These 2 simple commands will speed up Windows 11

Speeding up Windows doesn't have to involve wiping and re-installing the operating system. In this article we explain how you can speed up Windows using our two favourite Command Prompt commands.

Windows users often face the challenge of system slowdowns and sluggishness over time. This can be caused by a myriad of issues, but quite frequently it can be traced back to corrupted files or inconsistencies in the operating system.

sfc /scannow and dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth are two simple, yet powerful commands for maintaining system health and enhancing performance. By following this guide, while taking appropriate precautions, you can take full advantage of these utilities to help keep your Windows 11 computers running smoothly.

What do sfc /scannow and dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth actually do?

  1. SFC /scannow

System File Checker (SFC) is a utility in Windows that allows users to scan for corruptions in Windows system files and restore them. When you run sfc /scannow, the command scans all protected system files, and replaces corrupted files with a cached copy located in a compressed folder at %WinDir%\System32\dllcache (usually c:\Windows\System32\dllcache).

This process helps in restoring the health of your system files, subsequently boosting the performance of your computer.

  1. DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is another tool built into Windows, primarily used for preparing, modifying, and repairing system images, including Windows Recovery Environment, Windows Setup, and Windows PE. But it also has the ability to fix the system image of your installed operating system.

When you run dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth, the DISM tool will connect to Windows Update to download and replace corrupt files. If the Windows Update client is broken, you should try to use a repair source like a Windows side-by-side folder from a network share or from a removable media, such as the Windows DVD or a USB flash drive.

How to Use These Tools?

Please note that these commands must be run in the Command Prompt as an administrator. Running the Command Prompt as an administrator gives the process elevated permissions, which could potentially be harmful if misused. Therefore, always double-check the commands you’re entering to ensure they won’t inadvertently cause harm to your system.

Step-by-step Guide to speed up Windows using SFC and DISM in Command Prompt

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator

Press the Windows key or click on the Start button and type cmd. Right-click on the Command Prompt application and select “Run as administrator”. If a User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears, click “Yes” to proceed.

  1. Running the SFC Scan

In the Command Prompt window, type sfc /scannow and press Enter. This process might take some time, so please be patient. Avoid interrupting the scan as it might lead to unintended consequences.

  1. Running the DISM Command

Once the SFC scan has completed, you can proceed to the DISM command. In the same Command Prompt window, type dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth and press Enter. This process can also take a while, so patience is key.

After the process is complete, it’s recommended to restart your computer to finalize the changes made to your system.

Still running slow?
More ways to speed up Windows

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Potential Issues and Warnings

While these commands can be instrumental in speeding up your Windows computer, they come with a couple of warnings:

  • Always use caution when running CMD as an administrator: Running Command Prompt as an administrator grants the process high-level access to the system. Always ensure the commands you’re entering are correct to prevent potential damage to your system.
  • Avoid Interruptions: Once the process begins, avoid interrupting it. An interruption can lead to file inconsistencies, causing more harm than good.
  • Backup your Data: It’s always a good idea to back up your data before making significant changes to your system. While these tools are generally safe and reliable, there’s always a small risk of data loss when dealing with system files.

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I'm a writer, content creator and all-round creative. When I'm not writing for GoodGeeky, I film and edit YouTube videos, write books (which never seem to get finished), practice martial arts (while trying not to do my knees in or get kicked in the face), build websites and intranets, and work for The Man.