How can I make my computer run faster?

The most effective way to speed up a system is to clean it up, have it run fewer programs, and give it more resources like RAM.

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Please tell me how I can make my PC run faster. My machine’s just getting slower and slower.

There are a number of steps that you can take to attempt to speed up your system.

Most require simply tweaking the software you already have, not adding more.

But there are also steps that go beyond tweaking and right to removal.

RAM

Even before we look at the software on your machine, I do want to throw out adding RAM as one potential solution.

RAM is cheap, and if your machine has the ability to take more, then it can often be the fastest way to speed up a computer – even one that is poorly configured (which we’ll address next).

Windows loves RAM, it just does. Practically speaking, it’s very difficult to have too much.

If your machine simply meets the minimum requirements for the version of Windows you’re running, then I would say you don’t have enough. The published minimums are just that: the bare minimum for a functioning system. If you want a system that works well, you want more RAM. My rule of thumb is to start with at least twice as much as the minimum requirements state, and ideally as much as your machine can handle.

As I said, RAM is easy. But while it may well speed up your computer, it may not be addressing the underlying cause.

Too many programs running

By far the number one reason machines slow down is that there’s simply too much software running.

Note that I said running, not installed. Installed software just takes up space on your hard disk. Running software, on the other hand, uses RAM, uses your CPU, and at times can use disk and network resources as well.

It’s the software that’s running on your machine that more often than not slows it down.

SlowPUPs and other foistware

In recent years the amount of software that is installed surreptitiously when you install something else has exploded. It’s not at all uncommon to encounter a machine whose browsers are loaded with unwanted toolbars, and whose task bar is loaded with icons for several unrecognized and unwanted pieces of … well, I’ll just call them “software”, though other words could be used.

Start by reviewing this article:  How do I remove PUPs, foistware, drive-bys, toolbars, and other annoying things I never wanted? It’s a good first step to removing a fair amount of software that you didn’t ask for, that you don’t want, and that may be impacting your machine’s performance.

Auto-start is not always your friend

Many programs that you do want install components that start automatically when you start Windows, whether you need or want those components or not. Unfortunately that means that they’re typically always running, stealing resources like CPU and RAM away from the programs that you do want to run.

There’s no simple solution here. There’s no checklist for what you do and don’t need. There’s no canonical list of the things you can get rid of. And to be completely honest, not everything that runs automatically actually contributes to performance issues, and there’s no list of the ones that do, either.

It’s unfortunately vague, but that’s the way it is.

The problem is that everyone’s needs are different. Ultimately, it depends on the software you use and the way you use it. The only quick advice I can give is:

  • Review the icons that show on the right hand side of the task bar on your Windows desktop. Each of these represent at least one running program, or a Windows status of some sort. For each program, determine if you need that service, and check the corresponding program’s options for a “Start With Windows” type of setting you can turn off.
  • Review what’s getting started automatically in MSConfig’s Startup tab (Start -> Run -> MSConfig), or in Windows 8’s Task Manger’s Startup tab. Review each entry to confirm that you really need it. Do a little online research, if needed, to determine what each component provides and whether or not you need it. ( WinPatrol is another good resource, and if you’ve upgraded to WinPatrol PLUS, you’ll also have access to a database of information on common startup programs.)

Of course if you want to go even further down the rabbit hole you can run a program like autoruns, a free download from Microsoft, which will show you absolutely everything that runs as part of starting up Windows. I’ll warn you that it’s quite geeky, and it’s easy to harm your system by disabling the wrong thing.

Change bad habits

If your system is strapped for resources, it’s very possible that you might be contributing to its performance issues.

How?

By running too much software at once, or causing the software you run to require more resources than your system actually has.

The solution? It’s actually pretty simple:

  • Do one thing at a time.
  • When you’re done with a program, close it. (File->Exit or ALT+F4 or whatever other options that program might include to exit.)
  • Reduce the number of browser tabs you keep open simultaneously.
  • Reduce the number of documents you keep open, or spreadsheets you’re working on simultaneously, or any number of things that boil down to asking the programs you run to keep track of more than they really need to.

