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Best Ways To Speed Up Your PC And Optimize Computer Performance (Windows 7)

Updated on June 4, 2013
One of the first personal computers
One of the first personal computers | Source
Example RAM Picture
Example RAM Picture | Source

Before You Read This...

...download CCleaner. A lot of things, like fixing your registry errors and disabling startup programs can be done easily with CCleaner. Now that that's done, check your RAM. If you don't know how to, here are the steps:

In Windows 7

  • Right click your My Computer icon.
  • Select Properties.
  • In the upper column, a line reading "Installed Memory (RAM)" will be seen. That is your computer RAM.

The RAM of your computer controls the performance and speed of running your programs. The better your RAM is, the better your PC performance is expected to be. Now, tablets and phones do not require as much as RAM which is required by a PC. A PC runs several processes at once while there aren't that many in tablets and phones. Now, the amount of RAM ranges from 216 MB to over 16 GB. There are computers that are equipped with even more, but these are usually used by Universities or Labs. The easiest way to increase the performance of your PC would be to just buy a better RAM. Now, 1 GB of RAM isn't all that great, several programs running together may cause your PC to lag from time to time. But getting a 4 GB ram would probably solve the problem for most people.



What Causes A PC To Lag

There are a number of reasons why a PC would lag. As it is explained in the first paragraph, the most common reason is because a PC is lacking a good amount of RAM. Other reasons include

  • Insufficient Hard Drive Space
  • Registry Errors
  • Viruses/Malicious Programs/Unwanted Programs
  • Unwanted Processes In Background

These are the most common reasons why a PC would lag, right after insufficient RAM, of course. There are other causes, but as they are quite rare, I won't be going into them.

Uninstall A Program - Using CCleaner
Uninstall A Program - Using CCleaner | Source
Uninstall A Program
Uninstall A Program | Source
Clear Disk Space - Using CCleaner
Clear Disk Space - Using CCleaner | Source
Disk Cleanup
Disk Cleanup | Source

Clearing Unwanted Files To Increase Hard Drive Space

A lot of people have tons and tons of unwanted programs that they don't need and never use., which causes their Hard Drive Space to be filled up with useless files and thus resulting in a slow PC. If there are any programs that you do not require, remove it as soon as you can. To remove programs...

Using CCleaner

  • Open CCleaner.
  • Select Tools tab.
  • Double click the program you want to uninstall.

Without using CCleaner

  • Open Start Menu.
  • Open Control Panel.
  • Under Programs, select Uninstall A Program.
  • Double click the program you want to remove to start the uninstallation process.

To clear up additional Disk Space...

Using CCleaner

  • Open CCleaner.
  • Take the Cleaner tab.
  • Press the Analyze button.
  • Press the Run Cleaner button.

Without using CCleaner

  • Open Start Menu.
  • Type Disk Cleanup in the search field.
  • Open Disk Cleanup.
  • Select a Drive and press Ok.
  • After scanning, Disk Cleanup will show you a list of file it can clear to increase your Hard Drive Space. Press Ok and then press Delete Files to start to remove the files. Don't worry, Disk Cleanup never deletes any important files or documents.
  • After cleaning one drive, select the other drives you have and repeat the above step.

After using Disk Cleanup, use your Disk Defragmenter...

  • Open Start Menu.
  • Type Disk Defragmenter in the search field.
  • Open Disk Defragmenter.
  • .Select a Drive and press the Analyze Disk button.
  • After the Drive is analyzed, press the Defragment Disk button to start defragmentation. Disk Defragmenter groups together specific files so that processes can utilize the files faster.
  • After defragmenting one drive, select the other drives you have and repeat the above step.


Disable Startup Programs - Using CCleaner
Disable Startup Programs - Using CCleaner | Source
Fix Registry Errors
Fix Registry Errors | Source

Fix Registry Errors

Applications that do not uninstall correctly or those without an uninstaller can leave behind entries in the Windows Registry. These registry errors can also be caused even when an application is properly removed. This is because some programs do not clear up the registry entries that they used when they are uninstalled. These registry errors accumulate over time and thus slows down a PC quite drastically. Registry errors can be fixed manually, but it is time consuming and a bit frustrating. So, it's easier to use CCleaner to fix the registry errors in your PC. To fix the registry errors in your PC...

  • Open CCleaner.
  • Open the Registry tab.
  • Press Scan For Issues button.
  • After the scan is over, press the Fix Selected Issues.

After you've run it once, try running it once or twice again. Chances are that you'll get a few more errors which you can fix.

Disable Startup Programs
Disable Startup Programs | Source

Speed Up PC Startup

If your PC startup time is a bit long, try to clean up your desktop by removing any unwanted icons. This won't help the PC startup time drastically, but still, it does help. You could also disable any startup programs that you don't use to decrease the startup time.

To disable startup programs...

With CCleaner

  • Open CCleaner.
  • Open the Tools tab.
  • In the Startup tab, un-check a program to disable it while your PC starts.

Without CCleaner.

  • Open Startup Menu.
  • Type Run in the search field.
  • Open Run.
  • Type MSCONFIG.
  • Press OK.
  • A dialogue box appears with the tabs - General, Boot, Services, Startup, Tools.
  • In the startup tab, un-check the check box next to the program you want to disable while your PC starts up. An example is given in the picture.

Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool
Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool | Source

Getting Rid Of Malicious Programs And Viruses

There aren't really two sides to this one. The only solution for removing viruses and malware is to get a good antivirus. I would recommend Kaspersky's free Virus Removal Tool. After downloading the software, start a full system scan. When it finds a virus or malware, simply click the recommended option which pops up. The red light in the upper right corner shows that your PC has viruses and worms or it could also mean that your databases are obsolete. A green light means that your PC is secure.

Disable Services
Disable Services | Source

Removing Unwanted Services

All applications are associated with services. Services are part of a program which is necessary for a program to function. Sometimes, although it is rare, a service of an uninstalled program may linger in a PC. To remove these lingering services...

  • Open Start Menu.
  • Type Run in the search field.
  • Type MSCONFIG and press OK.
  • Take the Services tab.
  • Uncheck the process that you want to remove. Now, be careful not to disable any important services, which include all of the services by Microsoft Corporation.
  • After you are done, press OK.

Run Explorer.exe
Run Explorer.exe | Source

A Trick To Clear Up Your RAM

After using your PC for a few hours, several programs may start to lag. This is because your RAM is all filled up. So, to free up a bit of memory immediately...

  • Open Task Manager (Ctrl+ Shift +Esc)
  • Open Processes tab.
  • In the Processes tab, select any unwanted background processes and end it. This will clear up a bit of your RAM.
  • After ending the un-wanted processes, end the explorer.exe process. After you end the explorer.exe process, your PC's taskbar and desktop icons will go invisible.
  • After that, take the Applications tab.
  • Click the New Task...button.
  • Enter explorer.exe in the field and press enter.

Your PC will run much smoother now.

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