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How to speed up your Computer - 22 Ways to fix a Slow PC

Updated on April 3, 2013
Daaamn you slow PC,why do you do this too meee i am soo good to uuu .pic from
Daaamn you slow PC,why do you do this too meee i am soo good to uuu .pic from

Fix Slow PC

One of the most asked question is how to Speed up your computer or how to Fix a slow PC , and we all want to get the maximum speeds possible with our hardware and software configurations.

There are many causes for your PC running slow and these can include software and hardware issues. Some of the most common reasons are

- High Performance Options set on Windows (uses a lot of memory, its not worth it just to look good)

- Running Out of Disk Space

- Computer needs a serious clean up and perhaps a fresh installation

Speeding up Computer , Software Methods

Remove Auto Startup Programs - Have a look at your startmenu and see which programs have been setup to start up on boot up. This can dramatically slow down the loading of your operating system and can be very frustrating when you just want to jump on your computer and get something done quickly. Avoid programs that ask for automatic startup and sign-in.Main reason for PC slow start.

Clean up Disk Space - Try freeing up some room on your hard-drive , a hard drive that's totally chocca block full of files will not run at maximum speeds. Try doing a disk cleanup to remove any unneeded files or unused desktop icons , temporary internet files and things like that.

Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup

Defragment your Harddrive - It's a good idea to defragment your hardrive every 3-6 months or so, to make sure all your hard drive files are nicely ordered and that each hard drive sector is behaving as it should. Files can get out of hand sometimes and this helps to keep them under control. Defragmentation is also designed to help speed up access of hard drive files.

Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter

**Change Performance Options on Windows - This can make a lot of difference , now with these new operating systems so caught up on looking so sleek and smooth they sometimes seriously neglect performance. For an example even XP and Vista can run slow on some machine with full graphics and everything setup. To modify your windows graphics and set it to a lower level follow these steps

Right Click on My Computer and Click Properties

Click Advanced and under Performance Click Settings

Here you can manually select what you want windows to look like or click "adjust for best performance" Its amazing how well this can fix a slow PC.

Increase Physical / Virtual Memory - You can also choose to increase your virtual/pyhysical memory , this memory is simply spare space on your harddrive windows uses just as it would use spare memory/RAM.

to access this right click my computer and click properties, Click Advanced. Under Virtual Memory click change and here you can select a custom size and then hit set, otherwise you can just use system managed size.

Windows Performance Settings

Here you can see performance options, you can also change virtual memory options here
Here you can see performance options, you can also change virtual memory options here
Right click my Computer to see these options
Right click my Computer to see these options

Speed up Computer, Software Methods continued

Check if you may have a Virus slowing your PC - A common reason for a pc running too slow is that a virus has made its way on your harddrive and starting duplicating itself like mad or using up valuable system resources and memory severely slowing down your computer.

Scan for spy ware or virus using your favorite virus scanner, or use AVG free antivirus software or a good online solution is MacFee Freescan

Disable unused network ports or other controllers - Do you have any unused network connections that you could disable , or even any other pci slot devices that you could remove totally if not in regular use.

Run Scandisk

Try running scan disk to check for system file errors or bad sectors that could be repaired you can run scandisk from command line using chkdsk or you can simply right click on your drive and select properties than selection error checking under tools, and if will setup a scandisk procedure next time you restart.

Operating System Needs Update - Sometimes an operating system can have certain bugs or need patches and updates in order for it run correctly, its also important to get security updates to avoid getting virus's that slow down your computer. Its best to manually update otherwise you can waste time getting a lot of unnecessary software which is what we try to avoid. :)

Do not show Hidden Files - Sometimes showing hidden files is useful but it also means your gui has to load up all these random hidden files most of which are temporary ones and this can slow down your pc.

you can change it from any windows click , Tools -> View -> Do not show hidden files and folders

Check what Processes and Programs are Running - Hit Ctrl Alt Delete and enter the task manager then click processes to see which application is using most of your system resources, closing something using a lot of resources before playing a game or running a software application can help speed it up.

