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1. Restart your PC

For optimal performance on an older machine, disable every feature. Click the option that best pertains to your PC. For older machines, using the Custom option to disable all visual effects is your best course of action, while the "Adjust for best performance" option will take care of most mid-range computers. Exit the Performance Options window.


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You may notice a decrease in the presentation quality on your computer, but its processing speed should have increased. Open your Start menu.

This is in the lower left corner of your screen. Type "disk cleanup" into the search menu. You should see an app appear at the top of the Start screen. Click the "Disk Cleanup" app. Disk Cleanup is a standard utility on an Windows computer; it rids your computer of temporary files, processes, and other small bits of information that can slow down your PC's processing speed. Check every box under the "Files to Delete" heading. This will clear the following items from your computer's cache: Downloaded program files Temporary internet files Recycle Bin contents Temporary files Thumbnails You may also see other options here depending on which default apps shipped with your device.

It's perfectly safe to check any box in this menu, so check these too. Click "OK", then confirm by clicking "Delete Files". This will get rid of your computer's temporary files. If you don't perform this cleanup often, you can find several gigabytes' worth of temporary files and such here.

Open Start again, then type "defrag" into the search bar. This will locate the disk defragmentation app on your computer. Click the "Defragment and Optimize Drives" option. This should be at the top of your Start menu. When your hard drive has been around for a while, its subfolders and their respective contents get scattered around your hard drive in other words, your drives "fragment". Running the Disk Defragment tool will consolidate your files and these fragments, which will increase the speed at which your hard drive can access information. Do not run the Disk Defragment program if your computer has a solid-state drive installed.

1. Give it the reboot

SSDs are made to resist fragmentation, so running a defrag on them can seriously damage your files. Select your main drive in the Defrag window. It should be labeled something like "OS:C". Click "Optimize". This will begin to defragment your drive. Depending on how long it has been since your last defrag, this can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Consider moving files to external storage. Hard drives recall the first 50 percent of storage placed on them much quicker than they do the bottom 50 percent; for example, if you have a gigabyte hard drive, the first gigabytes of information you put on your hard drive will be quicker to access.

You'll notice significantly less slow-down on your PC if you limit your file storage to half of that of your hard drive's capacity. The best way to do this is by increasing your hard drive capacity with an external flash drive or hard drive.


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  4. You can also move your files to any one of several free cloud storage services e. You can view all of your PC's programs and apps from inside of the Start menu; simply scroll down to view all of them. You will also see folders here; they often contain more apps, so click them to view their contents.

    Decide on which apps you want to uninstall. Generally speaking, apps like "News" or a radio app that ship with your OS are completely unnecessary and easily replaced with better programs or online plugins. If an app is crucial to your computer's functionality, you won't be able to delete it; that being said, most mandatory apps take up minimal processing power. Right-click an app you want to uninstall. This will prompt a context menu.

    Click "Uninstall", then confirm your choice. This will immediately uninstall your app or program, negating the need to visit the "Programs and Features" folder. You may have to click "More" at the bottom of the context menu to access the "Uninstall" option. Uninstall any apps you don't use. Most Windows computers ship with a large quantity of stock apps, plugins, programs, and free trials; these should all be candidates for deletion.

    Consider installing replacement programs. For every stock installed app, there is at least one viable alternative: [ citation needed ] Replace Microsoft Edge with Chrome or Firefox. Both of these browsers are faster, easier-to-use alternatives to Edge. Again, you can't delete Groove, but it takes much more processing power to run Groove than it does to run iTunes. VLC can play almost any video format and has a simpler, cleaner interface than default Microsoft video players, which translates to quicker processing speed. Restart your computer. After implementing all of these changes, your computer should be running much faster now!

    Easy and Free Ways to Speed up Your Computer

    Natfor gaming. If I delete the history of my previous web searches, will that make my computer faster? In part 3, the Disk Cleanup gives me the option to clean system files. Should I leave this alone or delete the files? I keep cleaning up my disk so it can perform quicker, but every time I restart, I encounter an unoptimized disk.

    How to speed up a slow laptop or PC (Windows 10, 8 or 7) for free

    I am cleaning up my computer, how do I know which processes to disable under task manager? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Tips Edit Make sure your computer is running in high-performance mode. If you're on a "Power Saver" plan or something similar, you will notice decreased processing speed when using high-performance apps or games.

    You can check this by clicking the battery icon on the right side of your taskbar.

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    Practicing good technology habits--such as keeping your computer charged and turning your machine off regularly--will increase both your machine's lifespan and its running speed significantly. You should also run security checks at least once a week using the antivirus security program of your choice. This will keep adware and malware from clogging up your computer's processor.

    If your computer is more than a couple years old, you're going to have a hard time transitioning to a new operating system e. New OS renditions are generally optimized for technology currently on the market, not three- or four-year-old machines. While it isn't technically part of your physical computer, clearing your browser's cache and cookies will improve your web browsing speed. Warnings Edit Refrain from downloading third-party apps to clean up your computer. Everything one of these apps might accomplish will be easily doable by you with the technology available by default on your Windows PC.

    Related wikiHows Edit. Co-Authored By:. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Co-authors: Updated: June 6, Categories: Featured Articles Windows. JB Julie Bush Nov 11, It's all in one place, explains why and how step by step. Thank you for making this simple for those of us that are nearly computer illiterate. I will print this and keep it on my desk for future reference. GH Gary H. Nov 26, On Windows 8, 8. Many applications tend to run in the system tray, or notification area.

    Better yet, prevent those applications from launching at startup to save memory and CPU cycles, as well as speed up the login process. Windows will helpfully tell you which applications slow down your startup process the most. Windows uses quite a few animations, and those animations can make your PC seem a bit slower.

    1. Restart your PC

    You should also consider enabling click-to-play plug-ins. Preventing Flash and other content from loading will prevent unimportant Flash content from using CPU time. Is Windows Defender Good Enough? This may not be flat-out malware — it may be software that interferes with your web browsing to track it and add additional advertisements, for example. If your hard drive is almost completely full, your computer may run noticeably slower.

    How to speed up Windows

    You want to leave your computer some room to work on your hard drive. Follow our guide to freeing up space on your Windows PC to free up room. In this situation, you might want to open the disk defragmenter tool and perform a scan to see if you need to run a manual defrag program. This can help speed your PC up, as those programs might include background processes, autostart entries, system services, context menu entries, and other things that can slow down your PC. On modern versions of Windows — that is, Windows 8, 8.