Each of those things can contribute to system slowness by adding to the CPU load and RAM used by your machine.

Consider a solid state drive

SSDs or Solid State Drives have come down to a price level where they are within reach of most. While they don’t reach the same capacity as their traditional spinning platter brethren, they typically have more than enough space to act as a replacement drive for most machines.

SSDs improve system speed simply by being faster to read. Write speeds vary, so the gains aren’t as dramatic, but when it comes to reading data, SSDs are significantly and noticeably faster.

The process for switching to a SSD is the same as for simply replacing your hard drive with another:

  • Create an image backup of your hard disk.
  • Physically replace the hard disk with the SSD.
  • Restore the image backup of your hard disk to the SSD.
  • Make any final adjustments, such as adjusting partition sizes.

SSDs do use flash memory, and flash memory does wear out. Fortunately the quality of flash memory used in SSDs is such that it now typically outlasts the useful life of the machine, in normal use.

Nonetheless, I strongly suggest that you plan for failure anyway and backup regularly. (This holds true even with a traditional hard disk, since they, too, can fail catastrophically and without warning.)

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Other items to consider

Other things you could try to increase your system’s performance include:

  • Defragment your hard disk(s).
  • Clear your browser cache.
  • Consider using a lower resolution, or a lower color depth for your monitor.
  • Consider using a plain color instead of a picture for your desktop – the picture takes up memory that could be used for other things. (This is also extra important if you connect to your machine via Remote Desktop.)

There are, naturally, many, many other tweaks of various and dubious value out on the internet, but these are the ones that I focus on as getting the most bang for the effort.

I’m sure readers will add some of their favorite tweaks to the comments on this article, so be sure and give those a read.

This is an update to an article originally posted : December 26, 2005

Comments

  1. Greg Bulmash

    While Leo says 256 megs of RAM is the minimum, I’d say that 512 is the BARE minimum to run Windows XP SP2 effectively.

    Why is RAM so important?

    Short answer… when your computer runs out of available memory-chip RAM, it starts using your hard drive as memory for the overflow. The problem is that your hard drive, even if it’s the fastest SCSI speedster in the world, is much, much, much slower than memory-chip RAM. So, if your PC is having to use the hard drive for that overflow, the hard drive creates a memory bottleneck will slow your computer way down.

    And something VERY important to note. If you have bought a laptop or a bargain PC, your graphics solution may be using “shared RAM”. This is where the video card has no RAM of its own. Instead anywhere from 32-128 megs of your system RAM is dedicated to the video card and can’t be used by the CPU.

    For example, my VAIO laptop came with 512 megs of RAM, but it dedicated 128 megs to “shared RAM” for the video/display. So, while they could advertise that it had 512 megs of RAM, it was really equal to a PC with 384 megs of RAM, because 128 megs were dedicated to video and could not be used for anything else.

    - Greg

  2. Donny Daniels

    when adding memory.. be sure to match clock speeds (pc1200 and pc3200 will function at pc1200 or not at all and cause strange voltage fluctations that can result in data corruption etc etc.) so match your memory sticks. Take the original one out and take it to the store so you have something to compare and a place to start. Of course it also depends on what your mother board can handle… call a technician.. tell him you want to upgrade memory and to make sure it’s compatible with what you have installed.

  3. Byron

    No you should buy an 1GB ram that will make your computer run really fast that should help you and to spped things up even beter get a program called optimize xp download it its good.

  4. Ivan Tadej

    Hey Byron, I am really curious; do you know what precisely this program you mentioned does/sets, to speed things up ?? Does it need to run all the time, or it just applies the so-called registry tweaks ?? Because you know, in general, such programs only “rely” on the placebo-effect that users are experiencing when using them …

    best regards,
    Ivan Tadej, Slovenija, Europe
    http://www.tadej-ivan.tk

  5. Dazzc

    Can you beleive it, I have Windows XP, SP2 and a Intel Celeron CPU with 2.95GHz! The stupid machine has only… …wait for… it… …a mere 192 mb of RAM, well below the minimum of 250mb as someone said and in the sea compared to the 500mb BARE minimum as someone else said!

