What's the best way to optimize windows after a few years when your pc is slowing down

peppergomez

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I don't want to do a complete reinstall and lose my c drive data. But I would like to optimize my system and clean my windows install since my computer has been getting morene more sluggish. I installed it about four years ago windows 10 then 11. Very slow boot up for example.

Thanks
 
uninstall any unneeded background apps, apps you hardly if ever use, disable unneeded startup items in task manager, do dism cleanup/base reset, run disk cleanup and then optimize your drive. make sure at least your chipset drivers are up to date. you know, the normal stuff...
 
Clone your drive to a backup or just backup what you want to keep, reinstall windows, grab what files you want from the backup. I know your pain though, my current PC started with Windows 7 8-9 years ago and kept upgrading to 10.
 
Curious what makes you not wanna deal with a fresh reload? Isn't all your data backed up? Bookmarks? Programs? Pics/vids/files? settings? What is holding you back?
 
Curious what makes you not wanna deal with a fresh reload? Isn't all your data backed up? Bookmarks? Programs? Pics/vids/files? settings? What is holding you back?
for lots of people its a pain in the ass, my install is 10+ yr old. usually a little effort in cleaning will get it back to normal.
 
Turn off hardware vulnerability mitigations if you figure you don't need them.

That is one of the few "real" reasons why systems get slower over time as mitigations are added.
 
Are there any decent programs like CCleaner that people would recommend. (Obviously not CCleaner anymore, as I think there was some big malware scandal with it a few years back?!)
 
CCleaner still works fine for clearing registry and programs caches and whatever. Might be something better out there though, I'd be interested to hear.
 
Very slow boot up for example.
In your task manager you should have a startup apps, look if their some apps you do not use anymore you can desintall or that you do not use all the time that you would launch on demand instead of on launch.
 
for lots of people its a pain in the ass, my install is 10+ yr old. usually a little effort in cleaning will get it back to normal.
Yes and no, I find for many it is reinstalling the apps and games, Most people seldom customize their OS much aside from a wallpaper or change the taskbar colors or something.

A fresh install is always going to be 1000x better, as well a chance to clean out potential lingering malware or other resource sucking programs that got side installed with other apps cause the installer was not paying attention.

I guess for me, I love doing a fresh clean install, knowing I have nothing lingering around. All my files are on a NAS anyways, bookmarks get backed up, make sure local folders dont have anything, and nuke it from orbit, remap my NAS drive, import bookmarks, install apps I need, done in 2 hours.

Would be curious if a system is slowing down after that long, how many apps and games are installed, that the user has not even touched in years either...
 
The following are good for ironing out corruption, errors, bad sectors, etc.
Using elevated cmd or powershell: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Then run the following until all errors are gone: sfc/scannow
Do a full disk scan with (reboot required): chkdsk c: /r
 
which is a pain in the ass...
I mean how many programs are we talking about here? A dozen or two? Games are easy if you have fast internet I can understand if you don't. Just set up the queue and let them DL overnight or something. I can get through a fresh reinstall of windows with all my apps set up in a couple hours for sure. Games download in a few hours. If you have your backups setup preemptively it should be like clockwork.
 
I mean how many programs are we talking about here? A dozen or two? Games are easy if you have fast internet I can understand if you don't. Just set up the queue and let them DL overnight or something. I can get through a fresh reinstall of windows with all my apps set up in a couple hours for sure. Games download in a few hours. If you have your backups setup preemptively it should be like clockwork.
all still a pain in the ass.
 
all still a pain in the ass.
Yea a little but totally worth it for me for example. Once you get it down you can bang it out every 6 months like me. My fresh install of windows is always blazing fast. Clear out all the bullshit as Tony the Tiger would say They're grrrrrrrrrrreat! lol feels so snappy and crisp
 
Yea a little but totally worth it for me for example. Once you get it down you can bang it out every 6 months like me. My fresh install of windows is always blazing fast. Clear out all the bullshit as Tony the Tiger would say They're grrrrrrrrrrreat! lol feels so snappy and crisp
id rather just keep things clean than rebuild every six months, very little if any difference.
 
