High CPU/RAM/Memory Usage after Windows 10 Update

July 16, 2019 |

greater than 28 minutes

Performing regular updates is the best thing you can do to your Windows 10 machine. Through the Windows Update utility, your system gets to receive the latest security patches and feature improvements released by Microsoft. These updates help keep your computer safe and ensure it maintains optimum performance.

However, there are times when the update process meets an anticlimactic end. Users have complained bitterly about abnormal spikes in CPU, RAM, and disk usage and frustrating system slow-downs. While these issues may be the result of certain system bugs, these users claim they never experienced such lags before the update.

If you’re one of the users experiencing high usage of your system’s resources when you open Task Manager, you must be at a loss on what’s causing the issue. You don’t have to be in a state of confusion anymore as we’ll enlighten you on the possible causes of the issue and how to resolve the problem.

What causes high CPU, disk, and RAM usage after Windows 10 update?

It’s always recommended that you install every available update for your PC, including major feature and quality updates. Even if you begin to experience issues, such as an increase in CPU and memory usage, you shouldn’t be in haste to uninstall your updates or do something drastic. There are reasons why these problems are surfacing and corresponding fixes that can get rid of them. Below, you’ll find some of the reasons your CPU/RAM/disk usage is increasing abnormally:

Malware

We found that the computers of most users were infected by malicious programs, which caused CPU and memory usage to increase. Carrying out a full scan with their antivirus programs helped them resolve the issue for good.

Memory leaks

Memory leaks are one of the main reasons you see a high percentage of memory usage in Task Manager. Memory leaks happen when access to your RAM is blocked, even though it’s idle. This issue mainly happens when certain applications deny access to your RAM even when they’re done using it, and in other cases, leaks occur due to driver incompatibility.

Outdated drivers

You might be experiencing performance issues because some of your device drivers are outdated. After your update, Windows might require updated drivers to work properly, and while the update process installs the latest driver for certain devices, some others are left out. You need to make sure every device on your computer is up-to-date to reduce high CPU, memory, and disk usage.

Mismanaged page file

Windows often uses a paging file as virtual memory to extend your computer’s traditional Random-Access Memory, and sometimes, this file might be responsible for the issue you’re facing because it is poorly managed or has grown too large. Prompting Windows to clear the page file regularly and manage it automatically can solve the problem in this case.

Low disk space

Your hard drive needs to have ample free space to enable Windows to run smoothly. If your drive lacks significant free space, disk usage might amp up, and your system will suffer performance issues as a result.

Fragmented hard disk

Disk fragmentation is a known culprit of Windows performance issues. When files are scattered all over your hard drive in a bad way, Windows will find it difficult accessing files. To solve the issue, you need to defragment your disk, and we’ll show you how.

How to resolve the high disk, RAM, and CPU usage issue after a Windows 10 update

You’ll find different solutions to the problem in this article. Note that not all will work on your system, as your computer isn’t suffering from all the issues these fixes are intended to tackle. That said, we’re confident that some of the fixes here will optimize your PC for best performance and also remove the bugs that are responsible for the CPU and RAM usage spikes that you’re experiencing.

Before you start, scan your computer for malware

It could be that your system is in fine shape but has been compromised by malware. Before you start making changes to your computer, confirm that it isn’t infected. Malicious programs wreak all sorts of havoc, which normally result in CPU, RAM, and disk usage spikes. These dangerous programs often disguise themselves as legitimate system processes to escape detection.

Third-party security programs, such as Auslogics Anti-Malware, will help you detect threats and remove them from your system. If you have an antivirus program, run a full scan to rid your computer of harmful entities. You can also perform the full scan using your native Windows Defender antivirus tool:

  1. Go to the far right of your taskbar, click on the Show hidden icons arrow and then click on the shield icon in the tray.
  2. Once Windows Security (Windows Defender Security Center in Windows 10 versions before the May 2019 update) opens, click on Virus & threat protection.
  3. Under Virus & threat protection, click on Scan options.
  4. Now, click on the Full Scan radio button, and then click on Scan now.
  5. The scan might take a while, so be patient and let it run its full course.
  6. Once the scan is complete, allow Windows Defender to get rid of the threats it finds, and then reboot your PC.