    • Howard

      So Social, how well will my documentation and engineer design programs, which now run just fine on Win 7, run with GNU/Linux? If I didn’t know that answer, wouldn’t it be just plain stupid to consider switching over?

  6. TechieNate

    My computer is a pentium 4 with ht technology, has geforce 7800 with 256mb I have dual processors running at 3.20 ghz, and also 2046mb of ram, and also i have a windows xp, im woundering, how can i make my computer run faster, on games mainly, when oblivion hits the stores i feel that my computer wont be able to handle it, so i need help

    Yes a GeForce 7800 GTX is able to play this…. Dual cores are a little performance drop when it comes to gaming as a single processor is better for games… im sure theres a hotfix for dual-core processors for that game … google is your answer

  7. yeah

    Ok i have a few tips to make your computers run faster.. FOR the GAMERS…. First stop downloading porn… im just kidding!… no really first you have to download ad-aware so it can clean your registry… you can get that at download.com for free….next do a disk cleanup… u should know what that is and then a disc defragment they are both windows programms that should be on your computer under accessories.. Hope that helps somewhat….oh yeah the best way to make your computer faster is to buy RAM.. its also the cheapest way…

  8. josh

    To make your computer start up faster you need to press start > run > Msconfig then click on the startup tab and take off the programs that you dont need at startup. you can also find more useful info on the microsoft site.

  9. Mark James

    I had a similar problem with my computer running poorly, tried some software that done the trick (PCTUNER), this software tunes any windows based machine to its highest potential, so if after running this software its still not fast enough (time for a upgrade). I think the URL is http://www.pctracker.info/pctuner.htm (approx

  10. drew

    Alright I just bought this game called Medieval 2 Toltal War. Its a very good game and all but its soooo laggy and im takling bout just on campaign no internet, my computer holds 160gb and i havent even used half of it no where near. I even have a decent graphics card and the store I bought it from said “Owwww yea, its a great computer for gameing”. Not true Im just wonderin if anybody has any solutions for this?

  11. Alex

    Yo drew what you should do is go to the srat button then click on run then type in msconfigure and take off some unneccesary stratup programs. You can also get rid of any wireless devices and try not using your USb plugs as much. ALso get a board with the cooling fan. The motherboard chip runs slower when it is hot and the cooler fan cooles the chip down

  12. dr34m3r

    Hi all =D …. im gonna help someppl who are facing games performance problems ..

    For the ppl who Play Games .. Like WoW .. Its mostly about the VGA card ur using .. nVidia – ATi or whatever it is .. To play ur game with a real cool performance without lagging or freezin .. u need a good RAM and HD with a good free space .. and a good VGA Card ofcourse ..

    anyway for Players . Go to Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Performance (settings) -> Then choose adjust to best performance :D This will help u to make it faster ..
    and another way .. when u start the game .. ALT + CTRL + DEL .. go to processes -> Right Click on the game process .. Set priority -> high :D
    This will help u too ^_^

    and ofcourse Defragment :D

    ^_^ BYE!

  13. Nick Davies

    If You Go To Start / Run / Type In: msconfig / Then Uncheck The Programmes Which You Do Not Need to Be Running, This Will Improve The Performance Of Your Computer Because Less Programmes Which You Do Not Need To Run Are Running.

    Another Great Way Is To Do What Tuan Suggested And Go To The Control Panel -> Performance And Maintenance -> System -> Advanced -> Performance (settings) -> Then Adjust To Best Performance Or Custom And Customise Windows To Make It Run Faster.

    =] Thanks

  14. phil

    G’day Leo,
    I have a 200gb hard drive & intel pentium 4 3.2ghz & 512mb ram hp desktop.What i want to know is if i buy 4x 1gb ram sticks & max out my ram capacity will it be bad for my pc,also in the long run.If so ,if i was to install 2gb ram will i see a difference in how fast my computer runs & other things pc’s do.Thanx.

