Windows 10 is a wonderful operating system, but it’s not the best at automatically maintaining itself.
If you don’t perform a few actions manually, you might end up with a slow, buggy, or unresponsive computer. There are a few Windows 10 hacks that we can use to prevent that from happening.
Let’s take a look at how to maintain Windows 10 properly.
All in all, here are the steps that you must follow:
- Install Windows Updates
- Delete Files That Are Not Needed
- Defragment your HDD Drives
- Backup your Files
- Setup your Privacy Settings
Install Windows Updates
If you don’t like Windows Updates, nobody does. But, like it or not, Windows needs these updates to remain stable and secure.
Those who have the Pro version of Windows 10 may try to postpone the updates for as long as they can – others may try to disable them with registry tricks and stuff like that. Don’t do that – just don’t.
Always install the latest updates as soon as possible. If you’re annoyed with the fact that sometimes they get downloaded and installed at the most inconvenient of times, then configure your active hours.
To configure your active hours, go to Settings -> Update and Security -> Windows Update -> Change Active hours. At this point, all you have to do is to set when you’re using your computer during the day – Windows will not install any updates during that time period.
Despite that setting, Windows may still download updates during your active hours. If that happens to you, it’s possible to temporarily set your network as a metered connection so that you’ll be able to stop updates from getting installed.
However, as I mentioned above, it’s still recommended to install the latest updates as soon as possible.
Delete Files That Are Not Needed
Windows, by default, keeps a bunch of files on your primary drive that is not necessarily needed by the user.
By looking at the image above, you can see how Windows holds more than 30 gigs of data that I don’t need. Before telling you how to get rid of that data, let’s take a minute to learn why they are there in the first place and why you may not want to get rid of them.
These files mostly consist of cache data, files on the recycle bin, previous Windows Updates that are being held as backups, and previous Windows installations that are being held as a backup solution.
So, if you recently installed a new version of Windows, don’t rush into deleting your old one yet. Wait to see if there are any bugs or problems with your new installation.
Only delete old Windows installations and updates when you’re sure that your new ones are working flawlessly. With that being said, how do you get rid of that data anyway?
Go to your Windows search bar and type “Disk”, click on “Disk Clean-up”, select the drive that you want to clean, and move on.
Defragment your HDD Drives
Mechanical hard drives get fragmented as you use them due to the way they work. Fragmentation may cause your files to load slower and your system to feel more sluggish in the case you’re using an HDD instead of an SSD as your main drive.
Fragmentation happens when you constantly write and delete data on your drive. Your files get scattered around the drive in small parts of themselves which makes it harder for your drive to access them.
That of course was an extremely simple explanation of how fragmentation works, but I think you get it.
Defragmentation is when you get all these scattered parts of individual files and put them all in the right order. That makes it easier for the drive to access them and results in faster loading times.
To defragment a drive, open your Windows search bar and type “Defragment”, then click on “Defragment and Optimize Drives”.
At this point, you should have all of your drives listed in front of you. All you have to do is pick the HDD of your choice and select “Optimize”.
Do keep in mind that fragmentation doesn’t affect SSDs because they do not have any moving parts.
Backup your Files
Sometimes, all it takes is a short power outage to lose all of your files. That’s why it’s important to keep backups at all times.
A proper backup storage device should be disconnected from the computer at all times. That’s necessary so that your backups will be safe, regardless of what happens to your computer. External drives, thumb drives, and cloud services are only a few examples.
Depending on how you use your computer and your working environment, you can also utilize a whole system backup.
There are 3rd party programs out there that can backup and restore your whole system as it is. The problem with that method, of course, is that you need gigabytes of storage.
Setup your Privacy Settings
Windows 10 is by far the most intrusive version of Windows that has ever existed. In fact, people complained so much about security lapses in Windows 10 that Microsoft decided to bring dedicated privacy settings.
Privacy options came after the Creators Update and have been getting updated ever since then with every new version of Windows.
The thing is that according to Microsoft, Windows 10 will keep on getting updated with new versions for as long as possible which means that the privacy options may change with every update as well.
So, do set your privacy options to a level that you feel comfortable with, and keep on checking back on them after every major Windows Update to ensure that Microsoft doesn’t collect any more data than you would want it to.
For example, the “Activity history” option did not exist in the Fall Creators Update. It’s a feature that was introduced with April’s update and if you don’t like it, you better remove it now.
You can change your privacy options at Settings -> Privacy.
Optimize Windows Performance with Maintenance Tasks
Windows maintenance is as much necessary as hardware maintenance. To get the best performance out of windows you need to perform these small tweaks mentioned above from time to time. Instead of depending on 3rd party windows optimizer software, you should manually do these maintenance settings to save money and safeguard your system from possible spyware or ads in free apps.