You will learn how to speed up Windows in this short practical advice content example. As a bonus, I slipped in a few Android tips too. Who likes a lagging, hanging, stuttering, locking, flashing, stopping, rebooting, bleeping, skipping computer? I guess that nobody does. Because Windows and Android computers and devices decay faster than the time it takes you to say Ticonderoga.
When one's setup starts to do things that get in the way of the daily workflow, one wants to be the next mass shooter, in this case of software developers. But when it's a question of the user's negligence or greed that makes a computer start acting, it is not fair to throw the blames on the software.
If it takes you a day or more to de-crap your system, modify its scheduled tasks, and get the upper hand with it, so be it. If you never did maintenance to your system, it will amaze you the quantity of decay that you will have accumulated in it. So without further ado, let's wrestle with all the digital entropy that has gotten in the way and teach the misbehaving devices who is the boss!
How to Speed Up Windows & Dominate Your Digital Stuff
Theoretically, you can run Windows without an anti-virus running in the background. But in practice, it is definitely unwise to do it. Especially if you are not well organized. If you open everything and run everything that you download, then not having one is not an option.
Not much choice here. In my personal experience, most of the free antivirus programs come with heavy tradeoffs in the overhead department. The ones that don't stress your system are useless, in my experience.
How to Speed up Windows by Keeping it clean of Malware
A more sophisticated kind of virus is malware. Some of these malicious programs are the software version of the old-fashioned con-man. They will gain your trust slowly sucking you into their engineered victim journey. Sooner or later they're going to do something awful to your system and/or data.
Here is when software comes to the help. Malwarebytes is a good brand for this kind of software. If you don’t want to have an anti-virus, at least have an anti-malware. Modern anti-malware programs aim at handling malware, adware, ransomware, chargeware, and every other kind of -ware malicious program, and some of them also catch viruses. Malwarebytes is one of those that advertises itself as an integrated anti-malware-cum-anti-virus.
Malwarebytes is great as an anti-malware, but I wouldn't trust too much its self-denomination as an antivirus. Good as a malware precaution, questionable as an antivirus. It has a 60 days trial that you should, by all means, take advantage of. Check how good it is, and buy it later if you like it.
How to Speed up Windows by using a Dedicated Firewall
If you want to add a set-and-forget tool to your Windows that will speed it up, then by all means install a good firewall. A good firewall will prevent any program that you don't want calling back home, from doing it, and this will free a significant chunk of overhead.
Windows firewall isn't enough. If you didn't run a third-party firewall from day one of your Windows installation, you might have been using a compromised operating system all along. In that case, I would recommend full formatting of the hard disk (after taking out your important data to a spare drive, of course) and re-installation of Windows.
Windows's firewall doesn't manage outbound calls. That's enough reason to use a third-party solution. If you can find it, I’d recommend Comodo Personal Firewall that is without a doubt the best free software of this kind.
If for some reason you can't run Comodo Firewall, then there is PC Tools Firewall Plus 7, which is old but it serves its purpose beautifully. It’s shareware but you can use it with all its features enabled for life. Another is, still updated and good as PC Tools Plus.
Some firewalls run on top of the Windows firewall. And of course, there's Windows 10 Firewall Control, a free program to at least control the outbound calls, if you don't want to use a third-party one. Using only this as the firewall solution is totally viable. I applaud you if you decide to go the W10FC route.
How To Speed Up Windows and Android Easily
Let's say that you can narrow down your digital stuff to a couple of broad categories: Online applications and tools, and offline applications and tools.
1. Online Data and Apps/Tools
If you're going online, make up your mind. Make up your mind that whatever happens, you will dominate your online digital environment. You have to have this kind of mentality because software in general (not only malware and viruses) has the potential of ruining your life and make you lose your hard work, you have to be alert all the time.
Be careful and sequence your tasks in order of priority. Like you did offline when you installed the operating system and did set up the security systems before connecting to internet with your new Windows for the first time. Not the other way around. Don't wait for problems to appear to seek solutions; if you had to go through this at least once you know what I mean.
If you are going to keep it simple, my recommendation is not to get carried away with downloads and installations. You can always have a secondary hard drive for data if that is your thing, though. I'd highly recommend having a secondary internal storage drive. It's useful to backup everything important that one has in the main drive.
