21 ways to speed up your computer Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Do you get a feeling that your computer is not as fast as it was when you bought it? Do you feel that the boot up time of your computer has just increased by a significant factor? Do you notice that your computer needs more time for actions like opening files and applications?

The problem of a slowness in your computer may be due to the fact that you have neglected it's maintenance. Like every other electronic device, your computer requires that you care for it and maintain it so that it provides you with the optimum performance.

Here are 21 tips that you can follow to bring back your computer to optimal speed.

By removing the unwanted icons and files from your desktop, you can significantly increase the speed of your computer especially the boot up time of your Windows operating system.

The Disk Cleanup tool on Windows helps you to free up space on your hard disk to improve the speed of your computer. You can use the disk cleanup to remove temporary Internet files, empty the recycle bin, remove temporary files, remove unused restore points, etc.

Softwares such as System Mechanic can be used to provide you a report of the issues that may be slowing down your computer and also provide fixes to improve the performance of your computer.

Many of us install new software, maybe just to try it out or something we use one time and then forget to uninstall it. These unwanted programs take up computer space. They may also get added as a startup program thereby slowing down your PC boot up time. Just make a check in the add/remove programs list to find the programs that you rarely use and you can uninstall them to speed up your computer.

Viruses, spyware and ad-ware can considerably slow down the performance of your system. A good Internet security suite includes an antivirus, a firewall, and an anti-spyware that can help you get rid of such viruses, spyware and ad-ware thereby giving a boost to the performance of your computer.

When files are fragmented, the computer must search the hard disk as a file is opened to piece it back together due to which the response time can be significantly increased.
The disk defragmenter Windows utility consolidates fragmented files and folders so that each occupies a single space on the disk. This reduces the reading and writing to the hard disk that increases the speed of your computer.

All operating systems provide a disk checking utility that checks you hard disk for file system errors that can considerably reduce the speed of your computer. Many of such utilites will also provide the facility to fix such errors thereby improving the performance of your computer.

As new operating system version are released, the quality of the visual effects of your computer increases as well. However this improvement in the visual appeal of your computer comes at the cost of higher computing requirements. This can cause your computer to slow down. Every operating system provides settings to reduce the visual effects such as the animations, fonts, themes of your computer. Reducing the visual effects of your computer will improve the performance of your computer significantly.

9) Avoid unnecessary startup programs
When a few programs are installed, they tend to also install themselves in the startup of your program. What this means is that whenever your computer boots up, the particular program will also be loaded into the computer memory, thus reducing the speed of your computer at boot time.

10) Reinstall the Operating System
After using your computer for many years with a creation of many files and folders and a lot of software installed, your computer performance is bound to decrease. Reinstalling the operating system will give your computer a fresh start that will increase the performance of your computer. Remember to take the backup of your important data before you go about doing this.

11) Empty the Recycle Bin
Whenever you delete a file from your computer it is stored in the Recycle Bin. Over time the Recycle Bin will consume a significant amount of your computer's memory. So to improve the performance of your computer, you should periodically empty the Recycle Bin.

12) Delete temporary files
Removing temporary files will help you save disk space and improve your computer's performance. For example, you can use the Windows Disk Cleanup utility to delete the temporary files in your computer.

The Windows search index is used to speed up the search of files on your computer. However if you do not use this facility too much, you can turn off the search indexing. This will give an improvement to the performance of your computer.

As you keep installing/uninstalling software in your computer, the registry keeps getting inefficient thereby reducing your computer's speed. You can use a utility like Registry Mechanic or Registry Cleaner to clean up your registry and boost the performance of your computer.

Services are loaded into your computer along with your operating system. Some of the services are essential to the working of your computer, others are not. It is possible to disable such unwanted services and hence increase the speed of your computer.

16) Delete your Internet browsing history
As you surf the internet, the browsing history keeps getting stored on your computer. This history keeps on increasing in size thereby slowing down your computer. By deleting the Internet browsing history, you will increase the speed of your browser as well as the speed of your computer.

17) Disable the Windows Vista sidebar
Many of us do not need the Windows Vista or Windows 7 sidebar. Removing the sidebar can increase the speed of your computer by a few notches.

18) Simplify your desktop background
We enjoy keeping a high quality image as the desktop background. Changing this to a simple image or a simple Windows color will help to improve the performance of your computer.

19) Switch to a lighter operating system
Newer Windows based operating systems have a larger processor and memory requirement. So if you install such an operating system on your old computer, it may run but just barely. An alternative is to switch to an older version of the operating system that has lesser computing requirements. Or you can also switch to alternatives such as Ubuntu Linux that have much lower processing requirements than a Windows Vista or Windows 7.

20) Upgrade your computer
Newer versions of applications keep increasing in size and processing requirements. The same can be said about your Windows based operating system. The best way to improve the performance of your computer is to upgrade the hardware. The major components that will boost the speed of your computer are the processor, primary memory (RAM) and secondary memory (hard disk). If you cannot afford an upgrade of your computer, you should at least try and increase your RAM as this will give a tremendous boost to your computer. Of course, you should check the maximum amount of RAM that is supported by your computer.

21) Buy a new computer
If you computer is older than 5 years, chances are that it may not be able to keep up with the increase in the processing power required to run the latest operating systems or programs. When you require to work with the latest software, the best option to speed up your computer would be to buy a new computer with the latest processor and memory.

You can download a free ebook, Windows on Speed, that provides ways to increase the speed of your computer.