Is your PC becoming increasingly slower with time and does it feel like it takes forever to boot? Do you frequently notice output losses if you have opened multiple tabs in the browser? Is processing of multimedia files and playing the latest games no longer fun either? Instead of immediately buying a new computer, you have a plethora of options to
help your archaic machine get back on its feet.
An expensive new purchase is indeed the obvious suggestion but is often not necessary even for old hardware. Most of the time, it is enough to optimize the software used and eliminate redundant applications in order to bring your PC back to its snazzy self. And one must also make full use of Windows settings at times. Only if all of these measures fail to
work, then you can consider replacing or upgrading one or two PC components. We’ll show you effective workarounds against sluggish computers, starting from software to Windows tuning and hardware upgrades, which really make a difference.
Software Tuning To Fine Tune Your Windows 10 PC For Best Performance
Before you carry out bigger interventions in the system, first free it from the software bloat that you no longer require. You should also check whether your programmes are up to speed.
Removal of redundant software
Programmes that you no longer require won’t just occupy unnecessary storage space. In extreme cases, your PC might be executing processes in the background that slow down the system completely.
The freeware Revo Uninstaller is the ideal tool for this task as it also deletes software
that you have not installed intentionally or that cannot be removed easily by means of the uninstallation routine.
At the end of the setup, the Uninstaller will automatically start looking for software available on the PC. It creates a list in which each programme is specified along with the details of the storage space it occupies. Furthermore, you will also receive information regarding which version has been installed and when. Select a software that you would
like to delete and click on ”Uninstall application”. Should an error occur, this means that the uninstallation programme is often defective?
Revo Uninstaller then examines the PC for further traces of the software.Here, it also clears up their entries in the registration database and deletes the data remnants.
Always keep applications up to speed
After you have uninstalled all redundant applications, check whether the remaining programmes are up to date. To do this, you can use a programme like FileHippo App manager. The tool detects outdated programmes by matching the version number with an online database. Upon starting, the programme automatically scans the hard disk of your PC and lists all the applications it has found.
Based on the results, you can tell at a glance whether your software is up to date. For any applications or programmes that are outdated, you can click on ”Download & Run” to update them.
Put away autostarts
In the course of time, the number of programmes that sign up for different autostart options in Windows will increase. This tends to slow down the PC. Microsoft itself offers the free Autoruns tool, with which you could do away with such automatic starts with ease. Unzip the ZIP archive with Autoruns in any folder of your choice on your PC. Then, right-click on the ”Autoruns64.exe” file and select ”Execute as administrator” in
order to start the 64-bit version.In case you still you a 32-bit Windows version, select the ”Autoruns” file.
After the start of the programme, the window quickly fills up with many entries. This can get slightly confusing, which is why it is better to switch to the ”Logon” tab. Here, only the applications starting automatically are present, i.e. no services and also no system programmes by Windows. Uncheck all programmes whose automatic start you no longer want to allow in the future.
Even if you’ve cleaned up your installed programmes, work is not over yet. You need to then intervene in the processes of the operating system and optimize them if required.
The first contact point for this is the Task Manager of Windows. Microsoft has thoroughly
refurbished it in the wake of the development of Windows 10. With the use of different colors, it can show which processes are particularly active.
Open the Task Manager with the key shortcut [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc] and then click on the ”Main memory” column in the ”Processes” tab. This way, you can see exactly which software requires the most RAM.
Although Firefox has become more resource-efficient and quick in speed after the Quantum update, the programme still takes up a lot of working memory as soon as you open multiple tabs in parallel. The darker the yellow, the more active is the process.
Under ”Performance”, you can monitor the changes in the system and their effects. This allows you to examine whether ending a particularly resource-hungry programme helps. You can also take a look at the performance of the hard disk, amongst other things.
Clear up system files
An overflowing hard disk works slower than an only moderately filled data carrier. It should not be filled more than three quarters, otherwise the booting up of programmes, for instance, might take longer than necessary. To begin with, clear up the system files of Windows.
