How to Clean Up a Computer to Run Faster Windows 10 & 11

All too often computer users complain about how long it takes for their PC to boot up, load an app or a web page. For others, freezing or crashing apps is an everyday experience. Many of these issues could be caused by RAMs and hard drives that are being used to the limit, while some computers have completely different reasons why they get slow.

That brings us to the main question: why is Windows 10 so slow? There are several reasons why you may be experiencing this issue. In this article, we look into the common culprits for a slow-running Windows 10 PC.  Thereafter, we’ll examine how to clean up computer to run faster windows 10.

How to Clean Up a Computer to Run Faster Windows 10 and 11 – 4 best tips

Here are our best tips to clean up a computer to run faster Windows 10 and 11. You might find one or more of them helpful:

Tip 1: Cleaning out your hard disk

The first way to clean up a computer to run faster Windows 10 and 11 is by cleaning your hard disk. If your hard drive is full of unnecessary files, they could be a part of what is slowing down your PC. Windows 10 has an effective tool for sorting out your storage called Storage Sense. It monitors your storage and regularly clears up unnecessary files. To access Storage Sense:

  • Go to your Settings by searching for it in the search box.
  • Under System, scroll down the menu on the left to Storage. There you can toggle Storage Sense ON and OFF. You can also see your storage allocations from Apps and features down to temporary files. Finally, you can select what to delete in each category.

You can customize Storage Sense and choose how regularly you want it to delete files for you; daily, weekly, monthly, or when your storage gets low.

You can also use Storage Sense to move files from your PC to your Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage if they haven’t been open for a certain period (every day, every two weeks, etc.).

Storage Sense can also delete previous versions of Windows you had installed. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and select “Delete previous version of Windows.” Storage Sense will delete the old Windows versions in 10 days. Unfortunately, doing this means you won’t be able to revert to the older Windows version if you choose to.

Tip 2: Cleaning out your registry

In your Windows, your Registry tracks and stores information, settings, and other values for hardware and programs installed on the operating system.

Information about programs, like where they are stored, the DLLs they use (a DLL is a library that contains functions and data that can be used by more than one program), the file types that are opened by the program, and other things.

When you uninstall a program, the program’s setting and information aren’t deleted from the Registry. As a result, the Registry gets backed up with outdated and unnecessary information, leading to a slow system.

You’ll need to use a registry cleaner to clean up your registry. You can download a free registry cleaner like ACleaner. It automatically creates a backup for your registry and provides a list of all errors. However, it is advisable to backup the registry yourself to be sure. To do this, open your Registry by searching for it in the Start menu.

Next, run the program and click on File at the top left when it opens. Next, click on Export. A window will show you where the export will be saved, the name input, and the export range. For the export range, select All, then click on Save.

After you’ve done this, you can go ahead to run your registry cleaner.

Tip 3: Removing bloatware

Adware and bloatware are notorious for taking up system resources, making your PC slow. So fixing this can help you clean up a computer to run faster Windows 10 and 11. They could’ve been installed when you downloaded a third-party software or even by the manufacturer. You can use your Windows Defender or any anti-malware software like AVG or McAfee to perform a deep scan to clean up your computer and make it run faster.

Tip 4: Speeding up disk caching

We believe you should give attention to your catch if you want to clean up a computer to run faster Windows 10 and 11. Like your mobile devices, your Windows 10 regularly stores cached data so that it can quickly access it later.

However, the time it takes to access cached data depends on your computer’s hard drive speed. So speeding up disk caching would benefit you better if you have an HDD instead of an SSD. Using the ReadyBoost feature, you can tell Windows to store and retrieve cached data from a USB flash drive, which speeds up your Windows.

Ensure you have a USB flash drive that supports USB 2.0 or later. The faster your flash drive, the quicker the performance boost your PC gets. It is advisable to look for a flash drive that is at least twice the size of your PC’s RAM for optimum performance. To use ReadyBoost:

  • Plug your flash drive into your pc and locate it by opening your File Explorer. Then, open This PC, and you should locate your flash drive by its name.
  •  Right-click on the flash drive, click on Properties, and open the ReadyBoost tab.
  • A menu will show, asking whether you want to use the flash drive as a cache and recommending a cache size. You can change the size or leave it as it is.
  • Next, select Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost,click Apply,then click OK.
  • If you see a message like “This message cannot be used for ReadyBoost,” it means the flash drive doesn’t meet the requirements for ReadyBoost, so you’ll have to use a new one.

ReadyBoost starts to fill your flash with cache files as you use your computer, so it might take a few days, depending on how often you use your PC.

However, you should start noticing a significant performance boost when using your PC. It would be best if you only used ReadyBoost with HDD hard disks. If you use an SSD, you might be putting it at risk when you use ReadyBoost.

Tip 5: Disabling animations and visual effects

Windows 11 has interesting graphic features like smooth animations, acrylic blur, and transparent UI elements. But these features come at the cost of pc performance, especially with a limited GPU. So to focus on performance, turn OFF the additional animations and let your PC focus on performance.

