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How to KonMari and speed up your Windows PC for Chinese New Year

By Alvin Soon - 22 Jan 2020

How to clean up, declutter and speed up your Windows PC - page 2

5. Stop apps from slowing down system startup

After installation, some apps will set themselves to launch at the same time you boot up your system. This can be convenient - it reduces load time for commonly used programs - but it can also slow down your startup process.

To see which programs load at startup, press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC on Windows 10 to bring up your Task Manager. Switch to the ‘Startup’ tab, and you can see which programs run on startup. Right-click to disable any that you don’t use. Windows 10 will even tell you which programs have the biggest impact on startup speed.


6. Defrag your PC

An oldie but a goodie method to speed up your Windows machine is to defrag the hard drive, except if you’re using an SSD (Solid State Drive). Windows 7, 8 and 10 should automatically stop you from doing so if you are.

That said, if you’re running Windows 7 and above on a hard disk, your Windows is set to run defrag automatically on a regular basis, and you won’t need to defrag your PC. But if you’ve turned this feature off, or turn your PC off every time you finish using it, Windows might not have defragged your hard disk in a while, in which case you can do it manually.

Click on the Search button, or go to Settings, and search for ‘Disk Defragmenter.’ Select the disk you want to defrag.

Disk Defragmenter will actually tell you when the disk was last defragged, and whether or not you should optimize it now. If you’re still not sure whether you should, click ‘Analyze disk’ first to check. If the percentage of fragmentation on the disk in the ‘Last Run’ column is above 10%, it’s recommended that you defrag the disk.


7. Clean up your Windows 10 taskbar

Windows 10’s taskbar comes with new icons, but if you prefer a cleaner look, you can turn them off.

If you don’t use virtual desktops (known as "Task View" on Windows 10), right-click the taskbar and uncheck "Show Task View button."

Selecting Search and checking “Show Cortana icon” reduces Cortana’s large search box into an icon. If you’re sure you don’t want to use Cortana, check "Hidden" instead to take her/it completely off the taskbar. To bring Task View or Cortana back, simply right-click on the taskbar and check the same options again.

If you have pinned items on the taskbar which you don’t use anymore, right-click the item, and choose “Unpin from taskbar.”


8. Turn off all notifications

Finally, turn off annoying notifications so you can focus on your work. Go to Settings > System > Notifications & actions and turn off all the notifications there.


We hope these fast tips help you to spring clean your systems in a jiffy! Meanwhile, if you or your friend needs to know more intricate details of the Windows 10 operating system, we've got you covered in our Windows 10 Mega Guide and detailed Windows 10 FAQ.