How to improve PC performance in Windows 10

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things surrounding it. He is passionate about... Read more
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  • If you're feeling your PC running slow and want to learn how to improve computer performance in Windows 10, you've come to the right place.
  • We compiled a list of the most efficient performance-boosting practices in Windows 10.
  • These include Using PC boosters, updating drivers, running scans, and more.
  • Continue reading below if you're looking for a Windows 10 performance improvement.
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Windows 10 and a multitude of third-party apps include system optimization tools. Those tools enable you to speed up Windows and fix system errors that might undermine the OS.

So to give your desktop or laptop a boost, you should make the most of the system tools in Windows and perhaps some included in additional third-party software, as well.

This is how you can improve PC performance in Windows 10, primarily with the platform’s own options and tools, but also with a few extra utility programs.

What can I do to speed up my Windows 10 computer? The first thing you should do is clear all the useless background processes. Usually, slow PC performance is caused by a lack of RAM.

If that doesn’t do the job, remove some startup items or speed up context menus. For more info on how to do that, check the guide below.

How can I increase the performance of my Windows 10 PC?

  1. Check the RAM usage and close the background processes
  2. Run the System File Checker
  3. Optimize your PC
  4. Remove the Startup items
  5. Update drives with third-party software
  6. Speed up the Windows 10 Boot up
  7. Adjust the Performance options
  8. Check for low disk space
  9. Run the System Maintenance Troubleshooter
  10. Speed up Context Menus

1. Check the RAM usage and close the background processes

  1. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.speed up windows 10 task manager
  2. To check RAM usage, select the Performance tab on the Task Manager window as shown below (that includes a Memory graph that shows you the amount of RAM in use).
  3. Click the Processes tab. That shows your software open on the taskbar and background processes.
  4. Select background processes there and press their End task button to close them (do not close the more essential processes listed under Windows processes).

RAM is perhaps the most crucial system resource. This is the amount of temporary storage a PC has for software. All software needs at least a little RAM, and lots of open programs and background processes will overstretch system resources.

For example, new Windows games are generally the most resource-hungry software; and they will run slower when lots of other background programs and processes reduce the amount of free RAM that could otherwise be allocated for the game.

Running games with the highest graphical settings, which further depletes RAM, will also slow the gameplay down. Thus, there’s an obvious link between RAM and PC performance.

Consequently, it’s not surprising that some Windows optimization software includes RAM optimization that free up RAM. Although Windows 10 doesn’t include a RAM optimizer, you can still free up lots of RAM by manually closing software and background processes.

Don’t forget that disabling browser extensions, apps and plug-ins will also save some RAM.

2. Run the System File Checker

The System File Checker is a somewhat overlooked maintenance tool that can fix corrupt system files. Thus, it can fix various system errors.

You can use the System File Checker by typing cmd in the Windows search box and clicking on the Run as administrator option below the results.

improve speed in windows 10

Type in sfc /scannow and press Enter to launch the scanning, which might take a while.

3. Optimize your PC

It goes without saying that one of the best ways to improve performance in Windows 10 is to use a reliable third-party optimization tool.

While some of the optimizations themselves could be done manually, they require a certain degree of skill and experience to pull off, otherwise, you might end up damaging your PC instead of repairing it.

That being said, we recommend you try out Windows 10 Optimizer from Pegasun, since it will get the job done without wasting any time or effort.

The program’s interface is very simplified, and the buttons that need to be clicked are kept to a minimum so that you can focus on using your PC instead of optimizing your PC.

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4. Remove the Startup items

  1. Open the Task Manager as before.
  2. Now click the Start-up tab to open a list of your startup software as below. Note than in some earlier Windows platforms the startup manager is in MSConfig, which you can open by entering ‘msconfig’ into Run.
  3. Select startup items and press their Disable buttons to remove them from the Windows startup.

You can further save RAM and speed up the Windows 10 startup by removing startup software. Those are programs that open automatically during the Windows startup.

5. Update the drives with third-party software

Antiquated drivers can slow down desktops and laptops, and some hardware devices might not work correctly without the most updated drivers.

True, Windows Update automatically updates the most essential drivers; but that doesn’t guarantee it will update all of them. As such, you can check and update drivers with the Device Manager in Windows.

Run a System Scan to discover potential errors

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Click Start Scan to find Windows issues.

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Run a PC Scan with Restoro Repair Tool to find errors causing security problems and slowdowns. After the scan is complete, the repair process will replace damaged files with fresh Windows files and components.

However, there are also various third-party programs that identify and update outdated drivers.

DriverFix is an excellent utility that you can update your drivers with more quickly. It has a database of over 18 million drivers so you can be sure that it will find yours.

Downloading and installing the tool is extremely simple. It will launch right after finishing the installation and it will perform a scan to look for any outdated drivers.

After just a few seconds, you will get a report with a list of recommended drivers to install.

