How to speed up your computer!

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speed-up-computer

Assuming that you are using Windows PC because lot of windows users face this issue. However little bit question details would have helped.

Method 1: Freeing up your resources

1. Stop all unneeded background processes. Look at the  right corner of your Task-bar, to the left of the time, date and  essential system icons. You will see a group of small icons,  collectively called the ‘notification area’ or ‘system tray’. Each of  these icons represent a program that has been at least partially started  or is running “in the background”. Regardless of state, each causes a  reduction of available memory and processing power, or resources.  Closing, exiting or canceling any unused background process returns  those resources to the system, and becomes available for use by the  application(s) started specifically by the user. Go to your task manager  and click on the Process tab. End all process that you can.

  • A utility called Process Explorer (procexp.exe) can be used to list all programs running on your Windows  system. It is more comprehensive than the Task Manager, and hovering  your mouse pointer over any program name will tell you what it is about.
  • A utility is built into Windows that can enable/disable task bar  programs and processes from automatically loading with Windows. To  access it, go to Start > Run > type in “MSCONFIG” and click OK. If  you do not know what a process does, search its name. Do not disable  processes if you are unsure, as some processes are necessary for your  computer to function normally.
  • A freeware program called Game Booster by IObit (the same people who wrote Advanced SystemCare ) will temporarily disable unnecessary background processes and boost  performance on your computer when you are actively using only one  program; such as a game program or video editing software. When you are  finished, you can resume “normal mode” and all the background processes  will be reloaded. Keep in mind that the performance gains will be  negligible and unnoticeable unless you have a very slow PC.

2. Turn off unneeded Desktop Features that try to make things look better. The fancy rounded window corners, the way the menus fade in and out,  and the 3-D button styles on modern Desktops all require some computing  power and can overwhelm older machines. To turn off these appearance  only enhancements:

  • Windows XP – right click on My Computer, and choose the Properties  option, then choose the Advanced tab, and click the Settings button  under the Performance section. In the Performance Options dialogue that  comes up, go to the Visual Effects tab, and choose “Adjust for best  performance”. You can also try the “Custom” option, and turn on and off  individual settings to see which ones will work without slowing your  machine down.
  • Vista – Click the Start button, then Control Panel, then choose  System and Maintenance, then Performance Information and Tools. Click  Adjust visual effects. If you are prompted for an administrator password  or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation. Click the  Visual Effects tab, and choose “Adjust for best performance”. You can  also try the “Custom” option, and turn on and off individual settings to  see which ones will work without slowing your machine down.
  • Windows 7 – Click the Start button, then Control Panel, and then  System and Security. When you see System, click on it and then Advanced  system settings. From here you can make sure you’re on the Advanced tab  and click on Settings under Performance. Here, you can also choose  Adjust for best performance or choose Custom if you’d like to compromise  between fancy visuals and performance. On a side note, this menu can be  accessed much quicker by right-clicking on Computer, from either the  Desktop or Start menu, selecting Properties, and then Advanced system  settings.

3. Do a shut down/reboot also known as a cold reboot.  Some programs do not release memory properly when they close, which is  the case for some operating systems. Even doing a warm restart will not  release some of the memory drivers and other core programs had  allocated. The computer has to be completely shut down and then  restarted. When a program is asking for some memory, a space would be  allocated for it by the operating system (like Windows). This allocated  memory can not be used by any other programs. “Well-behaved” programs  typically let go of their hold of this memory space but some programs  don’t – this is known as a “memory leak”, which is caused by a  programming error. A memory leak is easily evident when a program uses  up an abnormally high amount of resources because it keeps on asking for  more and never gives back any of the allocated memory space. The user  workaround is to terminate the program or process, but some processes  and core processes can not be closed. Shutting down the system will have  the operating system forget which memory locations aren’t free, so on  the next boot, all memory locations are free to use.

4. Empty the Recycle Bin. Simply deleting files from the disk doesn’t really delete them at all,  rather they are moved to a temporary holding area on the hard drive for  easy restoration. This area is called the Recycle Bin and is usually  displayed on the Desktop. Review the contents before emptying. Once  emptied, the space on the hard drive that the data occupied is made available for reuse and the restoration  of any files emptied from the recycle bin becomes extremely difficult if  it is overwritten by new data. Note that this will only speed up your  computer if the hard drive is nearly full.

5. Uninstall all applications that are no longer needed.

When applications and games are installed to a Windows PC, some files  are written in the Windows directory structure and dozens (or more)  changes are made to the Windows Registry file. Most of these changes are  not readily apparent to the user, so proper removal requires uninstalling the application through the Control Panel’s “Add or Remove Program” or  “Programs and Features” icon. There are 3rd party applications that can  assist removing applications that do not have uninstall routines – or do  not fully remove themselves. Revo Uninstaller Pro and CCleaner are two  such popular uninstall applications.

