It is undeniable that all computer performance experience will experience a speed slowdown at some point. As software becomes more and more demanding, the way your PC reacts to these changes can have a huge impact on its performance. The operating system you have and whether you have chosen to upgrade to Windows 10 can also make a big difference.
While you can make improvements to your laptop to make it run faster, there are improvements you can make that are more cost-effective and easier to perform. These small adjustments may not seem like they will speed up your computer’s performance, but combined, they can keep your PC running for years.
There are also several types of software that can help you get rid of old files when looking for apps you rarely use and might want to uninstall. The program can also warn you if there are files and software that might be causing your computer to slow down and which might be worth removing.
Here are seven ways to increase your computer’s speed and overall performance.
1. Uninstall unnecessary software
Your computer is preloaded with a number of applications that many people don’t use, but which can drain system resources. You can usually identify it when you see a pop-up message asking you to update a program you haven’t used before.
- Remove the application from your computer and free up disk space
- Click the “Start” button and open the “All apps” menu
- Here, you can see a list of the applications you have installed and which have not
- Once you find the program you want to uninstall, right-click on the icon to see the “Options” menu.
Alternatively, you can right-click Start and go to Programs and Features. Windows Cortana Assistant is also useful because it can search for “Programs” in its search box. From there, you’ll find notes about the apps you’ve used recently and which are taking up the most space. After examining the installed applications, you can decide which programs to remove to help improve system performance.
You will also find out which programs your computer needs to operate properly and which ones can be removed. One of the reasons these apps slow down your PC is because they often start automatically when you boot your computer.
If you’re in doubt whether you want this app to be permanently removed, you can take a deeper look at the menu mentioned above.
2. Restrict programs at startup
Along with that, you can also specify which applications run when your PC boots up. Windows 10 has the latest version of the Task Manager which makes it easy for you to determine what apps you want to run in the background and what apps you can start yourself.
- To access the Task Manager, press Ctrl-Shift-Esc
- A box will appear listing all the applications you have installed on your computer
- This box also details the amount of RAM each program uses when you turn on your PC
- To make adjustments, simply right-click the app you want to change to ask it not to run until prompted
You can always change these settings if you notice that a program is no longer operating, affecting how you use your PC. When in doubt, you can always restart your computer and see how your computer operates without any particular application at startup.
3. Add more RAM to your PC
When it comes to memory usage, Windows 10 uses less RAM than previous versions, but increasing RAM memory has been a tried and tested way to speed up devices for years.
If you have a convertible or detachable laptop, you may have to settle for the features included in the box. Some business and gaming laptops allow adding RAM, but this step is still tricky.
Adding more RAM to a desktop computer is much easier and also much less expensive. Anyone with a basic idea of a tower desktop interior can install more RAM in about an hour.
You can also take your computer to a professional shop to install more RAM. If you’re worried about potentially harming your system or doing it wrong, then seek an expert opinion to put your mind at ease and make it easier to add extra memory.
4. Check for spyware and viruses
When surfing the web, it’s almost impossible not to catch a virus. However, the new Windows Defender software makes it even easier for you to spot malware that might be causing major problems on your PC. Third-party programs are also easy to install and equally effective at removing any spyware or viruses you may find.
Some apps are better than others and some of them can take up more space, which can hurt speed. Ideally, you want to find software that is efficient and removes malware completely, but doesn’t take up too much space on your PC.
Consider installing two types of software to monitor computer performance. Malware cleaning programs can solve slow or most noticeable problems with speed or pop-up messages. However, you should also pay attention to apps that offer continuous protection and run in the background. Again, keep in mind that these antivirus programs take up a lot of space, so choose one that is designed not to affect your computer’s performance.
Do a little research to help you find software that fits your budget or with a specific type of operating system. There may be compatibility issues if you download free software. Therefore, double check everything before installing it so you don’t run into any other performance issues.
5. Use Disk Cleanup and defragmentation
Every computer has a number of files and programs on its hard disk that have not been used for a long time or are not needed. With Disk Cleanup, you can find out which applications and files can be removed from your computer, thereby freeing up drive space for the programs you will use.
Disk Cleanup is very accessible.
- From the Start button or Cortana search box, you will be directed to the program
- A quick scan will show temporary files, installer apps, and web pages that you don’t use or no longer need
- From there, the program will automatically delete them and free up some space
The effectiveness of Disk Cleanup depends on how much RAM you have in your PC, which can also cause your computer to run slower than usual. If that’s the case, it might be time to install more RAM in your device.
You should also schedule disk defragmentation on a semi-routine basis, so you can see how much hard disk space is available. Windows has an Optimize Drives tool, which you can access from your Start button or Cortana search box. There are also a number of useful third-party programs to clean up files you no longer use.
6. Consider a startup SSD
If you want better performance, a startup solid-state drive (SSD) can help take some of the stress off the processor when your computer boots up. If you tend to run a number of applications at once or use photo and video editing software, then a startup drive can help make these programs run smoother and load faster.
Although SSDs are most often installed on desktop computers, they can also be used in some laptop models. If you don’t have the option of using an internal SSD, you can always buy an external drive that connects to your PC with USB 3.0. These drives can give you the extra boost you need at startup to complete tasks and boost apps that require more temporary memory to run properly.
You can find a number of SSD options to fit your budget, depending on how you use your PC. Online storage review sites can be a valuable source of information when you want to choose the right drive for your computer and you need to find out if the drive is compatible with your operating system.
7. Check your web browser
Small adjustments can often make a difference to your PC’s speed. Simple things like the browser you use can slow down or speed up the loading rate of web pages, videos, and images. If you’re already using a particular browser and notice some lag time, consider alternatives to see if their loading speed is better.
The type of browser you use is not the only possible cause of slowing down your computer when using the web. If you have a full cache that hasn’t been emptied for a long time, go to settings and make sure the cache is empty.
Fortunately, this is easy to fix. There are two ways to do this in the more popular web browsers:
For Internet Explorer:
- Open “Internet Options” (Internet Options)
- Click the “General” tab
- Look for the “Browsing History” option
- Select “Temporary Internet Files” and “Website Data”
- Press “Delete” (Delete)
For Google Chrome:
- Go to “More settings”
- Select “More tools”
- Click “Clear browsing data” (Clear browsing data)
- Note that Chrome allows you to clear data within a certain period of time
- If you have never deleted a file in your cache before, we recommend selecting “All time”.
- Check the boxes for “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files”
- Press “Clear data” (Clear data)
Note that cookies may also include an auto fill function in your search bar, so it’s a good idea to bookmark your favorite websites just in case.