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Computers can slow down for a variety of reasons, regardless of how up-to-date the hardware is.
I have a Windows 7 laptop, and I remember when I first got it how super-fast it was. Now, a few years later, it’s not nearly as fast as it once was. The same is true with my husband’s Windows computer.
Fortunately, Windows provides several tools that can help speed up your computer and make it run more efficiently.
Plus, I’ve found an awesome (FREE) program that will clean — and speed up — your Windows computer in minutes!
So if your computer is starting to slow down, try these tips to speed it up like it used to be:
#1 – CCleaner
Without a doubt, CCleaner is definitely the best way to clean and remove all the junk that’s running behind the scenes on your computer! I use it all the time whenever my computer starts slowing down. Within minutes, my computer is always fast and running like new again. I highly recommend it (…and it’s FREE). A rare find indeed.
TIP: Kim Komando (one of the tech gurus that I’ve followed the advice of for years) highly recommends this program, and she uses it herself.
#2 – Disk Cleanup
A cluttered hard drive can have a significant impact on the performance of your computer. Old files and downloaded programs can mount up and cause your computer to slow down. The Windows Disk Cleanup utility searches your computer for files and programs you no longer need, and safely deletes them from your computer. To access the Disk Cleanup utility, navigate to the System Tools section of the Accessories in your start menu. (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup)
TIP: Here’s a reason you do NOT want to check the box next to “Compress old files.”
#3 – Disk Defragmenter
When the files on your hard drive become fragmented, your computer has to search the hard drive to find all of the fragments. This can cause your computer to slow down, and lead to a significant increase in the amount of time it takes your computer to respond to file commands. The Windows Disk Defragmenter utility finds fragmented files and folders, before defragmenting and organizing them for optimum use. First you’ll want to “Analyze Disk”, and if the report says your computer is fragmented, then choose “Defragment Disk”. (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter)
TIP: Here’s the inside scoop about disk defragmentation.
#4 – Error Checking
Over time, your hard drive can develop errors and bad sectors, which can slow down your computer and reduce performance. Windows 7 comes with an Error Checking utility that scans your hard drive to check for errors and bad sectors. To run this utility, right-click on the hard drive you want to check, and select Properties. Under the Tools tab, you will find the Error Checking utility. (Start -> Computer -> C: -> Right click “Properties” -> Tools -> Error Checking)
TIP: I checked both boxes: “Automatically fix file system errors” and “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors”. As a result, this took a long time to run on my computer. I started the Error Checking utility before I went to bed and let it run overnight.
#5 – ReadyBoost
ReadyBoost works by utilizing the free space on a USB flash drive or flash memory card to speed up your computer. When you plug a USB flash drive or flash memory card into your computer, you will be given a list of options on the Autoplay menu. One of these options will be “Speed up my system.” Select this option and choose your preferred settings from the menu.
TIP: Here’s more about ReadyBoost.
BONUS TIP #6 – Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials performs a number of functions to help keep your system running smoothly. You will need to download a free copy from the Microsoft website, as it does not come pre-loaded with Windows. Microsoft Security Essentials helps to protect your computer from viruses, malware, spyware and adware, which can all slow down your computer.
TIP: Here’s how to disable Microsoft Security Essentials if you ever want to do so — either temporarily or permanently.
More Tips For Making A Windows Computer Faster
- Tips For Speeding Up Your Windows PC
- 6 Ways To Speed Up Your Windows Computer
- How To Speed Up, Clean Up & Revive A Windows PC
- 10 Steps To Make Your Windows Computer Faster
- Top 9 Ways To Speed Up Your Computer
- 99 Ways To Make Your Computer Blazingly Fast
I got my first computer in 1986 and immediately started writing, saving documents, and organizing my entire life on it. Thus began my love affair with gadgets and all things tech. I built my first website in 1998 in old-school HTML code — before websites were "a thing". Blogs weren't invented yet. It was the same year that Google was born. My husband and I created TheFunTimesGuide.com in 2004 — before YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, and Mashable were launched. That was the year Facebook started and 'blog' was the Word of the Year according Merriam-Webster. Ever since then, anytime a new electronic gadget hits the market… I have to have it. (My husband's impulsive nature to try out every new tech gadget invented is even worse than mine!) When I'm not trying out fun new tech gadgets, you'll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).