Top 12 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer


May 28, 2007   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

After a while, all computers start to slow down. The pop-ups start to invade your desktop. The programs take longer to load and the computer sounds like a freight train every time you start it up.

Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do before calling in the repair man. Here are 12 of the top ways to speed up your computer.

    1. Defragment your computer. The defrag tool can be found by going to the start menu, to programs, accessories, system tools and then clicking on the defragementation tool. It may take several hours to properly defrag a hard drive, especially if you haven’t done it in a while. However, the resulting gain in speed will be well worth it.

Quick Note: For best performance, you should delete any unnecessary files before defragmenting your drives.

    1. Add additional memory. Adding RAM to your system is one of the best ways to speed up your computer.


  • Clear your Internet cache for faster browsing speeds.



  • Delete your cookies.





  • Empty your Temp Directory on a regular basis.


The temp directory can quickly fill up with hundreds of temp files over time, which can slow things down immensely.

To delete Temp files, you must first make sure that NO programs are open. If you are using Windows 95, 98 or Me, go to C:WindowsTemp and delete everything inside the Temp folder.

If you are using Windows 2000 or XP, the process is a bit trickier. First, you must make sure that you can see hidden folders. To do this, double-click on My Computer. Click on the Tools pull-down menu, and then click on Folder Options. Click on the View tab. Scroll down and click on Show Hidden Files and Folders. click Ok. Now you can go to C:Documents and SettingsUSERLocal SettingsTemp folder and delete everything there.


  • Install and run a good Antivirus program on a regular basis. One of the best Antivirus programs is a free piece of software called AVG Antivirus.



  • Get rid of Spyware. Lots of computers have Spyware and don’t even know it. Some of the warning signs include:


    • computer running extremely slow for no apparent reason


  • computer has been taking you to websites that you don’t want to go to



  • you get pop-ups even when you’re not on the Internet.


If your computer has any of these symptoms, you are likely to be infected with Spyware. Some of the best solutions include AdAware SE and SpyBot Search and Destroy.


  • Streamline MSCONFIG. Many computers have unnecessary programs running in the background which can cause a huge decrease in performance. You can use a utility called MSCONFIG to turn off unnecessary Start Up items that are
    robbing your system of memory and processing power.


To run MSCONFIG, click on the Start Menu and click on run. In the run dialog box, type msconfig and press “ok”.


  • Uninstall unused programs and files. Let’s face it. After a while, there are a number of programs and files that we simply don’t use anymore. Give your computer a
    performance boost and get rid of them.


To delete programs completely, you must first go to the Control Panel and click on Add or Remove Programs.


  • Run disk clean up. Disk clean up can be found by going to the start menu, to programs, accessories, system tools and then clicking on Disk Cleanup.



  • If you’re running Windows XP, turning off the fancy graphics will cause a noticeable increase in the speed up your computer. First, go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, System. You may need to “Switch to Classic Mode” to see the System applet.


Next, go to the Advanced tab. Click on the Settings button under Performance.

Select the “Adjust for best performance” radio button. Click Apply and then OK. The graphics aren’t as slick, but your computer will run a lot faster.

Kim Roach is a productivity junkie who blogs regularly at The Optimized Life. Read her articles on 50 Essential GTD Resources, How to Have a 46 Hour Day, Do You Need a Braindump, What They Don’t Teach You in School, and Free Yourself From the Inbox.

Photo: Pandarine


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