In order to do this, enter ”cleanmgr” in the entry field at the bottom left. If you have
multiple hard disks or partitions, a tiny window will open when you select the desired drive. Subsequently, define which system files you want Windows to delete from the disk. Several GB are quickly gathered, which you recover as a result. Now, confirm with ”OK l Delete files”.
Relieve hard disk from memory hogs
Apart from the system files, there are several other files on most of the hard disks, which you have also not opened in a very long time and probably don’t even use anymore. The free WizTree programme analyses the hard disk and shows where these memory hogs are located.
Start the tool upon installation and allow it to read the data on the hard disk. Next, you will see which folders take up most of the space on the top left. Thto it on right side, WizTree displays which file types are particularly large in size. In the area below it, you will see an alternative graphical display. Click on the individual blocks to see which files it is dealing with respectively. By right-clicking and selecting ”Delete”, you can relieve the hard disk of these big chunks.
Tidying up of the registry database is also part of every PC tuning. The Wise Registry Cleaner normally takes over these tasks in a very reliable manner. Having said that, generate a backup copy of the registry database when running it for the first time. Once this is done, click on ”Quick search”. After a scan, the programme displays how many problems it has found. Click on ”Clear” in order to clear up the registry. Then, restart
your Windows PC.
Restrain Windows effects
If you would like to further reduce the burden on your PC, you should deactivate at least a part of the graphical effects of Windows 10. Enter the ”sysdm.cpl” command in the entry field on the bottom left in order to open your ”System properties” tab. Next, go to the ”Advanced” tab and click on ”Settings” in ”Performance”.
Here, select the ”Adjust for best performance” in the ”Visual effects” tab and confirm with ”OK”. If you would like to retain some of the effects, though, select ”Customised” instead and in the big box, put a check in front of the effect that you would like to retain.
Clean-up action with CCleaner
The CCleaner provides a few additional functions for cleaning your PC, complementing the existing features in Windows. You should download the Slim version, which is free from advertising add-ons. The developers have also gotten rid of the Trojans smuggled into the previous versions. After installation, do a clean-up with the default settings. You can then add other areas later and also get them cleaned up using the tool.
To ensure that you do not inadvertently delete files that you still require, first click ‘‘Analyse” for every point. By doing so, CCleaner first performs a test run during which no files are deleted. If you are satisfied with the result, then you can start the actual deletion.
Remove virus scanner remains
If you switch from one virus scanner to another, it can lead to problems and false alarms if the earlier software has not been uninstalled completely. ESET AV Remover, which identifies numerous virus scanners of other manufacturers and removes them completely, can help remedy that.
The tool itself is portable and does not require any installation. Simply start it by double-clicking and follow the wizard. Under https://support.eset.com/kb3527/,you will find a list of all the programmes under ‘‘List of Applications”, which ESET AV Remover can remove from the hard disk.
Free Disk Space Automatically with Windows 10 Storage Sense
From Windows 10 version 1703 onwards, you will find the storage sense under ‘‘Start | Settings | System | Storage”. Activate the switch under ‘‘Storage sense” and then click
‘‘Change how we free up space” to customize the settings.
Windows 10’s storage sense runs automatically in the background once you turn it on, so it’s hands off after that. But for other data that it doesn’t deal with, you have to remove them manually.
Hardware Tuning To Fine Tune Your Windows 10 PC For Best Performance
Before you start upgrading your PC, you should examine this starting position: What kind of a PC do you have in the first place, which hardware is already built-in and how old is it or how old are the individual components?
For example, it is generally not a problem to upgrade a mid-range computer that is more than five years old. Here, the CPU is mostly not the bottleneck. Sometimes, it’s components like the memory and often a no longer up-to-date magnetic hard disk that’s holding it back. Even the performance of the power supply unit should be verified –
does it have sufficient reserves to support more components, such as a more powerful graphics card that requires more power?
Extend working memory sensibly
Less than four GB is not advisable and is frequently responsible for causing significant delays again and again, as soon as you have multiple programmes or several tabs open in the browser.
