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    Senior Product Manager

Many Windows 10 users have reported that Windows 10 runs so slow after a period of time. Generally, it is caused by hardware failure, malware, Trojan viruses, etc. Read this article, you will learn about why Windows 10 will slow down and how to speed up Windows 10 with the solutions below. Moreover, we will tell you how to optimize Windows 10 performance.

A new computer usually runs properly. But after using a period, it may get slowly when you are playing games or checking emails. If the Windows 10 running slow issue can’t be fixed early, it will be likely to result in system crash. We will find out the reasons and related solutions of Windows 10 running slowly.
Windows 10 running slow

Why and How to Shoot Windows 10 Slow Booting or Running

Reason 1: Useless Files Take Up Too Much Memory Space

Solution: Remove useless and temporary files to speed up Windows 10.

Step 1: Press “Win” + “I” key at the same time to open Windows Settings. Then click “System”. 

Windows 10 system settings

Step 2: Click “Storage” and select the target drive.

clean the storage

Step 3: Click “Temporary files”. Then select the items that you would like to remove and click “Remove files”. Generally, the items are installation package and cache.

Remove temporary files on Windows 10

Reason 2: Computer Is Attacked by Malware or Trojan Viruses

Viruses usually take up memory space. They also run in background and damage system files. It’s necessary to be careful about Trojan virus such as WinstarNssmMiner. It can disguise as commonly used software packages to deceive users. Besides, DarkComet, another Trojan virus, can steal users’ information and confidential files and even launch a DDOS attack. All these Trojan viruses threat the Internet security. Once the computer gets infected with viruses, CPU usage will increase and the PC will get hot and slow.

Solution: Regularly scan and remove viruses using Windows Defender.

Step 1: Press “Win” + “I” key at the same time to open Windows Settings. Then click “Update & Security”.

select update & security in settings

 Step 2: Click “Windows Defender” and then click “Open Windows Defender Security Center”.

Open Windows defender on Win 10

Step 3: Select “Virus & threat protection”. Then click “Quick scan”.

scan viruses on Win 10

Reason 3: Recently Installed or Updated Applications Are Problematic

Solution: Uninstall the recently installed or unnecessary applications to speed up Windows 10.

Step 1: Press “Win” + “I” key at the same time to open Windows Settings. Then click “Apps”.

select apps to uninstall software

Step 2: Click “Apps & features” in the left side. Select “install date” in “Sort by”. Then choose recently installed applications and click “Uninstall”.

Uninstall recently installed apps on Windows 10

Step 3: Please restart the PC after completing the above steps. Windows 10 performance will be improved.

If lots of applications launch automatically on startup or run in the background, Windows 10 could get slowly.
Solution: Disable startup applications via Task Manager to speed up Windows 10.

Step 1: Press “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” key at the same time. Then click “Task Manager”.

open task manager

Step 2: Click “Startup” tap. Next, you can click the “Status”  so that you can quickly find out all enabled applications. Besides, you can also click “Startup impact” column to figure out the apps that are having a high impact to Windows 10 performance.

disable startup apps on Windows 10

Step 3: It’s suggested to disable the apps that have been enabled and has high impact to Windows 10 performance. Just right click the target apps and select “Disable”.

Step 4: Please restart the PC after completing the above steps. Windows 10 performance will be improved.

Reason 5: Disk Fragmentation Occurs While Hard Disk Is Reading and Writing Data

Files will be fragmented if data is discontinuously written to the disk. Disk fragmentation will increase the hard drive’s seek time and even will badly impact the system performance.
Solution: Optimize and defragment computer’s drive to make it efficient.

Step 1: Double click “This PC” on desktop. Then right click “Local Disk (C:)” and select “Properties”.

select properties

Step 2: Switch to “Tools” tab and click “Optimize”.

optimize drive

Step 3: In the “Optimize Drives” window, select target drive and click “Optimize”. You can also choose to analyze the drive before optimizing it by clicking “Analyze”.

optimize drives on Windows 10

Reason 6: Windows System Files Get Damaged

Corrupted system files may cause the Windows 10 running slow issue and lead to other system problems.
Solution: Check the integrity of Windows system files using SFC utility.

