One of the most widely used operating systems on the planet, Windows 10 is not without its flaws. Windows 10 has exceeded in features where 8.1 failed but at a very annoying cost. The consumption of resources and bandwidth to perform these functions can be considerable and detrimental to your enjoyment online.
These features will generally run silently in the background, gobbling up resources, slowing down the internet at a ridiculous and slow rate. Needless to say, this is simply unacceptable, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many ways to fix your slow internet. Usually, if your internet speed drops, it’s not just a problem with your ISP, but your computer as well. Speeding up Windows 10 and speeding up your Internet go hand in hand. So how do you go about fixing your internet speeds?
If you have been struggling with slow or intermittent internet speeds for Windows 10, know that you are not alone. Microsoft’s help forums are flooded with many complaints and inquiries about why the Internet is moving at a snail’s pace, especially after a recent update. Before you decide to get lost in a sea of trouble on the aforementioned forums, this guide will walk you through a few different tasks that you can try to help fix the problem and get your internetworking as well as it should.
- 1 Close the peer-to-peer (P2P) update process
- 2 Close running background apps
- 3 Use an open-source DNS
- 4 Monitor / disable Windows updates
- 5 Adjust your network bandwidth settings
- 6 Install/update official network drivers
- 7 Use A Proper C: Drive Cleaner
- 8 Disable your firewall
- 9 Disable Windows autotuning
- 10 Disable LSO
- 11 Get rid of Microsoft OneNote
Close the peer-to-peer (P2P) update process
First, on the list, you will need to disconnect the channel from which you extract data for applications and system updates from other PCs on the same server. Windows has seen fit to split your internet bandwidth with total strangers, all without your permission.
This is so that you, the incredibly selfless human being that you are, can allow others to receive your Windows updates faster at the expense of your internet speed. I’m not quite sure why Windows feels this is fine, but it tends to bog down your internet speed during and after a recent update.
To put the kibosh in the connectivity situation of the whole community that limits your bandwidth, you must:
- Head to your Start menu and click the Settings icon or type settings in the search bar and click the app when it presents itself.
- Select Update & Security .
- Then click Advanced Options, then click Delivery Optimization.
- Find Allow downloads from other PCs and click the blue switch from On to Off.
No more sharing the internet with people you don’t know. If the switch was already set to Off by default, we still have a few more options you can try to get your internet speed back up to par.
Close running background apps
Having too many programs and applications running in the background can slow down your PC, much less your Internet. The real problem arises when you have multiple applications open that drain your bandwidth in addition to CPU power. Programs like Steam, Skype, and torrent downloads can dramatically slow down your internet. Heck, even having Google Chrome open while gaming can throw off the speed a bit.
It’s best to quit all open background apps, but if you’d rather find out which ones are the most detrimental to your internet speed, here’s what you can do:
- You will have to go to the Task Manager. There are a few ways you can do this. First, the old standard CTRL + ALT + DEL and select Task Manager from the options. Another way is to right-click on the Windows taskbar and select Task Manager in the dialog box. Other ways include typing Task Manager into search or, if it’s set up, you can ask Cortana. Also, you can skip these next steps and just type resmon in your Run application (Windows Key + R) and it will take you to step 4.
- Once in Task Manager, switch to the “Performances” tab.
- Near the bottom, click Open Resource Monitor.
- Click on the “Network” tab. All currently running applications and services are shown here under “Processes with network activity”. Those with the largest send and receive requests are responsible for taking most of the internet bandwidth.
- To close an application or service, right-click and select End Process.
If you prefer, here’s how to prevent startup applications from running in the background every time you log in:
- Click Start and head to your Settings.
- Select Privacy. From the menu on the left, scroll down and click Background Apps.
- From here, you will be able to stop all the apps running in the background or choose which ones you would rather disable.
Use an open-source DNS
DNS for your PC is normally set to automatic by default. This is so that the less technically inclined don’t need to mess with anything to access their Facebook and Twitter accounts. For those with a more technical background, we understand the importance of a DNS and its effect on the speed at which we can browse.