  15. carlos

    my pc has a 512MB RAM and the rest i really dont know how to check, but yeah i got a compaq and the hardrive is 114 GB with free space of 106gb, i got a good virus protector and everything that defrags my computer n deletes temporary files and stuff, but even if i do all that video games still kinda lag and videos dont go at full speed like it will stop for a sec and stuff, what can i do to fix this solution?

  16. Leo A. Notenboom

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    Phil: nothing wrong with putting the maximum amount of RAM into your computer.
    How much that is and what RAM cards you need will depend on the specific
    machine. http://www.crucial.com has a good wizard that will walk you through
    figuring it out.

    Yes, I’d expect the move from 512Meg to 2gig to be noticably better, but it
    really depends on how you use your computer, and of course I can’t know that.

    Leo

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  17. Leo A. Notenboom

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    Carlos: that’s not enough information to really go on, but when it comes to
    video games, I always look at the capabilities of the video card – that can
    have a huge impact on game performance.

    Leo

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  18. brandon fisher

    i have just orderd a 2.5ghz intel pentium prossor 400 fbs and socket 478 and i want to rune world of warcraft but it takes the cpu up to 100% and i have tried it on my other computer wich has 2.4ghz with 512 ram and it still manages to run it, is ther anyway i can make it so that i can run my game and make it not stop. ohh and the computer i am trying to play the game has 1gb ram.

  19. Chad Burris

    1 gig of ram is good but better to have 2 gigs for serious gaming, also is your video card at least 256mb? 512mb card is best but kind of expensive.upgrading your memory is easy and not to expensive.(easy do it yourself thing)

  20. Jon

    ways to speed up computer
    1.) defragment disks
    2.) disk cleanup
    3.) stop programs when startup

    Also get Opera, not firefox or internet explorer. It’s the fastest and the best. Those are the best way to speed up your computer.

  21. Daniel Palmer

    I reccomend lots of things. I have got a DELL LATITUDE CPx Laptop with 128MB-500MHZ. This may sound rubbish and it was when i got it second hand. Until i sorted it out. I recomend that you download Auslogics Disk Defragmenter and Auslogics Registry Drfragmenter. http://www.auslogics.co.uk/downloads. They are free. Regitry Defrag sorts out Windows and makes start ups and prosesses faster. Also clear Internet Explorer Cache each time. Also run disk cleanup every time your logging off, it takes 1-2min.

    If this makes my laptop dead fast i think it will make your more advanced and more powerfull computers much faster

    Thank You…. Daniel Palmer.

    VERY USULL

  22. Marty

    To speed up a mid-level config PC,

    -Ensure the system is free from spyware and malware. These can seriously cripple performance.

    -Add RAM. But note that anything more than 3 GB is useless on a 32-bit OS.

    -Defragment the hard drives. The fragmentation disease affects every Windows OS, regardless of FAT or NTFS (FAT is worse!) and reduces performance. Especially for lower and mid-end PCs. Combat fragmentation with a good automatic defragmenter…no need to waste time by scheduling regular defrags; yet gain continuous benefit of defragmentation. The hard drive is the performance bottleneck in a PC, so keep it optimized always.

    -Update hardware drivers to the latest manufacturer recommended versions. Especially with video cards, these can have a major boost.

    -Don’t mess with registry. Don’t use any of these registry ‘tuners’ or ‘optimizers’. They are usually trouble.

  23. Ulises G

    What relly helps your pc work faster is installing the hole operating sistem that may sound rude but I have notice that after 6 month of using my pc It gets slow and I have to format it and there we go againg. It really works, try it.

  24. Leo

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    Ulises: Yes, in fact that’s so common there’s a term for it:
    “software rot”. 6 months seems a little extreme, but
    ultimately it depends on how you use your machine and how
    often you install or uninstall software. If you do it a lot
    then sometimes the best thing is to reformat and reinstall.

    I find I do it about every year or two on my primary
    machines.