Step 1: In search box, type in: cmd. In best match result, Right-click the “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator”.

enable command prompt

Step 2: In Command Prompt, type in: sfc /scannow. Press “Enter”.

Check and fix system files Windows 10

TipsThe command “sfc /scannow” is to check the integrity of system files and automatically restore them if they get corrupted.

Step 3: Please restart the PC after the above process completes.

Reason 7: Bad Sectors in Hard Disk

Bad sectors may occur after the hard disk is used for certern time. In this case, the hard disk can’t read and write data properly and its life span could be reduced. Besides, it may lead to Windows 10 get much slower than before.
Solution: Scan for and repair bad sectors.

Step 1: Download hard disk detection tool - HDD-SCAN. After installing, please scan whole hard disk with this software.


Step 2: Please wait for the scanning process patiently. You can get to know the situation of the hard drive via the “Map”. Once there are bad sectors, it’s suggested to repair them as soon as possible. For more details, please refer to the instruction of repairing bad sectors.

bad sector found in HDD Scan

Reason 8: Game Settings Are Not Compatible with Windows 10 or Computer Configurations

If your online 3D games (Like World of Warcraft, PUBG and GTA5) are so slow on Windows 10, it could be caused by the incompatibility of game settings with the system or computer configurations.
Solution: It’s suggested to adjust the game settings or upgrade computer hardware to optimize Windows 10 for gaming.

graphic settings

Referring to the above reasons and solutions of Windows 10 running slow, you can troubleshoot and fix the problem soon. Generally, it will make Windows 10 faster. If these methods can’t resolve your Windows 10 running slow issue, you can move on to the following methods or guidelines and further optimization.

How to Optimize Windows 10 via Windows Built-in Options

1. Enable Fast Startup on Windows 10

Fast startup, a built-in option on Windows 10, combines the sleep and shutdown properties to make Windows 10 boot up efficiently. Generally, Windows 10 closes all apps upon shutdown and all data or files will be reloaded on startup next time. If you enable fast startup, Windows will save the system data or files to hard disk before turning off the PC. When you start the PC next time, Windows will bypass the loading process but directly use the saved files to boot up.

How to speed up Windows 10 via this method? Please follow these steps!

Step 1: Press “Win” + “R” key at the same time to open the “Run” box. Then type in: control. Click “OK”.

open control panel

Step 2: After you go into “Control Panel”, navigate to “Hardware and Sound”> “Power Options”. Then click “Choose what the power buttons do” and you will go into “System Settings”.

choose what the power buttons do

Step 3: In “System Settings” window, click “Change settings that are currently unavailable”.

change unavailable settings

Step 4: Check the box “Turn on fast startup” and then click “Save changes”.

enable fast startup on Windows 10

Tipsif you intend to turn off fast startup, please repeat step 1/2/3. Then uncheck the box “Turn on fast startup” and click “Save changes”.
Below is the comparison of computer’s load time between normal startup mode and fast startup mode.
Windows VersionType of Hard DiskNormal StartupFast Startup
Windows 10 x64 proHDD42s21s

All in all, fast startup is helpful to speed up Windows 10. But the computer’s boot time also depends on the type of hard disk you’re using. Besides, adjusting Windows system settings and improving computer hardware are helpful for optimizing Windows 10 and getting a better system performance.

2. Optimize Windows 10 Perfomance by Using ReadyBoost

ReadyBoost, also a built-in option in Windows 10. It can store data and files as cache in a USB drive. But please note that ReadyBoost doesn’t work for SSDs.

How to speed up Windows 10 via this method? Please follow these steps!

Step 1: Prepare a USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 flash drive without any data or files. Connect it to the PC.

connect USB

Step 2: Double click “This PC”. Then right click your USB drive. Select “Properties”.

USB properties

Step 3: Click “ReadyBoost” tap. Next, it’s suggested to select “Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost”. Or you can choose the option “Use this device” and set the space to reserve for system speed if you need to use this device for other purpose. Finally, click “OK”.

