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Windows 10: Eleven Ways To Improve Performance

These few tips, like reducing visual effects, removing unnecessary services, playing with power settings or adding the right amount of RAM, will allow you to simply boost your Windows 10.

If you are an IT professional, a few modifications are enough to optimize the performance of Windows 10 and drastically speed up the operation of the operating system .

These 11 tips to know are mostly straightforward and easy fixes. If these options don’t solve your performance issues – and only if they don’t – you may need a more comprehensive analysis of your working environment.

1. Check and test the latest Windows 10 update

Microsoft offers two main categories of updates: “Feature updates”, which Microsoft publishes twice a year and which concern major features, and “Quality updates”, which deal with security vulnerabilities, known bugs and problems. other Windows 10 related issues.

These updates sometimes cause their own issues that you may need to resolve. So take a look at the bugs and known issues for the latest versions of Windows. Updates, which are essential, can be the cause of performance problems in your Windows 10 .

Conversely, the problem may be that you have not applied the latest Windows 10 update. If possible, apply the updates, after testing them, and try to stay on top of any identified bugs. for each version of the OS.

Also, the fact that Windows downloads these updates in the background can impact performance. The operating system highly values CPU resources and won’t tell the difference between a particularly well-endowed machine and a declining laptop.

To avoid these inconveniences, it is advisable to plan the updates. It is possibly possible to delay them by clicking on start, then update and security, advanced options and finally “Defer upgrades”. This action lasts seven days, a simple click prolongs it. Be careful, updates remain essential, it is just a question of gaining a little speed on a daily basis. Done at the right time, the update will take place at the end of the week. This is particularly useful for computers still equipped with two-core processors (if they tend to disappear, models sold under the 500 euros mark still have them).

2. Reduce the size of the pagination file to its minimum

The paging file or Windows page file (or pagefile) allows the system to use physical RAM more efficiently by using part of the hard drive as an extension of RAM when it reaches its maximum capacity. It is sometimes referred to as “Windows 10 Virtual Memory” (or Windows 10 Virtual Memory).

On most Windows 10 systems with 8 GB of RAM or more, the operating system correctly manages the size of this virtual memory. Usually this file is 1.5 GB for 8 GB of RAM, 2.5 GB for 16 GB of RAM, and 5 GB for 32 GB of RAM. You could reduce the paging file to 2 GB on a 16 GB system, for example, or to 3.5 GB on a 32 GB system without experiencing noticeable performance issues.

You can therefore reduce the size of the paging file. However, avoid doing this on 32-bit systems.

To optimize the pagefile , follow these steps :

Open  System Properties . Right click on the Start menu, select  System , then click  Change Settings .

In the System Properties dialog box  , on the Advanced tab, click the Settings button  in the Performance section .

In the Performance Options dialog box  , on the Advanced tab, click the Edit button  in the Virtual Memory section .

In the Virtual Memory dialog box  , the sizes of the paging file are displayed at the bottom: note the values ​​shown in Minimum allowed, Recommended, and Currently. Next, uncheck the “  Automatically manage paging file size for all drives  ” box. If the list of available drives shows more than one, click on your system drive (the one where Windows is installed, usually C :).

Click  Custom Size and complete the Initial Size (MB) and Maximum Size (MB) fields . Specify a maximum size of 1 GB (1000 MB) to 4 GB (4000 MB), depending on the amount of RAM installed.

Click Set , then  click  OK.

Then close all open dialog boxes and restart the computer.

Better, if you have multiple physical disks (and not multiple partitions on a single drive), you can increase system speed by spreading the paging file across two drives. Allow about 300 MB of virtual memory to the system disk, and select the second disc in the dialog Virtual Memory ( Virtual Memory ), set the initial and maximum sizes and click  Set  (Set).

3. Use Windows ReadyBoost

Microsoft ReadyBoost is a Windows caching feature. This utility can cache files using removable flash drive to improve Windows 10 performance without requiring additional memory.