    Thanks,

    Leo

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  25. matt

    Try out pcsurgeon synthesite.com [broken link removed] its was only 9.99 and came with Anti Virus, Spyware and a hard disk defragger. Also came with a tutorial that included tips and tricks to keep your computer fast, healthy and up to date. I was pretty impressed. This is all you really need to clean your computer of any viruses and spyware and keep it protected and running like its brand new.

  26. vinny28

    It is true that the best way to speed up your computer is too adjust what you already have and not compound the problem by adding software that is only going to slow you down even more by taking up more system resources. There is also another trick to increasing the performance of your pc, you can see the tutorial at Make-my-computer-faster.blogspot.com
    Great article thanks for sharing,
    vinny28

  27. Jonathan

    By adding RAM it can make your computer SEEM faster, but overall, all your pc does is take up more resources from the added ram to run unnecessary programs. To purely make your computer run faster, without adding RAM is by just follow the basic steps which you can find at:

    How To Speed Up Computer

    Adding RAM should only be done if you have so few, like in this article which is 128mb which is prehistoric compared to todays computer…

  28. farish

    this information is very effective. any way how can i up grade my computer processor. i want know about it. thank you guys

  29. rain

    why my laptop become slow when i add RAM? now, my RAM is 3Gig but its really slow… why i cant surf internet smoothly,, then what can i do?

  30. vrushabh

    you can download /buortonutilities it will completely remove ur unwanted and stupid dat auotmatically

  31. vrushabh

    oh sorry its norton utilities its ery goog but THE BEST THING TO DO IS BUY MMAC MY FRIEND HAS IT HR IS USING IT FROM 2 YEARS AS SOON AS U OPEN UR COUMP JUST CLICK ON THE INTERNET IN ONE SEC IT WILL NOPEN I SURE

  32. John Bishop

    I have a 1 GB vist Desktop computer, it runs very slow, and crashes on me quite a lot. My computer also makes 2 beeping sounds on start up, I have run a norton check, and it says my ram is low, if i get extra ram will this improve my computer, it is only 10 months old. Regards John….

    BIOS beeps mean that your BIOS has detected some kind of hardware fault on start up before Windows has even loaded. I’d absolutely have a technician or someone knowledgeable take a look at the machine.

    - Leo
    27-Jun-2009
  33. Eric

    I installed IE8 2 wks ago. It takes about 12 mins. for pc to turn on. Screen stays blank & to check msn mail another 10 mins. When I had IE6 it would take maybe 12-15 mins. for both. When I close the IE & click on Mozilla icon & then hotmail it takes less the 4 mins. How do I make the Mozilla the home page when I power the pc on? I have MS Windows XP 504 MB of RAM 2.80GHZ Gateway.

  34. Adam

    Everybody keep`s saying buy more RAM, it make`s your computer faster! Well I wish it was that easy all the time, but guess what? It`s NOT! The MB has to be able to handle more RAM. Some MB only go so high as far as how much RAM it can handle without flashing the BIOS anyway. I`m talking regular Joe off the street`s that doesn`t know anything about upgrade`s. Voltage is VERY important, the CPU is VERY important, FSB (front side bus) goes hand in hand with RAM, and the CPU. What I`m saying is sometime`s RAM isn`t the cure all. Make sure all software, and hardware driver`s are up to date. Keep a good anti-virus going all the time. Just know this, you get what you pay for. If you are gonna buy a cheap computer, just make sure it`s upgradeable in the future. Do your home work about new product`s for your computer. Just don`t believe that just adding RAM will cure your computer slowness. There is more to it then that for sure.

  35. windows 7 slow

    Slow problem is a common event for Windows user.

    “No matter how fast or shiny computers might be when they’re new, they all seem to get slower over time.” Microsoft claimed that on their technical forum(Windows 7 forum).

    In fact, Windows built-in a lot of services and startup item start with system. So if you want a faster computer, you need to disable some of them first.

    I saw an article before in ezine(A famous article site). It descripe how to make you windows faster.——-> Fix Windows Boot Slow

    If you still don’t know how to disable services safety, Click here to fix Windows SLow by professional tools.

    Any problems? Welcome to discuss with me! Enjoy it !