  • If the program is not listed in the Control Panel use the “uninstall” command provided by the application.
  • Simply deleting the entire application directory is not the same as  uninstalling, as all the files written to the Windows directory and  changes to the Windows Registry file will remain and may be reloaded  when the system is rebooted.
  • Make sure that you do not uninstall any programs that are required  by others. e.g. iTunes will not work if Quicktime is uninstalled, and  many programs rely on other Microsoft programs.

6. Run “Error Checking” on all hard drives.
 Right-click a drive icon in “My Computer” and select “Properties”  followed by “Tools”. Choose “Error Checking” to let the utility scan the  drive for damaged files that can contribute to slow drive access  speeds. This process may take several minutes or more to complete.  Warning: Do not do this if you have an SSD.

7. Run “De-fragment” on all hard drives.
 Right-click a drive icon in “My Computer” and select “Properties”  followed by “Tools”. Choose “De-fragment” to let the utility clean up  fragmented files and consolidate free space on the drive. Note: this is  not needed on an SSD drive. Defragmentation should be done at least once  per week, or more often if the PC is used heavily. Some versions of  Windows allow for the scheduling of this utility, and in those cases  could be set to run automatically without ever having to manually run  again. This process may take anywhere from several minutes to an hour or  more to complete depending on size of the drive(s) and amount of unused  capacity or free space. Consider starting the defragment process so  that it will run over night or prior to logging off. After completion  the speed of hard drive read and write times may improve significantly.  There are also stand-alone defragmenting programs available from other  developers available for download that may or may not charge a fee for  use. A very good example of a free defrag program that allows automatic  and scheduled defragmenting is IOBit’s Smart Defrag 2. Warning: Defragmenting an SSD will yield no performance gains, and can actually damage the SSD.

8. Install anti-virus software and keep it current. Today, anti-virus (AV) suites are an absolute must. There are many from  which to choose at the software store, but there are free AV solutions  that do a very good job, too. Three popular free AV solutions are Avast!, AVG, and Avira AntiVir.  All include regular “virus definition” file updates that allow the AV  program to detect and protect from the latest viruses being released.  Note that while installing antivirus software actually slows down your  computer, it does not slow it down as much as a virus does.

9. Install an Ad Blocker;  it not only blocks malicious websites, but also reduces temp disk space  usage for the browser by about 30% by not downloading advertising.

10. Find and Delete Temporary Files.
 Temporary Files are used for supporting some applications for a limited  period of time and left unused for later. Go to “C:\Documents and  Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp” (Windows XP),  “C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp” (Windows Vista), or  “%TEMP%” (any version of Windows) and delete all the files from this  folder. If there is a problem deleting one or more files, skip those  files and remove the rest. This will free a lot of space on the drive.  The Temporary Internet Files directory can also be emptied. Do this with  caution, deleting the temp folder can break several programs, causing  them to crash. You may also lose any unsaved work in any open programs.

11. Be realistic.
The “high end” computer purchased as new 5 years ago may run the latest version of Windows, but that doesn’t mean that it will do it very well. Keep in mind that the Minimum System Requirements on the software box is indeed, minimum. The best experiences usually require that the system is configured to Recommended System or better,  instead. Technology marches on and it seems there is a game of  “one-up-manship” played between software developers and hardware  designers. Regardless, eventually new software will require new hardware  or vice-versa. It seems that the amount of frustration you can endure  best determines how long you will run your current setup.

12. Set your computer’s energy settings to High Performance.
 This is especially useful in Laptops and Netbooks where the processor  speed is altered in accordance to energy settings (and if you are  running on battery power)

13. Clean up the primary partition.
 Click “Start” type “cleanmgr” and press “Enter” key. Select your  primary partition ( Windows installed drive, in most cases C:/ drive)  and scan it for junk files. After few seconds, it will show a list of  unnecessary files and simply select all these check boxes and start  cleaning your drive.

