Slow computer speed is probably the last thing you would want to see. However, this an unavoidable problem as long as you are constantly using your computer. You may have tried hard to maintain the high speed of your computer but to no avail. Trying to optimize your computer only when it becomes slow and creates problems is not a very good idea.
There could be innumerable reasons for the speed of the computer to be slow. Windows PCs usually slow down as you keep loading it with one application after another. No matter which application you are using, whether you are surfing the internet or playing games, the hard drives fill get filled up with temporary files which do not get removed even if they are no longer needed. Thus you need to find ways to clean up and hence speed up a slow running computer.
Halt All The Unused Applications
The task bar is found in the bottom part of the screen. You will find a small group of icons on the right hand side of the TaskBar and they are collectively known as the ‘system tray’. Every icon represents a program which has either been partially started or it is running in the background. Irrespective of the state of the program each one of them will cause a reduction in the availability of system resources like memory, processing power, etc. If you close, exit or cancel any of the unused icons, the resources held by that application are returned to the system and they become available for use by any application which the user wants to start.
You may also go to task manager and end all processes you want to. Process Explorer which is more comprehensive than the task manager lists down all programs running on Windows. Game Booster is another useful program which disables the background processes temporarily and also boosts your computer’s performance.
Cold Reboot Your System
You will find that some of the programs will not release the memory they were initially holding even if they are closed. Doing a restart may also not remove some of the drivers. In these cases you need to shut down your computer completely and then restart it. Actually the Windows system holds on to the program for some time. If you shut down the system for about 30 seconds the previous settings will be removed and you can start afresh.
Emptying The Recycle Bin
If your hard drive is full, using this method may speed up your computer. By deleting files from disk you are simply moving them to a temporary storage area on the hard drive from where the files can be easily restored if need be. This is the Recycle bin and is usually visible on your desktop.
Check the contents of the Recycle bin properly before you empty it. That’s because once you delete files from the Recycle Bin, it is difficult to restore them. Also the space that was held by those files on the hard drive is now free and can be reused.
Uninstall All Unused Applications
When any application or game is installed onto a system several files are written into the Windows directory structure and a number of alterations are made in the Windows Registry file. Most of these changes are not visible to the user. Thus, if you want to remove an application from your system, deleting it will not clear the windows Registry. So, the proper method is to go to Control Panel and uninstall the application by going to ‘add/remove program’.
Perform ‘error checking’ on the hard drives
‘Error checking’ scans the entire drive and looks for damaged files which contribute to slow system speed. Simply go to ‘My computer’ and right click on the drive icon and select ‘Properties’ then ‘Tools’. Now select ‘Error checking’.
Run ‘Defragment’ on the hard drive
Defragmentation cleans up the fragmented files and consolidates all the free space on the drive. This must be done at least once in a week or more frequently if the system is used heavily. After the process is complete the read and write speed will increase significantly.
Delete All Temporary Files
Active usage of the computer system leads to the creation of a number of files which you do not actually require. The temporary files, cookies, cache files, etc are the useless files and they take up valuable disk space. Deleting these files will significantly speed up your system.
Use a Good Anti-Virus Software
If you use the Internet frequently but do not have a good anti-virus software installed, your PC could be infected with spyware or adware. This slows down the system considerably. If the virus is harmful it may also eat up the memory and other system resources as a result of which the start-up process will also slow down. Thus, you must use a good anti-virus software and spyware/adware removal software. You must also ensure that you update the software on a regular basis. It is better to set-up the auto-update mode. You should also run regular scans.
Remove Unnecessary Visual effects
You may not know this, but animated windows or menus that fade in and fade out actually slow down the system. You may remove the fading effect, the graphic wallpaper or reduce the color quality and screen resolution. This will enhance the system performance.
Keep Your PC Updated
Always look out for updates. Allow Windows update as well as update of all other applications. You may also look for new service packs to ensure hardware compatibility. Most updates include bug fixes which prove to be helpful and speeds up your computer.
Relocating the Virtual Memory file
The virtual memory files are mostly hidden. Usually they are found on the Windows drive. If your system has a secondary physical drive, try moving these files to the secondary drive. Actually, these files will work best when they are placed in the largest drive. The process for changing the file’s location will vary depending on the version of Windows.