Do you get the distinct impression that your PC is running a lot slower than usual – that it’s more like jogging or even walking? When you turn your computer on in the morning, do you have time to walk the dog before it finishes booting up? Do you spend the bulk of your time on the Internet waiting for your computer to take you from one website to the next?
If your answer is yes to any of these questions, you might consider a shopping trip to your favorite online or brick-and-mortar computer store. But before you spend a lot of money on a shiny new machine, you might want to take a look at some options that could give the PC you already own a new lease on life.
#1. Reboot Your Computer
This might sound sort of simple, but some people leave their computers on all the time, which in itself could slow things down. Of course it is great to go to your computer and start working almost immediately because it is ready and waiting, but it needs a break just like anything. You shouldn’t have your computer running 24 – 7 around the clock as it does ware down components.
For example, I had a new computer that I only used for storage and would remote desktop to it. I had it running for about a year until it packed up. I thought it would be able to handle being on all the time, but I was wrong. Even though it was asleep most of the time, it was still on.
A computer loves a good restart, so it can pack everything away and start a fresh. You probably have services and programs that are running behind the scenes and a good shut down will clear this up.
#2. Check Out The Hardware As Well
Is your hardware compatible? Have you hooked up a remote hard drive, a printer or a scanner lately? Remove the devices one at a time and reboot your computer to determine whether hardware is what’s slowing you down. Maybe you don’t have the right driver installed for your operating system?
Also a dead device attached to your computer can cause problems. This can slow down startup if the computer is looking for all boot drives, finds this one, then works out it’s not working. Same kind of thing can happen even if you try to access a corrupted drive. Your computer can stall, completely stop or slow down to a snails pace.
Another thing to check when it comes to hardware is performance. Have you got a big enough processor for what you want to do on your computer? For example a person creating word documents uses far less resources than one playing large graphic heavy games.
#3. New Hardware Will Speed Up Your Computer
If your computer already has at least an Intel Core 2 processor, you could replace your current hard drive with a solid state drive. This option will cost you some money, but it’s cheaper than buying a whole new computer, and there’s a good chance it will solve many of the nagging problems that have been slowing your PC to a crawl.
You can also see if the motherboard you have will actually take a more powerful processor and more RAM as these two things will really kick it along.
#4. Memory Makes A Difference
Make sure you have enough RAM to handle what you’re doing on your computer, such as playing games that hog resources. I don’t play games but I like to open a lot of programs and Windows at the same time and this uses a lot of memory. Sure you can increase your virtual memory to help with this load but adding actual RAM if possible is an amazing speed increaser.
When I used to build computers I would put together a computer and test it to run before adding more memory. A few times I forgot to add the extra RAM and found that installing Windows and updating a new computer was a drag. Unfortunately I had left the computer to install by itself and presumed it would be done when I returned.
Adding the right amount of RAM for a system doubled the speed in those days so I would kick myself if I had started to install Windows without doing this upgrade.
#5. Common Sense For Your Computer
This might sound silly when it comes to speeding up your computer but I will let you be the judge of that. Common sense, and using it to your best ability, is not hard to do. Most of us have it but choose to ignore it when push comes to shove.
We’ve all heard horror stories about an unfortunate friend, relative or acquaintance who spilled a Coke or a cup of hot coffee onto his PC’s keyboard, immediately rendering the computer useless. Keeping your hot and cold beverages away from your computer is one good idea if you want the machine to continue to run efficiently. Where is the common sense factor here?
What about removing a USB stick correctly via remove hardware safely feature? I know people ignore this and removing a USB stick before it finishes writing does corrupt the drive, but not always. So most risk it. Please see the video below showing how to copy and paste files onto a USB and how to remove it correctly.
When it comes to speeding up a computer, the best thing you can do is regular computer maintenance. We know a computer needs it so why wait until there are problems from neglecting this job?
#6. Are You Up-To-Date?