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id rather just keep things clean than rebuild every six months, very little is any difference.

Same... Back in my college days, I had the time and energy to reformat every 6 months (and admittedly, it was easier to "gunk up" a Win 2K install). But nowadays I actually want to use my PC rather than messing around with it, so I just make sure not to mess it up. Still on my original Win 10 install from 2018 😅
 
id rather just keep things clean than rebuild every six months, very little is any difference.
Def, if you can keep it clean awesome, but for others, keeping clean is not something they are good at, and even after uninstalling apps and crap, just bloat left. I mean, with todays hardware, for a system to get that "bogged down" some people must have so much crap on their rigs.

As i have gotten older, keeping things clean and simple and only have what I need installed works great. Now, I do also run linux dist. as my main OS, and use VMs for various other things I separate out, which also makes it easy to control bloat, and with everything running off my TrueNAS, knowing I could lose my main desktop in a poooof of smoke, don't care!

Sumanji back in the Windows 2000 days, I had all the serials memorized for Windows, office, Adobe Apps, Macromedia apps, everything I was formatting so often :D due to overclocking a lot and playing around with other questionable apps :D
 
. All my files are on a NAS anyways, bookmarks get backed up, make sure local folders dont have anything, and nuke it from orbit, remap my NAS drive, import bookmarks, install apps I need, done in 2 hours.
Two hours!! How do you do that? Any programs that require licensing activation? Install scripts? Portable programs?

Me, it's like over two days, and I always end up out of time before I finish the total reinstall.
 
Turn off hardware vulnerability mitigations if you figure you don't need them.

That is one of the few "real" reasons why systems get slower over time as mitigations are added.
Never knew that was an option.
Any links from anyone on how to do this effectively and properly on Win-10/11?
 
Beyond the obvious process of uninstalling all the BS you don't need, I'd download CCleaner and purge everything out of your startup that isn't 100% necessary. CCleaner isn't necessary to do that, but it's one of the easiest tools for doing so. Windows Defender is probably the only thing you really want/need in your startup entries. Kill off all those scheduled tasks, too. You don't really need any of those unless you're using some highly specialized software.
Next, open up your Device Manager and make sure it's showing "hidden devices." Kill off anything that's hidden. If it anything you actually need, it'll come back when you reboot anyway.

Those are the main things that will give you more mileage. At a certain point it probably is a better idea to just start over, though. If you go that route, it doesn't take that long anymore. I setup new machines for my company and I'm usually done inside 30 minutes now. That doesn't include installing games, but it does include Office, Adobe CC, and a pile of other programs.
You can literally copy+paste your entire game folders for Steam, Origin, Epic, etc. and it'll re-find your games. Most people keep 90% of their important files in "My Documents" so you can just copy+paste the whole damn folder to another drive.
 
That is odd, i havent had to do a system optimizing or full reinstall since the xp days. Kinda nice actually. I am on a windows 10 install when i built this in 2017. I do make a habit of removing games or programs i havent used in a while, internet is fast enough i dont need to keep everything installed. I also make sure my startup programs is kept light so bootup doesnt take long. Everything wants to launch at boot and sit in your taskbar even if you dont use it and this can make bootup take forever if the fat doesnt get trimmed.
 
I know, back in the XP days I would actually try to go as long as possible without reinstalling Windows. Like if I went 4 years without reinstalling I was so proud. Now days I don't give a crap I'll reinstall every 6-12 months.
 
Ok is saying it's over 4 years and a transition from win 10 to 11. There is so much crap scattered all over the place files swapped and written over in different places traces of the old OS transitioned to a new OS it's no surprise it's bogged down. At this point I think he would actually deal with more bullshit trying to clean it waste more time than just a fresh install which is a very basic process instead of trying to jump through all these other hoops and still not be as good as a fresh install.
 