If you’re confident your PC isn’t infected, proceed to the fixes below.

Prompt Windows to clear your page file at every shutdown

Windows normally creates a page file to extend your system memory when there is no more space to store certain information. Windows stores the page file as an SYS file in your system’s root directory, and you can find it in C:\\pagefile.sys if you have the Show Hidden Files and Folders option turned on in File Explorer.

The page file serves as back-up virtual memory. It prevents programs from crashing when there’s no more space on the RAM, saving you the nightmare of data loss. That said, writing memory data to your hard drive can be slow, and if your page file becomes large over time, it could spike your disk usage.

Making Windows clear the page any time you shut down your computer can reduce high disk usage. One caveat that comes with Windows clearing the page file is that your system’s shutdown and bootup processes will become longer than normal. You can prompt Windows to clear the page file at shutdown using Registry Editor and Group Policy Editor (Only Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users).

Use the Group Policy Editor

If you’re using Windows 10 Pro or an Enterprise version of the OS, it’ll be a good idea to prompt Windows 10 to clear the page file at shutdown using the Group Policy Editor. Follow these steps:

  1. Use the Windows + S combination to open the Start search bar and then type gpedit into the text box.
  2. Click on Edit Group Policy in the results.
  3. Once the Group Policy Editor comes up, go to the left pane of the window and expand Windows Settings under Computer Configuration.
  4. Under Windows Settings, expand Security Settings and then open Local Policies.
  5. Once the Local Policies subfolders are displayed, go to Security Options and then single-click it.
  6. Now, go to the right pane, navigate to “Shutdown: Clear virtual memory page file” and double-click on the policy.
  7. In the Properties window of the policy, select the radio button beside Enabled, and then click on Ok.
  8. Windows will now clear the page file whenever you shut down your computer.

Clearing the page file at shutdown using Registry Editor

Please note that tweaking the Windows registry is an advanced and sensitive procedure, so be sure to follow these steps carefully:

  1. Open the Run dialog box using the Windows + R hotkey.
  2. Type regedit into the text field, and then hit the Enter key.
  3. Click on the Yes button once User Account Control asks for permission.
  4. In the Registry Editor, go to the left pane and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

  1. Once you single-click on the Memory Management key, go to the right pane of the window and double-click the ClearPageFileAtShutDown DWORD.
  2. In the Edit DWORD value dialog, type 1 in the Value Data text box, and then click Ok.

That’s it. You can now restart your system.

Turn on Automatic page file management

You can further boost your PC’s speed and reduce the high usage of your system’s resources by turning on Automatic page file management. This feature is turned on by default in Windows, but you might be experiencing CPU and disk usage spikes because the feature is disabled for one reason or the other. Follow the steps below to turn on Automatic page file management:

  1. Use the Win + E combo to summon File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on This PC on the left pane and then select Properties from the context menu.
  3. Once the System window opens, click on Advanced System Settings on the left pane.
  4. Click on Settings under Performance once the System Properties dialog opens.
  5. Once the Performance options dialog opens, go to the Advanced tab, and then click on the Change button under Virtual Memory.
  6. Now, tick the “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” checkbox.

Tweak performance settings

Visual effects are part of what makes Windows 10 appealing. While these are great for aesthetics, they still require processing power and can ramp up disk and memory usage, causing your system to suffer lag issues. If your system’s Random-Access Memory isn’t on the high side, it’ll be a good idea to adjust your PC for best performance. The guide below will show you how to do this:

  1. Click on the folder icon in your taskbar or press the Windows key and the E key together to open File Explorer.
  2. On the left pane of File Explorer, right-click on This PC, and then click on the Properties option in the context menu.
  3. Once the System window opens, go to the left pane and click on Advanced System Settings.
  4. Once the System Properties dialog opens in the Advanced tab, click on the Settings button under Performance.
  5. In the Performance Options dialog, click on the radio button beside Adjust for best performance, and then click Ok.
  6. Now, restart your computer and check if the percentages for CPU, RAM, and disk usage are still high.

