How to make your PC faster

If you find your PC is slower at handling everyday tasks it may be because over time, computers get cluttered with unnecessary files that need cleaning out. A slow PC can also be because your software or hardware is outdated, but there are certain steps you can take to improve performance.

This guide shows you how to give your slow PC a speed boost and also to keep your computer free of clutter.

Causes of A Slow PC
There are many possible causes of a slow PC. Because your computer is constantly working with files - moving, copying and deleting from place to place - it will eventually get cluttered with leftover files, some of which are not needed and just take up valuable disk space. You only have a certain amount of disk space available on your hard disk, and as it fills up the computer can begin to struggle to find room to perform its tasks.

If your PC crashes or freezes up, it may be a symptom of a slow or cluttered PC.

The brain of your computer is the Processor, and it may be that your processor is too slow to run today's demanding software. The processor can also struggle if you have multiple programs running at once - for example, if you have Word open to compose a letter while downloading a file from the Internet and also playing a song through your media player.

RAM is the temporary memory the computer uses to do its calculations. If you do not have enough RAM, your programs will run slowly.

Other components of your PC can contribute to poor performance, particularly your Graphics Card when it comes to running media and games software. Some hardware needs special programs called Drivers and these need to be kept up to date.

You may also have programs running in the background using up memory that you are unaware of, and in some cases, the problem may be a malicious program such as a virus or spyware.

The following is a list of tweaks and tips that can be used to help improve the performance of your PC.

Sometimes, slowdown is caused by physical problems with your PC and its hardware. One example is your PC becoming too hot. It may be that there is a build up of dust which is preventing the cooling fans from doing their job. Your PC should be positioned in a cool place and its air vents should not be blocked.

Always turn off and unplug your PC before you clean it. A can of compressed air can be used to blow out the dust.

Like any piece of equipment, hardware components can start to wear out over time and eventually they will need replacing, usually with a newer model. You should make sure after replacing or upgrading components such as RAM memory or Graphics cards, that they are firmly in place in their slots.

Remove Unwanted Programs
There is a lot of software on the average PC which is unnecessary, and has usually been installed and then forgotten about over time. It is good practice to clean your PC of unwanted programs regularly.

Click on the Start menu then Control Panel. Switch to Classic View if you are in Category view, and double-click Add or Remove Programs. Look for programs that you don't use anymore, click to select them and then click the Remove button to uninstall them.

When your PC starts, Windows loads lots of programs including some you may not be aware are running. Often, these are necessary so that Windows and security software such as anti-virus and firewall can function properly. Sometimes, however, programs that are not necessary can be running in the background using up memory.

You can remove unwanted and not frequent used program from the start up .

To do this, click on your Start menu and then on Programs. From your Programs List, hold your mouse over Startup to see the programs currently set to start when Windows does. Right-click any of the programs and click Delete to remove them from startup.

However, not all startup programs are shown in the Startup folder. To see the others, click Start menu then Run and type 'msconfig' then click OK. This brings up the System Configuration Utility window. Click the Startup tab then un-check the boxes next to any programs that you don't wish to run automatically when Windows starts.

Disable Unnecessary Processes
The Applications tab in Windows Task Manager only shows the main programs that are running. However, this is not everything: there are also various Processes that run too. Click on the Processes tab to see them.

Many of the processes listed in Task Manager will be legitimate tools required for Windows and other programs to run properly. But you may also find some here that you don't need (and sometimes you may find a process belonging to a harmful virus or spyware program).

The information given here shows you the name of the process and also how much processor (CPU) time it is using up as a percentage of the total available. You can also see the amount of memory the program consumes.

You can right-click on any process and choose End process to stop it running temporarily, but it will most likely start up again when you restart your PC. You should be very careful when ending a process that you do not stop a process that is required by Windows.
Remove Malicious Programs
It is important that you use up-to-date security software to detect and remove malicious programs.

Virus programs can slow down your PC and cause unwanted behaviour, even damage to your data. Read this guide to using an anti-virus program:

You can use windows malicious removal tool , a free utility from micorosft to remove malicious program also you can use windows defender another Anti spyware tool from Microsoft.(Now build in with Vista and Microsoft 7 OS)

Check For Viruses

Spyware tracks your movements on the Web for advertising purposes, but can affect your PC's performance as well. Use anti-spyware programs to remove it, as explained in this article:

Clear Out Junk Files
Any time you visit a web site, your computer needs to download the page along with any pictures displayed on it. To prevent your computer having to download the same files again each time you visit the same web site, your web browser will keep a "cache" of stored files it will retrieve if the site hasn't changed since your last visit.

Although this means web pages appear faster, over time your cache can eat up a lot of disk space and slow your PC down.

Whenever you delete a file, it is moved to the Recycle Bin first, to give you the chance to change your mind. But the Recycle Bin uses disk space too, so if you leave lots of files in there you are wasting precious space.

You can read this article to find out how to clear out junk files, empty the Recycle Bin, defrag your hard disk, remove old system restore points and get rid of temporary files stored by your web browser:
Clean Out And Clean Up Files - Disk Cleanup / Defragmenter

Clean The Registry
The Registry is where Windows stores information about your programs. Over time, this too can get cluttered and may affect performance.

You can use a Registry cleaning tool such as CCleaner to remove redundant program entries.

Streamline The Windows Interface
Windows XP (and the new Windows Vista) has a number of effects that make working with files and folders on your screen more pleasing to the eye, such as smooth animated menus and transparent windows.

However, these use the processor too which means they can cause slowdown. Right-click the My Computer icon on the Desktop and click Properties. Click the Advanced tab and under Performance, click Settings and you can choose to switch off some of these effects.

Tweak The Page File
When Windows uses up all the available RAM memory in your computer, it turns to the hard disk for help and uses a Page File as extra space to work with. If the Paging File is too low, Windows can run slowly.

Right-click the My Computer icon on the Desktop and click Properties. Click the Advanced tab and under Performance, click Settings then Advanced and you can Change the Virtual Memory settings.

The System managed size option lets Windows determine the best settings for you, but you can choose to set your own Custom Size if you wish. Type in the amount of disk space you want it to use.

There are varying opinions on what is the best setting, but many recommend putting it at 1.5 times your RAM - so for example if you have 512MB of RAM, you would set both the Initial and Maximum size boxes at 768MB. Click the Set button to accept your changes and see if performance has improved.

If you have plenty of RAM for your computer to use, then setting a large Page File is unnecessary and will just waste space on the hard disk. You should not disable the Page File completely though, as certain programs require it to run properly.

Update Drivers And Windows
In order to make your hardware work properly, Windows needs special programs called Drivers. Read this guide to find out about updating your drivers, which can often fix problems and make your programs run better:
Update Your Hardware Devices

It is also important to ensure your Windows system files are up to date. This can help fix problems and protect against security threats.

Upgrade Hardware
Upgrading hardware such as RAM or the graphics card is a common way for PC users to improve the speed of their machine.