I was just doing some maintenance on this PC today and wondering how many PC users were not aware of how useful this can be.

Unless there is a hardware i.e. electronic fault you can generally get better performance with a few simple actions. A slow PC is an annoyance if, like me, you spend a lot of time editing photographs and videos to create digital products to sell on the Internet.

The following is for PCs and laptops running Windows 10.


I use external hard drives for backups and to move files off my main drive.

I don’t entirely trust the cloud.

1. Keep your device operating system up to date.

Generally, Windows Update keeps the operating system and Microsoft Office up to scratch but it is worth checking regularly as the process can fail.  Microsoft generally uploads updates on Tuesdays so I check on a Wednesday morning.

To access Windows Update, start to enter the phrase in the search window “Windows update settings”

Click on “check for updates” and you should see either a message that updates are available or You’re up to date.

2. Check if you have sufficient space on the internal hard drive.  If you have more than one such device this is generally C.

The PC uses the hard drive in addition to actual memory so having too little space slows down the processing of files.

To check go to file Explorer.

This logo is usually on the bar across the bottom of the screen.

If not, you can type ‘file explorer’ into the search bar as above.

Select this PC and you should see something similar to this view.

From the above my C drive has 140 Gb out of 240 Gb available space which is just fine.

3.  Use Your Manufacturer’s Support.

My PC is Dell so obviously that’s where I will look for assistance.

They have a program to download to maintain your PC.  It doesn’t matter if your PC still has a warranty or where you bought it.  Dell has a particularly good system.  Google your PC maker’s name for support if you don’t have a DELL.

4. Disable programs/apps which start up automatically if they affect starting the machine.

In other words, don’t allow programs you rarely use to start automatically.  They are still available when you need them.  Best to leave anti-virus and similar on.  I don’t bother to change settings if the message is “no or low impact”.

5.  Uninstall any programs you no longer use.

6.  Troubleshoot.  This doesn’t delete your programs.

Worth a try but I rarely see it find any issues. Find via the search as before.

7.  Restore to an earlier date.

This often helps and unlike 4 you are unlikely to need to reinstall established programs.  It will, however, remove any program or program update more recent than the restore date.

8.  Refresh or reinstall Windows.

This usually works too but you will need to reinstall all of your programs once it is finished.

I hope the above helps.


This is a guest post from David Murtagh, if you would like to be considered for a guest post please contact me.

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