Windows 11

How to Speed Up a Windows 11 Computer

Maximizing Performance and Efficiency for a Swift Windows 11 Experience


Windows 11 carries out a lot of functions that may take a toll on the RAM and the general speed of the computer. So, you may need to speed up a Windows 11 computer to improve overall performance, fix underlying problems, free up disk space, and extend battery life.

In this guide, we will cover all you may do to speed up your Windows 11 computer, breaking down the steps into general system optimization, startup programs management, system maintenance, hardware upgrades and enhancements, and network optimization. Let us get to it.

General System Optimization

1. Update Windows

Updating Windows is essential to keep your system up-to-date with the latest features and security patches. It can be done manually or automatically and can resolve performance issues. Updates can fix bugs causing slow performance, enhance device driver performance, and optimize resource utilization.

The following steps will help you complete the update:

  1. Firstly, start the Settings app by pressing the Windows + I together and then click on System to open it.
  2. Then click on Windows Update from the tabs on the left navigation pane.
    Update DirectX Windows 11
  3. After the page opens, click on the Check for updates button.
    Update DirectX Windows 11
  4. Windows will search for available updates. If it finds one for DirectX 12, download and install it in Windows 11 from the list or click Install now.
    Update DirectX Windows 11
  5. Finally, restart your computer.

2. Update Drivers

Performing a system driver update helps to install the latest driver versions for your hardware devices. This solution can help speed up Windows 11 if the issue is from outdated, corrupted, or missing drivers. Here is how to update your driver:

  1. Hold the Windows and I keys simultaneously to launch the Settings window.
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  2. Then, click the Windows Update option next.
  3. Afterward, select Advanced Options.
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  4. Then, tap the Optional updates option next.
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  5. Once the options open, expand the Driver Updates section, select the appropriate drive, Download & Install all the available updates.
  6. Lastly, restart your computer. Running through this process will prevent backgroundtaskhost exe from crashing.

3. Power Settings

Editor Power Plans, power plan profiles, or power schemes are pre-configured settings for controlling the system’s power consumption management, performance prioritization, and various hardware and software settings adjustments. These functions are essential to speed up Windows 11. Here is how to enable it:

  1. Press Windows and S simultaneously, type power plan, and click open.
    windows 11 gaming settings
  2. When the window opens, click on Power options.
    windows 11 gaming settings
  3. Then, select High Performance and minimize the Power Options screen.
  4. You can then close the window or minimize it to improve your performance.
  5. If you want to improve your performance better, then see solution 3.

4. Disk Cleanup

The disk cleanup built-in tool can help you free up space on your computer. The tool deletes unnecessary files, such as temporary files, old system files, and downloaded program files. Removing these files can potentially improve your computer’s performance.

Here’s how to delete temporary files via Settings:

  1. Begin by clicking the Start button and then selecting Settings.
    Steam not working after Windows update
  2. Then click on System on the left pane options.
    Steam not working after Windows update
  3. After that, click on Storage, which will show you what is consuming your disk space.
    Steam not working after Windows update
  4. Click on Temporary files. If not visible, click Show more categories to make it visible.
  5. The Temporary files page exposes the temporary files on your PC. Check all the boxes and then click Remove files.

5. Defragment your hard drive

Defragmenting your hard drive is like reorganizing the files on the PC. It gathers all the fragmented pieces of files and puts them back together in a contiguous order. This makes it faster for your computer to read and write data, leading to faster loading times, improved overall responses, and reduced disk wear and tear.

Here is how to defragment your hard drive:

  1. Open the search bar, enter defragment in the search field, and click Open.
  2. Then, select the drive you intend to defragment and click Optimize.
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  3. Finally, allow the process to complete.

Startup Programs Management

1. Disable Startup Programs

Disabling apps on startup can impact battery performance positively by reducing unnecessary background activities and resource usage. This setting reduces power consumption and lets your PC focus on essential tasks rather than running unnecessary background processes. Here’s how to complete the setting:

  1. Open the Settings by holding the Windows + I keys simultaneously, click Apps on the left sidebar, and open Startup.
    windows 11 battery settings
  2. Then, turn off unnecessary apps and leave only critical apps active.
  3. Adjust the duration of the settings as desired.
  4. Finally, restart your PC.

