How to Make Your Windows Computer Run Faster

Upset Man at Computer

Personal computers are our best friends right up to the point when they drive us crazy crashing, taking five minutes to load the login screen, or when you can’t even open up Google Chrome to check Twitter.  If you find yourself able to take a twenty minute nap while Microsoft Word loads up, try out these tips to make your life and your Windows computer run a little bit faster.

Stop Unnecessary Programs from Loading on Startup

Even though you might only see your Microsoft Excel open at the bottom of your screen, Windows is always running programs in the background.  Disabling unnecessary programs from running in the background will speed up the startup time for your computer and make daily routines run faster.  Here’s how:

  1. Click start in the bottom left corner (windows icon in Windows 7)
  2. Click “Run” (in Windows 7 just type into the search bar “msconfig” into the search bar)
  3. Type “msconfig” and hit enter
  4. A window will pop up.  Click the tab that says Startup
  5. You will see a list of programs where you want to uncheck all the programs you don’t need to start when you power on your computer.  For example, I unchecked iTunes, QuickTime, Skype, QuickBooks, and a bunch of other programs that don’t need to run until I want to use them.  If you see a program you haven’t heard of, leave it checked.  You don’t want to turn off something your computer needs.
  6. Click “OK” and you will be prompted to restart your computer.  Go ahead and restart.

msconfig Screen

Defragment Your Computer Once a Week

Sometimes Windows puts pieces of your files and programs in places all over the computer.  Over time, more and more files end up spread out across your computer taking your PC more time to find everything it needs.  To fix this problem, defragment your computer at least once a week.  To defragment go to Start –> All Programs –> Accessories –> System Tools –> Disk Defragmenter.

Even though Windows has the built in defragmenter, you might want to think about using Auslogics Disk Defrag.  It’s free, faster than the Windows defrag program, and it’s easy to use.

Clean Up Your Computer

If you don’t clean your computer it will get filled with old files and slow down your system.  Use Windows Disk Cleanup to remove those old files.  To start the program click Start –> All Programs –> Accessories –>System Tools –> Disk Cleanup.  Once you run the program it should allow you to delete old and unused files to not only speed up your computer, but also help you save space.

Disk Cleanup

If you are looking for something more robust download CCleaner. It does a better job than Windows Disk Cleanup and also has other tools to help your computer perform more effectively.

Upgrade Your Computer’s RAM

If you’ve taken about every possible step to make Windows run faster and nothing seems to be working consider upgrading your computer’s RAM.  RAM is basically your computer’s short-term memory and will almost always help speed up a slow computer.  If  you want more information on the cost of RAM, how much to buy, and where to get it, visit PC World’s How to Upgrade Your PC’s RAM article.

There are tons of other ways to speed up your computer.  I just figured these would give you a good start on the road to a little less thumb twiddling.

If you have other suggestions to speed up your computer or you’ve found the magic solution to make Windows run like the wind please tell us in the comments.


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