Update your drivers

Outdated or problematic device drivers can cause high CPU/RAM/disk usage. You can fix the issue by updating your device drivers to their latest versions. While Windows Update installs updated drivers for certain devices during the Windows 10 update process, some devices are not included.

The easiest way to find and update out-of-date drivers is using a tool that scans for old drivers and downloads and installs their latest versions automatically. One of the best tools for this kind of operation is

Auslogics Driver Updater. The program is developed by a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, and it works seamlessly on Windows 10. Auslogics Driver Updater is reliable because it installs device drivers from the right source and makes the process simple and straightforward.

Disable some startup programs

Certain programs load automatically when your system boots up. These programs continue to run in the background, taking up their share of CPU, RAM, and disk usage. You might not notice that these programs are already running, but most of them tend to launch quite fast whenever you open them. While this will help you save time and increase efficiency, it should be saved for only programs you use frequently.

You can boost your PC’s speed and ease the burden on your system resources by disabling some of the applications that load on startup, especially the ones you don’t need.

The icons of most startup programs are usually displayed in the notification area in the taskbar. You can find the notification section on the far right of your taskbar, which houses your date and time display. To check which programs automatically load when Windows 10 starts, click on the Show hidden icons arrow in your taskbar to display the icons of most of your startup apps.

You should note, though, that not all startup programs display their icons in the notification area. You can find a list of all the programs that load automatically when your system boots in Task Manager. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the empty surface of your taskbar and then click on Task Manager or use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc hotkey to launch Task Manager.
  2. Once Task Manager opens, switch to the Startup tab.
  3. Here you’ll see a list of programs that launch when your computer boots up.
  4. Check for programs you don’t need, then left-click them and click on the Disable button.

Now, restart your PC and check for the problem.

Free up hard drive space

Your local hard disk houses your operating system, and Windows requires a significant amount of free disk space to run smoothly. You might be experiencing performance issues, especially high disk usage, because you lack ample space on your local disk.

We’ll show you the different ways you can free up space on your hard drive.

Clear temporary files

Temporary files might be taking up a large amount of storage space and slowing down your computer. After a major update, you might have a lot of temporary files you might not need again lurking around your computer. To remove them and other junk files, install Auslogics BoostSpeed. The program helps improve system performance by ridding your hard drive of junk and unneeded files.

You can also remove temporary files in Windows settings:

  1. Open the Settings app using the Win + I hotkey.
  2. Click on the System icon once the Settings home page appears.
  3. On the System page, click on Storage on the left pane.
  4. Now, go to the right pane and click on Temporary files under Local Disk (C:).
  5. Once Windows scans your temporary files, choose the category you want to remove and prompt Windows to get rid of them by clicking the Remove files button.

Using Storage Sense

You might be too busy to keep track of your temporary files, and they could build up again as time goes on. Storage Sense is a built-in Windows feature which removes temporary files after a stipulated period, for example, every thirty days. Using this feature will help keep your system free of unneeded files, providing extra space for performance.

Storage Sense is disabled by default, so you have to enable and configure it to use it. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Settings and then click on System.
  2. Go to the Storage tab, and then toggle on the Storage Sense switch under Storage.
  3. Now, click on the “Configure Storage Sense or run it now” link right under the Storage Sense switch.
  4. In the Run Storage Sense drop-down, select an option based on how often you want the tool to run. You get to choose between Every day, Every week, Every month, and During low free disk space.
  5. Go to the Temporary files section and check the box beside Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using, then choose a duration. You also have the option to clean up your downloads folder using the drop-down under “Delete files in my Downloads folder if they have been there for over”.
  6. You can click on the Clean Now button at the bottom of the page to prompt Windows to clean up your hard disk.

