Regardless of the hardware, you’re running, a Windows PC slows down with time. This slowdown occurs because of factors like malware, corrupt registry and many others. All these can be easily avoided. In this article, I will tell you how to keep your Windows PC running like new –
1 Don’t load programs at Startup
A lot of applications, services, and features are loaded at startup. While these programs and services may be useful, they’re the main reason for slow startup in quite a few cases. So, you should only allow important programs and services at startup.
You can control what programs are allowed to load at startup from the Task Manager.
2 Remove Malware
Malware is a major reason for the slow down of a Windows-based machine. Since Windows is the most popular operating system in the world, it has the highest infection rates of all operating systems. This has even made Microsoft to start shipping Windows with Windows Defender, their own antivirus.
To stay wary of malware, you need to practice some habits for safe internet browsing. Please read this to learn more about this.
In addition, you should constantly scan your device for malware. For scanning, I recommend the Malwarebytes Anti Malware Free edition. I have been using it since 5 years. Although the free edition does not have real-time scanning, it’s malware engine is the best on the market. Download Malwarebytes here.
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Many people fail to understand the value of restarting their PCs. Restarting clears the RAM and stops any background processes. It is quite simply the easiest ‘hack’ to ensure smooth functioning of your PC.
Please note that shutdown and restart is different on Windows 10 if you have Fast Startup enabled. Fast Startup saves a snapshot of your PC and its processes in a hiberfile for faster boot-up. While it results in a faster boot time, the restart is the only option to clear out the memory if you have it enabled, as Fast Startup does not affect restart.
4 Keep Windows Updated
Windows regularly release updates with new features and patches to fix old bugs. Regularly updating your PC improves it’s performance and keeps you safe from many threats.
Also Read: Top 20 must-have applications for Windows 10
5 Check your power plan
This is more relevant for laptops – they have multiple power plans from which the user can choose. Most laptops have 3 preconfigured power plans – Battery Saver, Balanced and High Performance.
Battery Saver allows your laptop to last longer by diminishing the performance. High Performance makes your computer run at peak power at the cost of higher battery drain. Balanced is a balance between the two.
Always use a power plan relevant to your condition. If you don’t have a charger available and are running low on battery, switch to Battery Saver. For high-performance applications, like gaming, switch to High Performance. In all other cases, the Balanced option suffices.
In new Windows 10 updates, you have a slider to select between battery saver, high performance, and balanced modes.
6 Regularly defragment your hard drive
When a file stored on the disk is deleted, it leaves free space and new files are stored on this free space. With time and as files are deleted and created, free space on the disk is scattered around in small spots throughout the disk. Due to this, new files are not stored at a single location but are scattered throughout the disk according to where free space is available. This is called fragmentation. It severely degrades system performance, as more processing power and energy is required to access files stored on a fragmented disk.
Fragmentation is an especially pertinent problem in Windows. It is, therefore, important to defragment your hard drive from time to time if you are using Windows. In defragmentation, the free space on the disk is reorganized and placed in a contiguous block. Defragmentation, therefore, has a major impact on both system performance and battery life. Windows has a built-in defrag tool. Just type defrag in the search bar on Start menu and select “Defragment and Optimize Drives”. The window shown below will open. From this window, you can analyze your drives for fragmentation and afterward defragment them.
7 Remove Bloatware
Bloatware is the software installed by the manufacturer and which is not useful for the user. Such software not only slows down your system but also occupies valuable hardware space. Therefore it is recommended that you remove bloatware as soon as possible.
8 Enable Fast Startup
The fast startup has been introduced in Windows 10. As stated earlier, it takes a snapshot of your PC and it’s processed in a hiberfile for faster boot time. Thus, Fast Startup allows much faster start times than before. It is recommended that you enable this feature in order to boost your system’s boot performance. To enable fast startup –
1 Open Power Options
2 Select “Choose what the power buttons do”
3 See the image below
9 Regularly clean registry
The registry holds important configurations and settings, without which your computer cannot function. Over time, invalid entries accumulate in the registry. There are various reasons for this, but their discussion is beyond the scope of this article.
Invalid entries severely degrade system performance, especially when they accumulate over time. Therefore it is important to have a clean and healthy registry for the proper functioning of your machine.
There are various programs for registry cleaning (unless you’re a power user, don’t attempt to clean registry on your own). I recommend Ccleaner, which also includes a disk cleanup utility, uninstaller etc. Download Ccleaner here.
10 Keep your laptop clean
An often overlooked point, dust is the greatest villain of performance for any PC, whether Mac or Linux or Windows. Dust accumulation results in poor airflow, thereby resulting in higher CPU temperatures. apart from performance degradation, high temperature can also damage various components of your PC.
Cleaning a laptop is very simple. For starters, take a blow dryer and blow out any dirt sticking inside the keyboard and cooling vents. Then, open the back cover of your laptop (very simple – you just need a screwdriver) and use the blow dryer on the lowest setting to blow out any dirt on the motherboard and other internal components. Remember to clean the fan at regular intervals too.
I am a student of Mechanical Engineering (Undergrad 6th sem). My interests lie in 3D modelling, technology, writing and football. Feel free to ask me anything !