To change your DNS address to something more suitable than what your ISP suggests:
- Go to the Network and Sharing Center. You can achieve this by right-clicking on the network symbol located on the right side of your taskbar. Some of us with multiple processes may need to click on the pointer to bring up a menu from which to reveal our network icon. As tempting as it is to choose “Troubleshoot,” select “Internet and Network Settings.”
If you’re having trouble doing it this way, you can open Settings from the Start menu and choose Network & Internet.
- On the right, under “Change network settings”, click “Change adapter options.”
- Right-click on your internet connection (ethernet or wi-fi) and choose Properties.
- From here, highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP / IPv4) and click Properties.
- It is from here that we can write a preferred and alternative DNS IP. If you already have IP addresses written in this area, write them down and keep them safe, as you may need to go back to them at some point.
The most recognizable one, and the one we will use, is Google’s public DNS. Make sure the radial labeled Use the following DNS server addresses is selected. In the Preferred DNS Server area, you should write 18.104.22.168 and for the alternative 22.214.171.124.
- Click “OK” to confirm.
You need to restart your PC and then check if your internet speed has changed for the better.
Monitor / disable Windows updates
Considering that Windows 10 loves to push updates regularly, usually without anyone knowing the wisest thing to do, it can be beneficial to disable the feature. I’m not saying you should disable Windows updates entirely, just that it may be wise to monitor when your system needs an update by setting notifications.
The notifications will let you choose when you want Windows 10 to update instead of having it run automatically during a crucial time of internet use. To adjust Windows Update settings to your specifications:
- Go to your Start menu and locate Control Panel. The easiest way to do this is by typing Control Panel in the search bar and clicking on the app.
- Next, you will need to locate your Administrative Tools. If the Control Panel items are currently set to View By Category, it may be easier to change them to Large or Small icons. It is most likely the first option to select.
- In the Windows Explorer window, find and open Services.
- Once in Services, scroll down until you find Windows Update. Right-click and choose Stop or Pause if the function is already running. To disable the feature, select Properties, tap the Startup type: drop-down menu, and choose Manual (to send notifications when an update is available) or Disabled (to completely disable the feature).
Regardless of the choice you make, you must stay up-to-date with Windows updates. Ignoring this can lead to problems elsewhere that you probably don’t want to deal with besides slower internet. Also, Windows updates aren’t all bad.
Adjust your network bandwidth settings
By default, Windows 10 will reserve 20% of the total Internet bandwidth it has at its disposal for the operating system and other system-related programs. This means that you cannot receive 100% of your internet bandwidth while browsing the web, browsing, or doing any other online activity.
To regain that speed, you will need to reduce the bandwidth reservation that Windows 10 is accumulating and this is how:
- Open the Run command with Windows Key + R (Or search for a run in the search bar).
- Type gpedit.msc and press “OK”. If you receive an error that Windows cannot find credit.MSC, you most likely have a Home version of Windows 10. All home versions of Windows do not offer Group Policy editing capabilities by default. You will need to download it before you can use it. For those who have Group Policy Editor installed, you can proceed to the next step.
- Click on Computer Settings.
- Inside the window, find and open Administrative Templates. Then proceed to the Network and finally to the QoS Packet Scheduler.
- Click Limit reservable bandwidth.
- When the window appears, click the On radial and in the Bandwidth Limit (%) area: change it from 100 to 0.
- Click OK ».
Windows 10 will no longer hide 20% of your precious bandwidth and you are 100% free to browse the web.
Install/update official network drivers
Network drivers can become outdated over time and it is up to you to keep them up to date. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have the correct drivers installed to avoid unwanted complications with new Windows 10 updates.
To ensure that you have the correct drivers for your PC and that they are up to date, it is best to visit the official site to get them. You can always choose to have Windows perform an automatic search for them, but if you currently have the wrong drivers installed, this only makes things worse.
If you’re having trouble keeping up or just don’t want to go through the hassle, there are programs you can install that will ensure everything stays up to date as it should be. Driver Talent, SnailDriver, and IOBit Driver Booster are free options available to get the job done.