Use Disk Cleanup

Another built-in Windows utility that is effective in freeing up space on your hard disk is the Disk Cleanup tool. This is a great alternative to Storage Sense, even though you can’t configure it to run automatically. Here’s how to use Disk Cleanup:

  1. Press the Windows and S keys simultaneously to open the search utility next to Start.
  2. Type disk cleanup into the text box, and then click on Disk Cleanup in the results list.
  3. Specify the drive you want to clean up once the Drive selection mini-dialog shows up, and then click on OK.
  4. Once the proper Disk Cleanup dialog shows up, go to the “Files to delete” list and select the file type you want to remove, and then click OK.
  5. You can click on the Clean up system files button if you want to remove system files. But note that you need administrative privileges to do this.
  6. You can get a brief description of the file type you want to delete by left-clicking on it.

Defragment your hard drive

Computers see files differently from human beings. To people, a file is a whole entity, such as a photo, a video or document, but to Windows, a file is a pool of tiny fragments located on a hard drive in clusters. Your operating system knows how to find these fragments wherever they are located on your hard disk and delivers them to you whole. But as time goes on, these files become fragmented to the point that your computer struggles to locate them and bring them together. This is the reason most computers suffer slow-downs and high disk usage.

To fix the issue, you need to defragment your hard drive. A great tool that can help with this purpose is Auslogics Disk Defrag Ultimate. The tool utilizes a powerful algorithm to let you defragment your files without fuss, and its automated process makes sure your HDD is always lightning-fast and maintains tip-top performance.

You can also defragment your hard drive using the built-in Windows defragmenter:

  1. Click on the magnifier icon in your taskbar, type defragment, and then click on “Defragment and optimize drives” in the results.
  2. Once the Optimize drive window opens, single-click on the drive you want to defragment and then click on the Optimize button under the list.
  3. Wait for the tool to complete the process as it may take a while.
  4. Once the process finishes, reboot your system and check for the problem.

Uninstall unneeded applications

Deleting programs that you no longer use will go a long way in reducing spikes in CPU, RAM, and disk usage. While these applications may seem harmless and idle, they could be contributing to the performance issues you’re facing because their program files are taking up space on your hard drive, they make malware scans unnecessarily long and tasking, and some of them actually run in the background from time to time and eat up your system’s resources.

To uninstall an app you’re not using, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button, and then click on the gear icon above the Power icon.
  2. When Settings opens, click on Apps.
  3. You’ll see a list of apps under Apps & features. You can scroll through the list to find apps you don’t need or use the search utility if you know what you’re looking for.
  4. Once you locate the app you want to remove, click on it, and then click on the Uninstall button that appears under the app.
  5. Click Uninstall again to confirm your decision, then wait for Windows 10 to remove the app.

Now restart your computer.

Temporarily stop OneDrive syncing

Windows 10 gives you the option to primarily save your files on your computer or OneDrive, and if you choose to save to OneDrive by default, your files will be synced on your PC. While saving to OneDrive gives you the ability to access your files from any device anywhere in the world and keeps your files safe when your system gets damaged or crashes, the syncing process might eat up your system resources and make your disk and CPU usage balloon.

Pause the syncing process and complete it when your system is idle. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on the search bar near the Start button, type onedrive, and then click on OneDrive.
  2. Once OneDrive opens, click on More and then click on Pause Syncing,
  3. Now, select the duration of the pause.
  4. Reboot your computer and check if things are back to normal in Task Manager.

Additional tips

To boost your system’s performance and make sure your disk, CPU, and RAM usage don’t blow up, you can follow these additional tips:

  1. Whenever your computer boots up, only open apps that you need and make sure you close applications you’re no longer using.
  2. Avoid opening too many tabs in your web browser and make sure you close tabs that you’re done with.
  3. Regularly restart your computer.

Conclusion

You’re meant to enjoy your system after an update, not suffer for your efforts. The tips above are proven and have worked for many users, and we believe they’ll help you get rid of the high CPU, disk, and RAM usage. Remember that using Auslogics BoostSpeed will help you improve your computer’s speed and make sure your system is not tied down by system-slowing entities like junk files and broken registry keys. You can use the comments section below to let us know if you need further assistance.