The specifications required for ReadyBoost are as follows:

Access time less than or equal to 1 millisecond;

75 Mbps throughput for random writes of 1 MB;

At least 64 KB of available storage; and

A speed of 5 Mbps for random reads of 4 KB.

To activate this utility, insert the removable disk, right click on it in Windows 10 file explorer and choose the Properties option . Then select the ReadyBoost tab and click OK . If the media is not compatible with ReadyBoost, the tab will not appear.

4. Disable UI visual effects

Tab to disable visual effects in Windows 10ED TITTEL – LEMAGIT TECHTARGET

Figure 1: Tab to disable visual effects

While the animations and shadow effects make the user interface look great, they are heavy consumers of CPU and memory resources.

To disable these features, open System Properties . Under the Advanced tab , click the Settings button   in the Performance section . On the Visual Effects tab , uncheck all the options highlighted in green in Figure 1.

5. Remove unnecessary services from Windows 10

Another way to improve Windows 10 performance is to stop unnecessary OS services. You can safely disable ASP.NET State Service, Portable Device Enumerator Service, and Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service.

Disabling them will be especially beneficial for low power systems.

To deactivate the services, go to the Services console . To open this console, type services.msc  in the Run box. Right click on the Start button , then select  Run  . Alternatively, simultaneously press the Windows key and R.

In the Services console , right click on the service to be disabled and select  Properties. In the displayed dialog box, click the Stop button   and then select  Disabled  from the Startup Type drop-down list as shown in Figure 2.

Steps to disable a service in Windows 10ED TITTEL – LEMAGIT TechTarget

Figure 2: Steps to Disable a Service in Windows 10

For safety, only disable one service at a time. Restart your computer and use it for a while before disabling another service. If something is wrong, you will know without hesitation which service to reactivate.

You can also use the open-source Sycnex project available on GitHub. This is a set of PowerShell scripts to remove unnecessary applications present (bloatware) in all versions of Windows 10 (even Pro licenses). Some of them run memory-feeder processes (eg Skype, if you’re only using Teams). Just download the source file from GitHub, unzip it, launch PowerShell, then copy and paste the scripts into it. For more control, it is recommended to run them one by one, but the project also includes a GUI allowing you to activate some or all of the available commands. For example, a computer with a dual-core processor and 4 GB of RAM will highly appreciate this operation.

6. Clean and defragment your hard drive (if it is not an SSD)

This advice only applies to computers running Windows 10 equipped with a hard disk drive (HDD); and not those with an SSD.

If this is your configuration, you can use the defragmentation and cleaning tool to optimize your hard drives. Defragmentation is the process of rearranging files on a disk for easier access to the system.

To start defragmentation on your PC hard drive, go to system settings and click on the Storage tab. Select the Optimize drives option. Then click on the hard drive and select the Optimize command. The tool takes care of the rest of the defragmentation process and reorganizes the disk to make indexing less resource-intensive and remove any unnecessary temporary files.

The Storage tab gives more options to delete temporary files including failed updates, cached files, old versions of Windows after a reinstallation. The “Disk Cleanup” tab in the properties of hard disks, available since Windows XP, does not offer as many possibilities.

7. Manage the programs that start at the startup

If you reduce the number of programs that are automatically launched when Windows 10 starts up, your desktop will display much faster each time you reboot.

To manage these programs at startup, open the Task Manager and click the Startup tab  . Select the programs you want to disable on startup and click  Disable .

If you really want to get your hands dirty, you can also use the Windows Sysinternals Autoruns utility.

Windows 10 includes an Internet-connected process search function: with this online documentation, you can easily determine which programs to leave on startup and which to disable.

To use this search function, right-click on any line (of a program) and select  Search Online. Your browser will then display the search results for that program.

When Windows 10 starts up, the apps listed in the Startup folder are not launched immediately. Their starts are “delayed” to allow time for the system to load its own processes as a priority. Things are well organized, and the experience faster.

However, you can further shorten the startup time by reducing the startup time for applications in the Windows registry:

Open Registry Editor (regedit.exe).

