Is your Windows computer running unusually slow? If so, it may just need a little tune-up. Here are a few simple ways to get your PC running normally again.
1. Free up space
One of the easiest ways to optimize PC performance is to free up valuable disk space. To check the available disk space on your drives, simply select the Start button and go to Settings > System > Storage. This should bring up a list of your drives and the amount of free space on each.
Storage Sense is also a helpful way of keeping your storage space optimized. When your disk space is running low, this feature automatically removes any unnecessary or temporary device files that are taking up precious room on your PC. You can enable and configure Storage Sense by opening Settings, selecting System > Storage, and turning on Storage Sense in the Storage management area. Here, you can also select the specific settings you prefer.
What’s more, you could run the Disk Cleanup utility, which gives you the option of manually choosing the type of files you wish to delete. If you’re looking to recover even more space, consider selecting “Clean up system files.” Your previous Windows version might even appear as a deletable system file — though delete it only if you're certain you won't need to revert to that version.
2. Close apps, files, or browsers you don’t need
Unnecessary apps, programs, and open browser tabs can affect your PC’s performance, so make sure to close any idle ones. If you still notice significant performance spikes, try restarting your PC and only reopen the essential apps, programs, and tabs.
Additionally, you should declutter your system by uninstalling unused applications. Consider transferring files to an alternative drive to free up space, and disable unnecessary startup programs that can delay your PC’s boot time. To do this, check the notification area for programs that automatically launch with Windows, and turn off this setting for each app under Settings > Apps > Startup. If you're using OneDrive, temporarily pausing syncing can also alleviate system strain during demanding tasks.
3. Check for viruses
Malware can cause unexpected slowdowns and other disruptions. These malicious programs can generate pop-ups, trigger automatic program launches, and even have hidden applications constantly running in the background.
While maintaining up-to-date anti-malware software can shield your system, malware infections can still occur. Consider performing routine checkups of your system using Windows Security (previously Windows Defender Security Center), a built-in Windows feature that scans your PC for any viruses or malicious programs. You can launch Window Security under Settings > Privacy & security > Windows Security. You’ll have the option of checking for any necessary updates or running a quick scan of your files.
Furthermore, performing regular system or driver updates not only guarantee optimal performance, but also protect your PC from the latest threats. Simply check for any available updates under Settings > Windows Update. You can choose to install any available updates immediately or schedule them at a less disruptive time.
4. Use performance-boosting tools and programs
Finally, opting for performance-boosting tools and programs can effectively improve your PC’s responsiveness. ReadyBoost, for instance, is a feature that uses a USB drive to enhance system speed by using it as additional RAM. To activate ReadyBoost, insert a compatible USB drive, right-click on it in File Explorer, and choose the "ReadyBoost" tab to configure the settings.
Moreover, Windows 11's automatic page file management can help allocate virtual memory more efficiently, leading to enhanced PC performance. You can turn this on by going to System Properties > Advanced > Settings > Performance Options > Advanced and selecting Change in the Virtual memory area. Make sure the check box for “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” is selected.
Adjusting your PC’s visual effects can also have a significant impact on its performance. While these are pleasing, they can consume system resources. For improved speed, reduce these effects by right-clicking on This PC from File Explorer, selecting Properties, and then clicking Advanced system settings. Under the "Advanced" tab, click Settings in the Performance section and choose Adjust for best performance or customize which effects you wish to disable.
Get in touch with our experts at Quicktech today to discover the best ways of boosting your PC speed, responsiveness, and overall user experience.