Performing regular updates is the best thing you can do to your Windows 10 machine. Through the Windows Update utility, your system gets to receive the latest security patches and feature improvements released by Microsoft. These updates help keep your computer safe and ensure it maintains optimum performance.

However, there are times when the update process meets an anticlimactic end. Users have complained bitterly about abnormal spikes in CPU, RAM, and disk usage and frustrating system slow-downs. While these issues may be the result of certain system bugs, these users claim they never experienced such lags before the update.

If you’re one of the users experiencing high usage of your system’s resources when you open Task Manager, you must be at a loss on what’s causing the issue. You don’t have to be in a state of confusion anymore as we’ll enlighten you on the possible causes of the issue and how to resolve the problem.

What causes high CPU, disk, and RAM usage after Windows 10 update?

It’s always recommended that you install every available update for your PC, including major feature and quality updates. Even if you begin to experience issues, such as an increase in CPU and memory usage, you shouldn’t be in haste to uninstall your updates or do something drastic. There are reasons why these problems are surfacing and corresponding fixes that can get rid of them. Below, you’ll find some of the reasons your CPU/RAM/disk usage is increasing abnormally:

Malware

We found that the computers of most users were infected by malicious programs, which caused CPU and memory usage to increase. Carrying out a full scan with their antivirus programs helped them resolve the issue for good.

Memory leaks

Memory leaks are one of the main reasons you see a high percentage of memory usage in Task Manager. Memory leaks happen when access to your RAM is blocked, even though it’s idle. This issue mainly happens when certain applications deny access to your RAM even when they’re done using it, and in other cases, leaks occur due to driver incompatibility.

Outdated drivers

You might be experiencing performance issues because some of your device drivers are outdated. After your update, Windows might require updated drivers to work properly, and while the update process installs the latest driver for certain devices, some others are left out. You need to make sure every device on your computer is up-to-date to reduce high CPU, memory, and disk usage.

Mismanaged page file

Windows often uses a paging file as virtual memory to extend your computer’s traditional Random-Access Memory, and sometimes, this file might be responsible for the issue you’re facing because it is poorly managed or has grown too large. Prompting Windows to clear the page file regularly and manage it automatically can solve the problem in this case.

Low disk space

Your hard drive needs to have ample free space to enable Windows to run smoothly. If your drive lacks significant free space, disk usage might amp up, and your system will suffer performance issues as a result.

Fragmented hard disk

Disk fragmentation is a known culprit of Windows performance issues. When files are scattered all over your hard drive in a bad way, Windows will find it difficult accessing files. To solve the issue, you need to defragment your disk, and we’ll show you how.

How to resolve the high disk, RAM, and CPU usage issue after a Windows 10 update

You’ll find different solutions to the problem in this article. Note that not all will work on your system, as your computer isn’t suffering from all the issues these fixes are intended to tackle. That said, we’re confident that some of the fixes here will optimize your PC for best performance and also remove the bugs that are responsible for the CPU and RAM usage spikes that you’re experiencing.

Before you start, scan your computer for malware

It could be that your system is in fine shape but has been compromised by malware. Before you start making changes to your computer, confirm that it isn’t infected. Malicious programs wreak all sorts of havoc, which normally result in CPU, RAM, and disk usage spikes. These dangerous programs often disguise themselves as legitimate system processes to escape detection.

Third-party security programs, such as Auslogics Anti-Malware, will help you detect threats and remove them from your system. If you have an antivirus program, run a full scan to rid your computer of harmful entities. You can also perform the full scan using your native Windows Defender antivirus tool:

  1. Go to the far right of your taskbar, click on the Show hidden icons arrow and then click on the shield icon in the tray.
  2. Once Windows Security (Windows Defender Security Center in Windows 10 versions before the May 2019 update) opens, click on Virus & threat protection.
  3. Under Virus & threat protection, click on Scan options.
  4. Now, click on the Full Scan radio button, and then click on Scan now.
  5. The scan might take a while, so be patient and let it run its full course.
  6. Once the scan is complete, allow Windows Defender to get rid of the threats it finds, and then reboot your PC.

