Is your Computer running very slow? Is it hanging every now and then ?
Slow PCs are very hard to work with and frustrates us very much. However improving PC performance is not a difficult job if you know the tips & tricks. Thank me later but first find out the steps below on how to to improve Windows 10/11 PC performance.
Windows 11 is a very fast operating system but like any other OS it also starts to slow down after a while. There are several reasons why your PC slows down including buggy/incompatible software, very old OS version, Virus or malware and more.
If you notice that your device is getting slower, it does not necessarily mean you have to replace it immediately. A few simple software and hardware tweaks can significantly speed up the experience.
You will see other blogs where they will directly tell you to run a software scan or change some unknown staff. However I believe you must first understand why your PC is slowing down and then do the troubleshooting.
There are several ways to know what is causing poor PC performance and the first one is to use the Task Manager window. Also if you are running a modern OS and modern softwares then you should have the minimum required hardware. So before sharing the performance increasing tips I shared some additional information.
Also in other blog posts I found that they share steps to stop windows search indexing. I would recommend you not to do this unless this is an absolute necessity. Disabling search indexing will make windows search function to stop working properly. Hence please do not disable search indexing.
# Min Specs for a decent PC
If you are running windows 10 or later and using more than two applications(i.e. Microsoft Word, Chrome) concurrently then you should have the below HW specs
- RAM: 6GB or more
- OS drive: At least 5% space free. (If you have 100GB OS drive then keep at least 5GB always free. This is for storing cached data. Some apps may not perform well if you do not have enough free space in your OS drive)
Now if you have more than the above specifications but still your PC is slowing down then you might have some other problem. Let’s find out.
There are few problems which impacts PC performance such as
- Poor CPU performance or CPU category
- Some applications are throttling CPU and thus causing frequent crash
- Bad HDD sectors causing read/write problems. Thus leading to poor PC performance
- RAM is not enough as per your work requirement
In the next few paragraphs I have explained how to identify the above issues, troubleshoot them and improve your windows performance. However if you are not having any of the above issues then feel free to jump to the next section for performance boosting tips and tricks.
Identify Poor CPU performance
In the current market there are various versions of CPUs and if a person does not the difference between them then he/she might end up having the wrong one. And this is one of the main cause for poor PC performance.
Every CPU company has many versions and among them H and U version are very common. The H version stands for high performance and U version stands for ultra low power. So unless you are buying a PC for your kid, always go for the PC which has H version CPU. And if you have already bought a PC which has U version CPU then understand that the CPU will always try to save power instead of performing optimally.
However if you have a H version CPU and still it is not performing well then it can be due to an old version of CPU or any other application throttling the CPU. Lets find it in the next step
Understand CPU version & throttling
With the advancement of modern technology a newer version of Intel i3 can outperform an older version of i7 or i9. So it is always recommended to buy the latest CPU version as possible.
CPU throttling happens when any particular application occupies most of the CPU resource for a longer period of time. If this continues to happen for a longer period of time then CPU will start heating up and cause thermal throttling. To reduce thermal throttling issue make sure to clean your PC fans regularly. And from the task manager identify if any particular application is using more than required CPU then kill that process if possible. Some example issues are as follows
WMI Provider host high CPU usage
Wsappx high CPU usage
Verify HDD performance
Some performance issues can be directly linked to Hard Disk Drive performance. Some of the known HDD performance issues are
- very slow start up (boot) time
- High disk usage, i.e. 100% – (To check this open Task manager and under performance tab check HDD performance)
- Windows explorer not able to search for files properly
Above are some of the common examples of HDD related issues. If you are experiencing one or more of the above issues for some time then I would recommend you to replace your old HDD with a new SSD. This will improve your experience drastically.
That’s all I have to identify PC hardware related issues and improve windows performance. In the next section I have discussed how to tweak software settings to improve your windows performance and get the most out it.
Software Tricks to Improve Windows PC performance
#1 | Make sure to have the latest windows update
With every update Microsoft fixes issues that we are not aware of. If there is any OS related issue which is causing your PC to slow down, may be fixed with the next windows update. So always keep your windows up to date along with latest security patches.
#2 | Disable not required Startup apps
Some applications automatically turn on when PC is booted up. This may result in poor PC start up time and bad user experience. So it is always a good idea to reduce the number of applications which can run during PC start up.
