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My PC runs slow. What makes a PC run faster?

Kat DelongThere are many things you can do to speed up your PC. Try these to see if they give you better performance:

Free Up Your Disk Space

There are many ways to do this:

  • Remove temporary Internet files
  • Empty the Recycle Bin
  • Remove anything on your desktop that you don't use regularly
  • Use Disk Cleanup

Go to Start and then choose All Programs.

  • Click on Accessories
  • Choose System Tools and then Disk Cleanup
  • Tell Disk Cleanup which drive you want to clean and let it run
  • Defrag Your Disk

Over time, the files in your computer become fragmented and spaced out all over your machine. By compressing them, you can make the system run faster. It is recommended that you run this monthly at least.

  • Go to Start and then All Programs.
  • Choose Accessories and System Tools and then Disk Defragmenter.
  • Choose the drive you want to defrag and the press Analyze.

Run Antispyware and Antivirus Programs

One of the most important things you need to do on a regular basis is to make sure your computer is protected from viruses and spyware. If you don't have a good program installed, stop what you are doing and go and download one right away. You can either set these to run automatically, or run them manually on a regular basis - but make sure you actually do it. If you aren't sure which programs are worth putting on your computer, we have a comprehensive review of some of the top products here. Spyware is everywhere and having it on your computer can slow it down at the very least, and crash your system at the very worst.

Turn Off Windows Services

Windows comes with many services installed that you may not need. Turning them off can speed up your system. The list is long, so click here for an article on all of the unneeded Windows services you can turn off to make your PC run faster.

Manage Startup Programs

Having too many applications running at any given time will slow your PC dramatically. Many of these programs start automatically each time you load Windows. Are these programs necessary? If not, stop them from auto-loading by going to the Start button, clicking Run, and typing: msconfig. Next, click OK and then click the Startup Items tab in the next screen. Remove the checkmarks in the boxes next to any non-essential programs that are automatically loading each time.

Turn Off "Eye Candy"

If your computer has Windows Vista, the Aero interface is visually appealing - but at a performance cost. Go to the Control Panel, find Performance Information and Tools, and then click on Adjust Visual Effects. From here, you can either let Windows adjust for performance or make your own selections. While in the Performance Information and Tools section, explore the different options for speeding your computer including managing the startup programs, indexing options, power settings, disk cleanup, and advanced tools.

Any of these things will speed up your system - if you do all of them, you should get the best performance you can out of your current setup.

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