Beware closing any old process look up the name on Google first to find out what it is. You can also identify primitive virus's this way so keep an eye out for things that look strange. Lot of normal programs do have strangely named processes though. To fix slow pc only use windows services you actually need.

Slow PC in games Increase Speed Decrease Quality - You can also play around with video card settings to get the best smoothest gameplay while sacrificing some graphics quality. Right click your desktop and select properties. Now goto Settings -> Advanced and look for your graphics card control panel , may be displayed when your right click your desktop for me it shows NVIDIA control panel. Great fix slow PC while playing games.

Unneeded Windows Services - Turning off un-needed Windows services. Good explanation of which services can be disabled without any trouble. Beware though I wouldn't disable any old thing some people do this and end up having to format anyway. Link to site here

Speed up the Boot Sequence - There is also something you can try to speed up your boot sequence if your pc slow start it involves changing the default boot timeout value , the boot timeout is just the amount of time it waits before selecting the default operating system, this is not really useful unless you have several operating systems installed and you are not there to select the one you want straight away.

But try changing the timeout of 30 seconds to 3 -5 seconds , to do this goto Start -> Run, then type msconfig and under Boot.ini you will see timeout 30 seconds change that.

ReadyBoost - Ready boost for windows vista uses harddrive space from usb devices and other external harddrives as memory to speed up a slow pc. Find out more Here

Its really time for a Format, Fresh Install - Maybe its time to do a fresh install and format that harddrive you haven't formatted for the last 5 years. Its usually recommended to do a fresh installation every now and then.

It doesn't mean you have to lose all your files or anything like that you can make backups or just simply partition your harddrive into two and do a fresh install on a separate partition to where all your backup files are. Find out how to do a Fresh Install

NTFS not FAT32 - Remember when your formatting to choose NTFS and not FAT32 ,16 or anything else, NTFS formatted harddrives are much much faster than the older FAT32 standard.

Choose Quality or Performance for your Games and Movies
Choose Quality or Performance for your Games and Movies

Speed up Computer , Hardware Methods

CPU overheating , needs cleaning - A computer that's overheating is never going to run at its best, so even more so in the hotter months your computer may be a little sluggish and this is normal. If its playing up for no reason try de-dusting your CPU and case to allow better air flow. Fix slow pc by giving it a good clean every 3 - 6 months, more often in a dusty carpeted environment.

You can check out some methods on how to clean your computer here

Harddrive Dying - If you start to hear weird noises from your harddrive like the disc is not spinning inside it properly or unusually loud noises this could be a sign of a harddrive near death or overheating.

Add Some More RAM - This is an easy way to speed up your computer especially with cheap RAM prices these days, remember to check what type of RAM your motherboard supports and its usually best to stick with the same brand of RAM instead of mixing it up to avoid conflicts.

Bios Settings - Go into your BIOS and check that your computer is set to run at high performance.

Overclocking - Very popular option to increase speed and get more out of a CPU is to overclock it , and get it to run at a faster clock speed than it was designed to. Be careful doing this as you need to monitor the health of CPU carefully and ensure it doesn't overheat. Heat is the biggest danger to overclockers.

Some motherboards allow overclocking through the BIOS , or with simple software program otherwise there are hardware methods.

Also to NOTE: Avoid those registry fix or windows speed up programs, they hardly ever are legit or sometimes a virus in disguise and if they do work well its not going to be free. Its just going to be a script that does pretty much the things I have stated above . Goodluck


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i know you said not to use registry fixers but heard great things about CCleaner and have used it for years. i think it works great, but don't know enough about computers to know better.


    • profile image

      Speed uP Computer Tips 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the useful tips. i didn't know that NTFS file system is much faster than FAT32 befor ereadign this article.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      thanks for this . everyone should read this. slow pc's are a pain! keep up the great work.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nicely written, I like how you've implemented the built in software within windows that many users still don't know about.

    • profile image 

      8 years ago from bear, de, 19701

      I often do it, when my computer is getting slower and slower. thanks for your nice hub. waiting for your another informative hub.

    • freelanceauthor profile image


      8 years ago

      Cool hub, great info.

    • hongkongpom profile image


      8 years ago from Hong Kong

      Really well researched and there are lots of great tips. Again, well done!

