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Five tips to speed up your computer

Alex Christie

30 July 2009

Tip 1: Remove unused programs

Removing unused programs helps in two ways. Firstly, it will free up hard drive space giving you more room, however more importantly a lot of programs try to run on system start-up which can slow a pc down.
YouTube – How to uninstall programs

Tip 2: Stop programs running at start-up

Excluding hardware factors, computer start up time is in a large part governed by how many programs a computer is trying to run each time it starts up.  These days nearly every program that you install has some component that ‘needs’ to run on start-up.  The problem with this is twofold:

  • Each program takes time to run, increasing the overall startup time
  • Each program uses system memory that is then not availalable for other applications that you actually want to run.

The key here is that not all software needs to run on startup.  Programs such as Skype may be convienent to run on startup, however if you only use them occasionally they can be saftely stopped from running at start-up and started manually when you need them.

To view the list of programs running at start-up we are going to use a tool called msconfig (available in Windows XP and Windows Vista). In XP click Start->Run and then type ‘msconfig’ and press enter. In Vista just type ‘msconfig’ in the start menu search and press enter.
YouTube – How to stop programs running at start-up

Tip 3: Remove temporary files and browser cache

ccleanerEvery time Windows downloads updates it leaves temporary files on your hard disk that are no longer required. To quickly find and remove these I use a tool called CCleaner. Once installed just click Run Cleaner and the tool will find and remove all unused temprary files. Don’t be surprised if there is more than one gigabyte worth!

Tip 4: Defragment your Hard Drive

Because of the way Windows stores data, large files often end up being split into multiple smaller files on your computers hard drive. This means that when your computer tries to access the data it has to read from multiple locations which results in a slower response time. Defragmenting allows Windows to regorganise the files and put them in a sequential order, thereby speeding up read times.
YouTube – How to defragment your hard drive

Tip 5: Install more memory

Lack of memory is by far and wide the biggest cause of slow running computers. These days it is relatively cheap to buy and install additional memory, however the trick is in figuring out what type of memory you need. Crucial memory have a tool that will analyse your system and tell you what memory you need to order. When it comes to installing your new memory, the exact process will differ depending on the type of computer you have however a quick search of YouTube should give you a good starting point!

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