When a Windows computer is new, it runs fast and you may be tempted to think it will always be that way but the reality is that after a couple of years, it starts slowing down. Doing regular tasks like opening a web browser or viewing documents and pictures takes time, a lot longer time, and this can be frustrating. The fans also start spinning fast and it becomes audible. These are some of the things that you can do to fix a slow Windows 10 computer.
Delete temporary files
Over the course of a computer’s use, cache files pile up over time and it can slow down a computer. This is because some of them are outdated and it makes more sense to have updated by getting rid of existing files so you can generate new ones. To delete cached files on windows, click on the ‘ Windows Start + R ‘ key combination to open run then type temp. Delete all the files and folders in the folder that opens up. Click ‘ Windows Start + R ‘ key combination to open run then type %temp% then delete all the files that are in this folder too. Click ‘Ctrl+A’ to select all files and folders then delete.
Once done with that, head over to Settings > System > Storage > Temporary Files then delete the files that you likely will never need especially the recycle bin and windows update Cleanup.
Delete browser cache
Cache is a good thing as It limits downloading of files multiples times by storing them locally and getting reused when needed. The cache can however get outdated and make websites seem slow and unresponsive in some cases. Deleting cache helps in restoring speed and responsiveness on websites. Here are ways to clear/delete cache on different browsers.
This method applies to slowing browser activities only.
Stop background apps
Background apps as the name suggests are services that run continuously in the background. They can consume system resources especially resource-starved computers. Aging dual-core computers suffer a lot from this. To stop background services, head over to Settings > Privacy > Background apps then disable all of them. These apps will no longer run in the background consuming your system resources unnecessarily.
Disable startup applications
Some applications startup as soon as you turn on your computer, this makes the computer slow and takes longer to start as these applications are loaded as soon as Windows end booting or sometimes when in the process of booting. To disable startup applications, head over to the task manager then navigate to startup. Disable all unnecessary applications that you would like to start during boot.
Update your drivers and Windows
Old buggy drivers or a version of windows could be the reason your computer is slowing down. Head over to Settings > Update & Security then check for an update. Update your drivers by heading over to device manager, right-click on the specific hardware then check for an update.
Upgrade to Windows 11
Microsoft offers Windows 11 to all eligible windows 10 users: TPM 2.0, 4GB RAM, Dual-Core processor, and modern processors from Intel core 7th gen or later or AMD Zen + processors (Ryzen 2000). Nonsupported computers can still install Windows 11 but the experience will carry and updates won’t be issued from Microsoft in the future. You may want to think twice before installing windows 11 on unsupported hardware. Windows 11 brings performance improvements and efficiency to the core and is supposed to make these slower PCs a little faster.
To update to Windows 11, head over to Settings > Update & Security then check for windows updates. To try beta versions of Windows 11, sign up for beta then choose the version of the update that you would like. I recommend public beta as it is more stable, unlike canary.
Upgrade bootdrive to SSD (C:\)
This is the single most important upgrade that you can do to your computer to boost performance and you will notice it instantly from navigating the interface to launching apps. Your computer will feel brand new. First, check if you are already using an SSD by opening the Task Manage then navigating to C:\ statistics under performance. HDD or SSD will show up next to the drive letter.
If you have an SSD around, put it in your system and use it as a boot drive to enjoy the performance upgrade. If you don’t, then this unfortunately will cost some money. Luckily for you, SSD prices are nowadays close if not the same as HDDs. A 240 GB Kingston SATA SSD goes for $28.99.
Change Thermal Compound
Your computer’s processor needs to stay cool so it can perform optimally. If it happens to under load and the heat sink cant conduct away heat fast enough, it will slow itself down in a process called thermal throttling. This helps to protect itself from heat damage. Using a computer over very many years gradually dries up the thermal compound and will need replacement to restore efficiency.
I recommend taking this to someone who has experience in opening computers so they can change the thermal compound.