What’s that you say, your PC is so slow lately that you could go get a car wash in the time it takes to boot up? Well, that’s certainly not how it’s supposed to be and it probably makes you want to throw the whole thing out the window. To save you the hassle of getting sued for hitting an innocent passerby, we have compiled a list of the top ways to clean out your PC so it’s functioning just as it should be.
Get rid of files and programs you don’t need
Clean up your files and desktop Start with a bit of simple housekeeping by getting rid of all but the essentials on your desktop. Put everything that should be in files into properly named ones and organize those files into folders so they are all out of sight and easily accessible. If you find in your search repeats of files, get rid of them. To find duplicate files fast, PC Advisor UK recommends using Easy Duplicate Finder. Just by arranging things properly and getting rid of doubles, you’re already on your way to a faster PC!
Get rid of unused and unwanted garbage Chances are you have tons of apps and programs you have never even heard of, let alone use. Those unused programs are eating up your memory and crippling computer speed. Time to get rid of unwanted guest! Go over to your control panel and then to “program and functions”. It will bring up a list of all the programs on your PC. Go through that list – Recognize them all? No, we didn’t expect you to, either. Now for the fun part. Start getting rid of all the stuff you don’t want. Use Should I Remove It? to decide what’s valuable and what’s just taking up space. You might discover some potentially harmful things that you should remove asap. You might come across some perfectly safe, albeit useless, programs. Get rid of everything you dont need around. If you find that using your PC’s uninstall feature can’t get rid of the program, try using Revo Uninstaller. This should do the trick.
Banish bloatware In line with shedding unwanted PC weight, you probably have a bunch of programs on your PC that have been there since you got it. These programs are called bloatware, which is a nicer way of terming all the garbage that PC manufactures stuff onto PC’s in order to make a buck from deals with software companies. All these extra programs eat up memory and slow your PC down. Again, don’t be afraid to purge what you don’t want.
Stay on top of Windows updates
Your natural tendency may be to close any pop up on your screen but when it’s for a Windows update, you should actually pay attention and do what it says. Microsoft releases updates when they discover holes in security so the updates are for the user’s benefit. So do what the little pop ups tell you. Eric Escobar of Quick and Dirty Tips.com suggests checking for updates once a month to make sure you are constantly running the most secured and up to date Windows for your system.
Make sure your Antivirus and Antimalware software is up to date
If you want your PC to stay in tip-top shape, malware and viruses are your sworn enemy. Not only do these intruders take up hard drive space and slow things down, they can really set you back to the dark ages by corrupting your files, stealing and exposing your data and compromising your security. Run Reason Core Security to detect, remove and block all malware threats on a consistent basis. RCS can be scheduled to run automatically so just set it and forget it. Then you’ll never have to worry about malware and viruses slowing your PC down.
Defragment your hard drive
Okay, so this one is up for debate. Defragmenting or defragging as it’s lovingly referred to, is the process of organizing and tidying up small packets of data that tend to get lost all over your PC. Defragging compacts the packets back together, which makes it easier and faster for your PC to spit back called upon information. Sounds great but there is a catch – Only defrag if you have an HDD – hard disk drive. Never defrag an SSD, solid state drive. It helps on a HDD because they use circular platters to store data. Over time those platters fill up, and data gets strewn all over like line dried laundry after the wind. SSD’s have no moving parts and data can be stored and retrieved quickly from anywhere so defragging doesn’t help if thats what you have. Chances are that you are using a PC with a HDD as that’s is what is more common but before you decide to go wild and defrag, make sure you party only with HDD’s.
Disable programs from the start up process
You likely have a bunch of programs that run automatically when you start your PC which slows down start up time considerably. You don’t need to get rid of them all together, just reset it so that they don’t start up when the rest of your PC starts up. To do this, go to your startup menu and type in “msconfig” and choose the startup tab. From there uncheck the boxes of the programs you don’t want to start up upon “startup”. To decide what you can safely disable, PC Advisor suggests using use a free tool like Saluto – Don’t try to “go it alone” or you might end up disabling something you really do need to run when you start up.
After all this you should see a tangible difference in your PC’s performance but if not there is always the option of “ going nuclear” and reinstalling Windows. That experience in and of itself may tempt you to chuck your Windows out the window so leave that as a last resort.
Do you have any other tips to speed up a sluggish PC? Let us know!