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A Comprehensive Guide to Speeding Up Computer Performance

Trying to gauge whether your computer is running as fast as it could be is usually like trying to tell how much your kids have grown. Usually speed losses are incremental and not noticed individually - but going through a checklist for speeding up your computer can make an amazing difference to your experience. Here are some simple steps to speed up computer performance that everyone can use.

Free up disk space

1. Remove junk files
You don't even have to click a "Save" button once while using your computer to accumulate junk files. Simply checking emails, setting your computer to hibernate or surfing the web will build up junk files on your computer. One way to clean them up and speed up your computer is to run the Windows inbuilt "Disk Cleanup" utility. To do that go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup. You can also get third party programs that can find and delete even more junk files. These include:

  • Auslogics BoostSpeed
  • Wise Disk Cleaner Pro

2. Remove duplicate files
You may not realize how many duplicate files you have accumulated on your system! Even people who do relatively little file management and movement can still accumulate duplicate files. It is a painfully time consuming task to try to remove all of them manually. Use a third party application like:

  • Auslogics BoostSpeed
  • Auslogics Duplicate File Finder
  • Easy Duplicate Finder
  • Duplicate Finder

3. Uninstall unnecessary applications
Here is another tip on how to speed up your computer. It only takes a couple of months of computer use for unneeded programs to start stacking up. To check over your list of installed programs and remove the ones you don't need, do the following:

  • In Windows XP, go to Start -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs
  • In Windows 7 and Vista, go to Start -> Control Panel -> Programs -> Programs and Features

Check through the list and consider uninstalling applications you don’t use frequently. Make sure you have a backup copy of any program you have paid for!


Defragmenting your hard drive

Defragmentation should be performed regularly to help speed up your computer. The defrag process unites scattered pieces of files to help you access them faster.

  • Heavy users should defragment weekly
  • Moderate users should defragment fortnightly
  • Light users should defragment monthly

You can use a Windows inbuilt utility as well as third-party applications for defragmenting disks. Third party applications are often faster and more user-friendly. If you find the inbuilt tool frustrating to use, give one of these apps a shot:

  • Auslogics BoostSpeed
  • Auslogics Disk Defrag
  • Defraggler
  • MyDefrag

Repairing registry problems

It is possible to repair registry errors yourself if you are a very experienced computer user or have a know the exact origin of your problem and step-by-step instructions to fix it.

For most of us, though, a registry repair program that scans for problems and automatically fixes them is the best option to speed up your computer. Run these programs once a week, fortnight or month, just before you defrag your computer. Here are some popular ones:

  • Auslogics BoostSpeed
  • Registry Mechanic

Defragmenting the registry

There aren't any inbuilt Windows tools that defragment the registry - you'll need to use a third-part utility. Some programs (like Auslogics BoostSpeed) that offer registry repair will also defrag the registry, which will help speed up your computer.


Disabling auto-start applications

Many programs will set themselves to auto-start when you boot your computer, even though you might only use them once a month. These background applications can take up a lot of RAM. That's why disabling the auto-start option for programs you don’t need can do a lot to speed up your computer.

To check for unnecessary auto-start programs:

  • Click Start. If you use XP, go to Run and type msconfig, if you use Vista simply type it in the search box in the Start menu.
  • Go to the Startup tab.
  • Uncheck any boxes for programs you don't use regularly. Note that you can still open these programs on request - they just won't auto-load on boot up.

If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can also go to the Startup folder under All Programs in the Start menu. If you see any programs in the list that you don’t need, simply right-click on them and choose to delete them from the list. Don't worry, they won't be uninstalled from your computer.

Here are some popular programs for helping speed up the process of disabling auto-start applications - it can be a bit intimidating:

  • Auslogics BoostSpeed
  • System Explorer
  • Startup Select

Now you know one more answer to the question "how to make my computer faster".

Removing malware

Malware can also slow down your computer, running in the background and taking up system resources. To speed up your computer, install a good anti-malware product and set it to auto-update and run scheduled scans.

There are literally hundreds of good anti-malware programs available, however several stand out:

  • Auslogics Antivirus
  • Malwarebytes Anti-malware
  • Spyware Doctor

ALWAYS use a trusted name when it comes to anti-malware software. There are hundreds of rogue anti-malware programs that will actually install malware on your computer.


