One of the biggest concerns of Windows 7 and 8 users when considering the jump to Windows 10 is the performance – can an old machine really handle Microsoft’s latest operating system?

Microsoft claimed that most machines would be able to take up its free upgrade without any problems, and said that boot up time would actually improve by up 30 per cent compared to Windows 7 – we’ve got a full guide on speeding up boot time on Windows 10 here.

However, if you’ve got a real need for speed and want Windows 10 to run even faster, here are some tips to help you on your way, if you are Windows 7 user read our article: 8 free ways to make Windows 7 faster.

Tip 1: Clean up your disk space

As with previous versions of Windows, the Disk Cleaner, which clears out the unnecessary data clogging up your PC, should be your first port of call.

Open the Start Menu and scroll down to the folder called Windows Administrative Tools and select Disk Clean-up.

Make Windows 10 perform faster

Select all the file locations in the list that appears by ticking them. If you’re unsure about what each one is and whether you want to keep it, select them individually and read the description that appears below. For the majority of users these files are useless logs or temporary system files that are no longer required – this process won’t delete your personal files from your desktop, for example.

Once you’re happy with your selections, click the OK button.

Make Windows 10 perform faster

A warning box will appear asking if you want to delete these files. If you’re sure, click Delete Files.

Make Windows 10 perform faster

Tip 2: Reduce Windows 10 animations

All the flashy animations in Windows 10 can really slow your PC down.

To disable animations, open the Start Menu and select the Settings cog.

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Go to Ease of Access.

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Click Other options from the left-side menu and then switch 'Play animations in Windows' off.

[Read more: Save time in Windows 10: Open files with the right program]

Tip 3: Uninstall software you don’t use

Having too much software installed on your PC clogs it up, so uninstalling anything you don’t use could help.

Open the Start Menu and click the Settings clog.

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Select Apps.

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Go through the list, click once on any software you don’t use and then select the Uninstall button to start the uninstallation process. Make sure you’re 100% sure what you’re uninstalling and consider whether you really need them – if you’re unsure about what a program does, search it on the internet.

Just as a note though, anything like Microsoft Visual C++ or Windows drivers should be kept.

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Tip 4: Deactivate background apps

Programs running in the background can also bring the speed of your PC down. If you use them regularly it will make that particular piece of software load up faster, but your overall system speed will be slower.

To deactivate background apps, open the Start Menu and click Settings.

Make Windows 10 perform faster

Select Privacy.

Make Windows 10 perform faster

At the bottom of the menu you’ll find Background apps. From there, turn all software you don’t think you need running in the background off. Some examples we believe most people don’t really need running the background include Xbox, Travel and Get Office – but ultimately it’s up to you.

Make Windows 10 perform faster

Tip 5: Scan your PC for any malware or adware

Malware and adware can slow down your PC a lot too, so it’s worth using internet security software to make sure there’s none lurking around.

BT Virus Protect is free for many BT customers.

[Read more story: How to protect your computer from viruses]  

Tip 6: Close programs in the system tray

Some programs are set to automatically run on your PC when you boot up, even though you may not need them right away.

You can disable the non-essential ones by right-clicking on the Start Button and clicking Task Manager.

Make Windows 10 perform faster

Click on the tab called Start-up, and select each program you don’t need to run when booting up, followed by the Disable button. However, some of these may be important – such as your web security - so be sure to research any you don’t understand Google before going ahead with disabling them all.

Make Windows 10 perform faster

The easiest way to do this is by right-clicking them and selecting Search online.

Tip 7: Remove your desktop background image

High quality photos used in the background of your desktop can also run the system down. Going for a plain colour instead could improve the speed

To do so, right-click on the desktop and select Personalise.

Make Windows 10 perform faster

Under Background, choose Solid colour from the drop down box then choose your desired colour.

Make Windows 10 perform faster

Still using Windows 7? Not a problem, we’ve got tips for speeding up your PC too.

Have you managed to speed up your system? Do you have any other tips? Share them with us in the Comments section below.