Speed up a slow computer
1 Cut down on start-up programs
Many apps you install will start themselves when Windows loads without asking you, and after a while this means Windows is loading a lot of apps when it boots, which can slow down your PC. Cut these down by opening the Task Manager – press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc] – and click ‘Start-up’. Click on the program you want to stop loading when Windows starts, then select Disable.
2 Use System Configuration to stop services
The advanced System Configuration tool gives you the ability to disable services that start up with Windows. While some are needed for certain applications, having too many running can slow down your PC. In the Start menu type in ‘msconfig‘. Click the Services tab and check the box saying ‘Hide all Microsoft services’. Now disable services connected to programs you rarely use.
3 Identify resource-hungry programs
Certain programs use a lot of resources, which in turn slow your PC. Open the Task Manager again, then in the Processes tab you’ll see which programs and services are open, and how many resources they are using. If there are any programs that are taking up a lot of resources, close them (by clicking ‘End task’) for a speed boost, or uninstall them for something more permanent.
4 Make sure Windows is up to date
Microsoft regularly releases updates for Windows which can fix bugs and problems that could cause your PC to run slowly, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re up-to-date. In the Start menu, type ‘Windows update’ and press [Return]. Click ‘Check for updates’ and if you’re not using the most recent version you’ll be told. This won’t increase speed, but it will keep your PC healthy.
5 Remove unused programs
A PC with a clean and uncluttered drive will perform faster. Type ‘uninstall’ in the Start menu, and press [Return]. Take a look through the list of installed programs and if there are any you no longer use, select them, then click Uninstall. If there are programs that you still use, it may be worth looking online to see if they have been updated, making them perform faster.
6 Clean up your drive
Next use the built-in Disk Clean-up tool in Windows. In the Start menu type ‘disk clean-up’ and press [Enter]. You’ll be asked to choose the drive to clean up. For the biggest speed increase, select the drive which has Windows installed (usually C), and click OK. Disk Clean-up will scan your PC’s drive and show you a list of suggested files to delete. Select the ones you want then click OK.
7 Reduce visual effects
Each version of Windows looks better than the last, but its visual effects and animations can slow you down. To turn them off, open the Start menu and click Settings. Type ‘performance’ in the text box, then click ‘Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows’. The Performance Options window opens and from there either select ‘Adjust for best performance’ or Custom.
8 Add virtual memory
Speed up your PC by adding Virtual Memory, giving it a RAM boost. From the Performance Options window of the last step, click the Advanced tab, then the ‘Change…’ button. Uncheck ‘Automatically manage paging file size for all drives’. Select your drive, then select Custom Size and set the Initial Size to the recommended amount and the maximum size to a higher figure.
Uninstall apps Keeping your drive free from unused programs can help your PC run faster. In the ‘Uninstall or change a program’ window, select a program that you don’t use and then click Uninstall.