Making your computer run faster keeps you working faster, but might ultimately reduce the number of hours you spend at your desk. If you’re not dealing with errors, malware, viruses, or a persistent lag then you’re able to get more stuff done, it’s as simple as that. Fortunately, most of the time it’s as easy as doing a little “house cleaning” on your computer. Unfortunately, most users fail to do even this type of basic maintenance. Don’t become one of those users. Take these basic steps to increase the speed of your Windows PC:
1. Protect your computer from virus, spyware, and malware
While Microsoft gets a lot of criticism over the buggy nature of its operating system, it has developed a very good anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-spyware program. The Microsoft Security Essentials is probably all you need to keep your PC free from malicious programs. It won’t catch them all, but it will catch a lot of them. According to Coputerworld’s Gregg Keizer, MS Security Essentials caught 98 percent of all malware thrown at it.
If you don’t trust Microsoft’s ability to protect your computer, Norton, Kaspersky, and AVG are all good options. Malwarebytes is a good program for detecting elusive malware and may pick up things that MS Security Essentials does not. Be careful when running more than one anti-virus/malware/spyware program on your computer. Some programs may conflict with each other and actually cause your computer to slow down – even when you’ve cleared your computer of all viruses.
2. Free up disk space
As you approach your hard drive limits, you might notice your computer slowing down. Generally, if your PC has less than 10 percent disk space left, there will be little or no room for file caching and swapping. A simple solution is to take some of your data and store it on an external hard drive or a cloud-based backup.
3. Repair disk errors
Running Microsoft’s Disk Check utility will find disk errors. The program pretty much runs by itself. All you need to do is stay out of its way while it runs. Once it finds errors, it will fix them – if possible – and optimize your PC’s performance. When it’s done, you should notice an improvement in your PC’s speed and overall performance.
4. Clean your computer
It’s often overlooked, but physically cleaning your computer can do wonders for its speed and longevity. Take your computer to a professional, if need be, or buy a computer cleaning kit. Remove all of the dust and debris from your keyboard and internal parts. By cleaning your computer, you reduce the amount of heat buildup in the components. Yes, your computer’s fans help mitigate heat, but they can’t overcome significant dust and debris. Lowering your computer’s operating temperature not only allows your computer to run faster, it will also add years of life to your PC since you’ll decrease the odds of premature component failure.
5. Set automatic updates
Automatic updates aren’t optional. They include important updates to anti-virus software and can even provide updates to necessary drivers. It’s fine if you don’t understand what all of the updates do. For the most part, any update will be a good one. Outdated drivers, or old versions of software, can cripple a PC. Set Windows to automatically download updates as they become available. Then, allow Windows to install those updates.
While basic maintenance will fix a lot of speed problems, there are some issues best left to a professional. If you’ve tried all of the basic housecleaning steps and your computer is still running slow, it’s time to take your PC to a computer specialist. He’ll have specialized software (not to mention the skillset) to diagnose and repair your computer.
Author Bio: David Kendall contributed this guest post on behalf of iWeb-ftp.co.uk – read article on signs of a tech savvy business. David is an avid PC user has a penchant for all things new. His articles appear on various technology blogs.