Go to Settings and navigate to Personalisation on the left window pane. In the section, toggle off Transparency effects, then move to Accessibility in the left menu pane. Under Accessibility, scroll down to Visual effects and turn off Transparency effects and Animation effects.

Next, press the Windows key and search for View advanced system settings. Open it, and click on Settings under Performance. Under the Visual Effects tab, select Adjust for best performance and click on OK.

Tip 6: Disabling Virtualization-based security (for gamers)

Virtualization-based security, VBS, is a new security feature on the Windows 11 OS designed to protect your PC from unsafe codes, bad drivers, and malware. It is part of the HVCI (Hypervisor Enforced Code Integrity). This security system protects Windows-kernel mode processes, the inner part of the OS, against malicious or inauthentic codes.

Some recent reports have stated that this security feature has resulted in a 5% to 25% drop in gaming performance. Microsoft even suggests an option of shipping some gaming PCs with HVCI disabled if the buyer wishes to.

To disable VBS, search for Core Isolation in your start menu. Then, open it and toggle OFF the Memory Integrity switch. You should notice that your computer runs faster after this.

How to clean up a computer to run faster Windows 10 using cmd

You can use your command prompt to perform quicker disk cleanups and PC optimizations. Here are a few ways you can do it.

Option 1: Adjusting virtual memory size to boost computer speed

You can adjust your PC’s virtual memory size and location to boost speed. First, launch the command prompt by searching for it in the Start menu or pressing Windows key + R, typing “cmd” in the search box, and pressing enter. Once you’ve launched the command prompt, type in the command wmic computersystem where name=” %computername%” set AutomaticManagedPagefile=False to switch off size management.

Next, set the minimum and maximum page file size. For instance, if you want 4GB minimum and 8GB maximum for your primary hard disk, type in the command like this:  wmic pagefileset where name=” C:\pagefile.sys” set InitialSize=4096, MaximumSize=8192. This should clean up your PC and make your Windows 10 run faster.

Option 2: Uninstalling programs you never use with cmd

Third-party applications that aren’t in frequent use can significantly affect your computer’s performance because they take up space and run in the background. There’s an easy way to do this using the command prompt. This should effectively clean up a computer to run faster Windows 10 and 11.

  • Run command prompt as administrator, as I explained above.
  • In the command prompt, type in the command wmic and press Enter.
  • Next, type in the command wmic product get name, and press Enter. This command gives you a list of the programs you’ve installed.
  • To uninstall any, use the command wmic product where name = “program name” call uninstall. Substitute program name with the name of the program you’ve selected from the list.
  • When the “Uninstall () (Y/N)?” line comes up, type Y to execute the command.

Option 3: Cleaning up your hard drive by using Disk Cleanup with cmd

Windows 10 has many excellent features, including an inbuilt disk manager that you can use to clean up a computer to run faster Windows 10 and 11. You can run this directly through the command prompt:

  • Run command prompt as administrator like above and type in the command cleanmgr.exe /sageset:number where number signifies the specific number of folders you want to clean up. It could be any range from 0 to 65535. Press Enter.
  • Run the Disk Cleanup app from your Start Menu, and when the setting shows up, check the categories of files you want to clean up.
  • Return to your Command Prompt and retype the clean.exe /saget:number command like before, with the same number of folders you specified in the previous command. Press Enter and wait for the process to finish.
    This process should help clean up your computer to make your Windows 10 run faster. 

Why Is Windows 10 Running So Slow? Causes

  • Too many background programs: The most common cause of Windows 10 running slow is too many apps being opened in the background. This limits the performance of other necessary programs that need to run. Users with this problem experience system lagging, freezing, or app crashes from time to time. Pages will take forever to load and high graphics programs may not load at all.
  • Corrupt hard drive: Viruses are dangerous to a computer’s performance. When in action, it can consume a significant amount of your computer’s memory. When more spaces are occupied by viruses, the memory left for legitimate computer programs reduce. This results in very slow performance when trying to open an application or a web page.
  • Overheating: Every computer has a processor, and for the processor to keep working at an optimal level, ventilation is important. That is why every computer has a fan that keeps this processor working. However, when the fan stops working or when the computer is used in a less ventilated environment, this processor is deprived of adequate ventilation. This is another reason why Windows 10 is so slow.
  • Outdated Windows Version: The best practice for computer health is to regularly install updates. These updates are used by developers to ensure that each computer is functioning well. However, when updates are not installed when due, computer functions will be inconsistent. Some users who asked “why is Windows 10 so slow?” have found this to be true.
  • Not enough memory: When there is insufficient storage on your mobile phone, it lags and advises you to free up some space, the same is true of computers generally. When a significant amount of hard disk space is used, it reduces the memory needed to run other necessary programs that keep your computer going.  You will normally get a low disk space notification.
  • Computer running for a long time: Although rare, your computer might just need some rest. If you have been working on your computer for hours nonstop, it takes a toll on the computer hardware. The processor, the fan, and other parts of the computer may start misbehaving.

