One of the biggest pains of using a computer that’s a few years old is that it can become slow and sluggish, making it difficult to perform even everyday tasks without it seeming that the system has become overloaded by your requests. Thankfully there are some simple, easy and cheap ways to give life back to your computer and attain the speed you used to enjoy. Take a look below at our list of the 10 best ways to make your computer run faster so you never have to make do with a slow computer again.
Defragment Your Drives
Windows features easy to use built in defragmenting software that can automatically reconfigure your hard drives and make them more efficient. Modern machines do this frequently and automatically but if you have turned off the schedule setting or have an older version of Windows then you will want to run defragmentation regularly. Go to My Computer and right click your hard drive, click Properties then Tools and look for the option to defragment and optimise your drive.
Uninstall Unused Programs
Uninstalling the programs you don’t use will instantly free up memory and disk space on your computer, making it run faster. Even on a new computer there are programs you won’t use already installed, and as your computer gets older they will clog up your system along with software you’ve downloaded yourself. In Windows, head to Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall a Program to rid yourself of unwanted software, or use PC Decrapifier if you’re not sure what to remove and what to keep.
Delete Temporary Files
Temporary files collect on your computer through running everyday tasks and they can be stored in such large numbers that they can slow your system down considerably. Getting rid of temporary files and internet history can allow your computer to run much faster. To delete the files search for ‘Disk clean up’ on the start menu, choose your drive then watch as Windows automatically deletes all your unneeded temporary files.
Disable Unneeded Startup Programs
If unneeded programs are booting up in the background during startup then they can not only slow down your computer when it turns on, but throughout the time that you’re using it too as they continue to use memory even though you’re not using them.
Open Task Manager on a recent Windows version and navigate to the startup tab, or search for Run in the start menu then type in msconfig to bring up the startup options. From there you can disable any programs you don’t want to run as soon as your computer boots up.
Buy An External Hard Drive
Storing photos, videos and documents on your computer doesn’t normally affect its speed, but if your hard disk reaches 85% or more of its memory capacity then you can find your system may be particularly sluggish. Investing in an external hard drive of 1TB or more will mean you have plenty of memory space to store your files without worrying. Plus, they’ll all be safe if anything happens to your computer.
Clean Dust From Your Fans
Dust in your computer can block airflow, causing the fans to spin loudly and your system to slow down as it overheats. Both desktops and laptops can suffer from dust problems, and the only way to rectify it is to suck out the debris. Turn off your computer, disconnect any cables then wait for 30 minutes before removing the external case. Then use your hoover with a small attachment to suck out dust, fluff and debris from the fan and inside areas.
Clean Up Your System With CCleaner
One of the best ways to make your computer run faster is to use system cleaning software such as the free CCleaner which optimises your computer, removes tracking cookies and temporary files, fixes errors and allows faster startup. Install the software using the link above then analyse your system and clean it up all using one handy program.
Regularly Re-Start Your Computer
Restarting your computer will reset its memory and close any applications running in the background that can cause your system to temporarily run strangely or slowly. This is also important to remember if you tend to keep your computer on stand by or in hibernation as you can find that it run slower and slower the longer it is kept on. Regularly shutting down your system at night and restarting during the day if needed will help to keep it running quickly and smoothly.
Empty The Recycle Bin
Unwanted files sit in your recycle bin using up memory on your computer as they can still be recovered until they’re permanently deleted. You can amass a large amount of these files without thinking about it so emptying your recycle bin will help to free up the space they are taking up. Right clicking on the recycle bin desktop icon or an empty space within the bin will give you the option to empty it, one of the easiest ways to make your computer run faster.
If nothing else is working and your computer is still very slow, installing Linux is the best way to make the computer run faster. Linux can help you get more use out of your old Windows PC and some of the versions are specifically made for older computers as they have much less system requirements than Windows. Consider installing a free operating system such as Lubuntu which is a lightweight mix of Linux and Ubuntu, so that your computer can run faster and more energy efficiently.