If you’re confident your PC isn’t infected, proceed to the fixes below.

Prompt Windows to clear your page file at every shutdown

Windows normally creates a page file to extend your system memory when there is no more space to store certain information. Windows stores the page file as an SYS file in your system’s root directory, and you can find it in C:\\pagefile.sys if you have the Show Hidden Files and Folders option turned on in File Explorer.

The page file serves as back-up virtual memory. It prevents programs from crashing when there’s no more space on the RAM, saving you the nightmare of data loss. That said, writing memory data to your hard drive can be slow, and if your page file becomes large over time, it could spike your disk usage.

Making Windows clear the page any time you shut down your computer can reduce high disk usage. One caveat that comes with Windows clearing the page file is that your system’s shutdown and bootup processes will become longer than normal. You can prompt Windows to clear the page file at shutdown using Registry Editor and Group Policy Editor (Only Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users).

Use the Group Policy Editor

If you’re using Windows 10 Pro or an Enterprise version of the OS, it’ll be a good idea to prompt Windows 10 to clear the page file at shutdown using the Group Policy Editor. Follow these steps:

  1. Use the Windows + S combination to open the Start search bar and then type gpedit into the text box.
  2. Click on Edit Group Policy in the results.
  3. Once the Group Policy Editor comes up, go to the left pane of the window and expand Windows Settings under Computer Configuration.
  4. Under Windows Settings, expand Security Settings and then open Local Policies.
  5. Once the Local Policies subfolders are displayed, go to Security Options and then single-click it.
  6. Now, go to the right pane, navigate to “Shutdown: Clear virtual memory page file” and double-click on the policy.
  7. In the Properties window of the policy, select the radio button beside Enabled, and then click on Ok.
  8. Windows will now clear the page file whenever you shut down your computer.

Clearing the page file at shutdown using Registry Editor

Please note that tweaking the Windows registry is an advanced and sensitive procedure, so be sure to follow these steps carefully:

  1. Open the Run dialog box using the Windows + R hotkey.
  2. Type regedit into the text field, and then hit the Enter key.
  3. Click on the Yes button once User Account Control asks for permission.
  4. In the Registry Editor, go to the left pane and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

  1. Once you single-click on the Memory Management key, go to the right pane of the window and double-click the ClearPageFileAtShutDown DWORD.
  2. In the Edit DWORD value dialog, type 1 in the Value Data text box, and then click Ok.

That’s it. You can now restart your system.

Turn on Automatic page file management

You can further boost your PC’s speed and reduce the high usage of your system’s resources by turning on Automatic page file management. This feature is turned on by default in Windows, but you might be experiencing CPU and disk usage spikes because the feature is disabled for one reason or the other. Follow the steps below to turn on Automatic page file management:

  1. Use the Win + E combo to summon File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on This PC on the left pane and then select Properties from the context menu.
  3. Once the System window opens, click on Advanced System Settings on the left pane.
  4. Click on Settings under Performance once the System Properties dialog opens.
  5. Once the Performance options dialog opens, go to the Advanced tab, and then click on the Change button under Virtual Memory.
  6. Now, tick the “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” checkbox.

Tweak performance settings

Visual effects are part of what makes Windows 10 appealing. While these are great for aesthetics, they still require processing power and can ramp up disk and memory usage, causing your system to suffer lag issues. If your system’s Random-Access Memory isn’t on the high side, it’ll be a good idea to adjust your PC for best performance. The guide below will show you how to do this:

  1. Click on the folder icon in your taskbar or press the Windows key and the E key together to open File Explorer.
  2. On the left pane of File Explorer, right-click on This PC, and then click on the Properties option in the context menu.
  3. Once the System window opens, go to the left pane and click on Advanced System Settings.
  4. Once the System Properties dialog opens in the Advanced tab, click on the Settings button under Performance.
  5. In the Performance Options dialog, click on the radio button beside Adjust for best performance, and then click Ok.
  6. Now, restart your computer and check if the percentages for CPU, RAM, and disk usage are still high.