Method 2: Making Hardware Adjustments

  1. Proceed carefully. A lot of the tips in this  section involve pushing your hardware beyond their standard limits.  While small adjustments usually won’t have any negative effects, going  overboard can significantly damage your components.
  2. Check your computer’s temperatures. If your computer is overheating, then chances are the hardware is not  running as well as it should. One easy way to help lower temperatures is  to increase the speed of your computer fans. The drawback to this is  potential increased noise and fan failure.
    • Use the SpeedFan program to both monitor your computer’s temperature and change the various fans’ speeds.
  3. Overclock your memory.  You can sometimes increase your memory bandwidth to improve your  computer’s performance. The drawback is potentially damaging your RAM.  To change the bandwidth, open your BIOS menu and look for the RAM  Frequency option. Not all RAM can be increased, and it may have a  negative impact on your system. Always check temperatures when  increasing the frequency.
  4. Overclock your processor.  this is a pretty involved process, but if you have the right hardware  and good cooling you can see significant performance increases.  Overclocking can greatly increase the chances of hardware failure if not  performed correctly. See this guide for detailed instructions on overclocking most PCs.
  5. Overclock your graphics card.  If you’re using the computer to play a lot of 3D games or HD video, you  may get a good performance boost from overclocking your graphics card.  Much like overclocking a CPU, you run the risk of damaging your card if  you aren’t careful. See this guide for step-by-step instructions for overclocking virtually any Nvidia or AMD graphics card.
    • Always keep an eye on your temperatures when overclocking!
  6. Adjust the settings in your games. While not exactly a hardware tip, you can gain massive performance  increases from your games by dropping the graphics quality down to  “Low”. Your games may look ugly, but you’ll likely be able to play them  much more smoothly without having to shell out cash for new hardware.

Tips

  • Be aware that some of these steps are specific to a specific version of Windows; not all are cross-compatible.
  • Keep malware in check. If running utilities mentioned in this  article gives you an “Access Denied”, “You don’t have rights to run  this”, or the program will not run, you probably have a malware  infection. Symptoms other than these are frequent phony, but  realistic-appearing, anti-virus warnings that your system is infected,  or your web browser sending you to pornographic websites or search sites  you have not configured it to send you to.
  • Add memory. While not free, adding memory is a very effective way  of boosting performance, especially if your system has 1 GB of memory  or less. Increasing the amount of memory installed reduces the need for  the computer to write to and read from the hard drive. Check the  motherboard or system documentation to determine size, type, speed and  permissible configurations of memory before purchasing and installing  additional memory. If unavailable or you’re unable to obtain it, you may  wish to download and run the Crucial System Scanner to detect this info and provided suggestions for upgrades. Systems with  lower amounts of memory (256 MB to 1 GB) installed receive the greatest  boost when increased to 2 GB or more (as this represents a 100-400% or  more increase in system memory). Systems that have 2 GB or more memory  installed also receive a boost – but it is less noticeable.
  • Consider re-installing Windows. It may be easier to format the  hard drive and re-install Windows on the computer. Be sure to back up  important data first and have all program installation disks ready for  re-installation. Be aware that the format process will delete all files  on the disk. This means that you will need to reinstall all software and  restore all documents from a backup.
  • Keeping Windows Up-to-date, especially with Security Updates, is very important and can prevent BADWARE infections which slow computer.
  • Keep your PC cool. When a computer gets too hot, the CPU fan will  speed up. If the CPU is still too hot, the CPU will enter something  called “thermal throttling” which slows down processing speed in order  to prevent the CPU from breaking down. Turning off or hibernating your  PC when not using it, increasing airflow, and keeping the room which  your PC is located in cool will help keep your computer cool — and  fast.
  • Consider using a different operating system. If you have a slow or old computer consider switching to Linux.  This has its own set of issues such as needing to learn a new Operating  System, and much more. This is a significant step, and as such; is not  covered in this Wiki. Please refer to the WikiHow article: Learning How To Use Linux for more information.

Warnings

  • Do not delete unknown types of files, because they may be System Programming Files.
  • Discharge any static electricity.  Touch an electrically grounded source (a heating or plumbing pipe or  the metal case of an electrical device powered by a grounded 3 prong  cord connected to a grounded receptacle) prior to touching components  inside the PC case. Static electricity can pass through hands and could  cause delicate electronics inside the PC case to fail.
  • Beware of using MSConfig Using MSConfig as anything but a  troubleshooting tool is considered dangerous by many in the IT field to  long term computer stability. Autoruns will allow you to do the same thing and much more including permanently  removing unneeded/unwanted entries. Since it can do more, it can be  just as or more dangerous than using MSConfig. If you’re unsure of  something do your research and don’t remove it until you know for sure  you don’t need it. You can always uncheck it and come back later.
  • Download files from trustworthy sources. The developer’s page is best; P2P, newsgroups and anonymous file hosting sites are more likely to be infected with a virus.
  • Shut down your computer and disconnect all the cables from it prior to opening the case. This eliminates the chances of electrocution or damage to system components.
  • Do not download any software which tell that they will speed up your  computer. More downloads can also cause your computer to slow down as  they(softwares) put more load on your PC’s processor and eat up its RAM.
  • Do not use registry cleaners Registry cleaners can be dangerous.  They may seem legitimate, but after some amount of usage, they can  fragment your registry. Leave them alone, If you feel that it must be  cleaned up, make a backup and defragment afterwards. The registry does  not need to be cleaned, so cleaning it can only result in nothing, or  damage.

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