Speeding Up Windows 8
It’s natural that every type of machine’s performance will degrade over time. This is true of your car, your refrigerator and particularly your laptop. You may find that this performance hit seems to come quicker with computers than other machines.
Don’t trade in (or throw out) that laptop just yet. Instead, let’s consider how to speed up Windows 8 (or 8.1).
Check Resources in Windows
Windows has a lot of moving parts so it makes sense to routinely check performance. You can do this by way of using the built-in tool called Resource Monitor.
There are several ways to bring it up in Windows 8, but one of the easiest is to click on the Open Resource Monitor link from the Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del keys, then Performance tab). From here, you can get a snapshot of CPU, disk, memory and network usage.
Take note of what you see here. From what you learn, you can coordinate a plan.
While you can also end individual processes (right-click and End process), it’s sometimes better to shut down the applications themselves from Task Manager.
Close Resource Intensive Programs
As you know, applications running in the background can still take up valuable resources.
Programs not in immediate use should be closed. This can be done by way of the Task Manager. Hitting the keys Ctrl + Alt + Del will bring up the option to choose this tool.
From here, highlight the desired application and hit the End task button.
Be Selective of Apps Launched on Startup
Without your knowledge, there may be applications that are contributing to your machine slowing down. These programs load when Windows boots up. If you don’t require these to always be running, you can disable their auto-start status.
While in Task Manager, you can hit the More details option and bring up a new view with additional options. Among these options is the Startup tab.
By clicking this, you can see what loads when Windows starts. It’s here you can choose not to automatically fire up specific applications at boot by right-clicking and choosing Disable.
Remove Unused Software
While some programs don’t need to be running at a given time, there are others that shouldn’t even be installed.
You don’t want to simply delete the files and folders of these applications because the Windows registry will still believe they exist (and will throw errors when trying to load them anyway). That said, feel free to properly uninstall any application that is no longer used.
Find the icon of the app you wish to remove, right-click and choose Uninstall.
From the Programs and Features window, ensure the application is highlighted and click Uninstall/Change.
Other Areas of Performance Hits
While we’ve been focused on performance problems of the computer in general, there are other areas where your endeavors may come to a crawl.
Finding ways of speeding up Windows 8 itself might not be enough. The web browser tends to be susceptible to bogging down. This can be due to networking issues but is usually related to large amounts (or corrupt) browser cache.
Every browser is different on how to clean up these temporary files. For the sake of example, let’s focus on Internet Explorer (IE).
From IE, go to Tool, Internet Options and the General tab.
From here, you can delete a variety of items (Temporary Internet files, Cookie, History and so on).
Malicious code – viruses, worms and so on – can certainly lead to Windows 8 performance issues. This might be the least of your concerns in such a scenario. The first step for Windows 8 (or any operating system) is to run a full scan with an anti-virus program.
If you detect such code running on your computer, you can trust your anti-virus software to remove it – or format and reinstall Windows (after backing up personal data). Some suggest this latter step as it ensures the code is completely removed.
Device Drivers Need to be Current
All devices require software drivers in Windows. Sometimes these can cause issues, including performance-related ones.
Whether corrupt, missing or outdated, these device drivers will need updating at some point. You can let Windows try and do this – with mixed results. There are other options if Windows doesn’t find a good match.
Manually Update Drivers
If you know the model (and possibly serial) number, you can visit the manufacturer’s site and try to find the correct driver. If you do, download and unzip it.
Afterward, go into Device Manager (from the Start menu), right-click the desired device and choose Update driver.
You’ll choose to Browse my computer for driver software and then locate the file you downloaded.
Automate the Task of Updating Drivers
You can choose to search for a driver every time you need to update one – or you can take an easier route.
Since 1996, Driver Support has been automating the task of keeping devices drivers current. Upon registering the service, it will update any drivers that are missing or out of date.
If you’re ready to install Driver Support for better device functionality, Download Driver Support and get started in minutes.