Update your drivers

Outdated or problematic device drivers can cause high CPU/RAM/disk usage. You can fix the issue by updating your device drivers to their latest versions. While Windows Update installs updated drivers for certain devices during the Windows 10 update process, some devices are not included.

The easiest way to find and update out-of-date drivers is using a tool that scans for old drivers and downloads and installs their latest versions automatically. One of the best tools for this kind of operation is Auslogics Driver Updater. The program is developed by a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, and it works seamlessly on Windows 10. Auslogics Driver Updater is reliable because it installs device drivers from the right source and makes the process simple and straightforward.

Disable some startup programs

Certain programs load automatically when your system boots up. These programs continue to run in the background, taking up their share of CPU, RAM, and disk usage. You might not notice that these programs are already running, but most of them tend to launch quite fast whenever you open them. While this will help you save time and increase efficiency, it should be saved for only programs you use frequently.

You can boost your PC’s speed and ease the burden on your system resources by disabling some of the applications that load on startup, especially the ones you don’t need.

The icons of most startup programs are usually displayed in the notification area in the taskbar. You can find the notification section on the far right of your taskbar, which houses your date and time display. To check which programs automatically load when Windows 10 starts, click on the Show hidden icons arrow in your taskbar to display the icons of most of your startup apps.

You should note, though, that not all startup programs display their icons in the notification area. You can find a list of all the programs that load automatically when your system boots in Task Manager. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the empty surface of your taskbar and then click on Task Manager or use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc hotkey to launch Task Manager.
  2. Once Task Manager opens, switch to the Startup tab.
  3. Here you’ll see a list of programs that launch when your computer boots up.
  4. Check for programs you don’t need, then left-click them and click on the Disable button.

Now, restart your PC and check for the problem.

Free up hard drive space

Your local hard disk houses your operating system, and Windows requires a significant amount of free disk space to run smoothly. You might be experiencing performance issues, especially high disk usage, because you lack ample space on your local disk.

We’ll show you the different ways you can free up space on your hard drive.

Clear temporary files

Temporary files might be taking up a large amount of storage space and slowing down your computer. After a major update, you might have a lot of temporary files you might not need again lurking around your computer. To remove them and other junk files, install Auslogics BoostSpeed. The program helps improve system performance by ridding your hard drive of junk and unneeded files.

You can also remove temporary files in Windows settings:

  1. Open the Settings app using the Win + I hotkey.
  2. Click on the System icon once the Settings home page appears.
  3. On the System page, click on Storage on the left pane.
  4. Now, go to the right pane and click on Temporary files under Local Disk (C:).
  5. Once Windows scans your temporary files, choose the category you want to remove and prompt Windows to get rid of them by clicking the Remove files button.

Using Storage Sense

You might be too busy to keep track of your temporary files, and they could build up again as time goes on. Storage Sense is a built-in Windows feature which removes temporary files after a stipulated period, for example, every thirty days. Using this feature will help keep your system free of unneeded files, providing extra space for performance.

Storage Sense is disabled by default, so you have to enable and configure it to use it. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Settings and then click on System.
  2. Go to the Storage tab, and then toggle on the Storage Sense switch under Storage.
  3. Now, click on the “Configure Storage Sense or run it now” link right under the Storage Sense switch.
  4. In the Run Storage Sense drop-down, select an option based on how often you want the tool to run. You get to choose between Every day, Every week, Every month, and During low free disk space.
  5. Go to the Temporary files section and check the box beside Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using, then choose a duration. You also have the option to clean up your downloads folder using the drop-down under “Delete files in my Downloads folder if they have been there for over”.
  6. You can click on the Clean Now button at the bottom of the page to prompt Windows to clean up your hard disk.

