Make your computer faster without installing an SSD.

If your old Windows 10 PC is already bright, starting to lose a bit of its glow, there are ways to create a bit of embarrassment in its step. Here are some quick, easy ways to improve performance without exchanging hardware.

1. Opaque

Windows 10’s new Start menu is simple and easy on the eyes, but transparency takes up many resources. To restore these resources, you can disable transparency in the Start menu, taskbar, and action center: Open Settings and go to Personalization> Colors and toggle Make Start, taskbar, and action center on and off. 

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2. No special effects

Making the Start menu, taskbar, and action center transparent is one thing, but Windows 10 still has many other dazzling, built-in special effects. Right-click on the Start button and click System.


Click Advanced system settings to open the System Properties menu. On the Advanced tab under Performance, click Settings.

This will open the Performance Options menu. In the Visual Effects tab, choose to Adjust for best performance to turn off all unnecessary animations and special effects, or select Custom and uncheck the visual effects you think could live without. When you’re done, click OK to apply your changes.

3. Disable the Startup program

If your computer takes a long time to boot – and you have Fast Startup turned on and everything – you may have too many programs starting when you turn on your computer. To fix this:

  1. Right-click the Start button and click Task Manager.
  2. Click the Startup tab (click More details if you don’t see the Startup tab) and read the list of programs that start with your computer.
  3. If you see a program that is not required, right-click on it and click Disable. You can also sort the list of shows with Startup impact if you want to see the programs taking up the most resources (and time).

4. Find (and fix) the problem

Windows 10 has a built-in performance troubleshooter that can help you find and fix any issues that may affect your computer’s speed. To open the troubleshooter, right-click the Start button and click Control Panel. In the Security and Maintenance section at the top, click Troubleshoot common computer problems. Next, under System and Security, click Run maintenance tasks.


5. Reduce the boot menu timeout

When the computer boots, the boot menu will be displayed for a specific time before the operating system loads. This gives you time to do things like start Windows in Safe Mode. You can take a few seconds off your boot time by changing the boot menu timeout, which is set to 30 seconds by default.


To do this, right-click the Start button and click Control Panel. Go to System> Advanced system settings, and under Startup and Recovery, click Settings.


Next to Time to display a list of operating systems: change the value from 30 seconds to 10 seconds, and click OK.

6. No tipping

Windows 10 will sometimes give you tips on how to get the most out of your operating system. It scans your computer for this, a process that can have a slight impact on performance. To turn off these tips, go to Start> Settings> System> Notifications & actions, and toggle Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows toggles.


7. Run Disk Cleanup

This is a win. It will improve performance and free up space on your hard drive. Disk Cleanup has been around forever, but this reliable Windows utility can still help clean temporary files, installers, and other junk littering your hard drive. To run it, search for Disk Cleanup, run it and click the button labeled Clean up system files.


8. Delete graphics

Suppose your computer comes with pre-installed apps that you don’t want or need, remove them. The same goes for any application you install that you find little or no use later. Right-click the Start menu, select Control Panel and under Programs header, click Uninstall a program. Follow the timed list, choose the programs you no longer need, and click Uninstall placed at the top of the list.


9. Power saving plan

Make sure you don’t use a power-saving plan if you don’t need it. Even desktops sometimes have power-saving features, which won’t help you unless you’re trying to save battery power. Open the Control Panel and go to Hardware and Sound> Power Options to see what power plan you’re using. For better performance, make sure you’re on High Performance or Balanced (or the computer manufacturer’s list says it’s balanced).


10. Reboot your computer

Speeding up your computer is as simple as restarting it? Maybe. Restarting your computer clears its memory and stops any processes that might be resource hogging. Also, shutting down your computer is not the same as rebooting – shutting down is affected by Windows 10’s Fast Startup, saving a snapshot of your computer and its processes in a fiberfill file for a faster startup. Restarting is not affected by Fast Startup, so if you have started Fast Startup, your computer is the only way too evident memory and shutdown processes.