To remove the start up apps, open Task Manager and open the startup tab. Next select a particular application and choose disable/enable option rom the bottom right corner.
Reducing the number of startup application will improve user experience during PC boot up.
#3 | Reduce the number of opened apps
Every application stores some app related data in the RAM when they are opened/operated. The amount of data stored in RAM largely depends on the app type and the work. If you have limited RAM space(i.e. 6GB or less) then please close all the apps which are not used. This will reduce your RAM load and thus will improve overall experience.
#4 | Use ReadyBoost to increase cache memory
Like its predecessor Windows Vista, Windows 7 provides the Windows ReadyBoost function to provide Netbooks or older PC systems with more memory. You can use non-volatile flash memory such as current USB memory stick or SD memory cards to improve the performance of your system. This additional memory is provided as cache memory, to speed up, for example, the loading or editing of large files.
Important: You need a USB flash drive or a memory card with a free storage capacity of at least 2GB and high speed(USB 3.0). Since you can permanently “park” SD cards in the designated PC slot, the small disks for ReadyBoost are particularly well suited. Cards with a capacity of one or two GB are indeed quite enough for ReadyBoost.
To use Ready Boost
- Insert the USB flash drive into a USB port on your PC.
- Select File Explorer from the taskbar.
- Press and hold (or right-click) the USB flash drive (or SD card if you used one instead), then select Properties.
- Select the ReadyBoost tab, then select Use this device.
Windows determines if the device can use ReadyBoost. If it can’t, it’ll let you know.
- After Windows determines how much free space to use to optimize memory, select OK to reserve this space so ReadyBoost can use it.
Note: ReadyBoost can’t be used if Windows is installed on a solid state drive (SSD). An SSD is already fast, and ReadyBoost won’t be able to improve its performance.
For more information check this Microsoft document
#5 | Check System Page File Size
The paging file is an area on your hard disk that Windows uses like memory. There’s a setting in Windows 11 that manages the page file size automatically, which can help improve your PC’s performance.
To make sure automatic page file management is turned on
- Select Search on the taskbar, type advanced system in the search box, and then select View advanced system settings, which has Control panel listed underneath it.
- In System Properties, select the Advanced tab, then select Settings in the Performance area.
- In Performance Options, select the Advanced tab, then select Change in the Virtual memory area.
- Make sure the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box is selected. If it is, continue to the next tip. If it’s not, select it and then restart your PC by selecting the Start > Power >Restart.
Use your PC and see if it’s running better. If it’s not, try the next tip.
#6 | Free up Space
Freeing up some disk space may help to improve your PC performance. Some methods to clean up disk space(i.e. temp and cache files) are as follows
Cleanup the Windows/Temp Folder
To open the Temp folder press Win + R key and then type temp in the Run window
Next, select everything inside and delete all of the files/folders. If you are prompted, files can’t be deleted then select all and skip those files.
Clean the Local/Temp Folder
Similar to the above there is another temp folder which is located inside the user/local directory. You can clear this folder as well to improve performance little more.
Similar to the above method press ctrl + r and type %temp%. Delete everything inside the folder, if prompted then skip those files
Clean up system cache and windows update history
In windows start menu, search for disk cleanup and open the app
Next, select the folder which you wish to clean up and choose next. On the next screen choose Clean up system files
System will scan for system files which can be cleaned. Once the scan is complete, select the appropriate files and click OK. Once the process is complete your disk will have some more free space.
That’s all for cleaning up system files and windows cache files. Check the other possible solutions below
#7 | Pause OneDrive syncing
If you are using OneDrive, Dropbox or Google Drive or any other sync application then they are always running in the background. Thus occupying some amount of RAM, CPU and HDD space. If you pause/close these apps then system performance will be improved by a little.
I have a more detailed tutorial on disabling/stopping OneDrive syncing. Check using the below llink
Similar to these sync applications there can be other unwanted applications which are running in the background and occupying your CPU. So find them using task manager and close them if applicable.
#8 | Adjust appearance and performance
Windows 11 includes many visual effects, such as animations and shadow effects. These look great, but they can also use additional system resources and can slow down your PC. This is especially true if you have a PC with a smaller amount of memory (RAM).
To adjust the visual effects in Windows
- Select Search, type performance, then select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows in the list of results.
- On the Visual Effects tab, select Adjust for best performance > Apply. And from the Advanced tab select best performance for programs.