Locate the following entry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Serialize Note: If the Serialize registry key does not exist, create it. Select the Explorer folder in the left Explorer panel, then click  Edit> New> Key from the menu bar. Type Serialize to give the key this name and press  Enter.

Create a new DWORD value named StartupDelayInMSec and set it to  0. To create a DWORD value, right-click the Serialize key in the left pane, then select  New> DWORD (32-bit) Value. The value is set to 0 by default (figure 3).

Exit Registry Editor.

From the next reboot, restarting your computer should be faster.

8. Reduce the OS boot delay value.

The Windows 10 boot timeout value is set to 30 seconds by default. You will find this value in the Boot tab of MSConfig.

To speed up the startup, you can reduce this value to 10 seconds. This will always give you enough time to boot in safe mode, if necessary. You can also decide to change it to 0 seconds.

To change the value, two methods:

enter  MSConfig in the Run field than in the Boot tab change the value of the Timeout field to the number of seconds you want, then click OK .

or, go to Settings> Update & Security> Recovery> Advanced Startup to force Windows 10 to restart in Safe Mode.

The method causes an immediate restart, so don’t do it until you’ve saved your current jobs and are ready to restart. The MSConfig method requires that you uncheck the “Safe boot” box before your next reboot.

9. Change the power settings

Microsoft offers three types of power management in Windows 10. Each is useful for different use cases.

Animations and shadows on the desktop make the user interface look good, but they can consume a lot of CPU and memory.

Power saver mode, for example, maximizes battery life at the expense of performance. Conversely, the “High performance” mode maximizes performance, but at the cost of higher energy consumption. There is also a “balanced” (“normal use”) option that Microsoft recommends by default.

If you have performance issues with your Windows 10, it may be worthwhile to activate the “High performance” mode. To enable this power plan, open Control Panel , then select Hardware and Sound . From there, click on Power Options , click on “Show additional modes” and select the “High performance” mode .

10. Remove viruses and malware

This advice is obvious. But we cannot repeat it enough: avoid at all costs and protect yourself from viruses and malware!

As a professional, you certainly benefit from a license for antivirus and antimalware. The best advice we can give is to follow the procedure your organization has given you to (regularly) scan your device and identify, if applicable, for viruses, malware or any other Unwanted applications deteriorate the performance of your Windows 10.

If you don’t have an antivirus, you can use Microsoft’s Windows Defender. Start a scan by going to the Windows Defender Security Center menu – either by clicking on the small shield icon at the bottom left of the desktop, or by going through the Start / Settings / Update menu and security / Windows Defender . Click ”  Open Windows Defender Security Center” and then select “Virus and Threat Protection”. Windows 10 will then offer you four analysis options (Scan): quick, complete, personalized and offline.

Each of these options has its interest. The full scan is the most suitable for a first scan. You can then configure a custom scan according to your organization’s policy.

11. Upgrade your hardware

One of the most radical and effective ways to boost your Windows 10 is to upgrade your hardware.

Adding physical RAM memory will significantly speed up the performance of your Windows 10. A 32-bit Windows system accepts up to 4 GB of RAM and a 64-bit system accepts up to 128 GB, or even more depending on your version of Windows 10 and your computer’s motherboard.

Memory modules are not very expensive. Installing as much RAM as possible – ie 4 GB on a 32-bit system, and at least 16 GB on a 64-bit (8 GB is sufficient for simple office automation) – is to be seriously considered to optimize your daily use of Windows 10. Buy Now also if possible the fastest RAM that your installation can support (refer to the specifications of the manufacturers of your computer and / or your motherboard).

If you only have a classic hard drive ( HDD ), also consider purchasing a flash drive ( SSD ), the startup will be significantly shortened, as will launching applications, moving files, recording, etc.

If you implement some or all of these recommendations, you should notice a marked acceleration in your Windows 10. And even if you apply only a few, you will have a more responsive and enjoyable experience.

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