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Christian Jones

Anyone have a comprehensive list of Windows 10 tweaks that you've implemented?

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Just upgraded to Windows 10 recently and went over this list here I found online https://bandzoogle.com/blog/20-ways-to-optimize-your-windows-10-pc-for-music-production - and was wondering if anyone has anything to add to it?

Here's a link to a great post made to me by abacab on how to tweak the Windows 10 update process (I'll be finally doing this tonight):

https://discuss.cakewalk.com/index.php?/topic/4476-should-i-upgrade-from-windows-7-now-what-are-you-using/&do=findComment&comment=39497

I've seen some of you talk about "reining Windows in" and I've read over SPAK's recent thread and I was just hoping to make sure I've implemented all the tricks so that I too (and anyone else) can retain a comprehensive check list of tweaks to go over and re-tweak anything that may have been bothered as a result of a Windows update. 

I've gotten rid of my 3rd party av and am using Windows Defender at the moment at Sweetwater's advice, so tonight I'll be looking into tweaking that real quick so it doesn't scan constantly.

What all is good to disable in general and especially in the Group Policy Editor (other than the auto updates - instructions for that at abacab's link above)? I've uninstalled OneDrive completely, but still need to do something about Cortana. Any other tweaks that can be added to that list of 20 up there? Would be cool to have a nice list going in one spot. If there's a list on here already somewhere feel free to point me to it. Thanks! 

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I have not seen one comprehensive list. I have mostly "soaked up" ideas that I have run across in various articles and forum posts over time. There is a good article on Sweetwater that covers PC optimizations for Windows 10, but I suspect you have already read that based on your Sweetwater comment above. https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles/pc-optimization-guide-for-windows-10/

For general Win10 tutorials and help, I like this forum :

TenForums

https://www.tenforums.com/

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/

Another PC optimization trick has always been to get a good handle on your startup programs and tasks, as well as the Windows task scheduler. These things can affect your boot times, as well as run in the background and consume unnecessary  resources. This task can seem more difficult with Win 10, as it seems to have a mind of its own at times!

One free utility that I have found indispensable for identifying these items  is "Autoruns", from Microsoft Sysinternals. It will scan and show you everything that loads on your machine, from logon startup programs, to scheduled tasks, services, drivers, codecs, etc. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/autoruns

It has the ability to disable any line item by just unchecking a box. But caution is advised, as this is like System Configuration (MSConfig) and selective startup on steroids! Recommend using the option "Hide Signed Microsoft Entries" at first to prevent buggering up Windows. Work on the 3rd party stuff, then carefully approach the Microsoft stuff, if you dare (backup images highly recommended).

 

 

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The best Windows 10 tweak I've installed:  Windows 7.  😆

Actually, I used to tweak a lot of things, but MS has backed off on pushing their bloatware and updating whenever they want, so there's really only one thing I would highly recommend (if you have more than one hard drive) and that's to map all the Library folders (Music, Video, Pictures, Documents) to a non-OS hard drive.  All you need to do is right-click on the folder from File Explorer, select Properties and then the Location tab.

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31 minutes ago, craigb said:

The best Windows 10 tweak I've installed:  Windows 7.  😆

Actually, I used to tweak a lot of things, but MS has backed off on pushing their bloatware and updating whenever they want, so there's really only one thing I would highly recommend (if you have more than one hard drive) and that's to map all the Library folders (Music, Video, Pictures, Documents) to a non-OS hard drive.  All you need to do is right-click on the folder from File Explorer, select Properties and then the Location tab.

You are just lazy! ;)

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8 hours ago, abacab said:

I have not seen one comprehensive list. I have mostly "soaked up" ideas that I have run across in various articles and forum posts over time.

Thanks abacab. Are you bothering to do anything about Cortana? Apparently MS doesn't want you messing with it though apparently a hack can disable it - though I also read that doing so could put the hurt on search functions. 

Also, what are you using for an av.. Is it Defender? If so, are you temporarily disabling it prior to a session? 

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17 hours ago, Christian Jones said:

Thanks abacab. Are you bothering to do anything about Cortana? Apparently MS doesn't want you messing with it though apparently a hack can disable it - though I also read that doing so could put the hurt on search functions. 

