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One of the issues that has plagued the Windows operating system from the very beginning is the fact it often gets slower over time.
Fortunately, there are some simple things you as an IT admin can do to speed up Windows 10 performance.
Free up storage space
Windows performance tends to slow down as the amount of available storage space begins to run low. This effect is compounded if you equip the machine with solid-state drives. SSDs often slow to a crawl when they become low on space.
The easiest way to free up additional disk space in Windows 10 is to use the Disk Cleanup utility. To do so, just open the Start menu, and then click on Windows Administrative Tools, followed by Disk Cleanup. Disk Cleanup will help you to get rid of temporary files and other files that Windows is no longer using.
Disable auto-starting programs
One of the biggest things that causes Windows to run slowly is a proliferation of tools and applications configured to run automatically when the system boots. Not only do these items cause Windows to take longer to boot, they also rob your system of memory and CPU resources.
To prevent unwanted items from automatically running when the system is booted, open the Task Manager and then click on the Startup tab. This tab will show you everything that is currently running at boot time. To prevent an item from running automatically, just click on it and then click the Disable button.
To speed up Windows 10 performance, you should also remove bloatware. New PCs often come preloaded with applications you may not want or need. It is also somewhat common for applications downloaded from the internet to silently install additional, unwanted applications.
To remove unwanted applications, click on the Start button, followed by the Settings icon. Next, click on Apps. Windows will display a list of all the applications that are installed on the PC. If you find an unwanted application on the list, click on it and then click the Uninstall button.
Reconfigure Windows Update
Although Windows Update is necessary for keeping your PC safe, it can cause your PC to run slowly when it is working in the background.
To improve performance, click on the Start button, followed by the Settings icon. Next, click Update and Security, followed by Delivery Optimization. Turn the Allow Downloads from Other PCs option off. This will keep your PC from wasting resources by sending updates to other computers on your network.
While you are on this screen, click the Advanced Options button. The Advanced Options screen contains a series of slide bars that you can use to limit how much bandwidth Windows Update uses to download updates in the background. While you can't set the bandwidth setting to zero, you can go as low as 5%.
Change your power plan
Something else you can do to speed up Windows 10 performance is to change the OS' power plan. Windows is often configured by default to conserve power. Unfortunately, this conservation effort can have a big effect on the machine's performance.
You can choose a different power plan by clicking on the Start button, and then clicking the Settings icon. From within Settings, click on System, followed by Power and Sleep. Now, click the Additional Power Settings link and then choose the power plan you want to use. Incidentally, the High Performance plan is usually hidden, so you may have to click on the Show Additional Plans link to reveal its existence.
These are just a few of the many adjustments you can make to boost Windows performance. If you find that, even after making these changes, Windows still isn't performing as well as you would like, you should consider making some simple hardware upgrades to your device. Adding memory and upgrading to a solid-state disk will often yield some of the greatest performance improvements.