Make Windows 10 faster and better in 15 steps

There's no denying it: when you start up a PC with a brand new Windows installation, everything runs nice and smooth. However, a few months later, when everything starts to slow down, you're a lot less excited. If you don't like a completely new Windows installation, fortunately there are a lot of less intrusive tweaks that can speed up your Windows sessions. You can make Windows 10 faster in 15 steps.

Tip 01: Critical look

There are tons of tips and tricks circulating on the internet that promise to make your Windows PC faster and better. But you have to be careful with this! The quality of those tweaks varies from useful to downright ridiculous, and there are also some that make your system less stable.

Also, don't be tempted to buy a one-click optimization tool. Such a program often operates as a 'black box' where you as a user have little or no insight into what exactly the application is eating, so that you do not know how to reverse certain actions if something goes wrong. We are therefore more beneficial in interventions where you keep the reins firmly in your hands. In this article we give a wide variety of tips, right down to the BIOS and the hardware. Unless otherwise stated, the tips basically apply to Windows 7, 8(.1) and 10.

Tip 02: AHCI Mode

Let's kick in an open door right away: in addition to adding extra RAM (on a memory-hungry system), replacing your hard drive with an SSD is and remains one of the best steps to make your system a lot faster in one go. In that case, first check in the BIOS whether the SATA mode is set correctly: assuming, of course, that you have connected your SSD to a SATA controller. Most SSDs work faster when that mode is on AHCIA (Advanced Host Controller Interface) is set instead of (Native or standard) IDE. Optionally, you can also activate the RAID mode (if available), but of course that only makes sense if you need that functionality (and have at least two disks). An important advantage of the AHCI mode (and RAID mode) is that it supports NCQ. That stands for Native Command Queuing, which means that the controller will optimize the order of the read and write commands. Keep an eye on! Do not just change this mode on a working system: such a switch means that you will have to reinstall Windows.

Tip 03: SSD Optimization

You already have an SSD? Then you have already completed a solid optimization. However, it does not hurt to check a number of settings that can make your SSD work a little faster. Especially if you have transferred an existing Windows installation to an SSD, you better check whether the partitioning is correctly 'aligned'. After all, misalignment reduces the performance and lifespan of your SSD. You can recover this with, for example, the tool Minitool Partition Wizard Free. Right click on your SSD and choose Align All Partitions.

Also check whether the TRIM function is activated, which ensures better performance of your SSD. To do this, open the command prompt and run the following command: fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify. You get DisableDeleteNotify = 0 as a result, TRIM is indeed active. If the value is 1, you can still activate TRIM with the command fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0.

An SSD? Then make sure you have correctly aligned partitions!

Tip 04: Defragmentation

Unless a drive is extremely heavily fragmented, meaning that many files are stored in non-adjacent clusters, defragmenting a hard drive won't give you much speed gain these days. So ignore any websites that claim otherwise today. You could possibly have your system checked for fragmentation, but such a function is already built into Windows: Windows checks your classic hard drives every week. However, defragmentation on an SSD is bad for the hardware, but luckily the Windows versions from 7 and higher are smart enough not to perform defragmentation on SSDs (a TRIM operation and that's fine). To be sure, check the Windows Optimize Drives window to see if the Medium type with your SSD drives indeed SSD (solid-state drive) is set. If not, check if the BIOS has correctly recognized the SSD drive.

Tip 05: Car starters

One of the main reasons Windows starts up slower over time are programs that start automatically with Windows and remain active in the background. Well, people are sometimes tempted to try out all kinds of free software…

Now you can detect such automatic startup software via the command msconfig (Windows 7) or via the built-in task manager (Windows 8 and 10: press Ctrl+Shift+Esc). In both cases, open the tab Startup. A more convenient tool is Quick Startup. However, during installation, make sure to uncheck the option Glary Utilities install, otherwise you will install more than intended. When you start this tool, you will get on the tab Startup programs an overview of these car starters. If you are sure that you no longer need an item, set the slider to Turned off. An alternative is that you click the arrow next to such a button and To slow down after which you decide by how many seconds (from 30 to 270) the startup of this item should be delayed. With a bit of luck you will also read what fellow users think about it in the window, but when in doubt, it is better to google for feedback yourself.

By the way, you will find on the tab Scheduled tasks even more items. They come from the Windows Task Scheduler: you will find it if you search for task scheduler in Windows. Since the Task Scheduler gives you more information about these items, it is better to arrange this via Windows itself. This also applies to the items on the tabs Program services and Windows services (see next tip).

