Nobody likes a sluggish computer. We’ll teach you the secrets to turning your Windows 10 PC into a speed demon in no time.
Okay, maybe that was an exaggeration. We’re confident, though, that the tips we’re about to share can significantly improve your overall user experience on Windows 10. Not to mention that they’re easy to do.
Let’s get tweaking!
Sign into Windows automatically.
Microsoft prefers that you go through Windows Hello at startup. It’s a safe & futuristic way to sign into your computer. If you’re not too keen on taking virtual selfies just to access Windows, though, use the more traditional password or PIN.
For the sake of speed, however, you’ll have to forgo these security measures. On Windows 10 search bar, type “sign-in options” and then select “never” for “Require sign-in”. We strongly advise you to carefully weigh between speed and safety before proceeding, however.
Shut down at a press of a button.
While most laptops/PCs with a power button are programmed to go into sleep mode once it’s pressed, you can change how Windows reacts to this piece of hardware.
To modify what Windows will do when you push the said button, type “power” in the OS’ search bar and select Power Options. Select “Choose what the power button does” and decide among these options: Do Nothing, Hibernate, Turn Off Display, Sleep, or Shut Down.
Determine your PC’s active hours.
Annoyed by Windows constantly restarting from out of nowhere while you’re in the middle of work? That’s probably because you haven’t set the appropriate Active Hours for your computer. Setting this is important because Windows constantly rolls in updates in the background to make your machine safe from viruses and keep it up to speed.
In setting this up, type “Check for Updates” in the search field found on the taskbar. Afterward, tap “Change Active Hours” and then input the times you generally start or end working on your PC. From there, click “Save”. Rest assured that Windows won’t be giving you any nasty, surprise shutdowns during the timeframe you specify.
Maximize the Windows startup tool.
When your laptop takes too long to start up, speed it up! Windows 10 comes with a feature called Fast Startup, which optimizes processes required during startup. Alternately known as the hybrid boot, this feature basically tells the PC to save an image of loaded drivers and the Windows kernel to a hibernation file so it simply loads those up the next time you turn on your machine.
To enable this speed tweak, just type “power options” into the taskbar’s search field and select Fast Startup. Go click “choose what the power button does” and check to see underneath “shutdown settings” whether “turn on fast startup” is selected.
Friendly reminder: This option may affect your computer’s ability to apply any system updates.
Trim down the Start Menu clutter.
In comparison to the Start menu of old, Windows 10’s version is far busier. It tends to do even more than what you actually require it to. The problem is that its busyness tends to make it a little laggy at launch.
Make the Start Menu transition faster by going to Settings > Start Settings. From there, work on showing fewer tiles, eliminating app recommendations, and removing the folders that shouldn’t appear. You’ll be surprised at how faster the Start menu loads with it carrying less baggage.
Choose what apps run on startup.
Go to Windows’ Task Manager > Startup. When you click on the Startup tab, you can see the programs that launch at startup and be able to determine which of them are unnecessary. Do you really need QuickTime, Skype, OneDrive, and Adobe Reader running when you turn on your laptop? Our guess is that you don’t.
Disable those programs that you don’t really need running as you start Windows 10. Do so and you may see how it takes less time for your OS to fully load at the start. Trim down the unnecessary programs and your computer gets a speed boost as well as conserves bigger RAM.
Turn on Game Mode while playing video games.
Sure, Windows 10 is loads faster than its predecessors. One area where it noticeably lags as much as its predecessors do is when you play games. Good thing that the OS introduced a whole new Gaming panel in the Settings.
The said panel is where you’d be able to toggle Windows 10’s new Game Mode, which basically boosts your computer’s performance. This is achieved by reallocating system resources toward the video game you’re playing.
Take advantage of virtual desktops.
Linux and Mac OS X users have been working with such a feature for a long time. To see the same functionality arriving on Windows 10 may be among the things that got many excited! You see, it keeps your desktop (and by extension, your work) organized by letting you set up virtual desktops that you can easily switch on demand.
To begin setting it up, click Task View icon on the taskbar (located to the right of the Search box). Alternately, you can simply hold down the Windows key and Tab button. From there, you may be ready to delegate certain tasks on a couple of different virtual desktops.
Find the original, Windows 7-style Control Panel.
Sure, the new Settings panel on Windows 10 may be easier to navigate and more intuitive. It doesn’t take away the fact that most Windows users are more familiar with the Control Panel of old.
If you need to access some deeper options in the operating system or just feel that you’re far more efficient working with the older Control Panel, here is what you do: (1) right-click on the Start button. From the pop-up menu that shows, select “Control Panel”. The same trick will also show you other useful Windows 7-style tools like Disk Management and Computer Management programs.
Use filters for a more accurate and faster searching.
By now, you’ve noticed how we’ve been suggesting the extensive use of Windows 10’s built-in search function. That’s because Microsoft has done a good job of making it more effective yet simpler to use. You can speed it up even more, though. How you ask? Use filters.
As you type in the search box that’s found on the right of the Start button, type a category name (Documents, Photos, Apps, Folders, Settings, Web, Music, and Videos) first. Follow it up with a colon and then your specific search term (e.g. music: Mozart). This simple trick essentially narrows down the search result, making your search for a specific file so much faster.
Whether you’re a computer enthusiast who loves tweaking Windows on your spare time or a busybody who needs to get work done the soonest, these performance-boosting tips may benefit you greatly. Try them and see your average PC turn into a beast of speed right before your eyes.
Wondering how else you can increase your productivity levels on your Windows 10 computer? Check out our ultimate guide to Windows keyboard shortcuts.