As we use our computers for various purposes, it’s very likely that in certain situations it can really slow down and cause real trouble. So it’s no surprise that we are constantly looking for solutions to improve our computer performance. It doesn’t matter if your computer parts are regularly updated and have no issues, the slowness mainly occurs due to problems inside your operating system.
Before we go into details on how to improve your computer performance, you need to know the common reasons for why our computers slow down. here I just pointed out the major reasons :
- Hardware Malfunction
- Dirt inside CPU box
- Low disk space
- High usage of CPU
- Temporary Files and Cache
- Bad sectors in HDD
- Low Virtual Memory
- Background processes
- Unwanted Programs
Steps to Improve Computer Performance:
The following methods are all free and effective measures to improve your computer’s running speed. Performing them regularly can keep your computer running smoothly.
1. Scan for Viruses: Viruses play a big role in slowing down computers. Viruses usually come from programs or files you download from the internet. So you should always download from trusted sources.
You must use an antivirus to prevent virus attacks. It’s better to schedule scans frequently. Or you can manually scan your computer to detect if it’s affected by viruses. Sometimes normal scanning cannot detect stealth viruses. In this case, you should try boot scan. Below is shown how to do boot time scan on Avast Antivirus.
Select Scan from scan menu. Then go to scan for viruses.
From the drop down menu select boot time scan. Then click start.
Then your computer will restart and start a boot time scan.
2. Clear Disk Space: An almost full disk drive can heavily decrease your computer’s performance. Suppose you installed your operating system on drive C, then you should at least keep 10% free space of the total disk size.
One way of doing this is by going to the properties of the selected drive. Just right-click on the drive icon then go to properties. Click on ‘Disk Cleanup’ on the general tab.
This will take a few minutes to calculate the disk space. when the cleaning box appears to select the items you want to clear, then click ok to complete the cleaning process.
You can also clear the system files by clicking on ‘Clean Up System Files’. Don’t worry, it will not damage your operating system.
Again it will take few minutes to load the disk data. Then select the files you want to delete and click ok.
Another way to free up disk space is to delete or move big files. But be careful not to delete any system files which may damage your operating system. An easy tool to see your file sizes and their location is windirstat. It makes it easy to locate and delete big and unwanted files.
3. Remove Unwanted Programs and Spyware: Unwanted programs can damage the speed of your computer or laptop very badly. They sometimes keep running in the background and consume RAM speed. Also, they fill up spaces on your hard drives. To remove unwanted programs go to ‘uninstall or change program’ from ‘My Computer’ screen. You can also find it from control panel menu.
Right-click on the programs you don’t want and click on ‘remove/change’ button to uninstall them.
4. Limit Start Up Programs: Our computer or laptop needs to start certain programs at startup to run the system. But when you install new programs, they may set themselves to start automatically when the system starts. You can change this manually.
Go to ‘Run’ and type ‘msconfig’. Then click ‘ok’.
Go to startup tab and uncheck the programs that you don’t want to start at system startup. This process may need your computer or laptop to restart.
In the later version of windows, you can do the process simply by going to ‘Task Manager’. You can go to task manager from control panel or by right clicking on the taskbar.
From task manager go to ‘startup’ and repeat the same process.
5. Disk Defragment: Disk defragment is a great way to optimize a drive and free up disk space. To do the process simply right click on the drive and go to ‘properties’. Go to ‘Tools’ tab. Click on ‘optimize’ under ‘Disk defragment and optimize’ section.
Repeating this process frequently helps run the computer smoothly.
6. Clear Temporary Files and Browser Cache: You can do this manually by going to ‘Run’ and type following commands.
‘temp’, ‘recent’, ‘%temp%’
Type each word on the run and hit enter. Remove everything shown on the window.
To remove browser cache, go to clear history option and select the things you want to clear and click remove. This process different in different browsers.
If you want to do it faster, you can download a free software called CCleaner and let it do the cleaning. After installing, open the ccleaner and select the things you want to clear and click ‘Run Cleaner’.
7. Increase Virtual Memory: This process can boost you computer speed slightly. Although the speed of your computer mainly depends on your processors and RAM but the virtual memory on disk drives is important to improve the performance.
Go to your desktop screen and right-click on ‘My Computer’. Go to ‘Properties’. a new window will open. Go to ‘Advanced System Settings’.
Go to ‘Advanced’ tab. Click on ‘Settings’ under ‘Performance’ tab.
Go to ‘Advanced’ tab. Click on ‘Change’ under ‘Virtual Memory’ section.
A new window will open. There you can allocate the memory size to any drive. If you want to know more about virtual memory and page filing, you can check out this:
|How to Change or Remove Pagefile.sys|
8. Clean Dirt Inside CPU Box: Your CPU box contains all the important hardware to run the PC. Motherboard, processors, RAMs, Graphics card, Power Supply and other essential hardware are all combined in one place. If they are not cleaned regularly then dirt keeps piling on those parts. Eventually downgrading their performance and sometimes totally damaging them. So it’s very important that you clean your CPU box frequently.
If you can regularly check your PC or laptop for these discussed issues, it will definitely improve your computer performance. Although there are many software out on the internet which offers free scans or speed boost, you should be careful when trying them. many of them usually contain viruses or trojans which can further damage your system.