How to speed up your computer

The following article gives information on How to speed up your computer. Computers get slower over time. It’s a simple fact of PC ownership, but that doesn’t mean it should just be accepted without a fight. If you’re wondering how to make your computer faster and safeguard your system against degraded performance, here are some simple tasks that will help.

speed up your computer

Get Rid of Adware and Viruses

Viruses and adware are dangerous. They can steal your data, wreck your computer, redirect your browser to other sites, generate popup ads and much more. These nefarious programs also consume critical system resources and will kill your PC’s performance. Before you try to speed up your computer, make sure sure it is clean.

There are many good anti-malware packages available online and through bricks-and-mortar retailers. Plenty of good free apps can be found online, like Microsoft Security Essentials, Malware Bytes and Avast. If you choose the free route, be sure to research thoroughly before downloading, since some “free antivirus programs” are actually adware in disguise.

After installing the anti-malware program of your choice, it’s important to let it update itself. This ensures the application has the latest malware definitions. After the update, run the program and let it delete any suspect files. Reboot and run it again and repeat until the computer is clean. It should start running faster already.

Defragment the Hard Drive

Windows really isn’t very organized. On the inside, your hard drive actually looks more like your kids’ closet than an orderly filing cabinet. This is because Windows stores files wherever space can be found. Fragments of a single file can live in many different places across the drive, reassembled once the file is opened. This only gets worse over time, with frequently-accessed files growing larger, more fragmented and further scattered. Files then start taking longer to open, edit and save.

Defragmenting regularly will definitely speed up your computer. Defragging rearranges files, reclaiming deleted space and moving pieces of files closer together. This makes files easier for Windows to find so the OS runs more efficiently. It’s easy to defrag. Just type “dfrg.msc” in a Run prompt in Windows XP or type “defrag” in the Windows 7 search box.

Clean the Registry

The registry is one of those mysterious “under the hood” aspects of Windows that isn’t really discussed until there’s a major problem. It’s important to understand, though, that cleaning the registry is a key component of how to speed up your computer. The registry is a large file containing configuration information for every piece of hardware and software installed on a system. When a program launches, for example, Windows scans the registry for information about that application’s settings. Just like everything else, though, the registry can become cluttered.

After years’ worth of changes, installs and uninstalls, the registry probably has a lot of unnecessary data in it. This causes massive slowdown since Windows has to read the registry for every operation and the more cluttered the registry is, the longer it takes for Windows to find what it needs. Registry cleaner programs can declutter the registry, removing unnecessary entries and allowing Windows to read and react faster.

Streamline your Startup

Many software companies configure their applications to run at startup and continue running in the background, devouring valuable system resources. How many of these apps actually need to run constantly?

Taking control of your startup with MSconfig will speed up your computer. Launch “msconfig” at the Run prompt and view the “Startup” tab to see all the programs that run at boot. You can disable these programs by un-checking the box next to them. A word of warning: Leave a browser open, because it’s best to research each program before shutting them down, just in case.

Disk Cleanup

A full hard drive, even if it’s not fragmented, can greatly hinder performance. A general rule of thumb is that a hard drive should never be over 90% capacity. It is especially important to follow this guideline in today’s age of massive hard drives. It’s a good idea to regularly go through all documents, media files, pictures and more to determine what can be pared down. Deleting or moving old files to removable media are great ways to free disk space for better performance.

Fix Disk Errors

Disk errors happen for a number of reasons. They can be logical errors, where data has been written improperly, or physical errors, where the disk itself could be worn or damaged in places. Windows’ built-in Checkdisk utility can repair logical errors and mark physical bad sectors unusable. Both of these operations can really increase your hard drive access speed, making your whole system more efficient overall.

The best way to run checkdisk is to go to a command prompt and type “chkdsk /x /r.” You’ll be asked if you would like to run the app at the next boot. Type “y” and then reboot. Checkdisk will do its thing at startup, reorganizing the disk and cleaning any file system issues, leading to a faster computer.

Beware of Resource Hogs

Conserving your system’s resources is crucial when it comes to speeding up a slow computer. With that in mind, it’s important to avoid resource-intensive applications in favor of more lightweight apps. One example is in the realm of antivirus programs. All-in-one “security suite” applications like Norton Internet Security run constantly in the background and devour memory and processor power, causing other apps to run slower. Lightweight antivirus alternatives like AVG are a better solution and will help your system run faster. Always look for other options when it comes to “resource hogs.”

Uninstall Unnecessary Applications

Getting rid of old, unnecessary programs helps a lot, combining the benefits of three of the tips in this list. First, it clears precious hard drive space. Second, these programs could be running in the background, so uninstalling them frees valuable system resources. Finally, uninstalling usually removes configuration data as well, so it helps declutter the registry.

This and all the other pointers here will greatly boost your PC’s speed and combat the over time slowdown. You may even be able to get more life out of your old computer and hold off upgrading for a while.

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