Read also: How to Overclock Laptop CPU and RAM on Windows 10

Is your computer running slow? Tips to speed up Windows 10 and 11 on Dell, HP PCs

Option 1: Reboot your computer

When was the last time you restarted your computer? It is true that to quickly pick up from where they left off, some people simply ‘sleep’ their computers. However, if you have been doing that for a couple of weeks, it is time to give your computer (Mac, Dell, HP, or any other brand) a much-needed reboot.

Save your documents and any other job you have opened then shut the computer down. This gives the processor time to terminate all running processes and start afresh. Leave it in this state for some time before restarting your computer. This should fix the problem.

Option 2: Do a full scan to remove viruses

Since viruses can slow your computer, you should remove any malicious file or software from your computer immediately. Initiate a full scan of your computer to identify and remove any viruses, getting an antivirus or using the Windows Defender helps you do this fast.

Read also: How to Update GPU Drivers on Windows 10

Option 3: End unnecessary background processes

One easy way to fix a computer running slow is by ending unnecessary applications running in the background.

For Mac users,

  • Open a new window and click applications on the left-hand side of the windows
  • Click on the Utilities folder
  • Locate the Activity monitor application and double click on it

This opens a list of running applications where you can end programs that are not in use

For Window Users,

  • Type Task Manager in the Windows search bar
  • When the list of running applications is displayed, right-click on a program you wish to end
  • Select End Task

Option 4: Update Operating System

For Mac users, on the Apple menu, choose System Preferences. After that, choose System Update to check if there is an update. If there is one, click the Update Now tab to install the update.

For Windows users, Select the Windows button and click Settings. Next, select Windows & Security option which will lead you to the Windows Update tab. Click this tab to Download and Install windows updates.

Read also: How to Increase FPS on Windows 10 Laptops

Option 5: Free up some memory

This involves deleting obsolete files and documents from your computer. As you free more space, other important computer programs will have more breathing space.

Option 6: Changing your power settings

If you’re using your PC on the “Power saver” plan, it will run slowly. However, the energy plan is available on Windows 10 and was meant to reduce your PC’s performance to save up on battery energy, so changing from “Power saver” to “Best performance” or “Balanced” could significantly increase your PC’s performance. Some desktop PCs also have a Power saver plan.

To change these settings in your Windows 10, click on the battery icon on the Taskbar and set the gauge to “Better performance” or “Best performance.” You can also change these settings in your Control Panel. This applies to both Windows 10 and non-Windows 10 users. To access your Control Panel, follow these simple steps:

  • Search for Control Panel in the search box of the Start menu that shows up when you press your Windows key.
  • In Control Panel, select Hardware and Sound and then select Power Options. There are two main options, Balanced (recommended) and Power saver. You can make your selection here. Depending on your PC’s mode, you can see other energy plans here.
    There is also an arrow below that shows an additional power setting; High performance. This mode uses up more power for a significant boost in performance. Finally, Balanced finds the middle line between giving you good performance with moderate energy use. At the same time, Power saver tries to deliver as much battery life as possible. Changing these settings should make your Windows 10 run faster.

Option 7: Disabling apps that run on startup

The number of apps that launch when you start your computer and run in the background often slow your PC. Most times, these are programs you never use, but they run at startup by default. To change their settings, launch Task Manager on your pc:

  • Launch Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del. A quick access menu will show, and you can select Task Manager from the bottom of the list. Alternatively, you can search for Task Manager in the search box when you open your Start menu.
  • In Task Manager, click the arrow at the bottom of the screen to show more details. This gives you a more detailed view than just showing you the currently running apps. This includes performance, app history, services, and background processes.
  • Go to the Startup tab to see programs that run on startup, whether they are enabled or disabled, and their startup impact, which is the number of resources they consume. Here you can select anyone you don’t think is necessary, right-click on it and select Disable. This doesn’t stop the program from running entirely; it stops it from running on startup. Of course, you can always return to this Task Manager sectionto revert your settings.

If you are unsure about the application you want to close, you can verify its function and authenticity by right-clicking on the software and selecting Properties.

This gives you information about it, like where it is located on your hard disk, its digital signature, file size, and digital signature. A digital signature is like a digital key used to verify the validity and authenticity of a product.

Then, when you right-click, you can open the file location and click Search online, which will open links to sites with information about that software or service.

These should help clean up your computer and make Windows 10 run faster.

Option 8: Turn OFF Windows tips and tricks

Windows can offer you some helpful tips whenever you’re using your PC. But, these tips are often unnecessary and make your PC sluggish because your OS has to track your actions to make suggestions.

To turn OFF Windows tips and tricks, open Settings by searching for it in the Start menu. Next, open Systems and scroll down to Notifications and actions on the left window. Toggle OFF the notifications, and your PC should start working at improved speeds now.

How To Clean Up Computer To Run Faster Windows 10 – a Recap

There are several ways to clean up a computer that is running slow. Check out these fast and easy ways to do this.

  • Delete old files and uninstall unused applications
  • Upgrade the RAM
  • Run a disk clean up
  • Vacuum the air vents to clean any dust within the CPU
  • Restart your computer at least once a week
  • Save pictures and videos in an external drive
  • Scan your computer for viruses once every month