Too many auto-starting programs are disastrous for a smooth running system

Tip 06: Services

It is quite normal for a typical Windows PC to have several dozen services running, Windows background processes and certain applications. As mentioned, you can also find an overview of this via the Quick Startup tool, but the built-in Windows module Services is more informative. You start it by pressing Windows key + R and the command services.msc to be carried out. Click on a service and choose Characteristics, after which you click on the General the Startup type can change. Set this to Manually, the service will only start when required. Optionally, you can find a service that is needed, but does not necessarily have to be ready at start-up on Automatically (delayed start). Mind you, don't experiment with this haphazardly: after all, some services are essential and can crash your Windows if you disable them. When in doubt, google for more feedback.

A useful site is that of Black Viper, because here you get an overview of all Windows services for almost every Windows edition imaginable. On the page of your Windows version, scroll down until you see the columns. Then click the button show / hide columns and remove the checkmark if necessary DEFAULT [Windows version] for the Windows version (for example, Enterprise) that you don't have. The column tweaked in the overview is particularly interesting for those who want to deactivate as many redundant settings as possible, but this column is not available for every version.

Tip 07: Background apps

After Apple and Google, Microsoft has also fallen under the spell of native 'universal apps', to such an extent that they are also starting to push them firmly in the latest Windows versions. A number of apps in Windows 10 even run in the background by default, even if you did not consciously start them yourself. This has the advantage that they are available a little faster, but at the same time it also means a waste of system resources. However, you can control which of those apps are running in the background. Open the Windows start menu, choose Institutions and go to the section Privacy. Scroll down and choose Background-apps. Set the switch to from if you no longer want to have it active in the background, that can also be useful if you want to save energy on your laptop.

Tip 08: Auto-login

Chances are that Windows will ask you for your password every time you start up, even if you are the only user. If you find this protection unnecessary, you can also disable it, so that Windows restarts properly. Press Windows key+R and run the command netplwiz from. Select the desired username, uncheck Users must provide a username and password to use this computer and press To apply. Enter the corresponding password (2x) and confirm with OK. You no longer need to sign in to Windows. You can also undo this operation using the same procedure.

If you also find it unnecessary to be prompted for your password when the PC wakes up from sleep mode, open the Windows start menu, choose Institutions and go to the section Accounts. Select Login options and choose Never at Login require.

Tip 09: Fast startup

Windows 10 has a feature built in that ensures that when the system is shut down, all applications are closed and users are logged off, but at the same time the current system state (with loaded kernel and drivers) is saved in a 'sleep file'. Now when you turn the PC back on, your RAM will simply be provided with the snapshot in that sleep file, taking you to the login screen very quickly. This feature is enabled by default, but it can't hurt to check if that's the case on your system. Search Windows for energy and start it Power management on.

click on Control the behavior of power buttons, and put a check next to Quick Boot switch. If necessary, you choose first Institutions changes that are currently not available. Confirm with Saving Changes. Note that this mode also has a few drawbacks. It is possible that certain system updates do not install properly, but you can solve this by restarting your system. In this mode, your hard drive is also 'locked', which can cause problems if you try to access your drive from another operating system, via dual boot. On some systems you cannot reach your BIOS (UEFI), here too a restart can offer the solution.

Fast startup saves time, but is not without its drawbacks

Tip 10: High Performance

By default, your system's power plan is set to Balanced, which means that Windows tries to strike a balance between optimal performance and an energy-efficient system. However, there are other schemes and it is also possible to adjust a scheme to your own liking. To that end, you open it again Power management (see previous tip). If you want to do it extra economically (for example to save the battery of your laptop), you can view the schedule here Energy saving Selecting. In the context of this article, we are mainly aiming for a faster system: click on View additional schedules and select High performance. To make changes, click Change the schedule settings, after which you decide when the screen turns off and the PC should go into sleep mode. click on Advanced power settings change for even more options. That's how you can get to Hard Drive indicate after how much time (of inactivity) the drive can be turned off and you can Processor power management indicate what the minimum processor load may be; Bee High performance is that standard 100%.

Registry Set

There are many registry settings that have a (modest) impact on the performance of your Windows system in one way or another. Now we can list them all and comment on them, but they have already done that on the AskVG site. On that page they talk about “for Windows 7”, but don't get too hung up on that, because the fourteen registry tweaks listed apply just as well to Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 as 10. All tweaks are neatly explained and for those who don't like it, the adjustments themselves via the Registry Editor (Windows key + R, command regedit): here you will also find a link to download a ready-made script. After extracting the zip file, a double click on Registry Tweaks To Make Windows Faster.reg (after which you must confirm) for the changes to take effect. If you wish, you can first view (and edit) the script via Notepad. With a double click on Restore Default Settings.reg you can always return to the original state.

Tip 11: Close faster

It still takes a few mouse clicks to shut down your PC in Windows. This can be done a little faster and in two ways. For example, you can put a shortcut on your desktop that immediately closes Windows. Right click your desktop in an empty space and choose New / Shortcut. Bee Specify the location of the item fill you %windir%\System32\shutdown.exe /s /t 0 in. You can also add the parameter here if you wish /f but keep in mind that running applications will be forced to close without warning the user. Press Next one, give a name to your shortcut and finish with Complete: The shortcut will now appear on the desktop. During such a shutdown procedure, Windows gives background processes the opportunity to close themselves properly, but you can shorten this timeout via a registry intervention. Press Windows key+R and feed regedit from.

