It is hard to believe that in 2017 we still have to fight against slowing down Windows OS. It’s annoying and visits to local computer repair shop very often end up being expensive. From my experience, unless your machine is a corporate asset (with pre-created OS image readily available), there are only two options to make Windows Os feel like new: clean reinstall and refresh.
However, there are some tips and tricks you can apply to increase usability and longevity of your Windows install. Let’s dive in.
Hard drive optimisation
In the old days, defragmenting a hard disk was something you had to do regularly to keep it running at peak efficiency. Today, with SSD drives installed with almost every laptop or PC, users manual intervention isn’t necessary, because the appropriate drive optimisation is scheduled to happen automatically. SSDs don’t need defragmenting the same way that older hard disks do and only require occasional maintenance.
Unfortunately, if you still use mechanical hard drives, then defragmentation is a must. It is a simple, taken care of by the software rearrangement of the files on a hard disk for faster data access.
For step by step defragmenting guide click here.
Bloatware is unwanted software that makes your Windows OS run slow and sluggish. Most of brand new computers, phones and tablets ship with a wide array of pre-installed software, most of which is often considered by many users as bloatware. While some of these programs can be quite handy, most are not, and they can be difficult to uninstall fully.
From my experience, HP software is the most difficult to remove, because it has to be uninstalled in the right order with restart after every installation. Other brands: Lenovo, Asus, Dell, Toshiba make the process painless.
For step by step bloatware removal guide using 10AppsManager click here.
Organise your software
Removing pre-installed software is the first step in making your workstation more organised. It will reduce consumption of resources and make OS run smoother. However, there is also software that’s installed by the user. We all get excited with our new toys. We want them to look better, so we get new themes. We want them to be secure, so we install antivirus – very often freeware versions with ads and browser add-ons, we make sure we have malware protection, and while searching for security features we might stumble upon anti-root-kit or anti-phishing software. Let’s not forget about the games and countless trials of programs that are not being used anymore or multiple web browsers and different web services? Consuming resources is fairly easy but it has huge impact on the overall performance. Keep software and data in check.
Get organised with WinDirStat.
Scan for nasties
Viruses, malware, rootkits, worms, adware, spyware, trojan horses – the nasties. All designed to exploit resources or data that your system may potentially provide. To increase performance of Windows OS, you could consider cloud based antivirus. Cloud computing solutions install only a small “client” program on a desktop, which in turn connects to the security provider’s Web service. There, data from antivirus scans is analyzed, and instructions for appropriate countermeasures are sent back to the user’s computer. Typically, cloud solutions are cheaper than fully fledged installation and utilise provider’s server processing power. Whichever way you choose, keeping operating system free from nasties will keep it performance high.
Scan your system with online scanner.
Tame the visual effects
If Windows is running slowly, you can speed it up by disabling some of its visual effects. It comes down to appearance versus performance. Would you rather have Windows run faster or look prettier? If your PC is fast enough, you don’t have to make this tradeoff, but if your computer is just barely powerful enough to run Windows OS, it can be useful to scale back on the visual bells and whistles.
You can choose which visual effects to turn off, one by one, or you can let Windows choose for you. There are many visual effects you can control, such as the transparent glass look, the way menus open or close, and whether shadows are displayed.
Drivers are programs that enable Windows to access hardware components like the video, sound, printer, scanner, webcam, and so on. Updating them is pain and you have to identify the hardware, the drivers and version numbers, the hardware manufacturer’s website and the download page. You can take the shortcut by using free tools, such as SlimDrivers Free. These do all the work for you, and they are like Windows Update for drivers. They identify the current drivers, check if there are updates, and then download and install them for you. They solve a lot of problems.
Apply these short tips, and you will see some great improvement in the performance. There are still other options available to you, like upgrading hardware – get SSD drives, more RAM and better graphics card. You could also adjust the amount of virtual memory Windows uses and disable unnecessary startup programs and services. The real deal breaker here is the SSD drive as it has no moving parts, it can dramatically improve the overall speed of any OS.