7 Tips to Speed Up Windows 10
Credit: ShutterstockWindows 10 does many things right. Among the Creators Update, Anniversary features, and all the other tweaks added in you have an operating system that is feature rich. But all that power can make Windows 10 a resource-hungry beast, even if you have a system with solid specs. However, if you're willing to do a little bit of digital grunt work you can speed up Windows 10 to be a far more efficient operation.
Here are seven tips that will help you resolve any nagging performance problems, and find spots where you can make Windows zip along more quickly.
1. Use the Windows startup tool
Starting up a computer can feel like an eternity, but it doesn't have to. Windows has a place that automatically optimizes processes for a quicker startup. You can reach this magical land called Fast Startup by typing "power options" into the search field and selecting that option. Then click "choose what the power button does" (we'll use this again later). Be sure that "turn on fast startup" is selected underneath "shutdown settings."
Fast Startup is also known as hybrid boot. When turned on it tells the PC that when it's going into shutdown it should save an image of the Windows kernel and loaded drivers to a hibernation file so when it is clicked on next it simply loads those into memory to resume where you left off. You must be signed in as an administrator to turn this feature on.
A couple things to note: Since your computer isn't performing a normal shutdown, it may affect the ability to apply system updates. It doesn't work well with dual booted systems, and you won't be able to access the BIOS.
2. Automatically sign into Windows
The preferred way for Microsoft to get you up and going is through Windows Hello, which recognizes your face. If that's a little too creepy or futuristic, you can instead use a PIN or password. However, for ultimate speed you can just have your computer start right up — no stopgap required. Type "sign-in options" to the search bar and then select "never" for "Require sign-in." However, note you're basically removing your security by doing so.
3. Slim down the Start menu
The Windows 10 Start menu is cool and all, but it wants to do a lot more than you may actually need. Go to Settings > Start Settings to pare down some of the options, such as showing fewer tiles, app recommendations, and which folders appear. I've found the less you have going in the Start menu, the easier it is to launch exactly what you need. Faster transitions make for a faster workflow.
4. Shut Down with One Tap
Just because you have a hardware power button doesn't mean you can't change its behavior. You can tell Windows to shut down your PC when you push the button (most PCs come with this button programmed to put your computer in sleep mode).
To change this, type "power" into the Windows search field and select Power Options. Click "Choose what the power button does." You can change the behavior for the power button based on whether your PC is on battery or plugged in. Your options include Do Nothing, Sleep, Hibernate, Shut Down or Turn Off Display.
5. Control What Apps Run at Startup
There's often a lot going on under the hood in Windows 10. Some of it you may not need, and that's only going to be sucking up your RAM. Type Task Manager to open the panel to evaluate which programs launch at startup. Then click Startup. If you don't use OneDrive, for example, there's no reason to have that launch and always be syncing in the background. From this view you're able to see which processes are enabled for startup and what their impact is on system resources. A few other RAM suckers that can be safely disabled would be iTunes Helper, QuickTime, Adobe Reader and Skype. Be sure you know what you're stopping before doing so.
6. Turn off search indexing
Windows 10 wants to be smart about finding your files, especially with search available by just clicking the Windows button and then typing to begin a search. However, this behavior can be turned off if those system resources are too precious, or you tend to rely on web services for most of your computing. Type "Indexing Options" into the search bar and then click Modify. From here you can toggle on and off the locations where Windows' Cortana is looking. Then click OK and Close.
7. Set your active hours
Windows wants to do some work in the background that will keep your PC free of viruses and up to speed with the latest updates. So if you don't have the appropriate Active Hours set up, you might get a surprise restart when you're in the middle of your day. Type "Check for Updates" in the search field and click "Change Active Hours." Enter your general start time and end time and click Save. During that time period Windows will leave you alone to work.