Windows 10 is slow, how do I speed it up?
If Windows 10 is running a little slow, there are a number of things you can do to speed it up. Firstly, there are a few options and settings to note within Windows 10. In addition, some extra registry edits can also give the OS a boost. Here are a few tips that will ensure Windows 10 runs at least a little quicker.
Switch off Windows 10 Animations
Windows 10 has a variety of animations, and these certainly hog more system resources. The windows, taskbar and Start menu all include animations. One of the best ways you can speed up Windows 10 is to switch off some of its animations.
Press the Win + R key and enter ‘sysdm.cpl’ into Run. That will open the System Properties window from which you can select the Advanced tab. Then press the Settings button there to open the window shown below.
The Visual Effects tab includes a list of animation options selected by default. You should uncheck at least six of the options there to switch off the animations. In addition, you could also uncheck the Show shadows under windows check box there to speed Windows 10 up a little bit more. So uncheck the settings there as shown in the snapshot directly below. Click Apply > OK to confirm the new settings and close window.
Switch off Start Menu Live Tile Animations
The Start menu app (live) tiles also include 3D animation effects. Switching those animations off can also speed up the Start menu a little. You can do that by opening the Start menu, right-clicking an animated app tile and then selecting More > Turn live tile off. Alternatively, you could also remove the live tiles by selecting Unpin from Start.
Remove Startup Items
Startup items are the software that loads with Windows 10. So these programs certainly slow down the Windows startup. Thus, removing less essential items from the startup will certainly boost Windows 10; all the more so when you consider that the extra running software also hogs RAM.
The Task Manager, covered in this TechJunkie guide, includes a tab that lists all the startup programs. You can right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager to open it as below. Then click the Startup tab to open the list of programs that run at startup. Select an item there and press the Disable button to remove it from the Windows 10 startup.
Select the Turn on fast startup option
Windows 10 includes a Turn on fast startup option that further boosts the Windows 10 boot up. This TechJunkie article covered the option in more detail. Just to reiterate you can select that option by opening the Win + X menu and selecting > Power Options > Choose what the power buttons > Turn on fast startup.
Edit MenuShowDelay with the Registry Editor
Aside from the Windows 10 options and settings outlined above, a few registry edits will also speed up windows. First, you can minimize the delay before a menu or submenu opens in Windows 10. To do that, open the Registry Editor by pressing the Win + R key and entering ‘regedit’ into the Run text box.
Then browse to this registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop as in the snapshot directly below. There you’ll find MenuShowDelay string, which you can edit. It has a default value of 400, which is otherwise 400 milliseconds.
Double-click MenuShowDelay to open the Edit String window shown below. Now enter a value lower than 400 to speed up the Windows 10 menus. So you could enter something like 200. Then press the OK button on that window to confirm the new value.
Now you should right-click the Windows 10 desktop to open its context menu. You might not find there’s much of a difference between 400 and 200. However, you could enter something like 50 to more significantly reduce the menu delay.
Edit WaitToKillServiceTimeout with the Registry Editor
You can also speed up the Windows 10 shutdown with a registry edit. Open the Registry Editor again, and then go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control. That includes the WaitToKillServiceTimeout string shown in the shot directly below.
On the right you can see the value of WaitToKillServiceTimeout, which might be something like 5,000. That tells you how many milliseconds it takes for Windows 10 to shut down. You can edit that by double-clicking WaitToKillServiceTimeout.
Next, enter a new number in the Edit String window’s Value data box. Now you can reduce the shutdown time by entering a lower value in that box. Note that the number should still be above 1,000 so that Windows 10 shuts down correctly. Press OK to close window, exit the Registry Editor and then shut down Windows 10. It will shut down a little quicker than before.
Disable Background Services
Windows 10 has various background services that keep the system running smoothing. However, not all of those are especially essential; and as they need extra resources the background services can slow the OS down. To speed up Windows 10, switch off some of those services.
Press the Win + X key and select Computer Management to open the window below. Then click Services and Applications and Services. That will open a list of background Windows 10 services.
Now disable the services from there by right-clicking them and selecting Stop. Note that it’s not recommended to switch off lots of these services. However, you can disable some of the less essential ones from there. For example, if you don’t have a printer you might as well switch off the Print Spooler. The Program Compatibility Assistant Service, Remote Registry and Portable Device Enumerator Service are a few of the less essential Windows 10 services. So you can switch some of those off at least.
Alternatively, you can disable background services with MSConfig. Enter ‘msconfig’ in Run to open the utility’s window. Then you can select the Services tab below. The advantage of this MSconfig tab is that you can select a Hide all Microsoft services check box so the more essential ones aren’t included in the list. Then uncheck the selected services, click Apply, OK and restart Windows 10 to disable them.
If your laptop or desktop has more limited system resources, those are a few good ways that you can speed up Windows 10. You don’t need any extra software to speed up Windows 10, but you could also try out Winaero Tweaker, alternative Task Manager tools covered in this guide and CCleaner that have handy options.