8 Practical Ways to Improve your Computer Performance

Here is an unfortunate truth: at some point, all computers will encounter slower speeds and a decline in overall computer performance. Moreover, the way your PC responds to the changes brought about by software upgrades can significantly impact your PC’s performance and cause strange error messages.

Although you can update your PC to make it run faster, some enhancements are more cost-effective and simple to implement. While these minor tweaks may not seem to speed up your computer’s output, when combined and implemented complementarity, they can help you keep your PC running for longer.

1. Limit the Startup Programs Through the Task Manager

The Task Manager in Windows 10 has been improved to make it easier to figure out which applications and services you want running in the background and which you want to start on your own.

To limit the startup programs via Task Manager, press Ctrl-Shift-Esc. A box will appear, listing all of the programs that are currently running. Click on the tab Startup. This is where you will find a list of all the programs that will run when you start your PC. It also gives you a comprehensive account of how much RAM each program requires.

To make specific adjustments and changes, right-click on the application you want to update and select the command that tells it not to run until commanded. Furthermore, if you find that a program that affects how you use your PC is no longer running, you can always reset the settings.

Disable startup programs via task manager
Limiting the amount of startup programs will increase your computer performance.

If you are lost or unsure, restart your PC to see how it works without the programs loaded and available at startup.

2. Update Drivers

Without adequate operating system drivers, a computer is nothing more than a piece of garbage.

Driver updates can include data that improves device communication following software or operating system updates and security enhancements, software bug fixes, and computer performance improvements. Thus, it is crucial to update your device’s drivers regularly.

3. Delete Unused Software Programs

Uninstalling programs that are no longer needed or desired will benefit your computer performance in a multitude of ways. Specifically, by removing unused software programs, you will be able to:

  • Add Hard Drive Space: when you uninstall applications, you will free up more space on your hard drive.
  • Enhance Computer Performance: By deleting programs that are not in use, they would not run in the background, resulting in considerably faster PC performance.
  • Optimize Computer Security: Updates for applications that are no longer in use frequently get overlooked. Updates are essential for having the latest features and patching any security flaws in older versions. As a result, if you ignore the updates, you are skipping the security patches as well.

4. Remove Anti-Virus Software

This may sound weird, but have you considered switching to the free built-in Microsoft Defender anti-virus software? Microsoft Defender was once considered a weak computer protection layer from malware. However, that is now a thing of the past. Microsoft’s antivirus, which gets included with Windows 10, has gained serious upgrades, getting a much better reputation now.

Furthermore, since Microsoft Defender integrates within Windows 10 fully, it is a no-effort fix ready to protect your PC and provide reliable defenses right out of the box.

5. Change Power Plan

Each of your computer’s power plans is primarily a collection of settings. Rather than manipulating sets one by one, these “plans” get engineered to streamline switching between common groups of settings. Furthermore, the following is a list of the power plans and their functions:

  • Balanced: Balanced adjusts your CPU’s speed depending on its requirements, such that when needed, it increases your CPU’s pace, and when unnecessary, it reduces your CPU’s speed. As Balanced is the default configuration, it should work for the vast majority of situations.
  • Power Saver: Power Saver’s design was to conserve energy by, among other similar things, reducing the CPU’s speed and decreasing the screen brightness.
  • High Performance: When you are in High-Performance mode, the CPU does not slow down when it is not in service; instead, it keeps running at higher speeds most of the time. Additionally, it also boosts the screen’s brightness. Other components, such as your Wi-Fi or hard drive, may not go into power-saving modes as well.

6. Add Memory or an SSD

When your machine is overloaded or running out of storage, it can be frustrating as it can slow you down when you are trying to get work done. However, you have options for disk replacements that are much less expensive and can significantly increase performance if buying a new PC in the foreseeable future is out of the question.

Upgrading to an SSD is one of the factors to consider when looking to boost PC performance. They are a practical solution for multiple reasons, including that prices have dropped in recent years, making them far more affordable than ever.

Notably, the average boot period for a solid-state drive is 10-13 seconds, compared to 30-40 seconds for a hard drive. File copy/write speeds are also faster on SSDs because they use nonvolatile storage media that stores permanent data on solid-state flash memory.

Additionally, file opening time is up to 30% faster on SSD than HDD, adding to the wealth of speed advantages.

7. Clean out your Hard Disk

It may come as no surprise that you could be slowing down your PC if you have a bulky, distended hard disk full of files you no longer use and need. Cleaning it out can help your PC work faster. Storage Sense, a built-in feature in Windows 10, was functionally designed for this job. Simply go to Settings > System > Storage and switch the toggle from Off to On at the top of the screen.

When you do this, Windows monitors your PC in real-time and deletes any old junk files it deems no longer necessary. Such files include temporary files, files in the Downloads folder that have not gotten updated in over a month, and old files in the Recycle Bin.

8. Purchase a New Computer

When nothing seems to work, it may be time to replace your PC with a new one. Although repairing hardware usually is less expensive than purchasing new hardware, you must consider several factors such as ongoing support costs and decreased productivity, as opposed to the cost of simply getting rid of a PC for a new one.

Conclusion

Today, the last thing you want to do is spend more than necessary. Improving computer performance may be tedious but not impossible. Before deciding to undergo pricey PC updates or ultimately replacing a PC with a new one, consider doing the above steps. When all else fails, it may be the right time to invest in a new computer.

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