Top 10 free programs to fix a slow computer

By Liz Cornwell | May 20, 2010 |

greater than 4 minutes

Most computer users are eventually faced with the same problem: slow computer after several months of use. That’s inevitable because junk files, bloated software, and registry errors make PCs sluggish. Computer novices start wondering whether they already need a new computer or perhaps there is still hope and they can call a technician who will upgrade whatever there is to upgrade.

Fortunately, there are easier ways to speed up computer performance and you don’t have to be a computer genius to know how to fix a slow computer. You just need to know which tools to use. So, here is a list of top 10 free programs that will make your old PC run as good as new.

1. CCleaner

CCleaner makes your computer faster by finding and removing all the junk that accumulates over time – stuff like temporary Internet files, Windows temporary files, cookies, browsing history, etc. Well, you get the idea.

CCleaner also has a registry cleaner, a startup manager, and an uninstall manager. All of them work well enough and can be used for quick PC maintenance.

Disk Defrag

2. Auslogics Disk Defrag

One of the most popular defragmenters out there. It’s free, a lot faster than the Windows inbuilt utility, and can even perform hard drive optimization. With its help you can defragment files and free space to speed up file access and move the system files to the beginning of the disk, so that your computer will boot faster.

Another nice addition to all its functions is the ability to personalize Disk Defrag by using its color themes.

 

3. Autoruns

Having too many startup entries can significantly increase Windows boot time. So if you have to wait for ages for Windows to load, your startup entries might be responsible for that.

Autoruns is a terrific utility that shows you which programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These programs include the ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show other locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more.

Autoruns is very easy to use – if you want to disable an auto-start entry, just uncheck its check box. If you want to delete an auto-start configuration entry, use the Delete menu item or toolbar button.

 

4. Revo Uninstaller

Having too many programs can take up a lot of system resources. So if you want to fix your slow computer, it’s best to remove programs you don’t use.

Revo Uninstaller is a small, but powerful utility that ranks number 1 in the Uninstallers category on Download.com. It’s a lot faster than the Windows Add/Remove tool and has a lot more features, like the ability to remove traces that some software uninstallers leave behind and 8 additional cleaning tools.

When you launch Revo, you will be presenter with the list of installed software. Right-clicking gives users a list of choices, from Uninstall and Remove from list, to Search Google, Show the installation directory, and quick access to the application’s Help file, its About screen, and an Update link.

Registry Cleaner

5. Auslogics Registry Cleaner

Wondering how to speed up your computer by fixing the registry? Registry errors often cause instability and slow computer performance. Auslogics Registry Cleaner is a tool that will find and fix most registry errors, thus making your computer faster and more stable. Unlike some registry cleaners, it’s absolutely safe to use, because it backs up the registry before making any changes and scans only safe categories unless you specify otherwiser.

 

6. Driver Sweeper

Most computer users connect various devices to their computer pretty frequently – USB flash drives, digital cameras, mobile phones, webcams, plus printers and scanners. When a device gets connected for the first time, you either install device drivers from a CD or they get installed automatically. Unfortunately, drivers can become outdated and become absolutely useless the moment you stop using the device. Outdated drivers and driver leftovers can lead to system instability and startup problems. That’s why it’s so important to remove them for good.

Driver Sweeper is a tool that will help you to update or remove your device drivers. Currently the software supports NVIDIA (Display and Chipset), ATI (Display), Creative (Sound) Realtek (Sound), Ageia (PhysX) and Microsoft (Mouse). Driver Sweeper comes in two versions –classic one with an installer and portable.

Duplicate File Finder

7. Auslogics Duplicate File Finder

If you are an active computer user, then most likely you have a lot of duplicate files that could be deleted to save disk space. Auslogics Duplicate File Finder is a lightweight free utility that can do just that – find and delete unneeded copies. One of the best features of Auslogics Duplicate File Finder is that it can match files by content. This ensures that you won’t accidentally delete a file that is not a duplicate.

 

8. Secuina Personal Software Inspector (PSI)

Secunia PSI is a very handy tool that will help you keep your computer secure and potentially speed up applications. The software detects vulnerable and outdated programs and plug-ins which expose your PC to attacks. The solution is to apply patches, but going from website to website and downloading patches for numerous applications can be a tedious job. Secunia PSI automates this and alerts you when your programs and plug-ins require updating to stay secure. Patching software can also help you fix a slow computer because outdated programs often cause your software to become slower and less stable.

 

9. Foxit Reader

Strictly speaking, Foxit Reader is not a speed-up tool at all. Nevertheless, it will greatly improve your productivity, especially if you work with PDFs a lot. Unlike the bloated Adobe Reader, Foxit is lightweight, fast, and has some useful features like multimedia support, tabbed PDF browsing, and content-sharing options.

 

10. Chrome

If browsing the Internet isn’t as fast as you want it to be and you feel that your browser is to blame, it’s time to consider switching to a faster browser – Google Chrome. Because bother Internet Explorer and Firefox can be pretty slow on startup and consume a lot of RAM. So if your computer is not very powerful, Chrome is the browser for you.

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28 comments

  • M
    Mike
    September 15, 2011 @09:32 pm

    Thanks. :] Helped alot.

