A new PC which is just purchased runs pretty smooth and fast. The reason behind this is that there are no junk applications, less files clutter and clean registry. With the passage of time, PC gets over burdened by all these things. It runs sluggish, gets hanged for no reason and then we start cursing the PC.
We all love to have our PCs run stable and fast. But after some period, like using for 6 months, you can start facing some problems with the performance of your computer like, gets hang in the middle of work, it will take more time to boot up, applications run slower, unused icons on desktop, etc. Many of us may have faced these problems. The performance deteriorates over time. So what now?
Some may say that format the PC. But how many times would one format the PC. And what about our precious data? Nobody wants to lose all those precious data – movies, music, softwares, operating system, etc. Storing everything online is not possible at the moment. Cloud computing can’t take place of our hard drive’s, as of now.
That’s why, here are some steps which are really easy to follow, which can speed up your computer. Following these steps will make your PC run just the way you would expect it to run, no more frequent hang problems and no more slow loading of applications. These Windows optimization techniques will help you to improve the performance of your PC.
Make your Computer Run Stable, Smoother and Faster
- Cleanup unused files and remove clutter: Over a period of time, many useless files get accumulated. We all have a habit of keeping files which seems to be useless. Take a look at desktop, documents and C: drive. Remove all the files which doesn’t seem to be any use. Keep as little clutter as possible in your C: drive, as this is the system drive for many of us.
- Use security suite and not just antivirus: Viruses, spywares, malwares, phishers – we need to protect our PC from them. The best way to fight these threats is to use any popular security suite. The word “security suite” is used here and not just “antivirus”. Antivirus are not effective against spyware and other such threats, that’s why use a complete security suite like “Kaspersky Internet Security 2012” which offers complete protection against all the threats. Another such popular security suite is the “Norton Internet Security 2012”.
- Update antivirus/security suite: Just using security suite won’t do. You also need to ensure that the virus database stays uptodate. Always regularly check for updates and stay ahead of those pesky threats. Many security suites already “Auto update”, that means you don’t need to manually update them, but if you’ve not enabled this auto update feature, then do so now.
- Defragment hard drive: Keep a habit to defragment the hard drive regularly atleast once or twice a month. In simple sense, defragmenting helps reduce the time it takes to load programs and open files. To defragment a particular drive, open My Computer, right click the drive and click on “Properties”. From “Tools” section click on “Defragment now”. It may even take an hour or two to complete the process. When running this process, close all open programs and let it complete.
- Cleanup registry: This area is mostly considered as Area 51 by end users. That’s why, we won’t be doing this manually. To clean up registry, use a freeware such as CCleaner. This tool can be used to clean up Windows PC. It can clean temporary files, history, cookies, form history, log files and remove unused and old registry entries.
- Clear cache: This tip is for those who are regular internet user. All the browsers have this “Clear Cache” button, but we are so lazy that we never click that button. Regularly, at least once in a week, clear the browser cache. This will remove all temporary internet files and cookies which is saved by the browser. Clearing these files will also free up some space.
- Less visual elements, the better it is: Who doesn’t like more eye candy? But using those animated desktop themes, gadgets, screensavers and wallpapers consumes more memory. The more eye candy, the more resources it will consume. That’s why, keep it simple, clean and usable.
Tip: Open “system properties”, go to “Advanced” tab > Performance > Settings > Adjust for best performance. This will automatically adjust your computer for the best performance, but keep in mind that this will turn off all the eye candy.
- Run disk cleanup: The Disk Cleanup tool helps you to free up space on your hard disk. The tool will first identify all the files that can be safely deleted and then enables you to choose whether you want to delete some or all of the identified files. Deleting these files can improve system performance.
Disk cleanup tool finds and removes temporary internet files, offline webpages, recycle bin, setup log files, temporary files, thumbnails, and error reporting. To run this tool, open properties of any drive and click on “Disk Cleanup”.
- Speed up start up time: More programs means more time to boot up the computer. Click on “start”, type “msconfig” and press Enter. Check the “startup” and “services” tab and uncheck any unless programs. MSConfig utility (System configuration) is very helpful in speeding up the boot time.
- Use genuine Windows: Using pirated Windows can also be one reason why your PC is not running the way it should be. Pirated OS comes with many bloatwares and may even come with viruses, as an additional bonus gift. Use genuine Windows, stay safe and keep on updating Windows. To update windows (do this only if you are using genuine version, else you won’t be able update) click on “start” and type “Windows Update”.
- Clear temporary files: Type %temp% by clicking on “start” (Windows XP users can type this in “Run”) and then delete all those temporary files. Don’t worry, these files are absolutely safe to delete. If you’re already using “CCleaner” or disk cleanup tool then there’s no need to follow this method.
- Increase RAM: Nowadays applications are becoming resource hungry. If there are some 3-4 applications running along with an antivirus suite, then sometimes you will feel that computer is running slow. Double click on “firefox” and you will see that it will open after 15 seconds. Yes, we’re the impatient ones and want everything fast. We don’t like waiting, that’s why if you have followed all the above ways to speed up the computer, then here’s one last recommendation.
If you want the PC running smooth all the time, then insert more RAM (memory). For some of you, 2 GB is enough (depending on for what purpose you use the PC), but if you’re experiencing sluggishness with 2 GB RAM, then go ahead and increase it to 4 GB. Insert one more stick of 2 GB RAM. When buying RAM, ensure that you are buying the RAM which is compatible with your existing hardware E.g. existing RAM is 2 GB DDR2, then you will need to insert DDR2 RAM only, and not the latest ones i.e. DDR3. Check your existing RAM type before buying a new one.
Here’s a piece of advice. Don’t use any third party softwares that claim to be system optimization tools and would speed up your PC by 50%. No, they won’t. There are many programs out there for defragmentation, disk cleaning, etc but use them only if they are from trusted sources.