Have you updated your operating system and anti-virus application recently? If you haven’t, this would be a good place to start making your computer feel better and run with more conviction. Having outdated software is not only a computer security risk, it will slow down your computer.
For example Windows updates contain patches and security updates that both protect your computer and ensure it is running well.
#7. Excess Baggage
Uninstall any applications – and browser plugins and toolbars as well – that you no longer find useful. If you don’t keep up with uninstalling programs then all of a sudden your computer will become clogged up and slow.
Remove files not being used – You can speed up your computer performance by simply not storing files you don’t need in the first place and getting rid of junk you are not aware of.
Be certain your hard drive isn’t close to being full – if it is, you’ll need to remove some files to free up space. For example, I make video tutorials and was moving them from one storage to another. In the mean time I placed them all on my laptop in a folder. Oh my did I notice the difference? Then as soon as I removed the movies my laptop was back to running nicely once more.
#8. Carefull When Making Changes
Installing software on your computer, no matter how big or small, can definitely slow your computer down significantly. You might find you have compatibility issues or the software is not suited for your operating system. I highly recommend you read this article about precautions to take before installing software. It will open your eyes to the risks involved when installing just any piece of software.
Also if you decide to change any type of settings on your computer it is best to do a screen capture of what you are doing. This way if there are any problems you can easily go back and fix what you have done. The best free screen capture software is called camstudio.
#9. It’s Time For A Tune-Up
There are two ways to keep your computer running smoothly, do it yourself manually, or use a program to do it all for you. I made a very long video that goes through things that you can do to clean up your computer and this video comes with a waring. “Don’t fall asleep while watching this”
If you clean your computer on a regular basis then it is easier to perform this task next time. For example if you regularly defrag your magnetic hard drive, next time you go to defrag it will not take long. But just say you never defragged, it would then take hours to get it done.
Several applications are available that claim to clean up your PC and make it run as fast – or faster – than the day you took it out of the box.
#10. Stick To A System
Try and keep your computer neat and tidy. Then it will be easy to find any file you want to open and it will also be easy to recognise what you don’t need on your computer. Keep up with your computer maintenance either by using software or doing it manually. Either way, keeping your computer running at it’s optimal performance also will keep it error free.
10 More Computer Tips to Help Speed Up Your Computer
- When you are finished working or playing for the day, shut your computer down properly.
- Turn off the power before you move your PC from one location to another, and be careful while you are moving the machine.
- Do not smoke anywhere near your PC.
- Do not put your PC where it might be splashed by water or other harmful liquids. This includes open windows, in case an unexpected thunderstorm passes through your neighborhood.
- Plug your PC into a surge protector rather than directly into the wall. This will help combat electrical surges that can damage hard drives and destroy data.
- Dust is your enemy. Blow it away from the motherboard and other internal components with compressed air. Make sure you unplug your computer before you clean anything inside its case. And always keep the machine’s air vents and fans dust-free.
- Keep your PC away from heating and cooling vents. Excessive heat and cold both can cause problems.
- Organise your files on your computer for faster access and easy backup.
- If you don’t have the appropriate software to clean your computer for you then learn to do manual computer maintenance.
- Protect your computer from viruses because getting a virus is the quickest way to slow your computer down and then slowly kill it.
You can buy a pretty good PC for $500 or less, so if you have to spend more than $100 or so to get your current computer up to a speed you can live with, you probably should consider purchasing a new machine. However, there’s no real reason to shop for a new PC if you can boost the speed of the one you already own at little or no cost.
Install a Program to Speed Up Your Computer!
Many people are still not sure if it is safe to remove temporary internet files from their computers or do manual computer maintenance. I understand this so for those people I would recommend software to do the job for them.
A software program will not upgrade your memory but it will clean out all the junk files, detect Malware, delete unused registry keys, Automatic Driver updates, and more. At the moment I am using PC Matic to maintain everything for me. This software is amazing and has won a number of top awards. You can get a free scan for your computer to see how it works before you buy. It also supports the older Windows Xp operating system.