To deal with the residues and obsolete entries in the registry that installations leave, get a third-party program uninstaller like Revo Uninstaller (paid) or Iobit Uninstaller (free).
In this time and age, logins are very important. Get a password manager. With it, you're going to have all your access data to the sites on internet centralized. A free (but mediocre) one is KeePass. There are many more, but somewhat, most of them aren't good. Because of some reason, there's a new modality of making password managers a distributed web app.
I don't keep documents on the cloud for anyone working for the service provider to be able to access them, what to say of passwords? Really harebrained idea to make password managers as web apps. A program with such sensitive info must be something local.
Whatever the program you use, when you or the program generates it, use 8-9 characters.
How To Speed Up Windows through Web Browser Choice
The browser is the contemporary computer's killer application. Nowadays, by using distributed web apps, also known as SaaS applications, you can do everything that you ever did (and more) online. That makes the browser the most useful application.
It's difficult to recommend a browser type since a browser can have:
- Different architecture
- Different engine
- Different settings
- Different feel
- Different look
The best approach would be starting with half a dozen or more, and then testing them all and settling down for the one that has
1. The smallest RAM cost and/or storage footprint
2. The features that you need or like
3. The snappier, faster, more responsive performance
You should start from lightweight browsers, like Chrome clones, and if your overhead isn't accepted
How to Speed Up Windows Significantly: Webmail
Using webmail instead of a dedicated email client may sound modest, humble, or underdeveloped. Still, using webmail is way more efficient than emailing the old way.
If you don't plan to subscribe to publications, sites, and similar, go ahead and install your email client of choice.
But if you plan to manage heaps of incoming email, the better option is webmail. Your hard disks will be grateful for this. There are tons of companies that give webmail for free. Much easier to set up than local email solutions, and you can interface webmail with other web apps easier than using a local email client.
How to Speed Up Windows Usage through Web apps
I wouldn't keep my personal stuff in web apps. One thing is keeping emails in one of them. One very different is who is in control of your business documents, work information, trade media, and industrial secrets when you use cloud applications.
All the original stuff one creates, especially the different kinds of one's own intellectual property, should be kept locally.
Other than using online applications on the go, I don't see the benefits. More like cons:
- No easy/automatic physical backup copy (have to use the export feature)
- They require internet connections
- An intruder may read private documents or tamper with them
- The breach may be not just corporate abuse, it may be someone in between you and the app
2. Offline Data and Apps/Tools
Without counting the anti-virus, firewall, and anti-malware, installed right away after installing Windows from a pen drive or similar, you'll need a few more maintenance tools:
1. Third-party fragmentation fixer: there are many, but don't use the one that comes with Windows. It has always been very poor compared to others.
2. Registry cleaner: A good one that isn't destructive, like for instance: Eusing Free Registry Cleaner
3. Everyday washer: Ccleaner with CCEnhancer installed. Another good one is Wise Disk Cleaner
4. Maintenance washer: BleachBit, Drive Tidy, and/or Puran's Disk Cleaner
5. Integrated Windows decay solver: Advanced SystemCare Pro 11 Portable Version, WiseCare365 or SlimCleaner
Once you have all the tools and applications you need to organize your usage. Commit to a daily overhead limit and don't go over it.
If you work with, say, two different browsers open at the same time, a spreadsheet program, and a text processor then don't load anything else.
If you, for some reason, have to load something extra, stop multitasking. Do whatever you had to do with the extra overhead and close it as soon as you finish your task.
If you have to sit, say, for an eight hours stretch doing the heavy opening and closing of programs, do program a reboot.
A reboot does wonders for a computer that has begun to lag. Lags are common after exerting Windows for hours, or after having extra overhead. A good choice would be, in the middle of the workday, rebooting it. So after four hours. This refreshes the caches and areas of the RAM that not even memory washers, like Wise Memory Optimizer, can ultimately de-lag.
Or you can install sixteen gigabytes of RAM or more and disregard the above paragraphs. In that case, install and open applications and tools to your heart's content.
This maintenance procedure has its own section because a backup makes all the difference. You have to find something that works for you to make automatic copies.