ReadyBoost on Windows 10

Step 4: If you intend to stop ReadyBoost, please repeat step 1 and 2. Then click “Do not use this device” and click “OK”.

Tips: How to monitor Windows 10 performance? Step 1: Press “Win” + “R” key at the same time to open “Run” box. Then type in: perfmon.msc. Click “OK”.


Step 2: After the “Performance Monitor” window pops up, click the option “Performance Monitor”.(The picture below displays the Windows 10 performance without using ReadyBoost.)

Monitor windows 10 performance

Step 3: If you have already used ReadyBoost, just click the green “+” button. On the “Add Counters” window, select “ReadyBoost Cache” from the list of available counters. Then click “Add” and “OK”.

add readyboost cache

Step 4: Next, you will see the Windows 10 performance while using ReadyBoost. (Picture 1 shows the improved Windows performance after ReadyBoost with USB 2.0 drive.)

ReadyBoost via USB2.0

Picture 2 shows the improved Windows performance by using ReadyBoost with USB 3.0 drive. 

ReadyBoost with USB 3.0

All in all, ReadyBoost is able to optimize Windows 10 and reduce the CPU usage. And using USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 drive does not make great difference.
Windows 10 PerformanceNot using ReadyBoostUsing ReadyBoost with USB 2.0 driveUsing ReadyBoost with USB 3.0 drive
% Processor Time (CPU usage)CPU usage may reach up to 100%CPU usage below 80%CPU usage below 80%
Windows 10 Performance% Processor Time (CPU usage)
Not using ReadyBoostCPU usage may reach up to 100%
Using ReadyBoost with USB 2.0 driveCPU usage below 80%
Using ReadyBoost with USB 3.0 driveCPU usage below 80%

3. Optimize CPU Usage

Some applications always take up too much CPU, which leads to Windows 10 running slow. You can follow a few steps to optimize CPU usage.

How to speed up Windows 10 via CPU optimization?

Step 1: Press “Win” + “R” key at the same time to open “Run” box.

Step 2: Type in: services.msc. Click “OK”.

enter services.msc in run

Step 3: Right click “Connected User Experiences and Telemetry” and select “stop”.

Optimize CPU usage

4. Reset the PC or Reinstall the Operating System

If the above methods can’t make your Windows 10 faster, you can choose to reset the PC or reinstall the operating system. Generally, resetting the PC is able to optimize Windows 10 performance. It’s suggested to reset the PC at first. If it still doesn’t work, then you can choose to reinstall system. Besides, to prevent data loss, it’s suggested to backup or transfer important data before you reset the PC or reinstall system.

It is recommended to use the professional system rescue tool – Renee PassNow. Actually there’re many system rescue software on the Internet. Why is Renee PassNow especially helpful? Renee PassNow, an essential tool for home and office, can not only help you transfer important data, but also provides functions of password reset, data recovery, HDD scan, drive eraser, Windows recovery, etc. All these functions can be run without Windows. For more details about data transfer, please read the page about how to transfer files or data with Renee PassNow.

data transfer function in Renee Passnow

After transferring data successfully, you can refer to the steps below to reset the PC.

Step 1: Start the PC and get to the desktop in Windows 10. Next, press “Win” + “I” key to open “Windows Settings”. Then click “Update & Security”.

select update & security in settings

Step 2: When a window pops up, click “Recovery” in the left pane. Then click “Get started” button under “Reset this PC”.

Reset laptop in Windows 10

Step 3: It’s suggested to select “Remove everything” if you have already transferred all important data in advance. It will be helpful to clean the PC thoroughly. You can also select “keep my files” depending on your needs. It’s completely optional.

Reset the PC in Windows 10

Step 4: If your PC has more than one drive, Windows will ask whether you want to remove all files from all drives. Just select “Only the drive where Windows is installed” or “All drives”.

Step 5: Select “Just remove my files” or “Remove files and clean the drive”. If you already transfer important data or files in advance, it’s suggested to select the second option so that the PC will be cleaned more effectively.

remove files and clean the drives

Step 6: Finally, click “Reset”. The resetting process will start.