System Configuration

1. Virtual Memory Settings

Virtual memory, also known as a paging file, acts like an extension of your RAM. When your physical RAM is full, Windows uses virtual memory on your storage drive to temporarily save data, allowing programs to run smoothly. Optimizing these settings can immensely impact your Windows 11 performance.

Modify the virtual memory settings on Windows 11 using the following steps:

  1. Press Windows + I keys simultaneously to open Settings, and click the About page under System.
    Speed Up Windows 11
  2. Under Related links, click Advanced system settings.
    Speed Up Windows 11
  3. Then, open the Advanced tab, click the Settings button under the Performance section.
    Speed Up Windows 11
  4. Under the Performance Options window, click the Advanced tab, then, click the Change button under the Virtual memory section.
    Speed Up Windows 11
  5. Uncheck the Automatically manage paging files size for all drives box, select the Custom size option, and enter a desired value for the Initial size and Maximum size for the paging file in megabytes
    Speed Up Windows 11
  6. Afterward, click Set.
    Speed Up Windows 11
  7. Note that while the virtual memory size differs for everyone, we recommend setting the Initial size to 1.5 times the available memory and the Maximum size to 3 times the available memory.
  8. Then, click the OK button and again on the next display.
    Speed Up Windows 11
  9. Finally, restart your PC.

2. Visual Effects

Visual effects (VE) make Windows 11 PC look better but use up system resources like CPU, memory, and graphics processing power. This can lead to slower performance and reduced battery life. Turning off VE can improve performance and extend battery life, especially on older or less powerful hardware.

Here’s how you can use VE to optimize your Windows 11 experience:

  1. Press the Windows + I keys simultaneously to launch Settings and click Accessibility.
  2. Then, click Visual effects on the right pane.
    Speed Up Windows 11
  3. Finally, toggle the Animation effects switch Off.
    Speed Up Windows 11

System Maintenance

1. Scan for virus

The Windows Security built-in security suite protects your computer against viruses, malware, and other threats. It can help fix the speed up your Windows 11 PC by scanning your PC for malware and removing any infections it finds. Use the following steps to scan for malware:

  1. Hold the Windows + S keys down simultaneously, and type Windows Security in the search field. Then, open the Windows Security application.
  2. After opening, click on the Virus & threat protection option.
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  3. Thirdly, click Scan options to see all available scans.
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  4. On the next display, choose the Full scan option, then click Scan now to do a deep scan on your computer for viruses or malware.

2. Perform an SFC scan to speed up your Windows 11

The System File Checker (SFC) scan is a Windows utility that scans for and repairs corrupted system files. It can help to fix several problems, including when your Windows 11 PC speed is low, and you want to speed it up. If the error arises from a corrupted system file, the SFC scan should fix the error.

Use the following steps to run the SFC scan:

  1. Press the Windows and S keys together and type cmd in the text field.
  2. Then, choose the Run as administrator option on the right side to start the Command Prompt with administrator privileges.
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  3. Once the User Account Control prompts you, select Yes to continue.
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  4. When the Command Prompt displays, enter the following command into the prompt and tap the Enter key to start an SFC scan:
    sfc /scannow
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  5. Once the scan is complete, copy and paste the command below and press the Enter key to run the command:
    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
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  6. Finally, it would be best to restart your computer to implement repairs.

Hardware Upgrades and Enhancements

1. Add More RAM to speed up your Windows 11

RAM, or Random Access Memory, is your computer’s short-term memory. More RAM means faster and more efficient performance. It can help reduce lag, improve multitasking, and enable faster loading times. Gamers benefit from higher RAM for smoother gameplay.

Adding more RAM is a great way to speed up your Windows 11 computer. Remember that the amount of RAM you need depends on your usage. As a casual user who just does basic tasks like browsing the web and checking email, 8GB of RAM should be sufficient.

However, as a gamer, video editor, or power user, you should consider 16GB or even 32GB of RAM. Adding RAM is usually an affordable upgrade, but ensure compatibility with your motherboard and CPU before purchasing.

