As computer hardware gets faster, so does software, and the Windows operating system is no different. This is especially true in the early stages. But if you’re starting out, there are other benefits to consider. Even the latest version of Windows doesn’t block the software and not everyone is ready to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11. Many recommendations are for making Windows work better no matter what you’re using.
The problem with most instructions for installing Windows is that they tell you to disable certain parts of the service, such as images. Many of our guides show you how to update your Windows system without compromising on looks and performance. Much can be done for free, but some require a small investment in software or hardware. For those of you with an old, low-end machine that needs a quick upgrade but don’t care about other goodies, here are some tips at the bottom of the list to perfect your body without breaking the bank.
Beware of this “Speed up your PC!” Ads for registered files often contain malware. Microsoft strongly advises against using Registry Cleaner (opens new window) for Windows.
We recommend that you keep your operating system version up to date, although we do not recommend this for everyone. From time to time, go to Settings > Windows Update and check for security and reliability updates to install. Your computer will run faster after the upgrade because it has upgraded hardware. Do this even if you don’t want to update the most important features – you can defer the update in a section of Settings.
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While things are getting better, one of the problems with some new computers is that they contain a lot of unwanted software, also known as “bloatware”, “crapware” or “PUPs”. A few years ago, the fleet of Lenovo PCs we tested at PCMag had about 20 features that occasionally appeared and interfered with what we were doing.
Right-click the unwanted software icon in the Start menu and select Uninstall. Doing so will uninstall the app immediately. You can also click on the Start button with the Windows icon and select Programs and Default Settings. Alternatively, type Programs in the search box next to the Start button.
Many times you can identify crapware culprits by sorting the list of installed programs by your computer’s manufacturer name. Another good idea is to sort through your recent apps and see if there are apps you haven’t installed; or Custom to remove bulky items you don’t need. If you find programs you don’t need, select them and click Uninstall. Unfortunately, you can only delete one at a time. If you have a lot of bloatware, spend about 15 minutes on this task.
Don’t forget to bring apps that you installed yourself but no longer want – along with apps you do like, apps you don’t like.
Note that Windows 10 and Windows 11 have two types of apps: legacy software and advanced Microsoft Store apps. You’ll find both types on the Apps & Features page of the Advanced Settings app. Non-Store apps open a platform where you can download good old software. In both places, you can sort by size, save a date or name, or search for a specific app.
One of the reasons why application decommissioning improves performance is because many applications overload the system in the early stages and consume expensive RAM and CPU cycles. You can also tap on or off Windows features under Programs and Features and pull down the list to see if you haven’t used anything.
Limit Startup Processes
As mentioned earlier, many programs have errors that appear every time you start your computer, and some of them are not features that you need on your computer on a regular basis. In earlier versions of Windows, you had to run the MSCONFIG utility from the command line. It can and still does this by blocking automated tasks as well as programs. However, the new version of Windows offers an easier way to limit the applications that run natively on the new server.
The easiest way to call the manager is to use the Ctrl-Shift-Esc key combination. Switch to the Startup tab and you’ll see all the programs that load when Windows starts. There is also a column in the dialog that shows how to start everything. The Status column indicates whether the program can run at startup. Right-click on a document to change this setting. It’s usually pretty easy to see what you don’t want to run. For example, if you don’t use iTunes, you may not need iTunes Helper to keep it running.
Clean Up Your Disk
From the Start menu, type Disk Maintenance to open a familiar feature that has been part of Windows for many generations of the operating system. Disk Cleanup scans your computer for unwanted junk, such as temporary files, offline websites and installation files, and recommends deleting them at the same time. You may also notice recycled waste bursting at the seams, which often has a noticeable impact on speed when the engine is near full.
If you don’t always plan to cut a disk, install it with the Disk Optimization option, which you can find by typing its name in the search box next to the Start button. Note that if your main drive is an SSD, you do not need to defrag as there are no moving parts to scan the drive.
Another way to limit storage usage is to enable the storage sensing option (see screenshot above). When you remove temporary files and items from the recycle bin, you automatically free up space. To see how to use this feature
Add More RAM
Both Windows 10 and 11 handle memory better than previous versions of the operating system, but too much memory can cause a PC to run too fast. If you’re still using Desktop Tower, this article will show you how to choose the right type of RAM for your system. The websites of the major RAM manufacturers (Crucial, Kingston, Corsair) all offer products that tell you what type of RAM your PC is getting, and their prices are very reasonable. For example, you can get 16 GB of DDR4 RAM (opens in a new window) for less than $50.
If it costs $50 or more and your computer is older, with a hard drive instead of an SSD (see below) and lots of RAM, try Ready Boost with a USB stick. This removable storage stores data on the device’s storage for quick access to storage that will soon be available on the hard drive. Go to the File Explorer item on the USB key, right click to open Properties and go to the Ready Boost tab to navigate. For most current systems, this feature is not available and will not perform well under any circumstances.
However, increasing RAM is not always, so not everyone will be able to use this advice. This is not possible with some current Windows devices, such as the Surface Pro tablet. Gaming and business laptops still allow for RAM upgrades, but this is becoming less and less common. Newer and thinner ultra books usually have more storage space.
Install an SSD Startup Drive
Installing and running complex applications such as Adobe Photoshop is easy on the SSD. SSDs also offer many benefits when booting into Windows. Apps from the Microsoft Store can be easily moved from the hard drive to the SSD on the Apps & Features page.
Replacing the hard drive is important to speed up the process, and if you’re using a laptop, this may also be an option. However, an external SSD drive with a USB 3.0 port can also add speed for memory-intensive applications. For help choosing which device to install, .