Disable apps in Windows 10/8.1 to improve performance

By: John Nedelcu
7 minute read

Although Windows 8, Windows 10 is pretty fast, after using a while, it will start to lag, especially when you have many apps and desktop programs installed. While uninstalling them would make it faster, this is not a good solution, so how could you improve performance in Windows 8, Windows 10?

The short answer is to disable these apps, so they won’t take up precious memory when booting your device. Today I’ll show you how to close and disable apps in order to improve the performance in your Windows 10, Windows 8 device. It’s quite simple and it offers a visible improvement.

Disabling apps in Windows 10, Windows 8, how to do it?

Your PC performance is rather important, and in this article we’re going the cover the following topics:

  • Optimize, boost Windows 10 performance – One of the easiest ways to optimize your PC performance is to disable the startup applications. Many third-party apps start automatically with your PC, and they can often negatively impact your performance.
  • Windows 10 unnecessary services – Windows uses various services in order to work properly, but certain services aren’t necessary. In this article we’ll briefly mention few services that you can easily disable.
  • Improve performance by disabling Windows services – Third-party services can interfere with your system and slow it down, but you can fix that issue simply by finding and disabling the problematic services.
  • Improve gaming, graphics performance Windows 10 – Third-party apps can interfere with your gaming and graphics performance. If you’re having any problems, be sure to disable unnecessary apps and services by following the steps from our guide.
  • Improve, reduce startup time Windows 10 – Many third-party applications tend to start automatically with Windows. If you want to improve your startup time, you just have to find those applications and disable them.
  • Disable apps on startup Windows 10 – There are several different ways to disable startup apps, and in this article we’ll show you how to easily disable apps to improve your PC’s performance.
  • Disable unnecessary apps Windows 10 – Your PC can have various applications in startup, and those apps can cause your PC to slow down. However, you can fix this problem simply by disabling unnecessary applications.

The process itself is pretty simple, all you need to know is what to disable and what to keep active. There are two methods in which you can do this. While the first method I’ll be showing you is the simplest, it is not as thorough as the second one, but at the same time, it is easier and safer to do.


Solution 1 – Disabling Startup Apps from Task Manager

This method was used in older versions of Windows to improve performance and it still works pretty good in Windows 8, Windows 10. While until now you could do this from the msconfig window, Microsoft moved the Startup option to Task Manager. To open Task Manager, you need to do the following:

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys while in Windows to start Task Manager instantly.
  • Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + Alt + Del keys and select Task Manager from the list of options.
  • If you don’t want to use the keyboard shortcuts, you can simply right click your Taskbar and choose Task Manager from the list.
    Improve startup time Windows 10

After Task Manager opens, you can disable the startup applications by doing the following:

  1. Navigate to the Startup tab. List of all startup applications will now appear.
    Disable apps on startup Windows 10
  2. Select the application you want to disable from starting with Windows, right click it and choose Disable from the menu. Repeat this step for all applications you want to disable.
    Disable unnecessary apps Windows 10

Startup tab is rather useful for disabling applications because it shows you the startup impact of each application on your PC. Certain applications, such as Skype for example, can have medium impact on your PC, so they are usually okay to be left enabled.

If you want to improve your startup time, it’s always good to disable apps that have high startup impact on your PC. In most cases almost all apps are safe to disable and by disabling them you won’t cause any problems with your PC.

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Even though you can disable all startup applications, you probably shouldn’t permanently disable your antivirus from starting with your PC if you want to keep it safe. If you’re looking for tool that offers more control over your startup items, we recently covered some of the best tools to manage startup items, so be sure to check them out.


Solution 2 – Disabling Services via Computer Management

You can also disable apps and improve performance by disabling certain services. Many third-party apps have their own services, and in order to disable those apps from starting automatically, you just have to disable their services.

To see the active services you need to do the following:

  1. Open Win + X menu and select Computer Management from the list. You can open this menu by using Windows Key + X shortcut or by right clicking your Start Button.
    boost Windows 10 performance
  2. Select Services from the menu on the left.
    Windows 10 unnecessary services

If you want to quickly open the Services window you just need to press Windows Key + R and enter services.msc. Now press Enter or click OK.

Using the Services window to disable apps offers users more options, but it is also more dangerous to use and should be attempted only by those who know what they are doing. Many of these services are used by Windows 8, Windows 10 for normal operation, so closing them might result in an unstable system.

In Services window you can see description, status and startup type of each service. Thanks to this information you can easily find a service that is running or automatically starting with your PC.

To stop a certain service, you just need to right click it and choose Disable from the menu. Of course, it’s just as easy to enable any service. Keep in mind that many services are starting automatically with your PC, and by stopping a service you’ll just end it for this session. Once you restart your PC, the service will be back and running.

mprove performance by disabling Windows services

By double clicking on a service, you open its Properties and from the Startup Type drop-down menu, you can select what type you want it to be. By doing so, you can easily prevent a service from starting with your PC and disable it completely.

Improve gaming performance Windows 10

However, you better search for what services is safe to disable or modify, so you don’t damage your device. Don’t overlook the description of each them which you should read before making any changes. Here’s a list of some you can modify if you want to try:

Local Services

  • Diagnostic Policy Service
  • Security Center
  • Print Spooler (Only disable this if you don’t have a printer)
  • Application Experience
  • Secondary Logon
  • Program Compatibility Assistant Service
  • Portable Device Enumerator Service
  • Offline Files
  • Remote Registry
  • Windows Error Reporting Service
  • Windows Image Acquisition
  • Windows Search (If you use Search frequently, leave this enabled)

Internet Services

  • Distributed Link Tracking Client
  • IP Helper
  • Computer Browser
  • Server (Disable this only if you are not connected to the Internet)
  • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper (Diasble only if you are not part of a workgroup or if you don’t have Internet connectivity)
  • Windows Time (This service uses the Internet to sync your clock)

Solution 3 – Use System Configuration window

If you want to to disable all third-party services instantly on your PC, you can do that from the configuration window. This is rather simple and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter msconfig. Press Enter or click OK.
    Optimize Windows 10 performance
  2. Now navigate to Services tab. Check Hide all Microsoft services checkbox and click on Disable all. Click on Apply and OK to save changes.
    Windows 10 unnecessary services
  3. When the confirmation message appears, click on Restart.
    Improve performance by disabling Windows services

By following this method you’ll disable all non-Microsoft services from starting. Of course, you can always uncheck individual services in order to prevent them from starting.


Solution 4 – Close Background Apps

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Even if Microsoft is trying to promote leaving apps in the hibernation mode when you exit them, it is still a good idea to close them from time to time. I can attest to the fact that after leaving open about 15 apps, my Windows 8, Windows 10 computer started lagging. After I closed them, everything came back to normal.

In order to close apps, all you have to do is move your pointer to the left side of the screen and open the Last Used Apps panel. From here, you have to open the apps and move your pointer to the top of the screen until it looks like a hand.

When you click and drag the app, it will minimize to a window, just like when you add apps side by side. While keeping the app selected, drag it down to the bottom of the screen and release it. This is how you close apps in Windows 10, Windows 8.

As you can see, disabling startup apps and improving performance on Windows 10 and 8 is rather simple. If you want to improve your startup performance, be sure to try some of the methods from this article.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2013 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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