Having performance issues after upgrading your Surface to Windows 10?
Well, you’re not alone. It seems, a lot of folks have noticed that their Surface is a little more sluggish or laggy since doing the upgrade. Still others have discovered that their battery life seems shorter.
The majority of these problems are simply because Microsoft hasn’t yet optimized Windows 10 as well as Windows 8.1. So, to some extent, you have to wait on Microsoft to do things like update drivers and optimize memory usage (which they have already begun doing with the next preview build).
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer now. There are plenty of things you can do right to improve your Surface’s performance and I’m going to cover 10 of them in this article.
Fix Windows 10 Performance Issues on Surface: Adjust or Turn off OneDrive Sync
One thing that could be causing performance issues for you (especially if you just did the upgrade to Windows 10) is OneDrive syncing files to or from your Surface. In a perfect world, it will sit in the background and not use too many system resources but it’s not always a perfect world is it?
What you can do: Be more selective about what you sync to your Surface with OneDrive so that the overhead is minimized. Also, if you just did the update you should consider simply disabling OneDrive during the day and re-enabling it at night to allow the sync to happen while you’re not using the Surface. If this advice looks familiar, it’s because I already covered it in my article: Windows 10 On Surface – 5 Must Do Things.
Fix Windows 10 Performance Issues on Surface: Adjust Privacy SettingsWhile this isn’t intended to be an article on privacy issues, you should know that Windows 10 (by default) shares a lot of information with Microsoft and others. As you can imagine the process of collecting and sending this data can impact your system performance. In addition, by default, your Surface will participate in a kind of peer-to-peer sharing of updates for Microsoft which can impact your network performance even more.
What you can do: Adjust your Privacy settings so that your Surface isn’t sharing your information. Also, open your Windows Updates settings then go to Advanced options/Choose how updates are delivered and turn OFF the Updates from more than one place option.
Fix Windows 10 Performance Issues on Surface: Adjust Indexing Options
Windows 10 “indexes” files on the local hard drive, so that you can find things quicker when you do a search. The downside of this indexing is that the Windows Search service (which does the indexing) can take up significant resources.
What you can do: Do a search (yes, irony, I know) for Indexing Options. this will bring up a window what you can use to adjust what Windows will index – the shorter the list of indexed locations, the less impact there will be on your system performance. Alternatively, you can search for Services then simply disable the Windows Search service all together.
The down-side to both approaches is that searching for files or information on your local hard drive might take longer but how often do you really do that?
Fix Windows 10 Performance Issues on Surface: Uninstall Programs You Don’t Use
If you have a bunch of unused applications on your hard drive, they might be the cause of some performance problems. This can be because they are taking up valuable hard drive space causing problems for the operating system (especially if you are almost out of free space) or they may have “background services” running that are taking up memory and processor time.
What you can do: Get rid of applications you don’t use. Seriously, that’s it. Nothing fancy here.
Fix Windows 10 Performance Issues on Surface: Don’t Leave Apps Open
Joanna is super-guilty of this. When I use her Surface, there’s always a minimum (I’m not exaggerating) of a dozen Edge browser tabs open, 3 Word documents, Spotify (even though she rarely listens to it), e-mail, 2 Excel spreadsheets, and a text document open in Notepad. Each and every one of these instances take up memory and processor time.
What you can do: Another simple one. Close applications and tabs you’re not actively using. You can always save the document or bookmark the web page, so you can come back to it but, in the meantime, it won’t be using up system resources and slowing down your Surface.
Fix Windows 10 Performance Issues on Surface: Cleanup Startup
Some applications launch processes when you start your Surface. These startup apps are sometimes useful, like BitDefender launching it’s real-time virus scanner, but some of these startup apps are pretty-much useless. The Java updater app, for example. All of these apps take up system resources which can slow down your Surface.
What you can do: Install ccleaner (or other similar tool) and use the Startup tool to disable of “useless” startup apps. Be careful to not delete apps from Microsoft or System when doing so.
Fix Windows 10 Performance Issues on Surface: Adjust Visual Effects
Windows 10 includes several visual effects such as animations and shadow effects. These visual effects are nice but they might not be worth the amount of system resources they take up. This is especially true if you have a 2GB Surface 3 since you have so little RAM.
What you can do: Tap and Hold (right-click) the Start button to get the contextual menu. Select System/Advanced system settings. From there, select the Settings button under Performance. On the Visual Effects tab choose Adjust for best performance.
Fix Windows 10 Performance Issues on Surface: Adjust Your Power Settings
Your power plan might be causing your performance problems. This is because some custom power plans might be throttling back your CPU to save power or to help keep your system running cooler.
What you can do: Go into your power plan and find the Change advanced power settings. When the power options window appears, find the Processor power management section and make sure the maximum processor state for both on battery and plugged in is set to 100%.
Fix Windows 10 Performance Issues on Surface: Run a Full Malware Scan
It’s possible that your Surface has a malware or virus on it causing your performance issues. Even if it’s not causing you any visible problems (like popups or corrupted files) someone could still be using your Surface to send spam emails or perform attacks on servers somewhere. Obviously, this would slow down your Surface.
What you can do: Do a full system scan with your anti-virus software (if you’re using Defender, you may want to Surface is heavily infected, consider a system reset.
Fix Windows 10 Performance Issues on Surface: Run Disk Cleanup
I kind of touched on this one with the uninstall unused applications tip but it’s possible you have a lot of temporary or otherwise useless data on your Surface’s hard drive that can be causing slowness or sluggishness. If the available freespace on your Surface gets too low it will cause some pretty drastic performance problems.
What can you do: Run Disk Cleanup. It’s a built-in utility that can clean up old system and temporary files including one’s you normally can’t. For example, it can Surface which is a good thing, right?
Like I said at the beginning of this article, to actually “solve” most of the performance problems Windows 10 may have introduced, we have to wait on Microsoft to finish optimizing their product.
However, the above steps should help your Surface gain back a little more “pep”. Furthermore, they’re all what I would consider good practice and recommend you do them even if you’re not suffering from performance slowdowns with your Surface. They can make it run even better.