How To Speed Up Your Computer
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How to Speed Up Your Computer

Slow computers, something that haunt us all Windows users to the very end of our days. You get your new shinny computer and with the run of the time, it suddenly becomes slower one day at a time.

Today we will see some cool tricks that you can use to speed your computer up, it’s not going to be like new if you want that you better format your hard drive, but for sure will be faster than it was.

Why it slows down

There can be several factors that slow down a computer, some of them might be physical and some might be logical (meaning software).

For the physical factors, heat is the main reason. There are some things to check on this, first that the inside of your cabinet is not dirty, if this is the case get a can of compressed air and give it a good clean. First thing you have to clean is the heat sink of the CPU (or processor), with one hand grab the fan so it doesn’t spin like crazy, and with the other apply the compressed air. Be aware that if you have never done this or have passed several years without a proper cleaning, there will be massive amounts of dust in the heat sink.

Apply the air all over the place, DVD units, hard disks, all the motherboard, and any other peripheral you may have like graphics cards.

After this, verify that your heat sink is correctly attached to the motherboard, and that is correctly applying pressure to the CPU. First heat will charge its quota to the processor making it slow, after a while your computer will start to shut down without notice. If this is the case get some heat sink paste, take it off and reapply to processor.

Logical cleaning

Windows can be very tricky and your computer slowdown can come from a lot of places, let’s take a look

Malware or Virus

Windows is an open book for programmers to create and distribute malware and virus, so you have to be aware of this and be very careful on what you download and see on Internet. Microsoft is aware of this, and has created its own Antivirus, Microsoft Security Essentials.

Actually, their software is pretty good and does a great job protecting your computer, it can be even better than other high price options like Norton or McAfee, the best of all is that it’s free. You can stop paying annual subscriptions (if you are) and start enjoying free protection; it will require you to have a valid Windows license key though.

For malware, I strongly recommend getting another software called Malwarebytes AntiMalware. This software is great removing malware and other threats like Trojans or tracking cookies. It has a paid version which enables real time protection and other protection modules, but the free ones are enough for us.

Garbage files, and temp files

There are several files that are created in your computer to “speed” thing around, like web temp files and user session files. However these are not always needed, or can be deleted without harming your computer.

For this purpose, we will use a program called CCleaner. This great piece of software will clean our computers by itself, and this will result in a much faster computer. You have two options for this, first to test what will be deleted, and the actually deleting.

If you use Chrome of Firefox as your web browsers and you have the option to save the tabs you are using for the next time you open them, please go to the options and disable the erase session from each, otherwise your tabs will be lost.

Virtual Memory

Last boos for our computers will be the virtual memory for Windows. You might be asking yourself what is virtual memory? Quite simple, let’s say you have in your computer 2GB of RAM, and you are able to use naturally 2GB of RAM. Nonetheless, Windows use the hard drive free space to create virtual RAM.

Standard setup is you let Windows decide the amount of virtual memory to use, but in this step we are going to set how much virtual memory Windows will allocate.

Go to computer properties (or windows + pause) and get to Advanced System Settings, there by default it will be selected the Advanced tab, if it’s not the case please select it. On Performance, click the setting button. That will bring the Performance options popup; click on Advanced tab again and below you will see Virtual Memory, click on Change.

After this, you get the Virtual Memory screen, deselect “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives”. Here you have to be cautious. Remember we said that virtual memory feeds from hard drive so you have to take into consideration how much free space you have left. If you have plenty of free space, go crazy and assign on custom size anywhere from 2GB (2,000 MB) to 10GB (10,000MB), I usually set 5GB minimum and 10GB maximum.

If you don’t have that much space, you have to set lower space. At the bottom you will see a minimum allowed and a recommended size set your limits a little higher than that and you will do ok.

Final words

Hopefully with this article you got a better understanding of why your computer slows down, and how to give it a quick fix. As stated before, if you want it to be as pristine as new, then formatting your computer is your best shot.

If you encounter that your slowdown is due to physical devices, and you want to replace them then you can find more guides on the best hardware to do so here.

Should you need more specific advice, please drop me a comment and I will be glad to help.

Street Talk

Mark Tait  

Hi - great info - I know how to work a computer, but not how to maintain it. This is really useful. All the best, Mark

  about 5 years ago

Thanks Mark! If you need help on the process let me know and I will gladly help you

  about 5 years ago
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