As a trader, nothing destroys your productivity more than when your trading computer slows down. The symptoms can vary. The movements of your mouse might be sluggish. When you open or use an application, things might move slowly.
And when you’re in the heat of trading, not only does this slow your productivity, it can actually cost you money.
With a few tweaks, you can improve the performance of your Windows 10 trading computer significantly. Here are some steps you can take to get the juice back into your system:
Remove Apps from Startup
When you’re installing software applications on Windows, a lot of the time you will see ‘Start Application on Startup’ as a default setting. The reason for this option is to let you immediately launch the app whenever you need it.
However, as you install more and more software, these applications are running in the background and taking up valuable resources like CPU cycles and memory. The result is your trading computer slows down.
You can stop apps from loading on startup with the following steps:
- With your cursor positioned over the task bar, right-click and select the Task Manager option.
- Go to the Startup Tab.
- In the Startup Tab, right-click and ‘Disable’ the programs you don’t need at startup.
Tip: If you don’t recognize an app on the list, right-click on the name and choose ‘Search online’ to find out what it does. Once you understand what it is, you can make an informed decision about whether or not you need it in the Startup Menu.
Change Power Settings
Windows 10 has various power optimization techniques that can end up adversely affecting your computer’s performance.
You can change the power settings like this:
- Launch the Control Panel
- Choose Hardware and Sound > Power Options
- Choose from Balanced, Power Saver, High Performance, and your own custom plan.
- Select High Performance to improve speed. (This option might be under ‘additional plans’ depending on your computer manufacturer.)
Disable Search Indexing
Windows 10 uses the search indexing feature to keep your computer ready to find anything you request instantly. However, this also means that your computer is constantly being monitored for changes and Windows 10 is using resources for the task.
Turn off search indexing to avoid this resource drain. Here are the steps:
- Go to the Start Menu search box, type ‘services’ and click to launch.
- Find Indexing Service or Windows Search in the list, right-click, and select Stop.
- Reboot your computer for the changed configuration to take effect.
Auto-clean Your Hard Disk
With regular use, your hard disk gets cluttered. Just like it’s difficult to find things in a messy room, it’s difficult for the operating system to find applications and files in a cluttered computer.
Having good computer hygiene can help you improve the speed of your machine. Windows 10 makes it easy with a tool called Storage Sense. Here’s how to activate the feature:
- Go to the Start Menu search box, type ‘Storage’ and click to launch.
- Toggle the on/off for Storage Sense.
This feature will automatically clean junk files, installation leftover files, Recycle Bin files, and more. You may want to click on ‘Change how we free up space automatically’ to fine-tune exactly what is being deleted.
Get Rid of Fancy Visual Effects
User interface visual effects like animations and shadows make it look good on the screen. But it comes at a price. These effects take computing resources which can slow your computer down.
Here are the steps to get rid of the effects:
- Go to the Start Menu search box, type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and click to launch.
- Choose Advanced > Performance Settings.
- Uncheck the effects you want to disable, or chose ‘Adjust for best performance’ to uncheck them all.
Check the Performance Monitor
Sometimes things just go wrong in an application. It might be stuck in a loop and be hogging computing resources. This is a likely suspect when your computer speed drops suddenly and dramatically.
If you are running a lot of apps, it’s difficult to find out which one is causing the problem. You can use the performance monitor to find the culprit. Here are the steps:
- Launch Task Manager.
- On Process tab, click on CPU, Memory or Disk to sort application usage from high to low. This will help identify any problem apps.
- Right-click on the name of the program you want to terminate and select ‘End task.’
The above method is also useful for closing frozen applications without restarting your computer.
When All Else Fails…
If everything else fails, you can always restart your trading computer to improve the speed.
Even though it sounds like a cliché to close Windows and restart, it actually can help resolve issues because Windows 10 will run checks during the restarting process. And, it will clean out duplicate processes that could be running in the background for no good reason.
Windows 10 offers way more features than the average trader needs during a typical business day. Not only are they unneeded, they are taking power and resources away from your trading activity. Take action now to turn off or clear out some of this unnecessary fat, and start enjoying an even faster trading computer today.
There are more trading computer tips like this in our buyers guide. Check out our “How To Buy a Trading Computer” e-book.
Remember, we are here to help with all your technology related questions. If you think of additional questions about computer hardware or other questions, give me a call. My team and I are here to help. We’re happy to answer any of your questions about trading computers via phone: 800-387-5250