22 things to do to optimize Windows and have a fast and stable PC

A computer, much more than a machine, not only needs regular maintenance, but also to configure some settings to optimize the system and make it faster and less prone to errors in the future.
This general guide can apply to any computer, be it powerful or old and inexpensive, both with Windows 10 and with Windows 7 and 8.1, both for a work PC and for one used for surfing the internet or playing games.
The guide, which tries to understand practically everything to do to optimize Windows, is divided into 22 points that can refer to other guides depending on the purpose that you want to achieve, which can be to keep the computer stable or to get the maximum speed, all trying not to use external programs.
Instead, the more complex tricks and procedures that bring few advantages or absolutely negligible results for most situations will be neglected.
1) Disable automatic startup applications
The main problem of a PC are the programs installed and, specifically, those that start automatically.
While it is only fair that some of these programs, such as antivirus, are automatic, others like Skype have no reason to start on their own.
We have seen the guide to disable automatic program startup in Windows noting how easy this has become in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, simply by opening the task manager.
2) Uninstall Bloatware
In addition to programs that slow down startup, you must absolutely check the list of installed programs and remove all those called bloatware, that is, big programs that you never use.
For example, if you never use Skype, why keep it "> free programs read to open PDFs that work even better.
Generally, go to the Control Panel, then to Programs and Features, select unused programs and uninstall them.
Furthermore, in Windows 10 and Windows 8, it is better to see all the apps installed from the Start menu and remove the ones that have never been used.
Therefore, install the safe programs that keep the PC fast, avoiding to clog the computer with too big programs and with virus programs to never install.
3) Keep your PC safe and free of viruses or harmful software
The first cause of slowness of a computer is related to the presence of malware or viruses.
It being understood that you must have an antivirus installed (which is already present in Windows 10 and 8.1 without downloading anything else), you must also use a scan program to be sure that there are no malicious software that occupy the memory and that create instability.
I therefore recommend MalwareBytes Antimalware, free and among the best and most effective.
4) Use the task manager and resource monitoring
Windows, and even better in Windows 10, allows you to control active processes from the Task Manager to control those that take up more memory, more CPU and more disk.
In addition, in the Performance tab, you can see the use of PC resources in real time and click on the Resource Monitoring tool to get all the details on performance drops.
In general, if a process were to use too much CPU, there may be a hardware or security problem and it is better to search for its name on Google for more details.
If the CPU is used by many programs, there are solutions to force Windows to consume less CPU per process.
As for the excessive use of RAM, the solutions are two: uninstall the heavy programs as seen in point 2 or add RAM to the computer if possible.
In another article, however, we saw what to do when Windows uses the disk 100%.
5) Optimize your computer shutdown
If the PC takes a long time to shut down there are problems that can be solved by following the guide to speed up the shutdown of the Windows PC to the maximum
6) Activate the fast start of Windows 10 and 8.1
In Windows 10 and 8.1, Microsoft uses a computer boot mode that should greatly speed up the computer power up and boot.
Although it should be enabled by default, it is worth checking the quick launch options in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1.
7) Activate Hibernate mode
In Windows 7 and also in Windows 10 and 8 it is convenient to use the sleep mode to make it take no more than 10 seconds to turn on the computer.
This mode saves the state of the computer to reload it as it was left and is very useful if you plan to turn the PC back on during the day.
You can activate hibernate mode and add it to the shutdown options by going to Control Panel> Hardware and Sound> Power Options> specific power button behavior .
From the window that opens, click on Change settings that are not currently available and activate the box next to Sleep or even hibernate .
8) Disable indexing of files for searching
Searching for files in Windows requires the system to keep an indexing service running which can slow performance.
If you have a weak or old PC, it is better to deactivate it and, if necessary, use different programs to search for files.
To disable file indexing, open the Start menu, search and open Computer Management, go to Services, search for the one called Windows Search, double click on it, press Stop and then put the startup type on Manual or Disabled .
9) Reduce the load on the web browser
If you use Chrome or Firefox, be careful of the extensions installed because if they are too many, the browser can become very slow and take up too much memory.
In each browser, you can find the extensions installed from the main menu (in Chrome: Menu> Other tools ).
10) Clean the disc
Over time, the computer is filled with a lot of unnecessary or superfluous data that takes up space, creates instability and slows down the reading / writing operations.
In addition to the Ccleaner download program, which I recommend to everyone, Windows also has a Disk Cleanup tool.
To use Disk Cleanup, go to Start and search for Disk Cleanup from the search bar.
Select the disk to be cleaned and follow the wizard even without making changes.
11) Correct disk errors
This operation, to be done at least every 2 or 3 months, is explained in the guide on how to check disk errors with Chkdsk (Scan Disk) in Windows 7, 8 and 10.
12) Activate system restore
System Restore is the first tool to use when there are sudden problems, to repair Windows.
So remember to activate the restore points in Windows 10, since they are not active by default.
13) Optimize virtual memory (paging file)
On computers with low RAM, Windows goes to use a part of the disk as a memory reserve, slowing down every operation a lot.
The general advice is to buy more RAM to improve the most important part of the computer, but if it is not possible, you need to optimize the paging file as explained in another guide.
14) Use the troubleshooting tools
Microsoft includes Windows 10, 7 and 8 of the Windows troubleshooting tools that you really need to remember to use when there are system errors related for example to the network, printer, screen, audio, hardware connections or other things.
15) Customize the folder options
The folder options allow you to optimize the loading of images, videos or folders full of files, which can take a long time to open.
The folder options are located in the Control Panel (in Windows 10 they are the File Explorer Options ).
On the Display tab, deselect the following options in Advanced settings:
- Show quick description
- Show preview managers
- Hide empty units
- View file size information.
- Hide file extensions (be careful when renaming files, do not delete extensions, ie the three letters after the dot).
In other articles we have seen the Windows tricks for "explore resources" and slow folders and the folder options in Windows 10.
16) Disable OneDrive and synchronization
In Windows 10 and 8.1, Onedrive synchronizes passwords, browser settings, and some system preferences, but it is for now an almost useless function that is better to disable.
I therefore refer to the guide on how to disable Onedrive in Windows 10 and 8.1
Also, in Settings> Accounts, go to the Synchronization options and disable everything.
17) Turn off Effects and Animations
Another reason why an old PC can be slow is that there are too many special effects and animations.
It is therefore worth turning off animated effects in Windows to gain speed.
18) Always update Windows
Windows updates are used to cover security bugs and technical instability problems, therefore they must always be installed automatically via Windows Update.
In case of problems, see how to fix Windows Update errors if the system does not update.
19) Optimize the right-click context menu options
When you right-click on a file or folder, a menu of options and operations opens which can also become very long depending on the programs installed.
If too long, this menu can become slow.
In another guide, we saw how to disable unnecessary items in right-click context menus.
20) Activate Windows backups
There are some automatic backup tools in a Windows PC, which you must necessarily activate so that in case of problems nothing is lost.
The topic is vast, but you can start from this guide to know how to backup Windows 10 automatically.
21) Know that you can restore your PC
The best way to clean up a PC full of problems is to reset it.
There are easy ways to repair Windows 10 without formatting and, as seen, you can also reset your PC and restore or reinstall Windows without losing personal data and settings.
22) Use automatic external programs
In another article the best free programs to optimize the Windows PC are listed and described.
In other articles:
- How to speed up Windows
- How to speed up Windows 10

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