2. Upgrade Storage to SSD to speed up your Windows 11

Picture a typical hard drive (HDD) as a spinning record player, where the needle finds information by physically moving across the disk. An SSD is more like a flash drive – it uses tiny memory chips to store data, so there are no moving parts. This makes it much faster to access information.

Upgrading to an SSD is an investment, one you won’t regret. It’s a surefire way to breathe new life into your Windows 11 experience and keep it running smoothly for the coming years. Upgrading to an SSD can significantly enhance your Windows 11 experience by providing faster boot times, a snappier application launch, and reduced load times.

SSDs also improve the overall responsiveness of your computer, making browsing and multitasking smoother and more fluid. They are quieter, more durable, and consume less power than traditional hard drives.

To upgrade, start with backing up your data, choosing an SSD with the right size, speed, and brand, and installing it on your computer. You can also clone everything from your HDD to the SSD and reinstall Windows 11 for a fresh start.

Network Optimization

1. Run the Network Adapter troubleshooter to speed up your Windows 11

Running the Network Adapter troubleshooter is a reliable fix that automatically detects and resolves common network adapter issues. The troubleshooter scans for network adapter settings problems relating to IP configuration and connectivity and attempts to fix them. Here is how to do it.

  1. Press the Windows and I keys together to open the Settings menu.
  2. Then open the System option.
  3. Now scroll down to find the Troubleshoot option and click to enter, then click on Other trouble-shooters.
    Wi-Fi Connection not Working
  4. When done, click the Run button next to Network Adapter.
  5. When the troubleshooter window opens, choose All network adapters 
  6. Finally, click Next.

Additional Tips

1. Perform a clean boot to speed up your Windows 11

Sometimes, conflicts can occur while installing programs or using Windows. However, performing a clean boot is to detect and resolve these conflicts. It involves temporarily disabling all non-essential startup programs and services. This way, you can detect if any program or service is causing the installation errors.

Here is what you need to do to perform a clean boot:

  1. Hold the Windows and R keys to open the Run dialog box, type msconfig in the Run entry field, and press Enter.
  2. Then, locate the Services tab, click on it, and check the Hide all Microsoft services box.
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  3.  Click on the Disable all button and then click Apply.
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  4. Select the Startup tab and then click Open Task Manager.
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  5. Now right-click on the first enabled app on the Task Manager tab and click Disable.
  6. Finally, follow step 6 to disable all enabled applications one after the other.
  7. After disabling the apps, close Task Manager.
  8. Restart your PC.

2. Uninstall unnecessary apps to speed up your Windows 11

Allowing your phone to run in the background helps the Phone Link app to continue receiving notifications and updates even when you are not actively using it. This solution can help to fix the Phone Link app not working in Windows 11 because the app will always be connected to your phone and can receive new information.

The following steps allow your phone to run in the background on Windows 11:

  1. Hold the Windows + I keys simultaneously to open Settings and click Installed apps under Apps.
    Phone Link App not Working Windows 11
  2. Then, find the unnecessary apps, click the ellipses next to the app, and click Uninstall.
    Speed Up Windows 11

3. Use Resource Monitor

Resource Monitor is a Windows tool that helps you monitor and troubleshoot performance issues. It provides detailed insights into your CPU, memory, disk, and network usage. You can use it to identify resource hogs, track down hidden processes, monitor performance over time, diagnose specific issues, and optimize resource allocation.

Use the following steps to access the Resource Monitor:

  1. Press the Windows button, search for resmon in the search field, and hit Enter.
    Speed Up Windows 11
  2. Then, access any of the tabs to monitor the system resources.
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To improve your Windows 11 computer’s speed, implement the strategies outlined in this guide, such as software management and system tweaks. Regular maintenance, thoughtful customization, and mindful resource usage are key for peak performance.

With these tips, users can enhance productivity and satisfaction with their Windows 11 experience. This is a productive step towards a smoother and more efficient digital experience. Let us know which of the following steps worked more for you in the comment section.

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Richard Omachona
Richard is a techie in providing fixes and solutions for computer issues of various kinds. Among his contemporaries, he is a preferred choice. His experiences are vast in Windows operating systems, and several other skills in programming such as Python, Web Frontend designing implementing at industry standards, best practices in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. and basics in Web Backend. He also loves traveling, gaming and music.