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HP PCs - Improving PC Performance (Windows 10)

Perform regular maintenance to improve the performance of your computer.

Optimize the PC with HP Performance Tune Up Check

Use HP Performance Tune Up Check in HP Support Assistant to optimize system performance for your computer.

  1. In Windows, search for and open HP Support Assistant, or click the app icon in the taskbar.

    If the app is not installed on your computer, download the latest version from the HP Support Assistant website.
  2. Go to to open the tool.

    If the tool does not automatically open, select your device, click Troubleshooting and fixes, and then click Performance Tune-up Check.

  3. Under Additional Options, select Empty Recycle Bin and Clean Web-browsers history, cookies and cache, and then click Optimize.

Free up space on the hard drive

Increase the amount of unused space (free space) on the hard drive to prevent low disk space errors and improve system performance.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Storage settings.

  2. View how much space is available on the hard drive (C: drive is the most common).

    For best performance, the drive should have at least 15% free space. If the hard disk drive has less than 15% free space, continue with these steps
  3. Under the C: drive, select each category to determine where you can free up the most space. The most common categories where you can free up space are Apps & games, Temporary files, Documents, and Pictures.

    CAUTION:

    RECOVERY (D:) or FACTORY_IMAGE (D:) hard drives are reserved for system recovery and removing files from these drives can damage your computer.

    Reviewing the storage being used by the computer hard drive
  4. Move any files you want to keep to a USB drive or external hard drive to help free up space. This is highly recommended for larger files not needed for daily use, such as pictures and videos.

  5. Remove any unwanted files and applications, and then restart the computer.

Update the PC with HP Support Assistant

Use HP Support Assistant to find and install updates, including BIOS updates, for your computer with Windows.

  1. In Windows, search for and open HP Support Assistant, or click the app icon in the taskbar.

    If the app is not installed on your computer, download the latest version from the HP Support Assistant website.
  2. On the My devices tab, find your computer, and then click Updates.

  3. Click Check for updates and messages to get the latest updates.

  4. Wait while HP Support Assistant analyzes the system.

  5. After the analysis completes, select the listed updates, download and install the updates, and then follow any on-screen instructions.

  6. If prompted, restart the computer, and then close the tool.

Update hardware drivers

Use Device Manager to update hardware drivers such as the graphics, audio, wireless, or other drivers for your computer.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Device Manager.

  2. In the list of devices, select each category.

  3. Right-click the device, select Update driver, and then follow the instructions to install the updated driver.

    Selecting Update driver in Device Manager
  4. Restart the computer to complete installation of the updates.

Empty the Recycle Bin

Empty the Recycle Bin to increase the amount of unused space (free space) on the hard drive.

  1. On the Windows desktop, double-click the Recycle Bin icon .

  2. To restore any mistakenly deleted items, right-click the file(s), and then select Restore.

  3. Click the Manage tab, and then select Empty Recycle Bin.

  4. Select Yes to confirm.

    Windows removes the contents of the Recycle Bin from the hard drive.

Delete temporary files and directories

Delete temporary files and folders to increase hard drive space and reduce the time Windows takes to access the hard drive.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Disk Cleanup.

  2. Select the drive you want to delete the files from, and then click OK.

  3. Wait while Disk Cleanup calculates how much space you can free on the selected drive.

  4. After the analysis completes, select the check box next to the types of files you want Disk Cleanup to delete.

    CAUTION:

    Selecting some options can have a negative effect. For example, selecting Setup Log Files deletes the files that online phone support agents use to help troubleshoot setup problems. Click a file type, such as Temporary Internet Files, to display a description. Do not delete files until you know the files are unnecessary for using your computer.

  5. Click OK, and then click Delete Files when prompted.

    Disk Cleanup deletes the selected files.

Check for hard drive errors

Check the hard drive for errors that might impact system performance.

  1. Close all open software applications on your computer.

  2. In Windows, search for and open File Explorer, or click the app icon on the taskbar.

  3. After File Explorer opens, right-click the hard drive you want to check, and then click Properties.

  4. On the Properties window, select the Tools tab.

  5. Under Error Checking, click Check.

    If a window displays prompting you for an administrator password or confirmation, type the requested credentials.