    ——————————————————————-
    Keron Chew
    ——- A Computer Technication.

  36. Joey Chew

    Thank you for Keron Chew’S post. The recommened tools really solve my slow problem! And I want your email address to ask some questions, may I?

    By the way, I found another good article ralated to this topic. Click here How to speed up computer Too!

    Enjoy it!

  37. John

    I just added a 512 card and have gone from 756 megs to 1000 megs on an XP home puter with a celeron 2.5 processor and 80gig HD

    Is there anything else I can do other that the standard things like clear the desktop, remove fonts, etc to speed this puppy up?

    Thank you in advance
    John

  38. Johnny

    [email address removed]
    Hey guys, I’m 15 y/o and I play World of Warcraft, but it runs very slow at times and i cant go to places where a lot of other players are (Dalaran)
    Ive used CCleaner, and Piriform Defraggler but i cant get it to run fast enough. plus when i was downloading it, it said i didnt meet the requirements to play it (Not Enough RAM). All i was wondering was if someone could help me find out if my Computer is compatible by adding more RAM. PLZ REPLY :D

  39. GUDDU VISHAL

    My computer does not work as proper,all softwere take a time to open and sites also. my RAM is 512mb,window is XP-2

  40. Helmikuu

    There could be so many ways of improving PC performance, but there are also a number of reasons why your system is running slowly after a few months of using it. In order for you to determine how to make your computer faster, you must try to determine the nature of the slowness and what factors are causing it. Please refer to this link on how to make your computer faster.how to make your computer faster.

  41. Dawa

    GUDDU VISHAL , your computer is slow because the Ram is just 512, try 1 gb with the hard disk of 80GB, if you are using more than 80 GB example 160 or 360 GB, have RAM for 2 GB, i am sure you will see the difference…

  42. robert kaluba

    hi im a tech and im having major problems at one site with speed funny thing is i have 1gb ram 20gb free space on c: but it takes ages to open up any thing and it also uses that extender thing were you only have a monitor mouse and key connected to this small box that goes to plug in the network port of a main computer. i have tried ccleaner, smart defrag, malware remover and auto run eater but no diference

  43. Rupaul Mukherjee

    I have a pc(windows xp sp2)with 3 gb of ddr2 ram(800 mhz),250gb hard disk and core2duo 2.8ghz processor but still its performance is not upto the mark, what to do? Though I have lots of applications, loaded on it.

  44. Andrew Roberts

    Hi All,

    As u all discussing about how to speed up ur PC.. for this i m using Advanced System Optimzier its new and improved…that has best
    Cleaner & optimization tools like..
    Registry Cleaner
    Registry Optimizer
    Disk Tools
    Disk Optimizer
    System Cleaner
    System Protector
    i can say that i haven’t face any prob..Now my PC performance increases..!!

  45. Paul Mooney

    My computer is
    HP Model HPE-180t
    Processor Intel(R) core (TM I7 CPU X 980@ 3.33 GHz
    Intalled memory (RAM) 12 GB
    System type: 64-bit (Windows 7 Home Premium)

    It’s kept clean of all garbage, registry is fine, no spyware, got norton AV. but my computer is still slow. And when I mean slow, what I’m really saying is that with 12G of ram I don’t think I should have to wait a few seconds for Excel or word to open and close. Sometimes is says not responding while it closes. And that’s the only program open. Any Ideas?
    VR
    Paul

  46. Anu

    my computer is slower. i use 500GB hard disc 2GB ram
    21’inch acer monitor intel motherboard cor 2 due processor. please answer me…..

  47. rcmz

    My IE often get freeze recently, my friends recommend me a software, named tuneup360, he said it is very useful, which can fix all the computer problems~~but I still wonder are there any other ways to solve my problem?

