Windows 10 is great, we quite agree. But then, with time, its performance degrades, giving rise to these questions: How can I clean up my computer to make it run faster? What steps should I take to increase the efficiency and responsiveness of my PC, especially in games and productivity apps?
This article looks at actionable tips you can implement right now to boost your Windows speed and responsiveness in applications, more especially in gaming.
Before we proceed, I want to let you know that Windows 10 has lots of improvements over Windows 8, and runs a lot faster. However, it still suffers from a common ailment – Windows operating systems tend to get slower with time. So it goes without saying that your slick and brand new Windows 10 installation will definitely slow down with time.
Besides, Windows 10 has lots of enhancements and settings you really don’t need. These settings are turned on by default in most cases. So turning them off won’t hurt your system, instead, your Windows will be much lighter and more responsive.
This guide is arranged in sequences, and you can navigate to a preferred sequence. However, it is recommended to follow the guide faithfully and consecutively for the best results.
After implementing all the optimizations listed here, the overall effect on your PC is distilled down to the following:
- Better System Speed
You get to eliminate the unnecessary clutter and apps that contribute to a heavier Windows installation, resulting to a leaner and lighter Windows 10.
- Increased performance
Your programs and games will load and run much faster. Expect to get up to a 40% increase in performance in games and productivity apps. Your games will produce much higher frames per second (FPS), and also better system responsiveness.
In addition, your system will operate more efficiently since the unneeded settings and optimizations will be disabled or turned off. Finally, there is a bonus for laptop users. Stick around to the end of the article and find out just what it is!
- Sequence 1 > Prerequisites
- Sequence 2 > Settings
- Tablet Mode
- Shared Experiences
- Remote Desktop
- Default Apps
- Offline Maps
- Game bar
- Game Mode
- Inking & typing personalization
- Diagnostics & Feedback
- Activity History
- Other Devices
- Background applications
- App diagnostics
- Windows Update
- Sequence 3 > Control Panel
- Sequence 4 > Debloat and Stabilize
You can watch the video if you want to, but it is advisable to follow the guide below for best results.
Sequence 1 > Prerequisites
First of all, you should update your Windows 10 installation. This is to ensure better system stability and maximum compatibility.
Simply head over to the Control Panel and open the Windows Update icon. Go ahead and check for updates, then install any update available. If your Windows is already up to date, you’re good to go.
Control Panel>Windows Update
Set a System Restore Point
This is absolutely necessary and I would advise you to ensure you don’t skip this step. As usual, go into the Control Panel and open the Recovery icon to launch System Restore.
Control Panel>Recovery>System Restore
If your System Restore functionality is not setup, follow these steps to set it up.
Click on the search button on the Task Bar. Type Control Panel. Open it up. Next click on System and Security, click on System, then click on Advanced System Settings. When it comes up, click on the System Protection tab, then click on the drive holding your Operating system (usually labeled C: System), and then click on Configure. Turn on System Protection and drag the slider up to 5% to create a Recovery allocation on your drive, which is usually around 8.5GB.
Go ahead and Create a Restore Point which should finish in a few minutes, and you’re done.
Before you proceed, please read this!!! I guarantee that your computer will benefit from these optimizations if you follow the steps outlined here faithfully. However, carry out these procedures at your own risk. Any damage to your computer which might arise from these optimizations is your liability. Build My PC is not responsible or liable in any way. Proceed at your own risk!!!
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Optimize Windows 10
The following enhancements target certain Windows 10 settings that hitherto are enabled on your PC, but you don’t actually need them. Please follow the steps serially and faithfully to clean up your computer to make it run faster.
Sequence 2 > Settings
Start > Control Panel > System > Notifications & Actions
Once here, turn off the first two buttons under Notifications. Also under Get Notifications from these Senders, turn off the two buttons here too.
Back up a bit and disable all the buttons under Add or Remove quick actions.
Go back again and select Focus Assist, and set to Off. Also, under Automatic Rules, set all the options here to Off.
