How can I speed up my pc?
There are many things that can be done to improve your computerís speed and keep it running like new. All the things in this article can be done by YOU! Yes, you being the computer user. These tasks can be completed by any user from a beginner to an expert to get your computer in tip-top shape!
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There are a lot of different things slowing down your computer. Think about it, every time you download a program, receive an e-mail or visit a website, a trace is left on your computerís hard drive. The more the hard drive fills up, the slower it runs. This is similar to a person running, the more things you load them up with, the slower they move. Follow each of the tasks below to improve your computer now!
1.) Backup Your Computer
This step may be the most important of all. It is definitely the step you should perform FIRST. If, for any reason, your hard drive crashes, the backup will be your saving point that you can go back to. Backing up your hard drive is fairly easy. Just go to your Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Backup. This opens the Backup Wizard from Windows. Just follow the steps of the wizard including what to back up and where to back it up to. Personally, I think backing up to a CD in one of the disk drives or to a USB is the best way to go.
2.) Clear Out the Recycle Bin
Once youíve backed up your hard drive, one of the easiest things that you can do to make a difference in your computerís speed is to empty your Recycle Bin. When you right-click an icon on your Desktop and select Delete, delete a photo or file it really just moves into the Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin holds on to these things for you in case you delete something by mistake and want to retrieve it. If you want to fully delete everything in the Recycle Bin you can right-click it and select Empty Recycle Bin. If you think you may want to keep certain things in there, you can open the bin and completely delete individual items.
3.) Clear Internet Cache
The Internet Cache is where information from each website you visit it stored. This is true for IE and Firefox both. Clearing the cache improves the speed of web browsing and the loading of pages. To clear the cache, just open your web browser and select the Tools menu then click Internet Options. In the General Department click Delete under Browsing History. If youíre using Firefox select the Tools menu and then Clear Private Data -> click Cache -> Clear Private Data Now.
4.) Delete Junk E-mails
You may already know that any time you receive e-mails it creates a spot stored in your hard drive until that e-mail is deleted. The Spam, Junk or Deleted folders of your e-mail inbox are often overlooked. Because of this, there are many junk e-mails being stored and taking up unnecessary space on your hard drive. To fix this, just open your e-mail inbox, select the junk folder and delete all the e-mails. With AOL, MSN and some others, there is also a Deleted Folder. This is so you can go back through and re-open a deleted folder if you accidentally deleted it. Be sure to check through these folders as well to permanently delete any e-mails you do not wish to keep.
5.) Delete Temporary System Files
Windows created a folder in your hard drive that saves and stores any temporary system files loaded. These files may be loaded when using a Microsoft Office program that uses the AutoSave feature, when you open an attachment from an e-mail and from the history from Internet Explorer searches and websites. Storing these temporary files may come in use if you need to go back in and view something, but most often you never need these things. You can use Windows Explorer to search your computer for the Temporary Folder on your hard drive and delete the files you wish to.
6.) Use Disk Cleanup
There is a Disk Cleanup tool built-in to your computer by Microsoft that helps you manage things on the hard disk. This tool is good to use after completing the steps above to insure those things are fully removed from each area of your computer. You can access the Disk Cleanup by going to the Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup. Follow the prompts of the wizard to complete the process.
7.) Use a Malware/Spyware Scanning Program
There are a thousand different choices for a program to get malware and spyware off your computer. Many of these scanning programs will locate and remove anything harmful to your computerís hard drive. And nothing is slower than an infected computer. Take precaution and repair possible issues before they attack.
8.) Clean the Registry
A thorough search of your registry can be done by PC Registry Cleaner V2, one of my personal favorites. There are many different error-scanning and repairing programs but this one sticks to your registry and cleans any errors that may have entered through a temporary file or download. Removing the bugs and errors makes more room on your computer for the good stuff.
There are several top notch registry cleaners on the market but our favorite 2 are PC Registry Cleaner and Registry Mechanic.† Using either of those will help you clean out your registry safely and help you speed up your pc.
9.) Run chkdsk
Chkdsk is another great feature that Windows has built-in to help you manage your computer. It searches through and lets you know the reliability of the files stored on your computer. Any bad files or folders can go and that makes yet more space on your computer. To run this feature, go to your Start Menu -> Run -> type cmd and press Enter -> type chkdsk and press Enter.
10.) Check Drivers
Go through Windows and check your computerís drivers. You should check for updates and new security features. You can do this online and it makes a world of difference if you get your computer up to date.
11.) Uninstall Unused Programs
As weíve gone over again and again, anything you can get off your computer increases room and, thus, increases speed. So, it would only make sense to go through your computer and uninstall any programs that are no longer being used. This includes games you installed but no longer play, programs installed that are no longer used and probably some things that Microsoft included on your computer for you but that you donít use.
Just go to your Start Menu -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs. A list of all the programs installed on your computer will appear. Do a detailed check of the list and remove anything you no longer use. Newer Windows systems will tell you how often the program is used and the last date you used it when you select a program on the list. This may help you decide what can go.
12.) Remove Programs from Startup
This step is specific to your computerís startup speed but is just as important as the previous steps. There are many programs, whether you set them to or not, that automatically start running when your computer boots up. You can easily go through and choose which programs you would like to run upon startup. Obviously, the more you choose, the longer startup takes. You can use MSCONFIG to sort through the mess. Do NOT uncheck your anti-virus programs from the list of startup programs.
13.) Delete Old & Unused Files
Remember that report in Word you did last year? You saved it, printed it, and turned it inÖ and itís still saved on your computer. Go through your old documents and delete the stuff you know youíll never need again. Quick, easy and effective. Donít forget to go through your Recycle Bin after wards to fully delete them. *Refer to step 2.
Doing all these steps for the first time is likely to drastically speed up your computer and make it more reliable. This isnít something you do today and then forget about forever, you should do these steps at least once a month. I do many of these steps weekly to prevent a slowdown in my computer, you should try to do the same.
As for the error scanning steps, I suggest Maximum Softwareís line of programs. I use them because they not only locate and repair the errors on your computer but their company offers technical assistance if you own a license like PC Registry Cleaner or Bug Doctor. These scans are a couple of the things I perform weekly to keep my computer going.
I believe you will notice a difference in your computer almost immediately after performing all the steps above! The easiest way to tell? Restart your computer. You should see the difference in the boot up time and then the time it takes your computer to run the programs you open.