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control. Double click on WaitToKillServiceTimeout and decrease the value to for example 3000 (milliseconds). In the unlikely event that this adjustment causes problems, you can increase it (step by step) by 1000.

Tip 12: Special effects

The eye of a Windows user also wants something, but realize that all that 'eye candy' requires a little more from your system. Especially on an older system with less generous system resources and an older version of Windows, this can be a bit slow. However, you decide for yourself how beautiful Windows should look. Press Windows key+R and enter the command sysdm.cpl from. Open the tab Advanced and press the top button Institutions. Based on the determined power of your system, Windows itself already has Auto select selected and placed a checkmark on the most suitable (of the 17 available) options. However, there are also two sets of presets: Best View and Best performance: the first simply selects all options, the second none. However, do you want to decide for yourself which options you want to activate, such as Animations on the taskbar, Show transparent bounding box, Save thumbnail previews of the taskbar, Show shadow under mouse pointer, etc. Confirm your choices with OK.

Tip 13: Clean up programs

Windows and your applications need enough free disk space to function smoothly and reliably. If you have to make do with a modest SSD, you can quickly have to deal with a full disk. A possible consequence is that no more updates can be installed (correctly). In the first instance, you can then remove all redundant applications. You can do this from the Windows Control Panel, but a tool like Revo Uninstaller works even more thoroughly (by also removing stubborn remnants on the disk and in the registry). In this case, preferably choose the removal method Average. You can find the (somewhat older) free version on the website via the tab Downloads. But you can also choose the 30-day trial version or purchase the paid version.


If you have a new PC with a pre-installed version of Windows, there is a good chance that it will overflow with redundant applications, which are often difficult to remove. Such tools not only slow down your system's boot time, they regularly attack you with advertisements and can even make your system unstable. Rather than trying to remove them one by one, run a free tool like PC Decrapifier. After a short analysis, this tool categorizes the detected applications into three tabs: Recommended, Questionable and Everything Else. In principle, you can remove the tools on the first tab without further ado, with the others you first check which ones you might want to keep.

Tip 14: Clean up data

Once you have uninstalled all unnecessary applications and there is still a shortage of disk space, you will have to clean up data files such as heavy downloads or large video files. Free tools like SpaceSniffer and SequioaView help you quickly spot the biggest space eaters using a graphical disk representation. You can also feel free to let go of Windows' built-in Disk Cleanup feature on your drive: press Windows key+R and run the command cleanmgr from. You can also use a cleaning program such as the free CCleaner to also clean up all kinds of redundant files from Windows and all kinds of applications.

If you always shut down your system completely and you don't need the standby mode, you can also find the hidden system file hiberfil.sys remove. This can be done as follows: right click on Command Prompt in the Windows start menu and choose as administrator to carry out. Then run the following command: powercfg -h off. Confirm with Enter (reactivating standby mode can always be done with powercfg -h on).The amount of space you save is about the equivalent of your internal memory.

Don't need standby? Then quickly save 2 GB of disk space!

Tip 15: Updates

Driver and firmware updates sometimes add features, but very often they also improve the stability or speed of the affected hardware. Especially with video cards this often requires a lot of attention. Unfortunately, the drivers that you download via the Windows update service are not always optimal and it is therefore better to regularly check the site of the video card manufacturer for suitable updates. We also recommend that you regularly check for updates to the firmware of your router and your NAS. Before you install it, it is wise to check the manufacturer's site which improvements such a firmware update has in store for your device and it is best to google for possible (negative) experiences of fellow users.


As a gamer you are of course always looking for the best experiences and then you owe it to yourself to regularly scour the internet (for example via Steam, user communities or social media) in search of 'user mods' (modifications). New modifications regularly appear for many games that not only make your favorite games look better or provide them with extra functions, but also make them faster and more stable.

Font Management

It will not make your system faster in itself, but anyone who works a lot with Office can undoubtedly benefit from a thinned and therefore clearer font list. The easiest way to weed out unnecessary fonts is with a free tool like NexusFont (also available as a portable application). The program shows all installed fonts on the basis of a (own) example sentence. You can remove one or more fonts simply by selecting them and choosing Uninstall from the context menu. Be careful not to delete fonts that require Windows or applications. These are in particular the font families Arial, Courier (New), Lucida, Modern, MS (Sans) Serif, Roman, Script, Segoe, Small Fonts, Symbol, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Webdings and Wingdings. In any case, it is a good idea to temporarily copy a font to a backup folder before deleting it in NexusFont. You do this from the context menu in NexusFont, with the option Copy to folder.

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