Resetting the PC will greatly speed up Windows 10 and optimize system performance. If this way can’t solve your Windows 10 running slow problem, then you may try to reinstall the system.

How to Optimize Windows 10 via Computer Hardware upgrade

Except built-in feature in Windows 10 and the third-party tools, you can also upgrade the computer hardware to speed up Windows 10. Next, hardware such as CPU, Graphics card, hard disk and computer memory wil be introduced here and help you select the appropriate one to make Windows 10 faster.

1. Replace HDD with SSD

Computers are upgraded quickly and some users are fond of better hardware for computer’s performance. Then HDD gradually falls behind. As for HDD, it has IDE and SATA interface. And the data transfer speed of SATA interface is quicker than that of IDE interface. But in general, HDD is very slow.
Hard Disk InterfaceData Transfer Speed

About SSD Drive

SSD, a tiny disk with the advantages of low-power dissipation and slient, has a much better transmission speed than HDD. Now SSD commonly use two protocols (AHCI and NVMe) and two interfaces (SATA and M.2). SATA interface only supports AHCI protocol, but M.2 interface is compatible with two types of protocols. Moreover, the motherboard provides SATA and PCI-e connector. SATA interface can only go through SATA connector, but M.2 interface can pass through both of them. Please note that data transfer speed will depend on the type of protocol that interface provides.

Hard Disk InterfaceConnectorProtocolData Transfer Speed
TipsThe data transfer speed of M.2 interface varies from protocol to protocol. From the chart above, the transmission spedd of M.2 SSD with NVME protocol is much better than that of M.2 SSD with AHCI protocol.

Clone Windows 10 to SSD

If you intend to replace HDD with SSD, it’s suggested to use the system migration software – Renee Becca. It just takes three steps to migrate Windows 10 from HDD to SSD with automatic 4K aligned. For more details, please read the page about the instructions of installing SSD and using Renee Becca.

How to migrate Windows 10 to SSD?

Firstly, connect your SSD to computer via hard disk enclosure. Then download and install Renee Becca.

download button win

Step 1: Launch Renee Becca and click “System Migration” in “Clone” function.

Renee Becca clone function

Step 2: Select the new SSD you prepared for the migration in “Destination”.

select destination to migrate system

Step 3: After the migration finishes, you can start the PC from the new SSD.

Tips:a. Please select SSD as the first boot order in BIOS setup. After computer boots from SSD successfully, format the original system disk to make use of the disk space.

b. Or you can take off the HDD after the PC shuts down. Start the PC from SSD and reconnect the HDD to PC for system disk format.

c. If you replace a SSD for a laptop, please remove the battery before you install the SSD.

renee becca hdd ssd 600x398

2. Upgrade Graphics Card

Graphics card, one of the essential computer hardware, generates images and cooperates with CPU. It aims to display fine screen and render effect.

How to select a graphics card?

You can choose a graphics card according to your needs.

Option #1: A graphic card for gaming. If you often play 3D online games such as World of Warcraft, PUBG and GTA5, you can choose GTX1050ti or GTX1060 6G that can support most computer games. Besides, you may use GTX1070Ti if you want to have a better experience.

graphics card for gaming

Option #2: A graphics card for office and home. Generally, integrated graphics card is good enough such as Intel UHD Graphics 630.

Option #3: A graphic card for graphic design. It’s suggested to use Nvidia Quadro and ATI FireGL series. Using professional graphic card, designer will see the figure and modeling in different light.

graphics card for figure design

3. Upgrade CPU

CPU carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic and logic. If CPU leads to the Windows running slow problem, you may choose to upgrade it to speed up Windows 10.

How to select a CPU?

