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10 top tips to make your PC run faster

Jun 5th 2009

1. Upgrade Your RAM

The most obvious tip but people hardly upgrade it. RAM (Random Accesss Memory) these days is very cheap at often under £30 for 512mb and often make a huge difference to the overall speed of your PC or laptop.

2. Get Rid of Unneeded Software

Most PCs come shipped with unneeded software. Uninstall all of them. I’m sure there are better alternatives to those software. For example, my laptop came shipped from hp with lots of bloatware such as HP Image Zone, Norton AntiVirus, Record Now! CD & DVD Burning software etc. I uninstalled all of them and replaced them with better software like Picasa and Nero.

3. Keep Only One Browser

This is part of the getting rid of unneeded applications but I decided to separate it because so many people have 3, or even 4 browsers installed on their computer. I used to do this; I used to have Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. Now I only have Mozilla Firefox.

4. Run a Defrag regularly. What’s a Defrag? Defrag is short for Defragmentation. When you open and save existing files or install new software, often changes need to be written to an entirely different area of the hard disk to the original parts of the file. This can mean that in order to open the file, Windows has to search for the different fragments of the file all over the hard disk which can slow the time it takes to open the file.

5. Limit the Programs that Start Automatically

The programs that load automatically after your Windows starts can severely cripple the load time. To reduce the number of programs that start take a look at the Windows msconfig utility. Disable the autoloading of applications carefully though. The rule of thumb is that if you don’t know what the app does, don’t disable it.

6. Delay the Startup of Your Remaining Autoloading Programs

Even after you’ve disabled the autoloading of most programs, there still is room to improve. The thing is that when your PC starts up, all your startup apps are fighting to run at the same time, which creates a bottleneck. To mitigate this effect, you can delay the launch of each of your startup program by a few seconds or minutes. Startup Delayer is an awesome app that does this.

7. Tweak Windows’s Display & Animation Settings

Right-click on “My Computer” > Go to the “Advanced” tab and click on “Settings” under “Performance”. Now uncheck the checkbox next to “Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing”. Disabling them won’t make your PC behave quicker per se but it will fasten the minimizing and maximizing of windows.

8. Disable Desktop Shortcuts

Shortcuts on your desktop are a waste. Not only do they increase your computer startup time, they also are an inefficient way to open stuff. There are more efficient ways to access applications, such through the Start Menu, the Quick Launch menu, or through software such as Launchy. To hide desktop shortcuts, right-click on your desktop, go to “Arrange Icons by” and uncheck “Show Desktop Icons” by clicking on it.

9. Check for Malware, Spyware, Viruses Regularly

The most important tip I can give you is to 1) have a firewall, 2) have an anti-spyware app, 3) have an anti-virus app, and 4) Regularly scan for viruses, spyware etc. If there’s a virus or some spyware slowing down your computer then none of the above tips can help you. You’ll first have to disinfect your PC. I use Ad-Aware 2008 as my anti-spyware app and Norton Internet Security 2009 as my firewall and anti-virus app.

10. Use a disk cleaner.

A professional product like Zeobit’s PCKeeper will be able to clean up valuable space on your hard drive, resulting in overall greater performance.