Here’s how to turn off Windows 10 indexing.If you’d like, you can turn off indexing for only files in certain locations. To do this, first type index in the Start Menu search box, and click the Indexing Options result that appears. The Indexing Options page of Control Panel appears. Click the Modify button and you’ll see a list of locations that are being indexed, such as Microsoft Outlook, your personal files, and so on. Uncheck the boxes next to any location, and it will no longer be indexed.
6. Clean out your hard disk
If you’ve got a bloated hard disk filled with files you don’t need, you could be slowing down your PC. Cleaning it out can give you a speed boost. Windows 10 has a surprisingly useful built-in tool for doing this called Storage Sense. Go to Settings > System > Storage and at the top of the screen – in the Storage Sense section – move the toggle from Off to On. When you do this, Windows constantly monitors your PC, and deletes old junk files you no longer need; temporary files; files in the Downloads folder that haven’t been changed in a month; and old Recycle Bin files.
You can customize how Storage Sense works and also use it to free up even more space than it normally would. Underneath Storage Sense, click “Change how we free up space automatically.” From the screen that appears, you can change how often Storage Sense deletes files (every day, every week, every month or when Windows decides). You can also tell Storage Sense to delete files in your Download folder, depending on how long they’ve been there. And you can also set how long to wait to delete files in the Recycle Bin automatically.
Microsoft Here’s how to customize the way Storage Sense works, and to tell it to delete old versions of Windows.
You can also delete old versions of Windows that might be hogging space. At the bottom of the screen, check the box next to “Delete previous versions of Windows.” Storage Sense will then delete old versions of Windows ten days after you’ve installed an upgrade. Note that if you do this, you won’t be able to revert to the older version of Windows.
7. Clean out your Registry
Under the Windows hood, the Registry tracks and controls just about everything about the way Windows works and looks. That includes information about where your programs are stored, which DLLs they use and share, what file types should be opened by which program or just about everything else.
But the Registry is a very messy thing. When you uninstall a program, for example, that program’s settings don’t always get cleaned up in the Registry. So over time, it can get filled with countless outdated settings of all types. And that can lead to system slowdowns.
Don’t even think of trying to clean any of this out yourself. It’s impossible. To do it, you need a Registry Cleaner. There are plenty available, some free and some paid. But there’s really no need to outright buy one, because the free
Auslogics Registry Cleaner does a solid job.
Microsoft The Registry tracks and controls just about everything about the way Windows works and looks.
Before using Auslogics or any other Registry Cleaner, you should back up your Registry so you can restore it if anything goes wrong. (Auslogics Registry Cleaner does this for you as well, but it can’t hurt to have it backed up twice.) To do your own Registry backup, type regedit.ext in the search box, then press Enter. That runs the Registry editor. From the File menu, select Export. From the screen that appears, make sure to choose the “All” option in the Export range section at the bottom of the screen. Then choose a file location and file name and click Save. To restore the Registry, open the Registry editor, select Import from the File menu, then open the file you saved.
Now download, install and run Auslogics Registry Cleaner. On the left-hand side of the screen you can select the kinds of Registry issues you want to clean up – for example, File Associations, Internet or Fonts. I generally select them all.
Next tell it to scan the Registry for problems. To do that, click “Scan Now” and from a drop-down menu that appears select Scan. That lets you first examine the Registry problems it finds. If you instead choose “Scan and Repair,” it makes the fixes without you checking them.
It now scans your Registry for errors, then shows you what it found. It ranks the errors according to their severity, to help you decide which to fix. Click Repair when you’ve made your decision, and make sure that “Back up Changes” is checked, so you can restore the Registry easily if something goes wrong.
8. Disable shadows, animations and visual effects
Windows 10 has some nice eye candy — shadows, animations and visual effects. On fast, newer PCs, these don’t usually affect system performance. But on slower and older PCs, they can exact a performance hit.
It’s easy to turn them off. In the Windows 10 search box type
sysdm.cpland press Enter. That launches the System Properties dialog box. Click the Advanced tab and click “Settings” in the Performance section. That brings you to the Performance Options dialog box. You’ll see a varied list of animations and special effects.
The Performance Options dialog box lets you turn off effects that might be slowing down Windows 10.
