Right so here we are thinking “Hey, my computer isn’t reaching its full potential. I KNOW I can get more out of it!” Well it’s not as hard as you might think!
Windows power profiling
In Windows Vista Microsoft introduced “Power options”. You may have seen these already if you have a Laptop. You can change the Windows power profile to either save battery, balance between battery and performance and high performance.
Anything before and including Windows XP won’t have these options but in all honesty you should have upgraded from XP to something more recent long ago.
Windows generally only shows you the power saving and balanced options when you click the battery/power icon. In order to set the computer in high performance mode you can either go in to CONTROL PANEL and then select POWER OPTIONS or use the keyboard/run shortcut. As standard Windows has Control Panel in category view so you will need to click category view on the top right and click LARGE ICONS. You will notice the Control Panel view change to something a bit friendlier and easier to navigate.
This might seem a bit long winded as Windows 10 makes it a bit difficult to get in to the Control Panel easily so you can use the WINDOWS KEY + R key combination to bring up the RUN box and then type in CONTROL POWERCFG.CPL and press enter. This will bring the power options Control Panel applet up for you without having to manually navigate through the Control Panel. If the maximum performance option is hidden then you may have to click SHOW ADDITIONAL PLANS to show high performance.
As you can probably guess this makes the computer run as its maximum and so will have an impact on battery life, etc. If (like me) you use your computer on AC power a lot then it isn’t too much of an issue. If you find yourself in a situation where you need battery life then you can easily change the power profile to balanced or power saver.
Note: Some computers (especially some Netbooks) may not give you a maximum performance option…Or any other options for that matter!
Windows GUI settings
Windows (as standard) is set to look all pretty with nice animations and lots of little things to make it look all fluffy and happy. You can EASILY make the Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI) run a lot quicker without sacrificing any of the “look” so to speak.
Go in to CONTROL PANEL and then SYSTEM – Hopefully you already have your Control Panel out of category view from the previous tweak. Once the system applet is open, click the ADVANCED tab at the top. You will be presented with three buttons saying SETTINGS. You need the top one (See below). Just FYI the keyboard shortcut for this is WINDOWS KEY + PAUSE BREAK or run the command CONTROL SYSDM.CPL from the RUN box
Click SETTINGS and then click ADJUST FOR MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE. Once that is clicked you will see all of the boxes unticked. Tick the following options:
Once those are ticked then click APPLY and then OK. The box will disappear. You will be left with the SYSTEM PROPERTIES box which you had open previously. Click OK and that box will disappear. You should now find that Windows is a lot more responsive.
Phew that was a lot of writing! I’m going to leave you guys to have a play with Windows now and enjoy your new simple but effective performance tweaks! There are more things that can be done to tweak Windows… I will cover these another time though.
If you get stuck then give me a shout! There is a list of run commands for other Control Panel applets available at https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/192806
Paul Webb at The Computer Centre.
The Computer Centre – For all your computer needs
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