Is your computer running slow? This doesn't necessarily mean you should throw it in the trash. Sometimes all your computer needs is a good restart, cleanup or updates. A well-maintained system results in a cheerful, spirited computer.
This guide teaches you how to clean your PC so that it gets closer to the way it did when it was brand new. Try these steps to improve performance and learn about useful habits to stop delays.
If you have a Mac, also check out our tips for speeding up a Mac.
Turn off your PC
While this is not & # 39; If you don't fall under the “Clean your PC” umbrella, poor performance may be nothing more than excess junk that gets dumped into your PC's system memory.
Sometimes you just need to turn off the computer ̵
When you turn on the PC again, start with a half clean sheet.
Update Your Software
Making sure your computer's software is up to date is one of the easiest ways to speed up your computer. Much of your computer's software may have been handed over to third-party developers who are less religious than major developers such as Microsoft and Apple when it comes to issuing updates.
However, checking if Windows 10 is up to date should be a top priority. In some cases, the slow performance stems from Windows 10 when it is currently being updated and / or needs to be restarted. Updates can fix performance issues in addition to improving security, which is why Windows 10 needs to stay current.
Step 1: Click the notification icon next to the system clock and select the All Settings tile in the Action Center.
Step 2: Select Update & Security in the Settings app.
Step 3: The The Windows Update category is displayed by default. Click the button Check for updates .
Windows 10 usually installs important updates automatically, but it's always nice to check that everything is current.
also check that all Windows 10 apps are up to date. Again, you may experience slow performance as Windows 10 updates these apps and has to restart.
Step 1: Click on the shopping bag icon on the taskbar. This will open the Microsoft Store app.
Step 2: Click on the three dot ellipse icon in the top right corner.
Step 3: Select Downloads and Updates from the drop-down list.
Step 4: Click the blue button Get updates or the link Update all (if available).
Finally, make sure that all commonly used software is current. Most offer in-app notifications, while others may require a manual update by going to the developer's website.
Update or reinstall drivers
Outdated or damaged drivers can cause serious performance problems, especially in the latter scenario. At a basic level, drivers provide a bridge between Windows 10 and the underlying hardware. Without that good communication, your PC simply does not work optimally.
Many pre-built systems include a proprietary desktop program that downloads and installs driver updates. In the start menu, they are usually listed under the name of the OEM, such as Dell or HP or under the brand of the PC, such as Alienware. Run this program to see if the manufacturer provides new updates, including BIOS upgrades.
You may also need to contact component manufacturers. For example, Nvidia regularly releases new drivers for its individual GPUs, even more so before or after a new game arrives. They are obtained through the company's GeForce Experience desktop software – which sends notifications when new drivers become available – or you can download them manually from the Nvidia website.
The same goes for your motherboard. You don't have to worry about CPU or memory drivers.
If you suspect driver problems, one solution is to remove and reinstall the offensive driver. It may already be highlighted in Device Manager, which will highlight your attention with a yellow triangle.
Step 1: Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager on the Power Menu.
Step 2: Select and right-click on the problem item and select Remove device from the pop-up menu.
Step 3: Select Action on the device management toolbar followed by Scan for hardware changes from the drop-down menu. Windows 10 should reinstall the driver.
Another option is to update the driver via Device Manager:
Step 1: Right click the Start button and select Device Manager .
Step 2: Select and right-click on the problem item and select Properties from the pop-up menu.
Step 3: The window Properties appears on your screen. Select the Driver tab.
Step 4: Click the button Update Driver .
Step 5: Select the Automatically search for updated driver software option. If you have already downloaded new drivers to your PC, select the option Browse my computer for driver software instead.
Delete unnecessary files, apps and programs
Note: SSDs do not require defragmentation. In fact, the process can shorten lifespan because cells deteriorate as data is written and erased.
Disk fragmentation is caused by deleting old files and writing new ones instead. When your PC was just new, the hard drive wrote data in an ordered order. However, when bits of data are removed, the remaining gaps are used by new data that is not part of the original series. Because the data is out of order, the disk must search the requested data in multiple locations. This process takes longer than when all data is organized in a logical order, which decreases the overall performance of your PC.
However, fragmentation is a problem with mechanical drives, not SSDs. That's because data is written to songs on a spinning disc – similar to how music exists in grooves on a vinyl record, only mechanical disc data is stored magnetically. If data is in multiple tracks and multiple platters, the readheads take longer to access that data.
The good news here is that Windows 10 automatically recognizes the difference between a mechanical drive and an SSD. It also does an excellent job of keeping your drive (s) neat and tidy. However, if you suspect that a hard drive may have long read and write times, it is a good idea to check the current optimization status. Do the following:
Step 1: Type Defrag in the taskbar search field and select Defragment and optimize disks in the results.