  6. On the Error Checking window, select Scan drive.

  7. Wait while Windows checks the drive for errors, and then follow the prompts to fix any issues.

    If a window displays with a Windows can't check the disk while it's in use message, click Schedule disk check. Follow the on-screen instructions to restart the computer, and then scan the drive for errors.

Defragment the hard disk drive

Defragment the hard disk drive with the Optimize Drives tool to organize the hard drive and improve the performance of the system.

CAUTION:

These steps do not apply for computers with solid state drives (SSD). Never defrag an SSD, as this does not improve performance and might harm the drive.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Defragment and Optimize drives.

    If Optimize Drives repeatedly starts, a hidden background program might still be accessing the hard drive. Restart the computer in safe mode, and then try again.

  2. Select the drive you want to defrag, and then click Optimize.

  3. Wait while the tool defrags the drive. This could take a few minutes or a few hours, depending on the amount of data on your hard disk drive. If you need to stop the tool, click Stop.

Run Windows Update (Windows 10)

Update your Windows 10 computer using Windows Update.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Check for updates.

    If there are any available updates, they begin automatically.
  2. After the updates install, restart your computer when prompted.

Remove viruses and spyware

Remove adware, spyware, or virus that might be installed on the computer.

Scan for and remove viruses and spyware from the PC (Windows 10)

Use Windows Security to scan for and remove any viruses, spyware, or other malware from the computer.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Windows Security.

  2. Select Virus & threat protection, click Scan options, and then select the type of scan you want to run.

    • Quick scan: Checks folders in the system where malware is often found.

    • Full scan: Checks all files and programs on you hard disk drive. This scan might take longer than one hour to complete.

    • Custom scan: Select the files or folders you want scanned.

    • Windows Defender Offline scan: Select this option to check for malware outside of the normal Windows system. This scan prompts you to restart the computer and might take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

  3. Wait for the scan to finish, and then view the results.

    To view a list of all threat Windows Security has ever identified for the computer, click Protection history.

  4. To remove malware, select Clean threats or Start actions.

Find and replace corrupted system files

Use the Microsoft System File Checker (SFC) to repair corrupted or damaged system files.

  1. In Windows, search for Command Prompt.

  2. In the list of search results, right-click Command Prompt, select Run as administrator, and then click Yes to open the window.

  3. Type sfc /scannow. Make sure to include the space between sfc and the forward slash /.

    Running System File Check in the command prompt window
  4. Press Enter to start the scan.

    • If corrupted files were found, wait for the tool to replace the files, and then restart the computer.

    • If no corrupted files were found, corrupted could not be replaced, or if the issue persists, continue with these steps.

  5. Make sure your computer is connected to a network with an active internet connection.

  6. In the Command Prompt window, type dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth. Make sure to include the space before each forward slash /.

    Example of 'dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth' typed in the Command Prompt
  7. Press Enter, to start the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) scan.

  8. Wait for the tool to replace any corrupted files, and then restart the computer.

Open only needed apps

Restart your computer, and then open only the apps you need.

  1. In Windows, select Start, select Power, and then select Restart.

  2. After the computer restarts, open only the apps or programs you need.

  3. After you finish using an app, click the X to close the app.

Use the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter

Some apps that were designed for an earlier version of Windows might not work as expected with current versions of Windows 10.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Troubleshoot.

  2. Scroll down the screen, select Program Compatibility Troubleshooter, and then click Run the troubleshooter.

    Selecting to run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter
  3. Select the app you want to check, and then click Next.

  4. Select an option, and then follow the on-screen instructions to test or change the compatibility settings.

    Selecting an option to run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter

Find apps that use excessive system resources

Use Task Manager to find and stop processes or applications using an excessive amount of system resources.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Task Manager.

    Task Manager displays currently-running applications.

  2. Click More Details, and then select a tab for more information.

    • Processes: Displays all the currently-running operations and how much of the system resources are being used by each process. Some processes are necessary and should not be stopped. If you are unsure if a process is necessary, search for details about it on the internet.

    • Performance: Displays a visual representation of the overall system performance. Click Open Resource Monitor for an even more detailed view of individual processes.

