Ever been frustrated at your slow running Windows 10 laptop?
While Windows is normally a very efficient operating system (OS), its huge range of features demand a lot of resources, which can affect your computerâ€™s performance.
Normally we can blame issues such as temporary files or clunky browsers for this, and the good news is that you can use certain fixes to get it back to its optimum speed â€” even if youâ€™re not a computer expert.
Here are some of the most effective remedies for a sluggish system.
Cut down on startup apps or programs
Startup programs can be handy if you use them often: you fire up your PC and there they are.
But they can also bog down its performance if you have too many. Most installers will often tell Windows to do this automatically, so often we donâ€™t realise that theyâ€™re doing it, especially if we donâ€™t need them.
Hitting Ctrl-Alt-Del will draw up the task manager (or just typing â€˜Task Managerâ€™ into your Windows search box) and from there you need to select the â€˜Startupâ€™ tab. Youâ€™ll see a list of these programs and their â€˜Startup impactâ€™, which is how much they affect Windows when you start it up.
From there, you can just right-click and choose â€˜Disableâ€™ to stop this program from starting automatically. If you need to start it later, you can still launch it but at your time of choosing â€” and, if you do want it to revert to Startup later, then you can just click â€˜Enableâ€™. The powerâ€™s in your hands!
Assess the RAM
If greedy programs are using up too much RAM, then they could be making things worse. Finding out exactly how much can be a little tricky, but a rough guide is to open Task Manager, as above, and sort them by name or RAM usage. The memory column will tell you how much each one is using.
To get a little deeper into understanding it from a percentage point of view, then right-clicking the header area and selecting â€˜Resource values – Menu – Percentsâ€™ will give you this data. This way you can easily see which processes are using more memory than theyâ€™re worth and whether you really need them.
Going a step further and installing additional RAM is a great way to speed up Windowsâ€™ performance. While you can do this yourself by adding new RAM chips, ideally with an anti-static wrist strap, it might be worth paying an expert a small fee to do it for you.
Check your choice of browser
Weâ€™re all familiar with browser problems â€” they often irritate us when weâ€™re trying to get stuff done. They can also slow down our OS if theyâ€™re dragging along: often under the weight of demanding sites, like HD streaming services or online casino games, or maybe the browser itself is causing problems in the form of glitches or bugs.
A way to combat this is to limit the amount of tabs you have open at one time. We often keep them open unnecessarily when busy, and they also obstruct us from getting to the page we need. If itâ€™s impossible to do that, then Chrome has â€˜The Great Suspenderâ€™ that can remove your tabs but also store an URL backup for them so you can easily return later on.
Also, steer clear from using too many extensions within your browser as they take up a lot of room. Delete the ones you donâ€™t need and watch your browser, and OS, fly.
Run Disk Cleanup
One of the great things about Windows is its inbuilt Disk Cleanup tool, which you can use to remove pointless temporary files, such as image thumbnails and old offline webpages.
Typing â€˜Disk Cleanupâ€™ into your Windows menu will give you a list of potential files to remove, and you can simply select the ones you donâ€™t want. Once you click â€˜Clean up system filesâ€™, the process will take place and will then calculate the amount of space youâ€™ve saved.
Donâ€™t forget to look through your Downloads folder to find any unnecessary hard drive files â€” these can free up a lot of space, too.
Use an SSD
If youâ€™re willing to invest a bit of money into your PC, then it could be a good idea to buy a good Solid State Drive (SSD). Using Flash memory, itâ€™s much quicker than normal mechanical hard drives in terms of boot time and general responsiveness.
Tools such as Clonezilla are great for helping you transfer content from your normal hard disk onto your SSD if youâ€™re unsure how to do this. Be careful, though, there are a range of drives available, so make sure you choose one thatâ€™s compatible with your device.
Optimise your system
Optimise, optimise, optimise. Itâ€™s crucial to ensure your system is running as well as it can and there are a range of tips for this.
The first one is to simply turn off Windows suggestions. Unless youâ€™re a new user, these arenâ€™t needed. Just go to Settings > System > uncheck the â€˜Notifications & actionsâ€™ box.
You can also get the system to perform routine maintenance tasks, such as defragging the hard drive, checking for updates and looking out for malware. Thereâ€™s an inbuilt utility tool for this which you can find via Control Panel > System and Security > Security and Maintenance. Just choose â€˜Start Maintenanceâ€™ and itâ€™ll do this for you.
Last but not least, ALWAYS check for updates. It might sound obvious but itâ€™s amazing how many people donâ€™t do this. Updates are essential to making your system run smoothly.
Simply typing â€˜Check for updatesâ€™ into your search bar will give you the latest ones, however make sure you back up your important data before installing them, especially for major updates.
If these safe steps are followed, then thereâ€™s a good chance that your computerâ€™s performance will pick up straight away. Sometimes the problems can be deep rooted, however, in which case itâ€™s a good idea to play it safe and get an expertâ€™s advice.