If you have time on your hands and love to tweak, you can turn individual ones on and off. These are the animations and special effects you’ll probably want to turn off, because they have the greatest effect on system performance:
Animate controls and elements inside windows
Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
Animations in the taskbar
Fade or slide menus into view
Fade or slide ToolTips into view
Fade out menu items after clicking
Show shadows under windows
However, it’s probably a lot easier to just select “Adjust for best performance” at the top of the screen and then click OK. Windows 10 will then turn off the effects that slow down your system.
9. Launch the Windows troubleshooter
Windows 10 has a very useful, little-known tool that can sniff out performance problems and solve them. To launch it, run Control Panel and select System and Security > Security and Maintenance > Troubleshooting > Run maintenance tasks. A screen titled “Troubleshoot and help prevent computer problems” will appear. Click Next.
The troubleshooter will find files and shortcuts you don’t use, identify any performance and other issues on your PC, report them to you and then fix them. Note that you may get a message that says, “Try troubleshooting as an administrator.” If you have administrative rights to the PC, click it and the troubleshooter will launch and do its work.
Windows 10’s troubleshooter can perform maintenance and housecleaning tasks to help speed up your system.
10. Get help from the Performance Monitor
There’s a great tool in Windows 10 called the Performance Monitor that can, among other things, create a detailed performance report about your PC, detail any system and performance issues, and suggest fixes.
To get the report, type
perfmon /report into your search box and press Enter. (Make sure there’s a space between “perfmon” and the slash mark.) The Resource and Performance Monitor launches and gathers information about your system. It will say that it will take 60 seconds, but I’ve found that it takes several minutes. When the Monitor finishes, it will launch an interactive report.
The Performance Monitor reports details on system and performance issues.
You’ll find a lot of extremely detailed information in the report, and it can take a lot of time to go through. Your best bet is to first look at the Warnings section, which details the biggest issues (if any) it found on your PC, such as problems with Windows, with drivers and so on. It also tells you how to fix each problem — for example, how to turn on a device that has been disabled.
It is also worthwhile to scroll down to the Resource Overview section, where you’ll find an analysis of how well your CPU, network, disk and memory are performing. Each result is color-coded, with green meaning no problems, yellow meaning potential issues, and red showing a problem.
Beyond that, the Resource Overview also reports performance metrics and explanatory details. For example, for the CPU, it might show green and a utilization of 21%, with the details, “Normal CPU load.” Or for Memory, it might show yellow, with 62% utilization and the details, “1520 MB is available.” Based on what you get, you might want to do something about your hardware — for example, add more memory.
11. Kill bloatware
Sometimes the biggest factor slowing down your PC isn’t Windows 10 itself, but bloatware or adware that takes up CPU and system resources. Adware and bloatware are particularly insidious because they may have been installed by your computer’s manufacturer. You’d be amazed at how much more quickly your Windows 10 PC can run if you get rid of it.
First, run a system scan to find adware and malware. If you’ve already installed a securi
ty sui te such as Norton Security or McAfee LiveSafe, you can use that. You can also use Windows 10’s built in anti-malware app — just type Windows Defender in the search box, press Enter, and then click Scan Now. Windows Defender will look for malware and remove any it finds.
It’s a good idea to get a second opinion, though, so consider a free tool like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. The free version scans for malware and removes what it finds; the paid version offers always-on protection to stop infections in the first place.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a useful application that will scan for and fix Windows 10 PC problems.
Now you can check for bloatware and get rid of it. Several free programs will do this for you; your best bet is to run several of them, because no single one will find all the bloatware on your PC. Good choices are the PC Decrapifier, Should I Remove It? and SlimComputer.
For more details about removing bloatware, check out Computerworld’s article “Bloatware: What it is and how to get rid of it.”
12. Shut down and restart Windows
Here’s one of IT’s not-quite-secret weapons for troubleshooting and speeding up a PC: Shut it down and restart it. Doing that clears out any excess use of RAM that otherwise can’t be cleared. It also kills processes that you might have set in motion and are no longer needed, but that continue running and slow your system. If your Windows 10 PC has turned sluggish over time for no apparent reason, you may be surprised at how much more quickly it will run when you do this.
Try just some of these tricks, and you’ll find that you’ve got a faster Windows 10 PC — and one that is less likely to have any reliability problems.