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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.