    Example of an app using high levels of system resources on the Performance tab
  3. On the Processes tab, if you want to close an app, or if the app is listed as Not Running, click End Task.

Select apps to open when Windows starts

A startup application is software that opens when Windows opens. Over time, as you install more and more apps, the number of startup applications increases. Common apps that load and run in the background are instant messaging apps, multimedia apps, game launchers, and toolbars. You can improve system performance by stopping some of these apps from opening, or by changing their settings.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Task Manager.

  2. Click More details, and then select the Startup tab.

  3. Select any startup items that do not contribute to the system and are unwanted, then click Disable.

    CAUTION:

    Disable only those startup items that are known and unwanted.

    Selecting an app to disable at startup
  4. Restart the computer.

  5. If Windows or other software stops working after you disable a startup item, reverse these steps to enable the item.

Turn off non-essential graphical features

Turn off graphical features and applications that use a lot of system resources or that you do not need or want.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows.

  2. On the Performance Options window, select Adjust for best performance, and then click OK.

    Selecting Adjust for best performance to turn off non-essential graphical elements
    Windows turns off all visual effects, such as animation of the taskbar and windows elements, displaying shadows under windows, displaying window contents while dragging, etc.

Prevent memory allocation problems

Isolate apps or processes that are no longer in use that might be using unnecessary memory resources.

Memory is allocated to processes in device drivers and applications during normal use. The allocated memory is made available again when the process is no longer running. However, sometimes memory remains allocated. This is known as a memory leak. On rare occasions, an incompatible app might continue to allocate memory while it is running, causing the system to slow down and eventually lock up.

  1. Close all open software applications or programs, making sure to allow apps time to fully open before closing them.

    HP recommends waiting five seconds after an app opens before you close it, even if the app was opened unintentionally.

  2. Restart the computer.

  3. In Windows, search for and open Task Manager.

  4. Click More details, select the Performance tab, and then select Memory.

  5. Click Open Resource Monitor to view how your computer uses memory.

    If a window displays prompting you for an administrator password or confirmation, type the requested credentials.

    Opening Resource Monitor
  6. On the Overview tab, open the Memory section, and then scroll down the list to view which apps are using memory.

  7. Open an app suspected of causing the computer to run slowly, review the percentage of Used Physical Memory, and then write down the information.

  8. Close and reopen a suspected app repeatedly, and then check the percentage of Used Physical Memory, comparing this number to the one recorded. Each time, wait about 10 seconds before opening the app again.

    • If the Used Physical Memory percentage returns to the same numbers or similar each time, the suspected app is probably not creating a memory leak.

    • If the percentage of Used Physical Memory continues to increase, there is a memory leak. Contact the software manufacturer for available patches or fixes.

Use ReadyBoost

Use ReadyBoost with a removable drive to improve system performance without adding more RAM to the computer.

  1. Make sure you have a removable drive, such as a USB flash drive, with a high data transfer rate and at least 500 MB of free space.

  2. Insert the removable drive into the appropriate port on the computer.

  3. In Windows, search for and open File Explorer.

  4. In File Explorer, right-click the removable drive, and then select Properties.

  5. On the Properties window, select the ReadyBoost tab, and then selectReadyBoost.

  6. Move the slider to the set the space to reserve for system speed, reserving at least 9048 MB for optimal performance.

  7. Click OK to reserve the space on the removable drive for ReadyBoost and save the settings.

    On the removable drive, the space reserved for ReadyBoost is saved in a file named ReadyBoost.sfcache.

Change the paging file size

The paging file is an area on your hard drive that Windows uses like memory. Increasing the paging file size can help speed up the computer and improve performance.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Control panel.

  2. In the search field, type System, and then select System from the results.

  3. Select Advanced system settings.

  4. In System Properties, select the Advanced tab, and then click Settings.

  5. In Performance Options, select the Advanced tab, and then click Change.

    Selecting Change in the Virtual memory section of Performance Options
  6. Clear the check mark from Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.

    Clearing the check mark to Adjust for best performance
  7. Select Custom size, and then type a minimum and maximum size. Use the minimum allowed, recommended allowed, and currently allocated paging file sizes listed at the bottom of the window to choose a size.

