To be quite honest with all of you, there is a lot of ‘crap’ on the internet when it comes to providing some really great tips and suggestions that will really help to increase the speed of a computer.
What I have decided to do was to ‘cut through all the crap’ and give you some real suggestions that really do work. So how do I know these work? Well, I have been working on computers just about every day of my life for the past 12 years or so. I don’t claim to know it all, but I have learned a few things over the years.
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment after you have read this post.
1. Clean Startup Items
Optimizing your computers startup items is the number one way to instantly increase the speed and performance of your computer. It does not matter how new or how old your computer is, when you turn off programs that do not need to run when your computer starts up directly results in a faster, higher performing computer.
Windows does provide a utility called MSCONFIG that will allow you to turn on or turn off windows startup items, but this tool can be very tedious and it is not very user friendly.
For those of you who are comfortable working with your computer, there is another utility out there called WhatsInStartup that I have found very helpful. It is programmed by a gentleman named Nir Sofer who runs his own website over at nirsoft.com. WhatsInStartup is a small app that will list all of the items in your startup and allow you to disable, delete or enable them. It also has a cool built-in search Google feature. This is great to use if you are not sure what the startup item exactly is.
For those of you who would rather have a piece of software do this for you, then I would only recommend one piece of software and that is SpeedUpMyPC which is developed by Uniblue. Their programs are all Microsoft Gold Certified.
How many days has it been since you have rebooted your computer? It seems that when you ask computer users to reboot that they must think you’re asking for their right arm. Reboot your computer once a week and you will notice a boost in performance.
3. Defrag Hard Drive
In my opinion, this is one of the more controversial ways to help increase your computers performance. However, I do think that if done regularly that you will get better long-term computer performance. Windows Vista and Windows 7 users really don’t need to worry about running a disk defrag. The operating systems are set by default to defrag once a week. For those of you on Windows XP, I recommend you run a defrag at least once a month.
4. Run Disk Cleanup
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for Windows slowing down over time is just the clutter of files that takes place. Do your part and run the Disk Cleanup utility once a month. However often you decide to run this utility is really up to you, but just try to do it on a regular basis.
Do not forget to empty your Recycle Bin!
5. Virtual Memory
For most every-day computer users, there is really no need to ever have to worry about adjusting the virtual memory on your computer. However, for those of you who are into gaming, video editing or use some other type of ‘heavy-duty’ software, it may be a good idea to manually set the Virtual Memory on your computer so windows doesn’t take advantage of it. Just be sure to set the maximum size to no more than 1.5 times the amount of RAM that is in your computer.
6. Scan for Malware
In most cases, if your machine gets infected with any type of malware you will notice a huge change in performance or your machine will become un-usable. In most cases a computer becomes infected from a website that has been infected itself and set to infect any computer that visits it. I have seen it where perfectly legitimate websites have really put a number on a computer because they have been infected.
In my opinion, Malwarebytes is the best free utility available to get rid of malware. The combination of a System Restore and a scan with Malwarebytes will get rid of 99% of all malware related infections.
7. Install More RAM
Installing more RAM in your computer ranks in the top 3 as far as having an immediate effect on your computers performance. If you have an older XP machine, then make sure it has 4GB of RAM in it. If your machine is newer or you are shopping for a new computer, then I would recommend no less than 8GB. RAM is the most inexpensive hardware component that you can buy for your computer that will have the most impact on its performance. You will notice a huge difference when you are multi-tasking because your computer will be able to hand more programs being open at the same time.