Most computer users—especially those with older machines—have threatened, yelled, or banged the keyboard while waiting for a program to load or for the computer to start up. There are some easy steps you can take to speed up your slow computer without a lot of advanced skills or a visit to the repair shop. Here are some simple things you can do to make your computer run faster and last longer.
Unclutter Your Hard Drive – Use the disk cleanup tool that is pre-installed on Windows to do a first sweep of any redundant programs. Click start, then type in “disk cleanup” in the search box and click the icon that pops up.
Uninstall Unused Programs – This can be a risky task since some programs affect others, but start with the Control Panel, go to Programs and remove any program you are clearly not using. If in doubt, check the Microsoft guide on “How to delete unwanted files and programs.”
Defragment Your Hard Disk – The defragmenter on the disk shuffles your data around to make sure it’s using it as efficiently as possible. You can access this the same way you would a disk cleanup, just search for “disk defragmenter” instead.
Clean Registry – This is one of the most important parts of Windows. Any problems here can confuse your computer immensely. The most common cause of registry problems is software installation that was buggy. To eliminate this problem, run a good registry cleaner from time to time.
Protection is Key – Malware or Spyware are often to blame for PC slowdown. Installing an anti-virus program, keeping it up to date, and running it regularly will often make a tremendous difference.
Empty the Recycle Bin – This one is simple. Right click on the recycle bin icon on your desktop and click empty recycle bin.
Eliminate Unnecessary Startup Programs – Although these programs may not be visible on your desktop, they start running as soon as you boot up your computer and suck up valuable processing power. Go to the Control Panel, Systems & Maintenance, and click performance Information & Tools and finally Manage Start Up Programs. They won’t be removed from your computer, but prevented from launching on startup.
Upgrade RAM – This special kind of memory lets computers do lots of things at once. This is a cost-effective way to increase the speed and efficiency of your laptop. It’s a fairly straightforward DIY job.
If your computer is really in bad shape, or if you aren’t comfortable taking some of the above steps to remedy the situation, consider calling in an expert to fix the problem, but always ask them to walk you through the repair work so that you could perform the same procedure next time. Your computer can be as good as new with a little wisdom and some routine maintenance.