Businessman taking a hammer to his laptopIf your computer is very old, then it is likely that it isn’t as fast as it was a few years ago.  This is because latest operating systems and new software programs have high requirements causing older computers to become slow. But there are some manageable, underlying hardware or software issues can gradually degrade system performance. Here are some tips on how to make your computer faster:

Remove Background processes and disable startup programs

You might have a lot of programs running in the background and consuming a lot of memory. Press the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys at the same time, select “task manager” and select each application or processes you want to end and click “End task”. This will free up a lot system memory and make your computer fast. If your computer is booting up slow, it’s possible that you have a lot of programs running automatically on startup. To disable programs on boot, click Start, type “MSConfig” and press enter. Now click the “startup” tab and deselect all programs you don’t want to run on startup.

Check Browser performance

Press CTRL+ALT+DEL, select “start task manager” and check your browser’s memory consumption. If your browser is using a lot of memory, you probably have a lot of unwanted toolbars and plugins installed. To free up memory, just remove those add-ons from your browser settings or simply uninstall the browser and run a clean install. Try Google Chrome or FireFox to see if they are faster.

Check for viruses

If you don’t have a third-party antivirus software, you can use Windows 8’s built-in Defender to run the scans.

Viruses are nasty programs that will not only slow down your computer, but also they can completely take over your computer. You definitely don’t want any of these parasite programs on your computer. To get rid of these viruses and to prevent them from installing in the first place, you need an up-to-date firewall, anti-virus software such as STOPzilla, and spyware removal programs.

Clean up hard drive space

When your system directory is cluttered with too many files, your PC won’t be able to run efficiently. Windows has a built-in tool called “Disc Cleanup” which finds and removes unwanted temporary files, log files and recycle bin files from your system. Go to My Computer, right-click on the hard drive you want to clean up and click “Properties”. Under the “General” tab, click “Disc Cleanup” and then select “okay”.  If you haven’t run this utility for a long time, you’ll have lots of useless files. Make sure to run hard drive cleanup from time-to-time because temporary files build up over time. If you have many programs that you hardly use, uninstall them by going to “Control Panel” – “Programs and features” – “Add/Remove programs”.

Update Device Drivers

Old, incompatible drivers, can slow down your PC and cause abrupt crashes and lags. Click “Start”, type “Device Update driver component”. Choose “Automatically search automatically for updated driver component”. If there are new drivers available, you will be asked to install it.

Memory Upgrade

Young parents, with children, on laptop computerIf you run windows performance index, you can find the weakest links in your PC hardware. Simply click “Control Panel” and search “Performance information and tools”. Now you should be able to see the ratings for your key hardware components. On everyday PCs, usually the hard drive and memory have the lowest score. If you’re trying to run heavy application on your modest hardware, it might not have enough RAM to run it properly, you’ll need to install more memory.

If your computer begins to slow down, it is important to tackle the problem right away.  Following the steps above can help you discover what is slowing down your computer and help you fix the problem so you can get back to work.