Use Disk Cleanup

Another built-in Windows utility that is effective in freeing up space on your hard disk is the Disk Cleanup tool. This is a great alternative to Storage Sense, even though you can’t configure it to run automatically. Here’s how to use Disk Cleanup:

  1. Press the Windows and S keys simultaneously to open the search utility next to Start.
  2. Type disk cleanup into the text box, and then click on Disk Cleanup in the results list.
  3. Specify the drive you want to clean up once the Drive selection mini-dialog shows up, and then click on OK.
  4. Once the proper Disk Cleanup dialog shows up, go to the “Files to delete” list and select the file type you want to remove, and then click OK.
  5. You can click on the Clean up system files button if you want to remove system files. But note that you need administrative privileges to do this.
  6. You can get a brief description of the file type you want to delete by left-clicking on it.

Defragment your hard drive

Computers see files differently from human beings. To people, a file is a whole entity, such as a photo, a video or document, but to Windows, a file is a pool of tiny fragments located on a hard drive in clusters. Your operating system knows how to find these fragments wherever they are located on your hard disk and delivers them to you whole. But as time goes on, these files become fragmented to the point that your computer struggles to locate them and bring them together. This is the reason most computers suffer slow-downs and high disk usage.

To fix the issue, you need to defragment your hard drive. A great tool that can help with this purpose is Auslogics Disk Defrag Ultimate. The tool utilizes a powerful algorithm to let you defragment your files without fuss, and its automated process makes sure your HDD is always lightning-fast and maintains tip-top performance.

You can also defragment your hard drive using the built-in Windows defragmenter:

  1. Click on the magnifier icon in your taskbar, type defragment, and then click on “Defragment and optimize drives” in the results.
  2. Once the Optimize drive window opens, single-click on the drive you want to defragment and then click on the Optimize button under the list.
  3. Wait for the tool to complete the process as it may take a while.
  4. Once the process finishes, reboot your system and check for the problem.

Uninstall unneeded applications

Deleting programs that you no longer use will go a long way in reducing spikes in CPU, RAM, and disk usage. While these applications may seem harmless and idle, they could be contributing to the performance issues you’re facing because their program files are taking up space on your hard drive, they make malware scans unnecessarily long and tasking, and some of them actually run in the background from time to time and eat up your system’s resources.

To uninstall an app you’re not using, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button, and then click on the gear icon above the Power icon.
  2. When Settings opens, click on Apps.
  3. You’ll see a list of apps under Apps & features. You can scroll through the list to find apps you don’t need or use the search utility if you know what you’re looking for.
  4. Once you locate the app you want to remove, click on it, and then click on the Uninstall button that appears under the app.
  5. Click Uninstall again to confirm your decision, then wait for Windows 10 to remove the app.

Now restart your computer.

Temporarily stop OneDrive syncing

Windows 10 gives you the option to primarily save your files on your computer or OneDrive, and if you choose to save to OneDrive by default, your files will be synced on your PC. While saving to OneDrive gives you the ability to access your files from any device anywhere in the world and keeps your files safe when your system gets damaged or crashes, the syncing process might eat up your system resources and make your disk and CPU usage balloon.

Pause the syncing process and complete it when your system is idle. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on the search bar near the Start button, type onedrive, and then click on OneDrive.
  2. Once OneDrive opens, click on More and then click on Pause Syncing,
  3. Now, select the duration of the pause.
  4. Reboot your computer and check if things are back to normal in Task Manager.

Additional tips

To boost your system’s performance and make sure your disk, CPU, and RAM usage don’t blow up, you can follow these additional tips:

  1. Whenever your computer boots up, only open apps that you need and make sure you close applications you’re no longer using.
  2. Avoid opening too many tabs in your web browser and make sure you close tabs that you’re done with.
  3. Regularly restart your computer.

Conclusion

You’re meant to enjoy your system after an update, not suffer for your efforts. The tips above are proven and have worked for many users, and we believe they’ll help you get rid of the high CPU, disk, and RAM usage. Remember that using Auslogics BoostSpeed will help you improve your computer’s speed and make sure your system is not tied down by system-slowing entities like junk files and broken registry keys. You can use the comments section below to let us know if you need further assistance.

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