The eas­i­est way to fix a PC boot­ing slug­gishly is to re­duce the num­ber of apps that launch on startup, as hav­ing too many pro­grams fir­ing up when the com­puter starts makes the whole process much slower, es­pe­cially when it comes to older hard­ware.

To trim those apps, press Ctrl-Shift-Esc to bring up Task Man­ager, then click the link that says “More De­tails.” From here, se­lect the “Startup” tab. Look through the list of en­abled apps, and find any that you don’t need —you can turn an app off by right-click­ing it, and se­lect­ing “Dis­able.” Dis­abled apps don’t au­to­mat­i­cally load on boot up. Be care­ful not to turn Mi­cro­soft ser­vices off, though, or im­por­tant apps, such as an­tivirus. If you’re un­sure whether it’s wise to dis­able a cer­tain app, Google it to find out.

Let’s think be­yond phys­i­cal speed now, and more to­ward ef­fi­ciency. Do you feel as though it takes ages to get any­thing done in Win­dows 10? The “Quick Ac­cess” menu is lo­cated in File Ex­plorer, and it can save a ton of time. To add files, fold­ers, or apps to the side­bar, right-click their icon, and se­lect “Pin to Quick Ac­cess.” This means they show up and can be eas­ily ac­cessed, which is use­ful for re­cently vis­ited fold­ers. You can also set File Ex­plorer to load the “Quick Ac­cess” menu by de­fault when you bring it up, rather than “This PC.” To do so, with File Ex­plorer open, click the “View” tab in the top menu (next to “Share”), then click “Op­tions,” and se­lect “Change folder and search op­tions.” Look where it says “Open File Ex­plorer to,” and use the drop-down menu to se­lect “Quick Ac­cess.”

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