So I was sitting here computing like I always do, and I opened my Dell Laptop. We were also watching the Rose Parade off our Roku device and as soon as I opened my laptop, the Roku started buffering.
My Dad said, “You are infected.”
I replied, “I just restored a couple months ago and that was a full re-install.”
So I went ahead and started to “tweak” Windows 10.
Some of the stuff I found was that in Windows 10 when you press the Win key all the apps that are there: Mail, Netflix, etc.
All of these apps grab information, push notifications, and sync with your Microsoft account or whatever else you have set up and use up tons of bandwidth that you didn’t even know you were using. If you look at the Task Manager, you might find that you are using 100mb of data just by looking at your Desktop!
I don’t know how many of you actually use Cortana but I don’t at all. I didn’t realize that Cortana is running in the background too – all of the time – and you can’t kill the task unless you rename the task file location and rename it so it won’t run.
Instructions on how to disable Cortana:
- Right click on the Task bar and click Task Manager.
- Scroll down until you find Cortana.
- Right click on that and click “Open File Location.” It will open File Explorer and highlight the file that you want.
It will look like this: c:\windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy
Then right click on that file and click “rename.”
Add .bak to the end of the file name. So it looks like this: c:\windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy.bak
Here is the tricky part: You have to kill the process. You will get an error message that says you can’t do it because it’s still open. You need to press Alt-Tab and go back to the Task Manager window. Right click on Cortana and select “End Task.”
Then quickly go back to the open file explorer with the error message and click “Try Again.”
Done. Cortana is now disabled.
Disable All Background Apps
The second thing I did was disable all the background apps.
How to disable background apps:
This is easy. All you have to do is right click on the Task bar again and instead of clicking Task Manager, click “Settings.
- Go to “Privacy.”
- Scroll down to where it says “Background apps” and just click what you don’t need running.
I did all of them.
I use a third-party mail application and I use Google Chrome as my browser not Edge.
Just by changing these two things, I went from 93 running processes to 75 and it continues to drop as I go and uninstall useless applications.
Another helpful tip:
Open the Task Manager (CTRL -ALT-DELETE) and go to the Services Tab. Check hide Microsoft services and it will list all the services that are starting up when you push the power button on your computer.
This is just a couple of steps how to make your Windows 10 machine run better. If you need help with any of it, go to the contact form on the front page and send us a quick email on what you are having problems with. Be sure to include what operating system you are running and all that good stuff.