Then you can press an Update All button to update the antiquated drivers. There is also the option of updating the drivers individually by checking their corresponding boxes and clicking on the Update button from their right.

6. Speed up the Windows 10 Boot up

  1. In the Windows search box type Control Panel and hit Enter.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Now select Power & sleep and click on Additional power settings.
  4. Click Choose what the power buttons do on the left of the tab.
  5. The System Settings tab includes a Turn on fast startup option. If that option is grayed out, select Change settings that are currently unavailable.
  6. Click the Turn on fast startup checkbox to select that option.
  7. Press the Save Changes button to apply the new setting.
  8. Press the Win key + R keyboard shortcut, enter msconfig and click OK to open the window.
  9. Click the Boot tab to open the settings and select a No GUI boot option that removes the Windows welcome screen.
  10. Press Apply, hit OK, and restart Windows to apply the new MSconfig settings.

If Windows 10 is taking a while to fully boot up, you can speed it up at least a little. Removing startup items will speed up the Windows startup.

You can also boost the startup with the Turn on fast startup option and MSconfig tool included in Windows

7. Adjust the Performance options

  1. Press the Win key + R hotkey, tap in sysdm.cpl and click OK.
  2. Click the Advanced tab on the System Properties window and press the Settings button.
  3. The Visual Effects tab lists all the effects, which will probably be selected by default. Selecting the Adjust for best performance option will deselect all the effect settings.
  4. Press the Apply and OK buttons to confirm the new settings.

Windows 10 also has a Performance Options window from which you can adjust the platform’s visual effects. The snazzy effects might add a little extra gloss to Windows, but they also need extra system resources.

If your desktop or laptop has more limited RAM, maybe you should switch some effects off to speed it up a bit.

8. Check for low disk space

  1. Click the File Explorer button on the taskbar.
  2. Then select This PC that shows you devices and drives and how much free HDD you have as below.
  3. You can use a more detailed disk analyzer tool by adding CCleaner to Windows 10. Then open that software, click Tools, and select Disk Analyzer.
  4. You can select to scan for more specific file categories to see what file formats are taking up the most HDD space. Alternatively, you could just select the Everything checkbox and press the Analyze button.
  5. Click the Cleaner button at the top left of CCleaner to open its HDD cleaner tool.
  6. You can select to scan for a variety of Windows and third-party software junk files by clicking their corresponding checkboxes. As such, CCleaner is much more flexible than the Disk Clean-up tool.
  7. Press the Scan button to scan for items to delete. Then CCleaner will show you what it will erase and how much storage space will save.
  8. Press the Run Cleaner button to erase the files.
  9. Removing software is the best way to free up HDD space. Click Tools and select Uninstall.
  10. You can select the software there and press the Uninstall button to remove programs.

Almost every PC optimization utility comes with a hard disk cleaner, and Windows also has its own Disk Clean-up tool to delete junk files with. HDD cleaners are essential tools as overly full hard disks can slow things down.

Virtual memory combines RAM and hard disk space, so a really full hard disk restricts the amount of virtual memory. In addition, erasing junk files will also give you more space for software and your own documents, photos, MP3s, videos, etc.

The solution above shows you how you can check for low HDD space and erase junk files with CCleaner, which has better options than the Disk Clean-up tool.

9. Run the System Maintenance Troubleshooter

  1. In the Windows search box type Control Panel.
  2. Then click on System and Security and select Security and maintenance.security and maintenance control panel
  3. Click on Maintenance.
  4. Click on Start maintenance with the windows defender shield icon next to it.
  5. Wait for the process to finish.

The System Maintenance troubleshooter is another handy tool that can boost PC performance. This deletes unused shortcuts and files and fulfills other maintenance duties.

For example, when you run the tool, it can fix the troubleshooting history that’s taking up disk space.

10. Speed up context menus

  1. Open the Registry Editor by entering regedit into Run (Win key + R).
  2. Navigate to this registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelDesktop.
  3. Double-click MenuShowDelay to open the Edit String window directly below.
  4. Erase the default 400 value and enter something like 270.
  5. Press the OK button to close the Edit String window.
  6. You can close the Registry Editor, and right-click the Windows desktop to open the context menu a little quicker than before.

This is a basic registry tweak. By adjusting the MenuShowDelay string, you can minimize the delay before a context menu opens.

By default, that string has a 400 milliseconds delay.

Those are a few of the best ways to optimize Windows 10 for better PC performance.

There’s no essential requirement for extra third-party software, but freeware programs such as DriverFix and CCleaner certainly have better options for updating drivers and deleting junk files.

However, Windows 10 already has most of the more essential maintenance tools and options you’ll need.

Hope that these tips helped you speed up your Windows 10 PC and now you can enjoy a faster and better experience. If you have any more tips or questions about the subject, please share them in the comments section below.

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