Thankfully, there’s plenty of software out there to speed up your computer. Let’s take a look at some programs that can bring your system back to its former glory.
MSConfig / Task Manager
In theory, having lots of software on your computer probably isn’t causing a slowdown by itself. When you have two dozen programs all trying to run when you first start the system, though, that’s where problems occur. The built-in utility MSConfig can help you cut down on the amount of programs that run automatically.
To access it in Windows 7, type msconfig into the Start Menu to open the System Configurationwindow. Click on the Startup tab to view everything that starts running when you boot into Windows. If you’re on Windows 8 or 10, this tab will instead refer you to the Startup tab of the revamped Task Manager.
Once in the Startup menu, you can start unchecking boxes (on Windows 7) or right-clicking and choosing Disable (on Windows 8 or 10) to prevent items from running at boot. Be sure that you know what a program does before disabling it. You don’t want to stop your antivirus or backup software from running at startup, since you need those active all the time.
Disk Cleanup / CCleaner
You might already know, but a lot of files on your computer aren’t necessary for any program. From leftover Windows Update files to temporary data used by your web browser, you could have several gigabytes of junk just sitting around. If this is filling up your hard drive, it could affect performance.
While it helps to prevent non-critical software from running at startup, it’s even better to uninstall programs you don’t use. This will free up space and save resources. You can always use the Programs and Features menu in Windows to uninstall software, but going a step further with Revo Uninstaller is a good idea.
While solid state drives (SSDs) are becoming more popular, traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) are still widely used. If you use an HDD, regular defragmentation can help keep the drive performing at its best.
The built-in Disk Defragmenter / Optimize Drives tool in Windows is all most people need for defragmentation. Simply click Analyze to find out how fragmented the drive is, then Defragment / Optimize to begin the process. Modern versions of Windows perform this process on a schedule automatically, so you won’t need to manually run this utility.
Often a slow system is caused by lack of maintenance, but sometimes the problem actually comes from malware. Having rogue programs running on your system can impair performance in many ways, such as browser hijackers that get in the way or programs that spawn endless pop-ups on your system.
Consider Lighter Alternatives
In some cases, you can replace slow software with a speedier alternative to keep things running quickly. One example is Google Chrome, which is notorious for hogging RAM and running slowly on low-end systems. If you can break out of Chrome’s trap, speed up your browsing by using Firefox or giving Opera a try.
How Do You Keep Your Computer Speedy?
This isn’t an exhaustive list of tools, but using these applications wisely should keep any computer running well enough. You don’t need expensive, shady software or Registry cleaners to make your system fast. By ridding yourself of malware, deleting old programs and files, and using light software, you can feel like you have a new system again.
What’s your favorite software for maintaining PC performance? If you’ve got something to add to the list, we want to hear it in the comments!
Originally written by Angelina on October 26, 2009. Source: www.makeuseof.com