Tuning Windows 10 for Slow Machines
This guide is for those who dares to install Windows 10 on slow netbooks (1GB of RAM).
Though Windows update program is over, you still may use old Windows product keys from license stickers to install Windows 10 on old machines.
UPD Jan 2019
This article is quite old, some instructions may be obsolete.
Win ⊞ + R-- Press and hold "Windows" key, then press key R, then relese both keys.
Search "FooBar"-- Click searching glass icon in taskbar or click Windows Start icon and start typing FooBar. You don't need to type all the phrase, only the beginning.
I'm not responsible for any data loss or damage to your device caused by following instructions in this article.
Table of Contents
Windows 10 Performance Checklist:
- Reset Windows (Advanced)
- Remove Unnecessary Apps/Crapware/Bloatware
- Clean System from Viruses/Malware/Adware, etc.
- Remove Some Apps from Autorun
- Leave Enough Free Space on Your Drives for Windows 10
- Tweak Visual Effects
- Turn Off System Protection on Disks
- Opt Out from Privacy Options/Telemetry
- Turn Off Store Updates
- Turn Off Windows Components
- Tweak Windows Services (Advanced)
- Tweak Your Browser
- Defragment Your HDDs
- Unplug or Turn Off Unnecessary Devices
- Tweak Power Options (Doubtful)
- Tweak BIOS/UEFI (Advanced)
If Nothing Helps:
Windows 10 Performance Checklist
0. Reset Windows (Advanced)
If you don't mind uninstalling all your programs, move all your precious data to other partition than
Then you may restore Windows into the "just installed" state with
Search "Recovery options" > Reset this PC > Remove Everything > Only the drive where windows is installed.
After install you will have to reconfigure Windows and install all necessary programs like file archivator.
1. Remove Unnecessary Apps/Crapware/Bloatware
- New way:
Search "Apps & features"or
Settings > System > Apps & features > Click an app > Uninstall
- Old way:
Win + R > appwiz.cpl
- Farbar Recovery Scan Tool (advanced)
2. Clean System from Viruses/Malware/Adware, etc.
You may use these programs:
- Free Anti-adware (Not Antiviurses):
- Free Antiviruses:
- Weak but fast Windows Defender +
Settings > Devices > AutoPlay > OFF "Use AutoPlay..."
- Others: https://www.av-comparatives.org
3. Remove Some Apps from Autorun
Ctrl + Shift + Esc > More details > Startup > Right click > Disable
- Additionaly you may use Autoruns tool by SysInternals
4. Leave Enough Free Space on Your Drives for Windows 10
Subjectivly I think 10GB is enough for Winfows 10 to function properly. PC Advisor recommends to keep 10% of each volume free.
You may free up disk space by running these tools:
Search "Disk Cleanup" > Right Click > Run as administratoror
Win + R > cleanmgr
5. Tweak Visual Effects
Search "advanced system settings" > Performance Settings > Adjust for best performance
Settings > Personalization > Colors > OFF "Make Start, taskbar... transparent" and OFF others of your choice
Settings > Ease of Access > Other options > OFF "Play animation" and OFF "Show background"
Settings > Personalization > Start > Show more tiles OFF, Occasionaly show suggestions OFF
- Unpin all tiles from Start Menu and shrink it.
Turn Off Lock Screen
Settings > Personalization > Lock screen > Show lock screen background pictrue... > OFF
Settings > Personalization > Lock screen > Background = Picture
Settings > Personalization > Lock screen > Get fun facts, tips, tricks > OFF (after previous point)
Settings > System > Notifications & actions > Get tips, tricks, and suggestions OFF, Get notifications from apps OFF
6. Turn Off System Protection on Disks
System protection feature tells Windows to record changes made during software installations for purpose of rolling back when system fails to operate. If you feel brave, you may turn it off:
Search "advanced system settings" > Choose disk > Configure > Disable
7. Opt Out from Privacy Options/Telemetry
Settings > Privacy >:
General > OFF "Send Microsoft info about how I write..." and OFF others of your choice
Speech, inking and typing > Stop getting to know me
Location > Change > OFFif you don't need location tracking
Background apps > OFF all except "Settings"
Feedback and diagnostics > Windows should ask for my feedback: NEVER, Send your device data to MS: BASIC
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\DataCollection\ AllowTelemetry: 0
- In PowerShell:
stop-service diagtrack set-service diagtrack -startuptype disabled
8. Turn Off Store Updates
Store > user icon > Settings > Update apps automatically > OFF
Store > user icon > Settings > Show products on tile > OFF
Win + R > regedit:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsStore Create a new 32-bit DWORD value named AutoDownload and set it to 2;
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CloudContent Create a new 32-bit DWORD value named DisableWindowsConsumerFeatures and set it to 1
- Restart Windows 10.