Ok is saying it's over 4 years and a transition from win 10 to 11. There is so much crap scattered all over the place files swapped and written over in different places traces of the old OS transitioned to a new OS it's no surprise it's bogged down. At this point I think he would actually deal with more bullshit trying to clean it waste more time than just a fresh install which is a very basic process instead of trying to jump through all these other hoops and still not be as good as a fresh install.
Yeah. Sometimes it's just best to start fresh.
 
Two hours!! How do you do that? Any programs that require licensing activation? Install scripts? Portable programs?

Me, it's like over two days, and I always end up out of time before I finish the total reinstall.
Curious what you need to install that would take that long? Do you actually use all of the stuff you install? Or install it "just incase" ? I used to do that, and then realized it was a total waste of time.
With Linux it is reinstall, patch, update to latest supported kernel, open software manager and install key apps I use, password manager, browsers, discord, telegram, signal, Libre Office. Then comes virtualisation apps to run my VMs in I need for other things. Keeping things segmented, and because a linux distro is my main OS, it keeps my main OS pretty lean and clean.

Even for windows, when I dual boot, I am only using it for gaming anyways, so Windows, patch, install vid card drivers, install game launchers, download games and go (I do have a 1gb fiber so makes that fast)
 
Curious what you need to install that would take that long? Do you actually use all of the stuff you install? Or install it "just incase"

Even for windows, when I dual boot, I am only using it for gaming anyways, so Windows, patch, install vid card drivers, install game launchers, download games and go (I do have a 1gb fiber so makes that fast)
I use many of the applications I install. I also debloat a bit with some registry entries I've saved and some win configuration.
I have to set up net shares for 6 drives.
I don't actually do games, but lots of other stuff. Among the following I install (I decided not to list out everything, so as not to "inspire" hackers.) I have to sign in to my Microsoft Account and a bunch of other accounts.
There are some utilities that I use relatively infrequently, like Angry IP scanner and Samsung Magician.
I have to deal with some software with license limits, but no way to uninstall before reformatting, so that's a tech support task right there.
 
I use many of the applications I install. I also debloat a bit with some registry entries I've saved and some win configuration.
I have to set up net shares for 6 drives.
I don't actually do games, but lots of other stuff. Among the following I install (I decided not to list out everything, so as not to "inspire" hackers.) I have to sign in to my Microsoft Account and a bunch of other accounts.
There are some utilities that I use relatively infrequently, like Angry IP scanner and Samsung Magician.
I have to deal with some software with license limits, but no way to uninstall before reformatting, so that's a tech support task right there.

What you could do then, is you do a clean install, all patches, updates, apps installed, licensed. Then, you do a backup image using Acronis or another tool to an external USB Drive...then when you want to redo your system, you do a restore back to that clean image (of course backing up bookmarks and files since that image was taken). Now, that does mean your app may be out of date and need to be patched, but at least the base install is there and saves some time...
 
What you could do then, is you do a clean install, all patches, updates, apps installed, licensed. Then, you do a backup image using Acronis or another tool to an external USB Drive...then when you want to redo your system, you do a restore back to that clean image (of course backing up bookmarks and files since that image was taken). Now, that does mean your app may be out of date and need to be patched, but at least the base install is there and saves some time...
Yeah, that makes sense if I'm restoring to the same system. But for a different (new) system, probably not so much.

When we finally upgrade all our systems to Win 11 (or 12), I'll do clean installs.
 
Yeah, that makes sense if I'm restoring to the same system. But for a different (new) system, probably not so much.

When we finally upgrade all our systems to Win 11 (or 12), I'll do clean installs.
Acronis lets you restore your backup to a different computer with completely different hardware.
 
Maybe if Adobe wasn't a bunch of d1cks and still let you activate CS6, then a fresh install every so often would be great. I'm not buying into their Cloud system and giving them anymore $. Same with AutoDesk with their AutoCAD...older version are still highly useful and not everyone can afford (let alone have to) upgrade to new versions all the time.
 
LOL - I keep my systems as long as possible until I get a hardware failure that requires upgrading. I'm still on my current desktop system from 2016 that ran Windows 7. I waited until 2019 to install Windows 10. Still using it now because I hate reinstalling.
 
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