  • P
    pija
    November 21, 2011 @08:03 am

    I’ll try em out and get back to ya

  • S
    Steve
    December 20, 2011 @06:52 pm

    Looks really clear advice – I’ve tried ccleaner and that’s worked a dream = onto the next one…

  • M
    me
    December 23, 2011 @05:45 am

    the Defrag made my computer really fast thanx 🙂

  • S
    SEO Melbourne
    May 11, 2012 @04:40 pm

    Interesting post. Would love to find more resources like this. I will have a look at your blogroll – hope you have one! 🙂

  • K
    karon
    May 16, 2012 @02:45 am

    I appreciate the info in the article(s) provided. In my right-brain approach to using my P.C. I remain clueless due to the complicated (and invisible) workings within. Your communicating these obscure-to-me concepts is evidence of exceptional skill, both your computer knowledge and ability to articulate it to others not so like-minded. I want to scream, “I get it!” Thank you so much.

  • D
    Daizy
    June 27, 2012 @03:16 pm

    Mac OS X has become one of the most popular operating systems for its unique integrated features and performance. The points which you have included in your post is really beneficial. There are many third party tool available in market which helps to keep your Mac fast e.g – Stellar speed up Mac, CCleaner, Makeeper etc..

  • A
    arjun
    July 12, 2012 @01:38 pm

    i dont know what 2 downlode?

  • J
    john
    July 30, 2012 @02:25 pm

    i brought a compuer repair program on line cost me £43 pounds it uses a speedo as its logo trouble is lost loads through computer fault including afore mentioned program anyone got any idea what it is please.

  • V
    vicky
    September 10, 2012 @06:20 am

    excllent

  • J
    JOHN
    September 24, 2012 @07:07 pm

    would like 2012 upDATE.

  • P
    PCrepairMan
    September 26, 2012 @04:31 am

    Nice article and good info. I have to agree with all except the Google Chrome part, I just don’t like or trust that browser and it seems harder to navigate then the fox, and seems very pushy to get installed on computers. Other then that I’d like you to try and add combofix to your list. It works well as an over all virus, rootkit, malware etc cleaner. and finds things regular virus protection misses.

  • A
    Adam
    October 19, 2012 @07:52 pm

    Good, but not what I was looking for. There is are a hole lot of PC thingees but you have to pay for them AFTER you find out that THERE WAS 867 REGISTRY ERRORS ON YOUR COMPUTER! Like me.=(

  • W
    Wulf
    January 7, 2013 @09:45 pm

    Confusing. After reading about the programs suggested – by the looks of the comments here appear that they are not actually freeware… ??
    ~W

  • J
    Jess
    January 8, 2013 @05:54 am

    Not sure what those commenters complain about – every single program mentioned in this article is absolutely free, at least the ones I’ve used. Some of them have more advanced paid versions, but you can stick with the free ones, buying paid versions is not required.

  • E
    eamon ryan
    January 18, 2013 @11:13 pm

    hi i wish to uninstall your program as i am having a total wipeout please show the uninstall site

  • J
    Joe
    March 9, 2013 @09:19 am

    Great list of programs for making your computer faster. Auslogics Disk Defrag is seriously the best defrag program I’ve ever used. It works when Windows defragmenter can’t or won’t due to space issues or a file that it decides it can’t defragment. The top 2 tips I would add to this list (cause there a LOT of software tips) are be sure to scan your PC for malware like adware and viruses. Also avoid browser tooblars!

  • K
    kiran
    April 23, 2013 @08:36 pm

    my system is slow down

  • C
    Christina A. Johns
    May 20, 2013 @12:02 pm

    i use Auslogics for fixing up my slow computer… it fixes all my PC problems in a single click..

  • S
    Steve
    May 20, 2013 @11:37 pm

    Christina A. Johns, thanks I’ll give that one a go.

  • J
    J.J
    May 27, 2013 @05:42 pm

    Are you sure it repairs free?Becasue i been downloading some softwarre programs and they said it cleaned your pc free but when i checked it said you had to pay a bill.

  • C
    Conca
    May 29, 2013 @11:15 pm

    *I bought speed boost back in Mar or April of 2013. I lost it due to a CRASH. Would you please send me another? Thx Jerry

  • M
    Mrithunjoy biswas
    July 26, 2013 @11:04 pm

    my pc become very very slow and driver space become fulfil.What should i have to do?

  • R
    RHA
    August 12, 2013 @09:21 am

    Mi cumpooter cumplitly furgut ho tu spel.
    Plis halp mi.

  • S
    Sherrie Wiggins
    March 27, 2014 @10:03 pm

    Im trying to update my drivers on my computer and I do not have the disk that they wont me to use. I bought the computer used and I would like to know how to fix the out of date drivers for free. There has to be something that I can do to fix my computer without having to spend money that I dont have.

  • M
    MARK OSBON
    August 12, 2014 @01:47 am

    I forgot to mention in previous message I was trying to purchace the premium boost speed because the features seemed like they might be
    occasionally useful.Now if you could come up with a program that can clean up
    or restore corrupt or distorted mp3 music files ruined because an idiot tech told me to set WMP streaming at low quality setting.windows 8,I could find it and reset it.Because I have 8.1 I get redirected or no match to any choice of wording in the search box.

  • L
    LIN
    January 9, 2015 @09:33 pm

    arjun, 2 mean offtens to
    2= to
    Good Luck

  • L
    Larry F. Cottingham
    April 6, 2015 @06:40 am

    I need google chrome and firefox for school purposes but pick up a costly $$$$ virus in my download attempt. I still need these browsers minus the virus. Anyone have any suggestions? Thx