Using ReadyBoost

In Windows Vista and Windows 7, there is an inbuilt utility to speed up your computer that allows you to use a USB flash drive or a memory card as additional computer memory.

  • In Windows Vista, if the device is fast enough to work with the ReadyBoost feature, you will be asked when it loads if you want to use it for ReadyBoost. Tell the computer Yes, and the wizard will walk you through the process.
  • In Windows 7, you can go to Start -> Computer and right-click on the drive you want to use for ReadyBoost. Click Properties, and go to the ReadyBoost tab. Here you can choose to allocate either the entire device, or part of the device for ReadyBoost, depending on what you need it for.

We've mentioned the third-party applications that are available for most of these "speed up my computer" tasks - and there are actually some software packages that have the capability to do all of these tasks, such as Auslogics BoostSpeed. Many have a free trial available for you to evaluate how well they work as well. There really is no reason to put up with a slow computer anymore!

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About the Author

Liz Cornwell Liz Cornwell
PR specialist at Auslogics. Liz can optimize just about any computer.

Discussion

Thank you guys for hints. People,like me, who aren't too swift on computers, can use all that's available. Rose
Rose
September 24th, 2011 @07:33 pm
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This information was very informative.Anyone who can read and follow directions,will find themselves impressed with the difference they can make correcting problems on their own.THANKS!
georgeconnor
October 23rd, 2011 @09:24 am
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COOL........I HAD TRIED THIS AND IT REALLY WORKS..........THANKS........
avinash
October 27th, 2011 @09:18 am
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Ive jusy read the guide to speeding up your computer. i learned things that i did not know and was very helpful. No one ever told me like my computer guy. or the tech support that ive used in thr past[ that was not what theysaid they were]. But there was one thing that was not clear to me. the last Using Ready Boost it did not say anything about using it with Windows XP so is it able to use with Windows xp
Reatha Feather
May 25th, 2012 @09:22 pm
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@ Reatha Feather, No windows XP does not have the ReadyBoost feature. But what needs to be understood is that the ReadyBoost feature can speed up a computer but only when it has low levels of RAM (eg 512MB) or if your Hard Drive is slow. Most new systems that already come with Vista or Windows 7 often have fast hard drives and good sized RAM sizes (1GB and above) and users may not see any performance gain if using reday boost.

There are other ways to speed up Windows though. like:

1. Disable Visual Effects: This one can can a serious speed gain but at the sacrifice of looks. You see, while Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 looks 'cooler' than the old Windows 2000 grey interface, this comes at a price the interface uses more CPU power to look good and that means less CPU power for other things like opening programs. Fortunately there are ways to turn off Visual Effects with these operating systems and while the end result may be a less cooler looking interface the speed gains can be significant especially if you are running a budget computer that just meets the minimum system requirements.

To turn off Visual Effects and more in Windows 7 and Vista you can try this link:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Optimize-Windows-7-for-better-performance

While XP users can try this link:
http://www.techrepublic.com/article/best-practices-adjust-performance-options-to-speed-up-windows-xp-clients/5034438
MadMonkey
February 24th, 2013 @06:07 am
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it's relly work good!
i don't what email id give to purchase this software can you give the license key now?
Vivek prasad
March 12th, 2013 @10:02 pm
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Yeh, its helpfull for me bt Sometime My computer used application repeadely run at same time and doesnt end until the computer Restart, So How can i cop this problem???
canvasenx prmaod
June 30th, 2013 @11:21 am
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good article.......... nice and informative. thanks for update. but we can perform all the steps with help of TuneUp Utilities Software

ready boost technique consume battery life so much......
KP
October 21st, 2013 @01:30 am
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thank you very much for giving us such a great knowledge.thanks alot.
ADNAN
November 13th, 2013 @02:09 pm
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Thanks for helping.
Md.Auria Hossain
January 7th, 2014 @05:21 pm
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thanks a lot guys.that really helped :)
Billy
February 10th, 2014 @05:07 am
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thanks sir,i know more important things.
adinarayana
April 29th, 2014 @02:57 am
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Thank you so much... it really helped me!
its the best...
Thanks a lot. Everyone must try!!!
Saleha Cheema
July 6th, 2014 @07:00 pm
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0

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