Is your computer slow?  10 ways to make it “run” faster

Is your computer slow? 10 ways to make it “run” faster

A slow computer can become a major headache, affecting your productivity and causing you unnecessary stress.

“However, before you get frustrated and run out to buy a new device, there are several simple and effective steps to make your computer run faster,” explain team experts from global digital security firm ESET. From freeing up space on your hard drive to updating drivers, you can “wake up” your slow computer yourself and get back to work in no time.

A few years ago, this might have seemed like a job only an expert could do, but nowadays Windows really allows each of us to make a few simple tweaks that will make a big difference.

How to make your computer faster

Here are 10 ESET expert tips for Windows 11 and Windows 10.

  1. Save disk space

Chances are you’ve been using your slow computer for a few years now, and you probably can’t even remember the last time you cleaned out your Downloads folder. So start there:

Find your Downloads folder and any other folders where you keep your documents, photos, or videos, and delete what you don’t need.

Alternatively, you can also use an external drive or cloud storage to download and keep all those space-consuming files that you don’t need on a daily basis. It is very important to always keep a backup copy of all important files, because your slow computer may one day decide to go on vacation without asking permission.

And, by the way, remember to empty the trash TOO!

2. Manage your apps

Go to the Start menu and click on Settings. On the left side, select Apps and Installed apps. Go through the list of software on your computer and if there is something you don’t need, click on the three dots in the right corner and select Uninstall.

Not only will you save space, but you will also reduce activities running in the background.

3. Clean up storage

After Windows 10, Microsoft introduced a feature called Storage Sense that helps you get a better idea of ​​how your PC’s storage space is being used, letting Windows handle cleaning up your PC on your behalf. This includes automatically deleting your temporary files, emptying the Recycle Bin, or deleting old downloaded files.

To enable it and configure how it works, access the Settings menu again, click System in the left column, and select Save.

If you’re worried about Windows deleting something you want to keep, you can do it manually. From the same Storage menu, select Cleaning Recommendations. Here you can start by checking if you have any recommended large files that you haven’t opened for a while and that may be taking up a lot of space. Once done, click the Show advanced options button and browse through the list of files that can be deleted, being particularly careful not to select Downloads if you want to keep them. Select Delete Files.

Your computer should now only have the applications and files you really need.

4. Manage the apps you need on startup

One of the biggest frustrations most of us feel when our computer is running slow is when we turn it on. And no, leaving the computer on for weeks isn’t the answer, but we’ll get there.

Limit the apps you allow to launch on startup. To do this, go to the Start menu and type Task Manager and press Enter. On the left side of this window, tap Startup Applications.

You might be surprised to find that things you rarely need start up as soon as you turn on your computer. Select only apps you know and don’t touch anything you don’t know – Windows can take a while to start up correctly.
Once you have selected an app, hover your mouse over it, right click and disable it. We hope this saves you a few seconds every morning.

5. Adjust your privacy settings

This is an extremely important point. Not only can this help you speed up your computer, but it will also let you control how apps use services like your location or microphone.

Go back to Settings in the Start menu, select Privacy & Security, and in the App Permissions section, go through each of these: location, camera, microphone, etc. and disable access for applications that do not need these services.

For example, you can turn off the microphone for Cortana if you don’t use Microsoft’s Assistant, and you can turn off all apps’ access to notifications. Of course, this means your programs won’t be able to notify you of something they’re programmed to notify you about, but it can benefit your system’s performance.

Remember that even if your computer is working fine, always take a look at this menu so you know exactly what permissions you are granting to installed apps.

6. Manage energy efficiency

In Settings, select System and navigate to the Power & Battery section. Windows is pretty good at handling power mode. They’re especially useful if you’re using a laptop that isn’t connected to a power source, in which case you can choose Balanced Mode or Optimal Power Efficiency if your battery is running low. But, if your computer is plugged in and quite slow, select the best performance mode. Although the computer may experience higher temperatures and you hear the fan ready to take off like an airplane, you are sure to push your machine to work as fast and hard as possible.

7. Turn off visual effects

It might make your Windows less beautiful, because we’re going to disable pretty animations, but it’s a sacrifice worth making if your computer is too slow. To do this, go to Settings, select Accessibility, then select Visual Effects. Go ahead and disable transparency effects and motion effects.

8. Update your computer

This is necessary. Keeping your PC up to date will allow you to take advantage of various fixes and tweaks that can deliver much better performance in certain apps, thus making your overall experience much smoother. At the same time, updates provide the necessary protection against vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.

In the Start menu, type Windows Update and press Enter. Windows will display all available updates. All you have to do is click Download and Install. Windows will notify you of future updates, but if you want to make sure you’re always up to date, check this menu from time to time.

9. Check for Malware

Although the memory consumption may increase while the security software scans for all kinds of malware, it is worth it. To prevent the scan from running in the background, if you need this power to function, you can choose to run these scans manually, as well as make sure you are running the latest version of security software of your choice. Alternatively, you can scan online for free with reputable software. Protecting your computer against malware will prevent your computer’s resources from being used for malicious purposes and protect your files, activities and personal information.

10. Reset your computer

Although it’s not the same as completely formatting your computer, it’s the last thing you can do at home without getting professional help. If nothing in this list worked and you want to try an almost new version of your PC, you can choose to reset the PC. To do this, go to Settings, System and select Reset. You can then choose to keep your files or delete everything for a factory reset. Again, remember that even if you choose to keep your files, you risk losing them if something goes wrong, so always keep backup copies of all important documents and information.

Finally, a bonus tip from the ESET experts! Don’t leave your computer running for days on end just because you think it will take a long time to boot up. Instead, you can let it go into sleep mode instead of turning it off, but be sure to restart it every few days. Contrary to what you might think, shutting down your computer does not close all running processes, while restarting your computer will cause it to perform all necessary installations and updates and close all applications.

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