] Step 2: The window Optimize Drives appears on your screen. Select a disk and click the button Optimize .
For a mechanical drive you will see an extra button Analysis . This will quickly check the fragment level of the disk and yield a percentage. This button is inactive for SSDs.
By default, Windows 10 optimizes all drives every week. Click the Change Settings button to change the schedule. You can change or disable the schedule, increase the tasks, change the priority and select the station you want to automatically optimize.
Disable apps and programs during startup
Many apps and desktop programs load when Windows 10 starts. They consume system resources before you even have a chance to read your first email of the morning. On PCs with low memory, this can be problematic, leaving little space for the services you and Windows 10 need the most.
You can uninstall these apps and desktop programs at startup without completely removing them. Here's how:
Step 1: Right-click the Start button and select Task Manager from the Power menu.
Note: If you find that you often open Task Manager, right-click on the taskbar icon and select Pin to Taskbar from the pop-up menu.
Step 2: Click the Startup tab in the Task Manager window.
Step 3: Select an app or desktop program that you don't want to load automatically and click the Disable button in the bottom right corner.  What should remain enabled? Anything directly linked to your PC, such as components from Intel and Realtek, Microsoft services, etc. Here are apps and desktop programs that you can safely disable:
- Adobe software
- Apple iTunes components
- Google software
- HTC software
- Java Update Scheduler
- Opera Browser Assistant  Pandora
- Razer Software
- And So On
Clean Your Vents
Almost every computer needs airflow to get the parts inside keep cool. One set of vents allows fans to draw in cool air, while the second set of vents exhaust hot air. In some cases, you will see ultrabooks without vents, because the chassis itself dissipates the heat from components. However, most desktops and laptops rely on constant airflow.
For PCs that need airflow to stay cool, keep absolutely the intake vents clean. Because the internal fan (s) draws in air, these vents accumulate dust and other debris. Over time, this collection of unpleasantness will reduce the air intake, heating up the internal components, such as the processor and memory. The hotter the PC, the slower it performs. Eventually you will see programs crash, the infamous Blue Screen of Death and random reboots.
On desktops, the inlet openings are mainly on the front. You may even see them on the side and / or along the top. Warm air blows out through the vents on the back, including the power supply for your PC.
On laptops, the inlet openings are usually on the bottom. The exhaust vents are usually mounted on the back or along the sides, depending on the model. Inlet fans are usually the dirtiest.
The best way to clean these vents is to use compressed air. You can grab a can from Walmart or similar stores. In some cases, you may need to open the side of your desktop and just blow everything out or clean the dust filters by hand. For laptops, there may be a bottom panel that you can remove to use compressed air on the fan and surrounding components.
However, don't disassemble anything unless you are familiar with the process. Just clean the intake vents or let someone with more experience help you.
Use proprietary third-party software and software
Third-party software can help remove unnecessary files and browser history, which in turn could improve performance. Here are a few recommendations:
Viruses are often to blame if your system loses its mojo. Fortunately, you don't have to spend money to get high-quality antivirus software. While Windows 10 offers built-in antivirus protection, BitDefender performs even deeper scans to identify and eliminate malicious software.
For more options, we provide a list of the best free antivirus software.
While Installing and Removing Software Over Time, the Windows 10 registry gets confused with outdated and damaged items that can cause system errors and crashes. That's where a registry cleaner comes in handy.
Auslogics Registry Cleaner selects a default list of disks and items on your computer and quickly scans and fixes problems before they become more troublesome. In case it deletes something you need later, the Rescue Center function can restore files from a backup.
Change visual effects
Windows 10 looks quite chic, but all those visual effects can burden older PCs. That includes animations, smooth edges of fonts, shadows, translucency, and so on.
If you find performance decreases simply by dragging a window, your PC's graphics chip may have a hard time under load. You can try lowering the resolution, reinstalling or updating the drivers, or use the following steps to change the visual effects of the platform.
Step 1: Click the Start button and select Control Panel ] listed under Windows System in the Start menu.
Step 2: The configuration screen appears on the screen. Click on Category next to View on and select Large Icons or Small Icons .
Step 3: Select the option System on the extended interface.
Step 4: Select Advanced System Settings on the left.
Step 5: The window System Properties appears on your screen. Select the Advanced tab.
Step 6: Click the button Settings which is displayed under Performance .
Step 7: The tab Visual Effects is loaded by default in the Performance Options window. Select the option Customize for best performance and click Apply followed by OK .
If you don't like the way Windows 10 changes the visual effects, back to the Performance Options window select Custom and adjust the settings manually. If you do not want serrated fonts, enable Smooth edges of screen fonts .