And I don't mean software downloaded because those don't work. You have to work with Windows's scheduler. Make it periodically run a .BAT file that copies or compresses your valuable files to a secondary storage unit. 7-Zip is a great compressor, or cruncher if you will, to accomplish this.
How to create a Bare-bones Backup Script and Schedule it
- Install 7zip
- Decide for the location of your backup batch file (.BAT) somewhere in your system hard disk
- If you have a high-security setup, make the folder from which you're going to run the .BAT accessible to 7zip
- Create the batch file, add your variation of this command to it:
C:\Progra~2\7-Zip\7z.exe a -y -[ENTER A PASSWORD HERE] D:\Backup\[PICK NAME FOR BACKUP ARCHIVE] C:\[PATH TO THE FOLDER YOU NEED TO BACKUP]\*
This command runs 7zip and makes an encrypted (password required) zip in the D:\backup folder.
- Schedule it. Press the Windows button, enter schedule, load Task Scheduler when it appears. Create a new scheduled task by going to Action > Create Task
- The dialogs are self-explanatory, you must to specify your batch file, and a trigger, which can be daily, weekly, fortnightly, or whatever Task Scheduler allows.
Back up a Whole Partition
Since the software to backup data on Windows is mostly trash, I'm recommending a method that works for me: backing up entire partitions. You can do this with the free version of AOMEI Backupper. You should make your partition backups on a different disk. Backupping to a different partition is not enough. If you do that, in the case your whole hard disk croaks, your backups will be unretrievable.
How to Speed Up Android
An area in which you have to be a bit even more careful is your mobile devices. Install things from Google Play only.
If you install a lot of applications on your phone and load it with your data, it may begin to underperform. In that case, is time to clean it.
For Android, I’d recommend Lookout Mobile Security. I have used this program since around 2011 and have never had a problem with my tablet. If you have one of those almost impossible to remove android rootkits, LMS will be the last nail in the coffin to their demise. More info on this at the end of this article.
Backups For Android
The fastest and simplest way to backup Android is by connecting the device to a PC by USB and copying everything in a separate folder. There have to be applications that make an image of the system, but I haven’t delved into any of them. If you can make it work MyPhone Explorer is a good backup solution for Android, but it's finicky software that may or may not connect to your phone from your desktop.
There are many cleaners. The best for me is CleanMaster Lite. But the company that makes it receives a lot of hate. If you don’t like the makers of CleanMaster, go for an established brand. Like McAfee Mobile Booster & Cleaner. Superficial cleaning can greatly boost your device.
If superficial cleaning wasn’t enough and your phone still lags, look for bundled from factory applications. If you have a lot of those it's time to put them into hibernation. The best app to do that is Debloater, please keep reading.
If there are manufacturer and carrier bloatware in your mobile device you might not want to keep it. In that case, your device needs rooting.
Rooting is a procedure that unlocks system privileges. The procedures that a rooted device is able to perform are dangerous at the level of the operating system. That’s why root accounts come locked from the factory. Rooting requires mid to advanced technological knowledge. Even with programs that supposedly do 95% of the rooting procedure automatically.
I say supposedly because there is malware disguised as rooting programs. You have to be extra careful with rooting applications. I got Kingroot and Kinguser in two different devices and to this day I wasn’t able to eradicate them. Not even resetting Android to factory settings (wiping everything), I could take them out. Kingroot was the worst. It crashed my applications. But its worst act was its own crashes. To be reading a book and to be taken out of focus by a window saying that Kingroot had stopped working, every ten seconds, it was terrible.
Since I couldn’t uninstall it, not even resetting to factory settings I had to deal with it in another way. I had to use Debloater. The only application of its type for Android. It lets you block applications. The effect of DeBloater on Kingroot was great. When I deactivated Kingroot with it, I never had any more problems.
I practically forgot that a rootkit is still there. I achieved the same total silencing of Kinguser in the other device with a combination of Debloater and with the antivirus/firewall Lookout Mobile Security that I named at the start of this article.
Additionally, you can use DeBloater to kill all those annoying bundled applications you never used and never will. It lets you either block them or completely uninstall them. It’s not an efficient or well-designed program and you need to know what you are doing. It’s slow and counter-intuitive, but for those without a rooted device, it’s a must-have.
How to Speed up Windows © Martin Wensley 2019-2021