  48. Gavin Grant

    forget what i said try this sitehttp://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-xp-tips/99-ways-to-make-your-computer-blazingly-fast/

  49. laxman sanga

    Go to “run” type “prefetch” then enter and remove all.
    go to run type “%temp% then enter and remove all

    This falls into the category of being in near urban legend status. This has been thoroughly debunked by Microsoft and others as having no practical impact on performance. In fact emptying it can adversely affect performance. More here in Microsoft’s own article: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/What-is-the-prefetch-folder

    Leo
    30-Aug-2011

  50. gaurab

    ive installed windowz 7 professional in my laptop.n its dual core processor with 1 gb ram and 120 hdd.My pc runs faster while starting but after 30 mins it’z very slow pls help meh. give me some suggestion

  51. des raj thakur

    I have HCL me notebook laptop hare is 2 GB RAm 300 GB hard disk my laptop is too much slow but I do after that my laptop work on highly speed.

  52. David Green

    A few years ago my computer was VERY slow.My son in law dug deep into the hard drive,and foud that there was 3 gig on email deleted and the same on something else.He deleted it all,and it was like a new computer,but he re instated the deleted boxes and now I am in the same boat.He says he cannot do it with the computer I have now,but that is B/S as it is the same system (XP). Stuff is NEVER properly deleted from a computer,always lurking somewhere,and it slows it down D. G. (UK)

    • Steuart B

      David Green:

      If your son-in-law deleted one 3GB file and the machine performance suddenly increased but later slowed down again after restoring the file, check your drive’s available partition space. A lack if available drive space can really bog a machine down.

  53. Hans

    I’ll just comment on the hard drive aspect. Since a few months I’ve been using a new HP W7 laptop with an SSD–it’s fast-fast-fast. The capacity is only 256 GB, so I could do with a bit more. A larger SSD would be very expensive, but… I’ve placed an SDXC card in the card reader slot permanently as my E: drive, and it works like a charm (SanDisk Extreme 128 GB 45 MB/s for EUR 109). This setup makes me very happy! (The 8 GB ram does its bit as well, of course.)

    • James

      Just remember that SDXC card is another form of flash memory which will eventually wear out, so make sure that it’s included in your backup plan.

  54. Shirley

    I don’t quite understand the difference between programs “Running” & “Programs Installed” – when referring to what begins at start-up to make my computer faster. If I have a program installed (e.g., Office 2007 which includes Word, Excel & Powerpoint) – if I don’t have it “running” at start-up, but want to “use” a program, how do I do that?

    • Mark Jacobs

      A running program is a program which is actually running on your machine. An installed program is a program which resides on your hard drive and isn’t run until you double click on it or its shortcut. Some programs tell Windows to start them up at start time and then hide the program until you are ready to use it. This crates that illusion that that program starts up more quickly. You could use a program like Autoruns which Leo talks about in the article, but as he said, it’s possible to prevent a program from starting which you need to have Windows run correctly.

    • Running is what happens when you click on the Word icon in the Start menu to start or open the program. Until then it is simply stored on your hard disk.

      Some programs start automatically when you login to windows. It’s like the computer clicked on the program’s icon for you.

  55. siva

    My system is very slow. When i’m copying a data from a pen drive to system it is taking very long time to copy. let me tell my system configuration WinXP SP2, 160GB hard disk, 2 GB Ram, Pentium 4 mother board. What i have to do to speed up my pc? Suggestions…

    • Mark Jacobs

      The flash memory in pen drives is normally very slow, so the only solution might be to get a faster flash memory stick.

  56. nidheesh

    i have a problem….when i connected my phone to pc via USB i can see the icon and can open it….when i open a video from the phone through my windows 7 pc with 2gb ram 500gb hardisk(there is more space avilable…second hand pc)intel pentium dual core processor with 3.2 ghz speed ..says tha
    t copying….i cant directly watch videos or songs from externally connected phone through pc….it says copying when i open it..after finishing copying only i can watch them….then when i closed that video and opened it once more again it says copying just while opening….i dont make them copy by right clicking on mouse then copy…..just like that….problem is when i open it …it says copying ….how can solve these..plz help…will the first user set default copying something? i am using pc first time…plz helppp….plz…..god wll helps you …plz..

  57. Bruce Adams

    Don’t forget the hidden performance killer. Two antivirus real time protection programs running simultaneously. One you want and the other came as a download from another download.

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