) .
- Important: do not keep two or more third-party antiviruses on your computer - most of them know about this, but it may be impossible to work with someone after installing two antiviruses on a regular basis.
It is also worth considering that the reasons for the slow operation of Windows 10 can be caused not only by one of the above, but also by many other problems, sometimes more serious: for example, a failed hard drive, overheating, and others.