Windows 10 was a long-awaited update to the often-criticized Windows 8. It is sleek and modern, which offers a better experience. Typically, you do not have to worry about your computer’s performance. However, just like any technology, it is subject to the wear-and-tear of daily use.
Significantly slow performance can be extremely frustrating. Moreover, a slow startup is a common symptom that your machine is not running optimally. There are several reasons why your computer is running slow.
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Too Many Programs Running
While Windows 10 is better at managing its memory and computing power compared to its predecessor, it has limitations. Running too many programs at the same time will definitely take a toll on the performance of your PC. It is especially true if you are running programs such as video or photo editors, browsers with multiple tabs open, and other memory hog applications.
You will need to examine the applications running in the Task Manager. To launch the administrative tool, right-click on the taskbar. Choose Task Manager. Alternatively, you can search Task Manager on the Start menu, or hit Ctrl + Alt + Delete on your keyboard.
On the Task Manager, examine the running programs under the Processes tab. Click CPU or Memory so you can easily see which program is taking up the most computing power or memory.
Right-click on the program, then choose End task. Click OK on the next prompt.
You can also improve the startup speed on the Task Manager. Click the Startup tab. Examine the applications and determine which ones are not essential to run during boot up. Right-click on the program, then choose Disable.
Corrupted Windows System Files
If you are experiencing other symptoms along with the decrease in performance such as blue or black screens and driver errors, then your Windows system files might be having issues.
Windows 10 comes with the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) which can repair Windows images that might be affecting your machine. Launch Command Prompt from the Start menu. Then, right-click on it and choose Run as administrator.
On the Command Prompt, enter the following command:
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
It will begin finding corrupt files and replace them.
Additionally, you can also use System File Checker (sfc) to find corrupt system files. Again, launch command prompt. Then, enter the following command:
Note that both processes can take time. Do not close the Command Prompt window until it is finished.
Hard Drive is Low on Space
Having an almost full drive will also affect the performance of your computer. Every time you launch a program or open a file, the system will search it in your hard drive. The more files you have, the longer the system will have to search.
First, you need to determine which files you can delete. Click the cog icon on the Start menu.
Choose System on the Windows Settings panel.
Under System, choose Storage on the right-side menu. Then, on Local storage, choose your C:\ drive.
Temporary files often accumulate when you are using your computer. Click Temporary files under Storage usage.
Allow the system to scan in the Temporary files window. Depending on the number of files in your drive, it may take some time. It will list areas in your computer where you can delete files. Be careful when choosing as this is permanent. You can select Windows Update Cleanup, Recycle Bin, and Temporary files. Then, click Remove files.
Windows will now purge the files that you have selected. Wait for the process to finish, then restart your computer.
Hiding Malicious Programs
One of the most common causes of issues in PC performance is malicious software hiding in your computer. Just like any program, it takes up valuable computing power and memory. If you are experiencing a significant decrease in performance even with just a handful of applications running, then malware may be running in the background.
Make sure that you are running a reliable anti-malware program such as MalwareFox. While your Windows Defender is sufficient enough to protect your machine from threats, it is not as updated as dedicated security programs. Ensure that you schedule a regular scan. Also, enable real-time protection to block attacks before they get to your computer.
Adjust Animation and Performance
Windows 10 comes with significant changes in look and feel. That includes visual effects such as shadow effects and animation. Implementing such effects use additional system resources which can slow down your PC, especially if you have an older machine or if you have a smaller amount of RAM.
Fortunately, you can adjust your operating system to be a bit more efficient. Search “performance” on the Start menu. Launch Performance Options by choosing Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows.
Under Visual Effects tab, choose Adjust for best performance. This will disable effects for more optimal performance. If you want to keep some visual effects, choose Custom. Then, check the features that you want to keep. Hit OK.
Change Your Power Settings
In mobile devices, such as laptops, Windows 10 is smart enough to manage energy to extend your battery life. However, this also means reducing performance to save battery. You can adjust your operating system’s Power Plan to speed it up a bit.
Search “edit power plan” on the Start menu. Choose Edit power plan.
On Edit Plan Settings, click Change advanced power settings.
On the Power Options panel, choose High Performance on the drop-down menu.
Restore Your PC
In case you cannot determine the specific reason for the performance issues in your computer, you can restore it to a certain point before the issue came about. Windows 10 automatically creates restore points during updates, installations, and relevant processes. Your files will not be affected when you restore your machine, but programs and applications will be affected.
Search “restore” on the Start menu. Choose to Create a restore point.
Under System Properties, choose System Restore.
A new window will pop-up. You can the option to choose the recommended restore point or choose from several others. Click Next, then allow the restore process to commence. Note that this will take time.
Reset Your PC
One of the last things that you can do is reset your computer. Underlying issues such as bad updates and other related problems can be resolved by resetting your PC. You can choose whether you want to keep your personal files or remove them during the resetting process. You can back up your data before you start resetting. It will remove all the applications that you installed, resulting in a fresh new installation of Windows 10.
Launch the Windows Settings by clicking the cog icon in the Start menu. Then, choose Update & Security.
Click Recovery on the right-side menu. Under Reset this PC, choose Get started.
Allow the process to continue. Note that resetting your PC will take time and may restart your PC several times.
Performance issues in your PC are usually caused by the operating system, applications, and potential malware attacks. However, you may also check if your computer’s hardware is in a healthy condition. One of your memory modules may not be working anymore. Even an inefficient cooling and exhaust system may affect your computer’s performance. Take your machine to a technician if the steps above did not work.
Allan Jay is a web developer who loves to read and watch tech reviews, especially cutting-edge technologies. He likes exploring and taking photos of the places he visited.