Speed-Up Your Computer – 7 Free Ways In 2 Hours or Less
Do you find yourself frustrated at the amount of time it takes for internet sites to open on your computer? Do you sit there at your computer watching the green loading bar creep slowly along for what seems like an eternity… only to have it finally finish and give you the message “Page cannot be displayed”? We put many demands on our computers with storing information, pictures, and music. Internet sites have become larger files requiring large transfers of information with embedded videos, flash players, and pop – ups. All these things can slow your computer to a crawl, but with some simple adjustments you can get your computer running like a well – oiled machine again. After all, you don’t expect your house to run smoothly without cleaning and housekeeping, why should you expect your computer to run smoothly without some routine upkeep? The list below offers some simple, quick and free ways that you can use to speed up your computer and get it running more efficiently.
1. Install Anti – Spyware – Spyware collects personal information, without letting you know or asking permission, from the websites you visit, to names, passwords, and confidential information. Spyware also significantly slows down your computer’s performance. There are several free services available to stop spyware and viruses from invading your computer; Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, Microsoft Windows Defender, AdAware, Spybot, and Avast can all be downloaded free of charge. I have personally been us
ing Avast for several years and have been very pleased with it.
2. Free up Disk Space – The Disk Cleanup tool helps you to free up space on hard disk thus improving your computer’s performance. You can use it to;
* Remove temporary Internet files
pically these take a lot of space because the browser caches each page you visit for faster access later.
* Delete Downloaded program files that you no longer use
* Empty the Recycle Bin
* Remove temporary files such as error reports
* Delete optional Windows components that you don’t use
* Delete installed programs th
at you no longer use
The access may vary depending on the system your computer uses but the basic set – up is as follows
Click Start – >Click All Programs – >Click Accessories – >Click System tools – >Click Disk Cleanup (you may be prompted to specify which drive you want to clean)
When Disk Cleanup has calculated how much space you can free up, scroll through the Files content to choose the files to delete. It will tell you which files are important (not to be deleted), and give you a second chance (after you tell it to delete a file) to cancel that action, so don’t let this scare you. Now that we’ve gotten rid of all the garbage, let’s organize what’s left!
3. Disk Defragmentation – This is a Windows option that allows
files and folders on your computer to be consolidated, so each occupies a single space on the disk. It’s kind of like putting all your electric bills in one fol der, and your charge card bills in another. With all your files stored neatly, end to end, and without fragmentation, reading and writing to the disk speeds up. Defragmentation should be performed at regular intervals (weekly would be optimal) to keep your computer running smoothly. Again, there is some variation in sy stems,but the basic set – up is;
Click Start - >Click All Programs – >Click Accessories – >Click System Tools – >Click Disk Defragmenter.
The tool will ask which drives you want to defragment, click analyze disk, and the tool will tell you if you should defragment the analyzed drive. Analyzing will also tell you how long the defragmentation process will take. Click the Defragment disk button and a box will come up showing you the progress. You can also view a report when the process is complete.
4. Detect and repair Disk errors – This allows you to check the integrit
y of the files stored. Your hard drive can develop bad sectors which slow down performance and make file saving difficult. The Error Checking Utility scans the hard drive to check for bad sectors, file system errors, and misplaced files or folders. To run the Error Checking Utility;
Close all open files – >Click Start – >Click Computer – >Right Click the hard disk you want to search for bad sectors – >Click Properties – >Click Tools Tab – >Click Check Now – >In the check Disk dialog box select the scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box – >Click Star
If bad sectors are found, choose to fix them. Only select the “Automatically fix file system error” check box if your disk contains bad sectors.
5. Speed Start - Up – Check for programs that run in the background when you start – up your computer. To do this;
Click Start – >Click Run – >then type in msconfig – >Click the Startup tab to see all of the applications that load at this time.
Uncheck any applications that do not make your computer run such as games, updaters, or messenger applications. Many programs try to run in the background even when they are idle. You don’t need them idling there slowing down your start – up.
6. Remove Wallpapers
– These slow down the entire system. Picture files can significantly reduce your PC’s speed. Think about reducing the size of your wallpaper to around 200 kilobytes. You can change it by right clicking on any part of your desktop’s background.
7. Disable Animations – Running these can make your computer run much slower. Items such as window transparency, animations, drop shadows and showing window contents when dragging can be enabled or disabled individually or all at one time. These applications not only slow your computer but will reduce your laptops battery performance.
The first three steps are the most important in improving your computer’s speed and performance. You may find the improvement significant enough that you can stop there. However, step Š Free up Disk Space and step #3 Disk Defragmentation should be done routinely to maintain the speed you gained.
Depending on how long you have been using your computer without performing these st
eps, it may take longer than 2 hours to do But, if done routinely these steps will take less than one hour. I think it is worth it to avoid the frustration that comes with waiting several minutes for a page to load.
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