9. Turn Off Windows Components
- Disable OneDrive
- Disable Cortana
Settings > System > Notifications & actions > Show me tips about Windows > OFF
Win + R > appwiz.cpl > Turn Windows feartures on or off(advanced)
Settings > System > Offline maps > Automatically update maps > OFF
10. Tweak Windows Services (Advanced)
Open services by
Win + R > services.msc. There you may change some services from automatic startup to manual (when needed) or turn off services completely. If you turn off some important services your system may become unfunctional. You may get some insight from Black Viper manual.
I usually set as manual services (but don't trust me: I have little experience): Themes, IP Helper (I don't use IPv6), TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper (I don't use local network), Fax, Print Spooler (I don't use printers/fax).
11. Tweak Your Browser
- Remove unnecessary browser extensions and apps, disable unused features (in Chrome)
- Install fast adblocker (uBlock Origin for Chrome, Opera and Brave have built in adblcokers [enable in settings])
Disable autorun for plugins (like Flash)(doesn't work anymore?)
- Tune your adblcoker to rip off large media, socails, etc. (advanced,
uBlock Settings > Default behavior)
- Install Empty New Tab Page or my own ABSOLUTELY Blank New Tab Page.
- Disable HTML5 media content (for nerds, e.g. if you feel uBlock is not enough, block requests of type "Other" in uMatrix)
12. Defragment Your HDDs
Search "Defragment and Optimize Drives"
You may read more about defragmentation on the internets.
13. Unplug or Turn Off Unnecessary Devices
Win + R > ncpa.cpl > Right click on unused network interface > Disable
14. Tweak Power Options (Doubtful)
I doubt this option, but some resources mention it:
Search "Power Options" > Show additional plans > High performance
15. Tweak BIOS/UEFI (Advanced)
In BIOS you may:
- Enable virtualization and other CPU facilities.
- Turn of power saving.
- Remove DVD from booting devices.
- Disable devices that are not used or broken (e.g. NIC, floppy).
Antivirus may be an excess for a slow PC, better to use standard MS defender.
In this case you'd better turn off AutoPlay on external drives:
Settings > Devices > AutoPlay > Use AutoPlay for all media and devices > OFF
If Nothing Helps
1. Check HDD, FileSystem and Windows Files for Errors (Advanced)
If your HDD is old it may slow down the whole system, however it may be checked and healed.
- Find HDD diagnosic tool (with SMART feature) and check drive's health, e.g. MHDD is an old tool for advanced users.
- Remap bad or slow HDD sectors, e.g. Low Level Format Tool remaps slow sectors while deleting all data.
- Fix filesystem errors, e.g. with
Win + R > cmd.exe > CHKDSK C: /F
- Fix corruped Windows files:
Win + R > cmd.exe > sfc /scannow(details)
2. Install Other OS or Upgrade Hardware
You may install Windows 7, lightweight Linux (e.g. Lubuntu, LXLE, Linux Mint: Xfce Edition), CloudReady or Android for PC (not stable yet, RemixOS, PhoenixOS, Android-x86). Or you may add more RAM, switch to SSD, upgrade other hardware or buy a new notebook.
- PC Advisor: How to speed up Windows 10
- Make Use Of: How to Speed Up Windows 10 From Boot to Shut Down
- CNET: 6 easy ways to speed up Windows 10
- Softpedia: Three Ways to Make the Windows 10 Start Menu a Lot Faster
- IT PRO: How to speed up Windows 10
- PC World: How to make Windows 10 faster: 5 ways to speed up your PC
Short URL: https://git.io/boost-win10