Next, click on the Power & Sleep tab. Set Screen off time to like 5 Mins and Sleep to Never.
Next, click on Storage tab and turn Storage Sense to Off.
If you are on a tablet, leave the settings here on default. If you’re using a desktop PC, select Use Desktop Mode and Don’t ask me and don’t switch.
Leave the default settings. Also leave the default settings for Virtual Desktops.
Turn off the button under Share across devices.
Turn off Clipboard History.
At this point, go to the Control Panel Home by clicking on the Home tab.
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Next, we enter the Personalization section
Start > Control Panel > Personalization.
Turn off Transparency Effects, choose a color for your Window Title bars and choose Dark Mode.
Turn off all the items here. Click on Choose which folders appear on Start and disable everything except Settings.
Back up again and select Taskbar.
Click on Turn system icons on or off. Turn everything off except Clock, Volume, Power and Network. Also turn Input Indicator on if you’re switching between multiple keyboard languages now and then.
Finally, go back and click on People, then turn everything off. At this point, click on the Home tab to take us back to the Control Panel Home screen. Our destination this time is the Apps section.
Start > Control Panel > Apps
Set your default apps here.
Click the Delete all maps button to delete all offline maps. Scroll down to Map updates and turn off.
Turn off the startup items you are not using, such as Java Update scheduler, Adobe Acrobat updater, Windows Security notification icon, etc. Ensure you leave the Windows Audio icon on. These setting allows you to lower your PC’s startup time by not loading these apps on startup.
Once again, navigate to the Home tab. Next, click on the Gaming section
Start > Control Panel > Gaming
Turn off Game bar.
Turn off if you aren’t a gamer, or leave on if you are.
Once again, navigate to the Home tab. Next, click on the Ease of Access section
Start > Control Panel > Ease of Access
Turn off Speech Recognition unless you absolutely need it.
Turn every setting here off.
Next, navigate to the Home tab. Next, click on the Privacy section
Start > Control Panel > Privacy
Turn everything off
Turn off the button here
Inking & typing personalization
Set to off
Diagnostics & Feedback
Select the first option under Diagnostic Data. Scroll down to Feedback Frequency and set to Never. Scroll up a bit and Delete Diagnostic data.
Untick Store my activity history on this device. Scroll down a bit and Clear activity history.
Turn off Location.
Leave the mic on.
Set to off
Set to off
Set to off
Finally, navigate to the Home tab. Next, click on the Update & Security section
Start > Control Panel > Update & Security
Click on Advanced Options, turn every setting off to prevent frequent updates and system restarts without your consent.
Next click on Delivery Optimization and turn it off. Go back.
This concludes the adjustments for this sequence. Let’s move on to the next sequence.
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Sequence 3 > Control Panel
Click on the Windows Start Menu icon and type Control Panel. It comes up in the results. Press Enter or click on it to launch. This is the legacy version of the Windows Control panel, which exists side by side with the revamped version in Windows 10.
When it launches, click on System & Security, System, and then Advanced system settings. When the panel pops up, click on the Advanced tab. Under Performance, click on Settings.
Under Visual Effects, change settings as below:
- Animate controls and elements inside windows – on
- Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing – on
- Animations in the taskbar – off
- Enable Peek – off
- Fade or slide menus into view – off
- Fade or slide tooltips into view – off
- Fade out menu items after clicking – off
- Save taskbar thumbnail previews – off
- Show shadows under mouse pointer – off
- Show shadows under windows – on
- Show thumbnails instead of icons – on
- Show translucent selection rectangle – on
- Show window contents while dragging – on
- Slide open combo boxes – off
- Smooth edges of screen fonts – on
- Smooth-scroll list boxes – off
- Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop – off
Next click on the Advanced tab, under Virtual Memory set each drive to No paging file, then set the fastest drive on your system (preferably an SSD or NVMe drive) to System managed size and click on Set. Accept the changes. Next, select the Data Execution Prevention tab and select the first option which reads Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services only. Click OK.