- Restart your PC and see if that speeds up your PC.
#9 | Check Power Plans
Power Plans are used to limit the battery/power usage. If batter saver power plan is selected then windows will limit the amount of power transferred to the applications and will always try to save power instead of providing best performance.
To select correct power plan, open system settings and navigate to power & battery page. inside the page check which power mode is selected. Select best performance if not already selected.
#10 | Turn of Search Indexing – Not recommended
Please do not stop windows search indexing. No matter how bad your windows performance is, I would never recommend you to stop windows search feature/functionality. This step may increase/ improve windows performance but is not at all a good solution.
#11 | Turn off Notifications
This is a minute change but it can help to improve performance a little. Turning of notification feature reduce the CPU processing which was used for displaying notifications. If you use an android device then you know how turning off notification helps to increase device performance little.
To turn off notification open system settings and navigate to Notifications page. Then turn off all notifications or disable app wise notifications.
#12 | Disable Transparency effect
Visual effect such as transparency effect adds a little overhead to CPU as it requires additional calculation. Disabling this feature may increase system performance.
- Open Settings
- Navigate to Personalization > Colors
- Disable transparency effect
#13 | Scan for Virus & Malware
Virus and malware can seriously impact PC performance. Virus and malware triggers unwanted applications and which runs in the background and thus decreases PC performance. Other symptoms include unexpected pop-up messages, programs that unexpectedly start automatically, or the sound of your hard disk constantly working.
There are several applications which you can use to scan for viruses including antivirus software. If you do not already have an antivirus software then you should consider buying one as it has additional feature which helps to improve windows performance as well. I have used several antivirus applications including Quick heal, Avast, McAfee, Kaspersky etc. And what I found is that both McAfee and Kaspersky does a good job in keeping the system safe and also helps to improve windows PC performance.
Below are some links which you can use to buy an anti virus.
To scan for viruses using Windows Security
- Select Start > Settings > Privacy & security > Windows Security, and then select Open Windows Security.
- Select Virus & threat protection, then select Protection updates under Virus & threat protection updates.
- On the Protection updates screen, select Check for updates to make sure you have the most recent updates.
- Select Virus & threat protection, then select Quick scan.
Wait for Windows Security to finish scanning for viruses and malware.
- Do one of the following, depending on the results of the scan:
- Run the recommended advanced scan. This scan takes longer but searches more extensively for threats on your PC.
- If Windows Security finds a virus or malware and can’t remove or quarantine it, contact Microsoft Support for help.
- If no viruses are found, restart your PC and try to reproduce the performance problem you were having with your PC.
#14 | Troubleshoot for other problems
Windows inbuilt troubleshooting tool does a great job to identify issues related to any software, driver or hardware. Windows troubleshooter makes it easy to identify issues and fix them on the go.
To troubleshoot a problem using windows troubleshooter use the following steps
- Search for troubleshooting in windows start menu. Or navigate to Settings > System > Troubleshoot
- Next select other troubleshooters and troubleshoot the device for errors and problems.
#15 | Restore a previous version of Windows
Restoring your PC undoes recent changes that might be causing problems. If you think a recently installed app, driver, or update for Windows could be causing problems, you might get things running normally again by restoring your PC to an earlier point, called a restore point.
Notes: Restoring from a restore point won’t affect your personal files, but it will remove apps, drivers, and updates that were installed after the restore point was created. System restore works for changes made in the last 7 to 14 days.
To restore your PC from a restore point
- Select Search on the taskbar, type advanced system, then select View advanced system settings from the list of results.
- On the System Protection tab, select System Restore.
- Select Recommended restore to go with the most recent restore point Windows has made automatically, or Choose a different restore point to select one yourself, then select Next.
- If you chose to select a different restore point, select one, then select Next. Either way, select Finish to begin restoring.
- Once the restore is completed, restart your PC and see if performance has improved.
More information regarding PC restoration can be found here
That’s all I the tips I have to improve Windows PC performance. I hope this has helped you in some way to improve your PC performance. If you liked this post, please share it with your family, friends and coworkers.
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Ramiz is a professional working in an MNC as a business and technology consultant for quite a few years now. Ramiz is proficient in various Microsoft tools and technologies. He is a tech enthusiast and an active blogger. Ramiz spends his free time playing games or watching movies. He writes blogs to share his knowledge with the world and to make it a better place to live.