Run the Troubleshooters
Windows 10 provides built-in troubleshooters that can help solve performance issues. You can find them as follows:
Step 1: Click the notification icon next to the system clock and select the tile All Settings in the action center.
Step 2: The Settings app appears on your screen. Select Update and Security .
Step 3: Select the category Troubleshooting on the left.
Here you have access to 17 problem solvers. Notable options include:
- Internet Connections
- Network Adapter
- Search and Indexing
- Windows Store Apps
- Windows Update
You can also try to run the service System maintenance in Control Panel. Unfortunately, it is not easily accessible:
Step 1: Click the Start button and select Control Panel listed under Windows System in the Start menu.  Step 2: The control panel appears on your screen. Click Category next to View by and change the setting to Small icons or Large icons .
Step 3: Click Troubleshooting .
Step 4: Click on Perform maintenance tasks listed under System and Security .  Step 5: Click the button Next to start the maintenance tool.
Change power settings
If your PC is set to the recommended Balanced power profile, you can sometimes get an extra boost by switching to the High Performance plan. Your PC will consume more power with this profile, but it shouldn't set your wallet on fire when the utility bill arrives.
Step 1: Click the Start button and select Control Panel listed under Windows System in the Start menu.
Step 2: Select System and Security .
Step 3: Select Flow Options on the next screen.
Note: On laptops, right-click the battery icon next to the system clock and select Power Options from the pop-up menu
Step 4: Select the power profile High Performance . You can customize this profile by clicking Change plan settings followed by Change advanced power settings if available.
If you don't see a High Performance profile, make sure to click the down arrow next to Show additional plans .
Reset or restore your PC
With Windows 10, you can get that factory version feeling without deleting your files. This is accomplished by using the Reset this PC function in Windows 10 settings. We provide a separate guide if you want to take that route. However, here is the shortcut:
Settings> Update & Security> Recovery
If you remember when your PC ever felt fast and think updates and / or software can cause problems, you can use a restore point to send your PC back in time. Granted, everything you've installed since then will be removed, but your files will remain untouched. This method requires Windows 10 to create a restore point earlier.
Step 1: Click the Start button and select Control Panel listed under Windows System on the Start menu.
Step 2: When the Control Panel appears on your screen, click Category next to View by and change the setting to Small icons or Large pictograms .
Step 3: Select Recovery in the extended interface.
Step 4: Select Open System Restore on the next screen.
Step 5: The System Restore window appears on your screen. Click on Next to start.
Step 6: Select an item when your PC was faster and click Next .
If all else fails, upgrade your hardware
You've tried all of our tricks and even reset your PC, but it still runs like clockwork. That is a good indication that you need an upgrade.
If you are running heavy programs like Photoshop, or if you tend to run many programs at once and notice that your system slows down when you switch from one to another, installing more system memory or RAM (random access memory) can make your life easier.
Follow this path to find out how much RAM you already have:
Settings> System> About
Next you need to determine how much RAM your computer can handle and what type you can install . Crucial and Kingston Technology are o ood resources to find out what kind of RAM will work for you.
Solid-state drives (SSD & # 39; s)
Switching from a mechanical drive to a solid-state drive (SSD) can make a huge difference in speed and reliability.
An SSD has no moving parts. Instead, it relies on stationary flash memory for faster reading and writing while lowering failure rates. Mechanical discs, on the other hand, resemble old-school vinyl records (or CD players), relying on rotating magnetic records and read / write heads that move in and out like a record needle.
With an SSD fragment your files can be located in adjacent places or spread loosely everywhere – they are just as fast to read. SSDs can even intentionally store files in different places to reduce overall wear. The lack of moving parts not only makes SSDs lighter and less energy dependent, but also shock resistant and more durable, extending the life of your machine even longer.
If you want an SSD, you need to determine which type is compatible with your computer. Samsung, Western Digital and Intel have great SSD options to explore regardless of the size you're looking for. Once you choose a new SSD, you can manually add it to your system using an upgrade kit – no experience.
For suggestions, check out our list of the best SSDs you can get right now.
If you are playing games on your computer and notice poor performance, a video card upgrade may be appropriate. Inexpensive machines typically come with integrated graphics, while more expensive builds may include a separate graphics processing unit (GPU), which offers enhanced graphics capabilities.
Even if you have a GPU, you may want a faster model depending on the games you have Play. As with RAM and SSDs, you first need to find out which card works on your computer since not all cards are compatible with your motherboard.
Do you have an old accelerated graphics port (AGP)? Most likely PCI Express (PCIe)? Is it integrated in the motherboard or is it a separate card?
Research before you buy, as some video card upgrades also require a power upgrade.
Finally, of these three options, the GPU is the only part that you cannot change in a laptop. For storage and RAM, you may have access to these compartments, but your upgrade options may be limited.