Still on the Advanced tab, click on Settings under Startup and Recovery. Untick Time to display list of operating systems and make sure the default operating system is Windows 10.
Click Ok to exit.
Next click on the Remote tab and disable Remote Assistance by clicking on the Advanced button. Untick Allow this computer to be controlled remotely. Click OK. Also untick Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer. Click Apply and OK to close the panel. If the Restart prompt pops up, simply select Restart later.
Navigate back to the Control panel home screen.
Next, click on Ease of Access. Once in there, you’ll hear the narrator voice reading stuff out. Simply untick the 2 boxes Always read this section aloud and Always scan this section.
Next, scroll down and click on Make the computer easier to see. Untick everything here except Turn off all unnecessary animations (when possible) and Remove background images (where available). Click Apply and OK.
Next click on Make the keyboard easier to use. Click on Setup Mouse keys. Untick Turn on Mouse keys with left ALT + left SHIFT + NUM LOCK. Scroll down to Other Settings and untick Display the Mouse Keys icon on the taskbar and select Off for Use Mouse Keys when NUM LOCK is:
Click Apply and OK to exit this screen.
Next click on Set up Sticky Keys and turn every setting off. Click Apply and OK. Next, click on Set up Filter Keys and also turn everything off. Click Apply and OK to exit the screen.
Next click on Use text or visual alternatives for sound and turn everything off. Also set Choose visual warning to Off. Click on Apply and OK.
Finally, click on Make touch and tablets easier to use and select None from the dropdown. Click on Apply and OK to exit.
Navigate back to the Control panel home page. In the search box type Mouse and click on Mouse on the result list. The Mouse settings panel comes up.
Click on the Pointer Options tab. Under Motion untick Enhance pointer precision. Press Apply and OK. Close the Control panel window.
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On the desktop, click on the Start Menu button and enter the search term “File Explorer“. When it comes up, click on it from the results. The Windows Explorer opens. Click on View on the menu. Enable File name extensions by ticking the box. Next click on Folder Options and untick Show frequently used folders in Quick Access under Privacy. Next click on Clear button beside the Clear File Explorer history.
Next change the Open File Explorer to: and select This PC. Finally click Apply and OK.
Next, right click on the Audio speaker icon on the taskbar. The Sound panel should come up. Right click on any sound device you are not using and disable. Next, right click on your major sound device and select Properties. Under Advanced tab, untick both settings there. Also set your output quality to its highest setting.
Next click on the Spatial Sound tab and set it to Off. Repeat the same procedures for the Recording tab. Next, click on the Communications tab. Select Do nothing from the set of options. Finally click on Apply and OK to exit.
Next, type %appdata% in the search box and press enter. The folder opens. Open the folder Local and Temp. Delete all the files here by pressing SHIFT + Delete. Press Yes to delete all permanently.
Sequence 4 > Debloat and Stabilize
This section deals mainly with debloating Windows. In order to clean up your computer to make it run faster, we are going to run a couple of scripts that will do the job. Please note that these scripts are from 3rd party sources, and as such we do not bear any liability that may result from their usage. These scripts have been used by lots of people with no problems whatsoever, and they work fine. However, as the saying goes, proceed at your own risk!
Please note that Office 365 and One Drive may not work afterwards. It is also quite recommended to disable your antivirus app.
So here’s the procedure to follow:
- Windows Debloater Script – Download at the following URL https://github.com/Syncex/Windows10Debloater.
Go ahead and download the zipped file to your PC and extract it. Next type Powershell in the taskbar search box and right-click on the Powershell from the results. Select Run as Administrator. Next, open the unzipped folder you just downloaded. Right-click on the file Windows10DebloaterGUI.ps1 and select Open With from the context menu. Select Notepad and click OK.
When the file opens in Notepad, press Ctrl + A to select all the code and copy by clicking on Edit > Copy from the menu or Ctrl + C on your keyboard.
