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Five Ways to Improve Your Computer's Performance

If you're like many people, you probably have a computer with Microsoft Windows that seems to be running a bit slow. Older machines, especially ones that are connected to the internet, tend to get bogged down and become sluggish over time. Thankfully, there are several different steps you can take to increase the speed of your machine and make it as fast it was when you bought it, if not faster. You can do one or all of these five, they're not in any order but for the best performance you should try all of them.

1. Get rid of unwanted programs

One of the most common causes of a slow computer is software that was actually intentionally installed by the user. You may not realize it, but programs that you never use can still take up system resources in the background. To fix this, open up Add/Remove Programs in the control panel and remove things you installed but never used. Things like print center programs for printers you no longer have and instant messengers you don't want are great candidates for deletion. The added bonus with removing these programs is that you also free up disk space.

2. Turn off automatic startup

Some programs start themselves up automatically. You can see their icons lurking in the system tray, in the bottom right corner of the screen. Some of these things you need always on call, but many you don't. Office applications, utilities, and other programs are often set by default to start up when Windows starts. You can turn this off by right clicking on the icons, choosing options or preferences, and disabling a checkbox that says something like "launch on startup" or "start program automatically".

3. Log in one at a time

You may have noticed that Windows lets you use a feature called fast user switching to have more than one person logged in at once and switch quickly between them. This is nice, but not so easy on slower hardware. If something is eating away at system speed, applications in another open account might be the problem. To keep things faster for everyone, save and log off when you're finished using your computer.

4. Scan your system

Viruses, spyware, and other forms of malicious software can significantly slow down your computer. If you have been connected to the internet for a while, your machine is probably infected with something. There are a bunch of free antivirus tools out there, but beware of the less well known ones. A reliable choice is Avira's AntiVir, which is free for basic virus protection. Scan your entire file system thoroughly and get rid of those viruses. Don't install more than one antivirus program, though, because that will place an unnecessary burden on your system.

5. Use faster software

Many of the software packages that you use probably have faster, light-weight alternatives. For example, there are word processors other than Microsoft Word that don't have all the extra features you don't need. To jot down something quickly, open up Notepad instead. Google Chrome is a new web browser that tends to be significantly speedier than Internet Explorer while still having everything you need to browse the web. Be resourceful, and don't be afraid to try free alternatives to commercial software.

Hopefully these tips have helped you get the most out of your computer hardware. For power users, there are more advanced techniques such as overclocking that you can use to really boost the speed of your computer. While these techniques are beyond the scope of this article, there is a wealth of information about them on the web.

 

Microsoft Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. Speed improvements vary based on your system configuration. ErrorTeck is not endorsed or affiliated with either Microsoft or the third party applications it supports.