Use A Proper C: Drive Cleaner
Potentially increase the speed of your Internet (and PC) using a tried and true C disk cleaner. This application will clean most of your disk space by removing junk, temporary files, and browser history from your hard drive. Essentially all the junk or unnecessary files that your PC decides to keep “just in case.”
There are quite a few to choose from, some of which you may want to avoid as scams. They promise lightning speeds and malware blocking only to flood your PC with viruses and are very difficult to remove from your PC.
Disable your firewall
This particular solution is not recommended, but in case your firewall is hampering your net speed, here’s how you can disable it:
- Type firewall in the search bar and click on the firewall that appears. Some users may have a different firewall program, but for this short tutorial, I will be using Windows Defender.
- In the menu on the left side, select Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.
- Click the radial under the private and public network settings marked Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended).
- Click OK ».
Do not let the Firewall stay off until you have verified if it has had any effect on your Internet speed. Run a quick speed test and if nothing has changed, re-enable both firewalls.
Even if Windows Defender is the culprit, it wouldn’t keep the firewall disabled for long. It might be in your interest to find an alternative firewall for your PC that won’t affect your internet speed in the long run.
Disable Windows autotuning
Windows Auto-Tuning is a nifty feature that improves your PC’s performance by using TCP (Transmission Control Protocol). In short, your programs send data back and forth between each other. The auto-tuning feature allows your operating system to monitor the feedback received and uses that information to maximize network performance.
It goes without saying that keeping programs running smoothly can cause internet speeds to experience a bit of turbulence. To deactivate the function:
- Open the Command Prompt application by typing cmd in the search bar or press CTRL + Shift + Enter to launch Command Prompt as administrator and skip to step 3.
- Right-click on the icon and choose Run as administrator.
- Type netsh interface tcp show global and press Enter.
- Find the autotuning level of the receive window and see if it is set to normal. If so, we will have to disable it.
- Enter a new command netsh int tcp set global autotuning level = disabled
The “TCP Global Parameters” dialog box will reappear, this time showing the auto-tuning level of the receive window as disabled. Follow up with a quick internet speed test to make sure it helped. You can use speedtest.net as it is good enough in this situation.
If you don’t see any improvement, you can always re-enable autotuning by typing the command netsh int tcp set global autotuning level = normal.
This feature is no different than the previous Windows auto-tuning feature. It is intended to improve network performance across the board at the expense of your internet speed. This particular feature leans more towards using your apps in the background and forces them to consume large amounts of the internet while being actively involved in something else.
To disable this feature:
- Right-click on the Windows icon and select Device Manager. If you don’t see it, you can either go through the Control Panel or type Device Manager directly in the search bar and click on the app.
- Expand the Network Adapters menu and find your particular network card. Double click on it.
- From here select the “Advanced” tab and highlight Large Send Offload v2 (IPv4).
- Change the value from Enabled to Disabled.
- Repeat this for Large Send Offload v2 (IPv6), if applicable.
- Click OK ».
- If you need to reverse this decision at any time, simply change the values back to Enabled and click “OK”.
Get rid of Microsoft OneNote
It may seem a bit strange, but OneNote can also make the internet run a bit slow. You will find the conversation in the comments section of this Microsoft Answers post. If you use OneNote, it is amazing. Continue doing it as usual. If you use Microsoft Office but have no interest in OneNote, deleting it from your PC might help.
OneNote is a glorified Evernote-like sticky notes app that can add all your notes in one place. So if you feel like this is something necessary for your life, keep it. If not, then this is how you remove it:
- Right-click on the Start menu and select Windows Powershell (Administrator). Click “Yes” in the pop-up window.
- You will see a blue version of a DOS-type screen. Enter in this command:
Get-AppxPackage * OneNote * | Remove-AppxPackage
- Hit enter.
And just like that, OneNote is gone.
If you think I’ve missed a solution to the Windows 10 slow internet speed problem or seem to be having trouble following any of the instructions above, tell me in the comments below.