Now most CPUs that users are using are AMD and Intel. When we intend to buy a new CPU, we can’t directly evaluate the performance by the core i3, i5 or i7. For example, the speed of i5-8250U is faster than i5-6200U. Both of them are core i5, but the performance is different. It would be better if you focus on the number (8250U, 6200U), especially the first digit. In this example, “8” stands for the 8th generation and “6” means the 6th generation. In general, it’s recommended to choose the latest generation. And it’s necessary to learn more about what the model number means before you buy a CPU.

how to choose CPU

4. Upgrade Computer Memory

Computer memory, a communication bridge allowing all computer programs to run via it, has an important impact on the PC.

How much RAM does your Windows 10 really need?

As for home and office use, 2GB hardly supports Windows 10 running even though you just check emails, browse the Internet, play simple games or use office software. In fact, 4GB is basically enough and 8GB is also a good choice if the PC is for a long-term use.

how much RAM does Windows 10 need

System memory defines how fast the Windows 10 will be. For example, if we edit a 17 minute video with video editor via 4GB, 8GB and 16GB RAM, the time consuming of whole edit process will be different (12GB total usage). There’s little difference between 8GB and 16GB RAM, but they are faster than 4GB RAM.

Total Amount of MemoryProcessing Time

If you often play massive computer games, 8GB is basically enough for them. A test shows that there’s little difference between 8GB and 16GB and they are better than 4GB while running GTA5 on Windows 10. However, you may run other programs except games. Then you may consider upgrading the computer memory if it is not enough for now. 

system memory performance

In general, 8GB is an appropriate choice. If you find that the total amount of in-use memory is so high and reaches up to 80%, you may need to optimize memory usage or choose to upgrade the memory.

Tips: How to check in-use memory?

Step 1: Press “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” key at the same time and then select “Task Manager”.

Step 2: In the Task Manager window, click “Performance” tab and then select “Memory”. You will see the total amount of memory and in-use memory.

check for memory on Windows 10

Tips: Please move on to following steps if you want to optimize system memory usage.

Step 1: Press “Win” + “R” key at the same time to open “Run” box. Then type in: control. Click “OK”.

Step 2: After you go into “Control Panel”, please select “System and Security”> “System”> “Advanced system settings”.

Step 3: In the “System Properties” window, click “Settings” under “Performance”.

Step 4: When “Performance Options” window pops up, click “Advanced”. Select “Programs” and click “Change”.

Step 5: In the “Virtual Memory” window, uncheck the box “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” Then select target drive and customize the size. Finally, click “OK”.

optimize system memory usage on Windows 10

If memory usage optimization doesn’t work, you may consider upgrading the memory. But you need to see whether the memory you’re going to buy is compatible with your CPU. In addition, it’s suggested to set up dual-channel memory that can double the computer performance and speed up Windows 10.

Chart below is the performance comparison between single channel and dual-channel memory. (Tests were run on the same device)

System Memory Mode / Data Transfer SpeedReadWriteCopy
Kingston 8G-2133 Single channel15957 MB/s15554 MB/s15295 MB/s
Kingston 4G-2133 X2 Dual channel30729 MB/s31202 MB/s27107 MB/s

What is dual-channel memory? How to set it up?

Dual-channel memory means that a pair of same size/speed memory that are installed in the slot of matching bank for data transfer, which can double computer performance and improve data transmission efficiency between system memory and CPU.

Generally, now the motherboard basically supports dual-channel memory mode. Some of them have four banks with two kinds of channel called A and B. As the picture shows below, from the left to right we can call them A1, A2, B1, B2 respectively. But some motherboards only have two banks. They are also channel A and B, which can be marked as A1 and A2.

Dual channel memory

If you intend to set up dual-channel memory, you will need a pair of same size memory so that they will authentically speed up Windows 10. For example, you have a pair of 4GB memory for the motherboard with four memory slots. You need to install the memory in A1 and B1 slot respectively. If there are only two memory slots, just directly install the memory.

Besides, you can also use a pair of 4GB memory and one 8GB memory to set up dual-channel memory mode. But they need to be completed on the motherboard with four memory slots. Just follow a few steps: firstly, install a pair of 4GB memory into A1 and A2 slot respectively. Then install the 8GB memory into B1 slot. Finally, the dual-channel memory mode is enabled.

set up dual channel memory