Simply paste the code in the open Powershell window by pressing Ctrl + V on your keyboard.
Simply press Enter to run the script. The script GUI will pop up. Next, press the Remove All Bloatware button. The script will run till it will finish all tasks.
Next, click on Disable Cortana and Stop Edge PDF Takeover. Next, click on Uninstall OneDrive. Next, click on Disable Telemetry/Tasks. Finally click on Remove Bloatware Regkeys.
Close the Debloater tool and the Powershell window.
- Remove Windows 10 Bloat script – Download at the following URL https://gist.githubusercontent.com/matthewjberger/2f4295887d6cb5738fa34e597f457b7f/raw/b23fa065febed8a2d7c2f030fba6da381f640997/Remove-Windows10-Bloat.bat
Select all by pressing Ctrl + A and paste inside a Notepad file. Save as a batch file in the root of your drive C:/ (You can do this by renaming the file extension to .bat from .txt.
Next, open the Command Prompt by typing Command Prompt inside the Windows search box. Right click on the Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.
Next, navigate to the directory where you saved the batch file earlier and execute. To navigate inside Command Prompt, use the CD command, e.g., type CD.. to go back up a directory. When you are inside the directory where you saved the file, simply type the file name and press Enter to run. For example, if you saved the file as cleanup.bat, type just that and press Enter.
Once the commands have finished executing, close the Command Prompt window to exit.
- Registry Script – Download from this link https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TJp1BE0s_6ZqzeZshiCmxbYNQfpnNXkZ/view?usp=sharing
The registry script improves network speed and enables Windows to utilize the highest available prioritization for your games and programs. It also includes tricks that increase system responsiveness.
Simply download the zipped file to your PC and extract it. After extraction, right click on the file and click Merge to add the information to your Windows Registry. Click on Yes to add the registry entries.
- Tune the power settings
On your desktop, click the search icon and type Control Panel. Press Enter to launch. Once there, type Power into the search box at the top, from the results click on Power Options.
Make sure the Balanced Power Plan is active. Then click on Change Plan Settings. Next, click on Change Advanced Settings. The settings panel pops up. Change the following settings
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- Hard disk – 0 (Never has to turn off the hard disk. This may consume more power though, but maximizes performance)
- Wireless adapter settings > Power Saving Mode – Maximum Performance
- PCI Express > Link State Power Management – Off
- Processor power management
Minimum processor state – 5%
Processor performance core parking overutilization threshold – 100% (this setting is hidden by default in Windows 10, but the registry script makes it available for tweaking. If using a laptop, set at 85%)
Maximum processor state – 100%
Click on Apply and OK to close the panel.
- Download and install Spybot Anti-Beacon – Download at the following url https://www.safer-networking.org/products/spybot-anti-beacon/
- This is a useful app that improves your privacy by blocking out unnecessary tracking and analytics carried out by your popular browsers.
After downloading the app, run the installation and start the app. On the start screen, click on Customize. Next, select either Recommended or Full under Protection Presets.
Next, click on Apply to run the selected actions. Exit the program when complete.
- Next, we are going to free up some more space as long as the hibernation feature is turned off.
Click on the Windows search box and type CMD. Right click on the Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.
Once inside Command Prompt, type the following code: powercfg /h off and press Enter. To re-enable hibernation, type the following at the command prompt: powercfg /h on.
Next, you have to optimize each game with the following optimization. Navigate to the game folder, locate your game .exe file. Right click on it and choose Properties. Under Compatibility, tick the box for Disable fullscreen optimizations. Next, click on Change High DPI Settings. Under High DPI scale override, tick the box for Override high DPI scaling behavior and select Application from the dropdown.
Click Apply and OK to exit.
More utilities to check out include the following:
Tron Script – a powerful solution for slow running systems.
Winaero Tweaker – gives you much more control over your Windows operating system.
Malwarebytes – a powerful anti-malware solution.
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