  8. Close the system windows, and then restart the computer.

Reduce heat inside the computer

When temperatures inside the computer rise above 35º C (95º F), the risk of damaging important internal components increases. Decrease the risk by reducing the heat inside the computer.

Clean the desktop air vents

Clean the desktop air vents to remove any dust or debris that might have accumulated in and around the air vents over time, obstructing the airflow and causing the fans to work harder than normal to remove the heat.

  1. Turn off the computer, disconnect the power cord and cables, and then wait for the computer to cool down.

  2. Use a vacuum to clean all exterior vents, especially around the power supply vent.

    CAUTION:

    To avoid damaging internal components, do not use the vacuum inside the computer.

    Locating the air vents on the rear of the computer
  3. Remove the side panel back from the computer.

    Removing the side panel from a desktop computer
  4. Use canned air to clean the fans and components inside the computer.

  5. Replace the side panel, reconnect the power cord, and then turn on the computer.

Clean the notebook air vents

Clean the notebook air vents to remove any dust or debris that might have accumulated in and around the air vents over time, obstructing the airflow and causing the fans to work harder than normal to remove the heat.

  1. Turn off the computer, disconnect the power cord and cables, and then wait for the computer to cool down.

  2. Move any objects near the computer.

  3. Find the vents on your laptop. They are usually underneath and on the sides of the computer.

    Locating the air vents on the exterior of a notebook computer
  4. Use canned air to remove the dust from the vents.

    Cleaning the air vents with canned air
  5. Wait for the computer to cool down, approximately 10 minutes.

  6. Reconnect the power cord, and then turn on the computer.

Upgrade memory

Upgrading the random-access memory (RAM) in your computer can improve system performance, increase browsing speed, or provide a for better gaming experience.

Find memory specifications

Use the Maintenance and Service Guide to find installed memory information for your computer .

  1. Go to HP Customer Support.

  2. Scroll down the page to type your computer model in the search field, and then click Submit.

  3. Select User Guides, and then select the Maintenance and Service Guide for your computer.

    If the Maintenance and Service Guide is not listed, select the specifications document for your computer.

  4. Consult the Memory section for more information about the following items:

    • Memory module specifications

      CAUTION:

      Some motherboards are not able to configure memory modules with different manufacturers, or different CAS or density values. Make sure all SO-DIMMs have the same part number to ensure compatibility.

    • Memory module spare part numbers

    • Compatible processors

    • Types of RAM

    • Number of memory slots

    • Amount of memory installed

    • Maximum memory supported

    • Type of memory, including speed

Turn off OneDrive file sync

Turn off automatic syncing of files between your computer and OneDrive.

  1. In the Notification area of the taskbar, click OneDrive.

  2. In the OneDrive options, click More, and then select Pause Syncing from the menu.

  3. In the Pause syncing menu, select a length of time to pause syncing.

  4. Restart your computer.

HP PCs - Reset the computer

The Windows 10 reset feature reinstalls the operating system without losing any of your personal data and customizations.

Back up personal files on the PC

Back up the personal files on your Windows 10 computer.

  1. Connect an external drive to the computer.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Backup settings.

  3. Click Add a drive, and then select a drive.

  4. Click More options.

  5. Click Back up now, and then wait for the back up to complete. This might take a few minutes or a few hours, depending on the size of the files.

    Clicking Back up now to start the backup process

Reset the PC (Windows 10)

Reset your computer with a fresh installation of Windows 10.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Recovery options.

  2. In the Recovery screen under Reset this PC, click Get started.

    Clicking the Get Started button to begin the resetting the computer
  3. Follow the instructions to reset your computer. This might take a few minutes.

Restore personal files on the PC

Restore the personal files on your Windows 10 computer.

  1. Connect an external backup drive to the computer.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Backup settings.

  3. Click More options.

  4. Scroll to the bottom of the Backup options screen, and then click Restore files from a current backup.

  5. Select the files you want to restore, click the Restore button, and then wait for Windows to restore your personal files. This might take a few minutes or a few hours, depending on the size of the files.

    Selecting, then restoring personal files on your computer

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