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Work From Home: Speed up your Windows machine with these 5 tips

While you may not get a drastic difference in performance, these 5 tips will make sure you're making the most of your Windows computer's capabilities during Work From Home.

  • Published: June 9, 2020 3:08 PM IST
Work From Home 5 Pixabay

Photo: Pixabay

The lockdown has us all working from the confines of our house. For a lot of people, Work From Home means no access to the powerful systems allotted to them by their companies. This has forced many people to resort to their personal desktops and laptops. Sometimes your personal computers are enough to handle your office life as well. However, some tasks for coders or creative professionals may suck the life out of your under-adequately powered systems. Also Read - Here's how to create memes on Windows 10

However, you shouldn’t have to face the sluggish animations and unresponsive windows for long. Unless your computer or laptop is too outdated in terms of specifications, chances are you can still get some better performance out of it if you keep these tips in mind. Check out the following tips to run your machine at its maximum potential so that your Work From Home sessions remain productive. Also Read - Microsoft Windows 10 May 2020 update is not available on all devices; you may want to hold on

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Switch to ‘High-Performance mode’

If you’re on Windows 10, you can actually switch from the Power Saving mode or Balanced mode to the High-Performance Mode. This will actually allow your machine to use its resources on the maximum level but will take a larger chunk of your battery life. However, since you’re at home near a power source, better performance matters more than battery life. Also Read - Microsoft Windows 10 May 2020 update released with new Linux subsystem, Cortana and Notepad improvements

To do this on laptops with Windows 10, simply click on the battery icon on your taskbar and drag the slider all the way to the right until the dialog box says best performance. On desktops, you can head over to the Control Panel app, then select Hardware and Sound > Power Options and find the setting there.

Cut down on shadows, animations, and effects

Windows 10 looks good on most PC because of its fancy transitions, and transparent aesthetics. However, these take a toll on your machine’s resources as well. When you need your phone to give out the best performance output, having these turned on is just a hurdle.

To turn them off on Windows 10, simply press Win+R to search and type ‘sysdm.cpl’ to go to system properties. Under the Advanced tab on the top, you will find the Performance Settings button that deals with Visual effects, processor scheduling, memory usage and more. Here you can either click on ‘Adjust for best performance’ to make the most, or click on ‘Custom’ and manually choose what elements you want.

Disable programs that run on startup

Too many startup programs are the equivalent of a pathogen outbreak for a Windows PC or laptop. A bunch of programs that all want to start up together along with your operating system slow down your startup time. Further, they stay on in the background and consume resources continuously.

To cut down on these, you can press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to bring up the task manager. If you don’t see a bunch of tabs, click on more details on the bottom. Then navigate to the ‘Startup’ tab and right-click on each program that you don’t want to start along with Windows. Choose disable and repeat with other unnecessary programs.

Turn off Windows search indexing

Windows 10 indexes your computer’s hard disk in the background which theoretically allows users to search their computers faster. However, PCs that use the indexing service can see a performance hit as a result of it too. This is especially true if you have an older system that is not so powerful.

To turn off Search Indexing in Windows, hit Win+R to bring up search and type in ‘services.msc’. Once the Services app appears scroll down to either the Windows Search or Indexing Service. Double click on the option and click Stop on the following screen. Then reboot your machine and Indexing will be off. Your search results might be slightly slower, but the overall performance should be improved.

Clean your hard disk

A bloated hard disk that is filled with unnecessary files can be your worst enemy on a slower machine. Windows 10 has a built-in tool for cleaning such files. You can access it by heading over to Settings > System > Storage and at the top of the screen, move the toggle from Off to On.  Windows will then regularly clean out files you do not need anymore. These include temporary files, download files that haven’t been changed or files in the recycle bin.

You can even customize how storage sense works. Clicking on ‘Configure Storage Sense or run it now’ allows you to change how often the service deletes files when your storage space runs low. Once you have taken care of the above-mentioned steps, you just might have enough of a performance boost to make sure you deliver results on time even though you work from home.

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  • Published Date: June 9, 2020 3:08 PM IST

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