When computers are brand new, they always seem to run faster. As time goes on, however, computers slow down under the burden of running programs and disorganized file systems. By performing a few maintenance operations, you can speed up a slow computer. These include erasing any spyware or viruses, defragmenting your hard drive, stopping programs from starting when booting up and expanding memory.
1. Clean and maintain your computer. This means using built-in anti-virus software such as Windows Defender, or downloading free anti-virus software from LavaSoft, Malwarebytes, or avast!. Using these programs will help delete viruses and malware infesting your computer, causing it to run slower.
2. Defragment your computer’s hard drive. Mac OS X automatically defragments the hard drive. For Windows, click “Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Defragmenter.” Select your main drive, typically “C:” and click the “Defragment disk” button. This arranges data on your hard drive so that finding files and folders is easier for the operating system.
3. Limit start up programs. For Mac OS X, click the Apple icon in the main menu, then click “System Preferences” and “Users and Groups.” Click your username, then click the “Login Items” tab and uncheck all programs unnecessary for startup. For Windows, download and install Autoruns. Uncheck any listed programs in the Autoruns menu to disable them from running at startup.
4. For Windows computers, use ReadyBoost to expand available memory with the use of a flash drive. Insert a USB flash memory drive, click Start and then “Computer,” then right-click on the USB drive. Select “Properties” from the drop-down menu. Click the “ReadyBoost” Tab. Click the “Use This Device” radio button, then click the “Apply” button.
5. Increase the available RAM for your computer by installing more physical memory to your computer‘s motherboard. This process varies by computer, so read the manufacturer’s specifications to determine what type of RAM your computer uses and how much it can hold. Also, determine how much RAM your system can actually use: 32-bit operating systems can only handle a maximum of 4GB of RAM, while 64-bit operating systems can handle quite a bit more.