    • hongkongpom profile image


      8 years ago from Hong Kong

      Great Hubpage expectus, I'm linking to it!

    • frogyfish profile image


      8 years ago from Central United States of America

      Good info to bookmark. Thank you for sharing your tips. I use AVG free and Ad-Aware but I run SpyBot occasionally and it does usually pick up something else.

    • hmcshah07 profile image


      8 years ago from Ahmedabad

      hey friend You have given nice information, I am sure everyone likes it. It is very useful to me

    • gramsmith profile image


      8 years ago

      I am sure everyone who is related to computer field might have this speed problems.If we are using computer,laptops we should know these important things which is written by you in this article.Thanks..................

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Land Downunder

      that is a good tip , most laptops are on power saving settings by default and it can run extremely slow

    • Carl "Fitness" profile image

      Carl "Fitness" 

      8 years ago from Boston, MA

      These are some great tips. I have tried a few, and I have bookmarked the post for future reference. Thanks for sharing the info!

      One other tip you might consider for laptop users: check the power settings. I noticed that my laptop was running slow, and I realized that I had the power settings set to "Power Saver" to maximize battery life. That's great when sitting on an airplane, but not so good when the laptop is plugged in on your desk. At my desk, I set to the power settings to maximize performance.

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Land Downunder

      yes very related indeed :) computer parts start to get sluggish as temperatures go up, and a bit of dust in the CPU fan is enough to heat up your CPU 10 - 20 degrees higher than usual

    • crazzycool profile image


      9 years ago from melbourne

      Hmm I never knew heating up is related to the dust and it can slow down the computer.

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Land Downunder

      well all 3 reasons apply but for the most part its companies trying to make money by charging for monthly or yearly subscriptions.

      If a good freeware program comes out you will soon find out about it from the rave reviews. So many registry clean programs out there look so legit on the outside but are actually scams set up to take your money. They even have a business number take your support calls but in the end just want your money.

    • profile image

      Registry Cleaner 

      9 years ago

      A question I have is, aside from products like Uniblue RegistryBooster which is advertised as free but only clears 15 errors before a fee must be paid, why are these registry cleaners available for free? A) manufacturers hope to sell upgrades or associated products? B) free products can be used as trojan horses to download unwanted software? C)they are genuine freeware or shareware provided by developers who make it available out of the goodness of their hearts or hoping for profit from small fees x many users?

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Land Downunder

      thanks for the comment Montana Farm Girl :), sounds like you need a little external harddrive to store all your photo's on, I am the same just keeping getting more files until it beeps at me and tells me I'm out of space

    • Montana Farm Girl profile image

      Montana Farm Girl 

      9 years ago from Northwestern Montana

      Wow, now that's an informative hub!!! My laptop is so full of photos, I have hardly any space left on my c drive and wonder what the best remedy is! I want access to all the photos I have and will be adding more, so I am concerned daily as to what I should do to help... thanks for the insight; I'm bookmarking and will print up your hub to follow the directions and hopefully help my system to run a bit faster! My computer is only 1 1/2 years old, like I said, it is full of photos I need to access....I know that's the main reason I am bogged down!!

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Land Downunder

      thanks for the comment tech4150, will check out avast and spybot search and destroy :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Yes anti-virus is a resource hog. Norton's is the worst and most expensive. I recommend Avast Home/Free edition, It catches things nortons misses and uses virtually no system resources, as well as being really easy to use. As for spyware protection and registry fixers most are soyware/viruses/malware themselves. I recommend Spybot Search & Destroy(do not install "tea timer",and CCleaner, both found on Hope this helps...

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Land Downunder

      thanks earnestshub:)

    • earnestshub profile image


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      A very complete and informative hub with useful information....that is a good formulae!

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Land Downunder

      thanks for the comment and your very right anti-virus software can slow you down a lot with its constant scanning and threat checking :D

    • profile image 

      9 years ago

      Great stuff've really done your homework...very helpful I had no idea! Thanks.

      Sometimes, anti-virus/spyware actually slows things down too. I'm onto my third!


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