CPU-Z shows you what and how much RAM is installed (or built-in). Install and start the tool and then switch to the ”Memory” tab. Details of your system’s RAM can be found under ”SPD”. Select the sockets on the left to see which memory modules are installed. If you mostly use your PC to browse the internet or edit documents, 8GB of RAM is sufficient. But this only works if you have installed a 64-bit version of Windows. Otherwise, you will be limited to 4GB and any additional memory will be of no use. With a 64-bit system, this limit can go as high as 128 GB (Windows 10 Home).
Many old computers are still equipped with a DDR3 or even a DDR2 memory. DDR4 RAM can perhaps be found in PCs manufactured in 2015 or later. Not every motherboard can work with every storage type, so make sure to consult with your motherboard’s user manual for the details. If the manual is missing, use CPU-Z and look up the type description under ”Motherboard”, then Google it. Most manufacturers offer comprehensive compatibility lists of their motherboards online.
In these tables, they list all suitable memory modules. Memory modules with a higher memory cycle do very little for normal users. They are interesting especially for gamers and hobbyists, who like to squeeze out that extra bit of performance out of their machine.
Speed boost through a new SSD
Conventional hard disks are one of the most frequent reasons for a slow system start. When comparing the speed with fast SSDs, the performance of the magnetic disks definitely seems poor. While upgrading an old PC, only SATA SSDs are worth considering in most cases; models with modern NVMe technology are not viable.
While NVMe SSDs require less space and have higher data rates, they require a motherboard with an M.2 connection. SSDs that are at least 250 GB in size are recommended, as they are sufficient for Windows, while also providing enough storage for your important programmes and some games.
Switching over to a better graphics card
Modern graphics cards are equipped with a PCI Express connection. It is also available in several older PCs, so that nothing can come in the way of an upgrade. But you’ll have a problem if only an AGP or a PCI slot is available. In that case, an upgrade is not meaningful since only older graphics cards will fit into those slots. Conversely, the PCIe version is not important.
Rather, the more crucial point is that the slot should have more than 16 lanes (x16). You can check if this applies by going to CPU-Z and looking it up under ”Graphics Interface” on the ”Mainboard” tab. Additionally, verify whether the power supply unit provides sufficient
power to your computer. Although modern graphics cards require relatively less power, how much (or little) it requires is dependent on the individual card. If the power supply unit cannot meet this demand, this can result in image errors or crashes. On the power supply unit, you will find a rating plate with the power meter.
It must be higher than the required power of all components after the installation of the graphics card. In order to find out how many Watts your PC basically needs, use
the online calculator under www.bequiet.com/en/psucalculator.
Examine the condition of the drivers
Installed drivers have a great effect on the speed of a PC as well. Many users rather operate their computer with outdated versions than go through the hassle of updating their drivers manually.
But no one said you can only do so manually. We recommend the software Driver Booster Free, which can help you update your drivers. Upon installation – the freeware promptly begins to look for drivers on your PC. It will scan through your PC and try to find all outdated driver versions, then check the internet to see if there’s an update available. For each driver that has an update, Driver Booster Free will list it down, thus allowing you to upgrade them all just a few mouse clicks.
If you have reached the end of our list of suggestions for optimization of your PC and if the computer power still does not meet your requirements, then your best course would be to consider a brand new system. Even the smartest tuning measures are sometimes not enough to completely offset the shortcomings of the hardware.
If you have massive performance problems, you can reinstall the PC – with all advantages and disadvantages. We recommend proceeding step-by-step in the article
- The Windows PC will run significantly faster and startup somewhat quicker as well
+After a reinstallation, many unnecessary programmes as well as potentially present malware are removed
- Existing software problems that caused crashes generally no longer occur after a reinstallation
- Many Windows applications and drivers must be reinstalled as well as setup again
- A reinstallation and the backup that is necessary before it requires a lot of diligence and a lot of time
- There is a danger that data and tools that are used readily will be lost upon reinstallation