Also, what are you using for an av.. Is it Defender? If so, are you temporarily disabling it prior to a session? 

Cortana and search are somewhat interconnected on Win10. After setting the following policies, web searching still works fine from a browser, as these policy settings just remove the capability of Windows desktop from doing it whenever it feels like. :D

Cortana -There are 2 policies related to Cortana that I have disabled in group policy editor: 1. "Allow Cortana" and 2. "Allow search and Cortana to use location".

1.  If you disable this setting, Cortana will be turned off.  When Cortana is off, users will still be able to use search to find things on the device.

2. This policy setting specifies whether search and Cortana can provide location aware search and Cortana results. If this is enabled, search and Cortana can access location information.

Cortana stays out of my way now and is limited a local machine search, using the search tool on the taskbar. See the following as well...

Search - There are a couple of related policies that determine how search functions. I have enabled a couple of these: 1. "Do not allow web search" and 2. "Don't search the web or display web results in search".

1. Enabling this policy removes the option of searching the Web from Windows Desktop Search.

2. If you enable this policy setting, queries won't be performed on the web and web results won't be displayed when a user performs a query in Search.

Defender - I don't use Defender at all. In fact I enabled a policy to render it completely disabled, as it apparently seems to run in the background even when it seems to be turned off: "Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus".

I use Avira Pro antivirus instead, and it has a very light performance impact on my PC. I just let it run, but real-time file scanning can be turned off with a few clicks. It also has the options to exclude processes or folder paths from scanning if you feel the need, but I haven't had to bother with that yet. There is a free version available that you can try out, that has the same scanning engine. Just remember to uninstall all the "extras" that the free installer gives you, LOL! Otherwise it's a great AV.

Hope this helps!

P.S. In case anybody reading this thinks I am promoting Avira, or saying Defender sucks, I'm not. I have no intent to go sideways into a "which AV is best discussion". I was just asked what I use, and I explained why. But that is always a loaded question on the internet, so that's the reason for this footnote.

A lot of folks are happy with Defender, or find reasons to dislike Avira. So be it! That's why there are many choices. Finding the best configuration for your system is my recommendation! Trial and error is sometimes the best way to learn, and as everybody uses their PC differently,  there is no one size fits all. ;)

 

 

Edited by abacab

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That's an interesting comment about Defender.  From everything we've read and been told, Security Essentials and Defender have become good enough to forego most other A/V's and firewalls (like AVG for example).  This is actually what most of our clients are now using.

So you're basically saying Defender sucks, right? 😆

(J/K!)

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9 minutes ago, craigb said:

That's an interesting comment about Defender.  From everything we've read and been told, Security Essentials and Defender have become good enough to forego most other A/V's and firewalls (like AVG for example).  This is actually what most of our clients are now using.

So you're basically saying Defender sucks, right? 😆

(J/K!)

Ha! Not touching that one with a Win10 pole! :P

Actually I agree that Defender protection has stepped up the game with Win10, and is probably good enough protection for most consumers.

Any quibbles that I may have  with Defender now is that I never felt that I could fully rein it in, as it always seemed to possess a mind of its own (possessed?).

Disclaimer: Defender is the only AV that I run on my (non-DAW) laptop. Because I could give a crap if it is always running in the background on that device. xD

 

 

Edited by abacab

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Thanks guys and abacab, super helpful info as usual 

I'm probably gonna do pretty much exactly what you're doing w/ your pc, including trying Avira Pro, since you're saying Defender sucks  🤣

Nah but really I like being able to rein everything in and I'll just try stuff and see either way.

Happy 4th! (if you guys are in the US of course) 

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I have run Defender for some years, never caught as much as a cold. 

As far as W10 goes, apart from the USB power on “tweaks” it runs very good out of the box. But then i have a lot of ram - 32Gb.

i have disabled on-board nVidia HD sound, but when you upgrade your video drivers it sometimes comes back.

There is however a great fred in the Coffee house about the 1903 version of W10 which is well worth looking into - by Jack Stoner. I’ve done as he suggested and its looking good.

YMMV

cheers,

j

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