How to make my PC run faster without upgrading?

This is the English version of this post as requested by Nora.

I am not a Windows expert, nor am I certified. All the information I would share here are based from my experiences in fixing and maintaining computers of my clients, friends or family. Other information are based from my education. I would try to use very simple words so that more people would understand.

Tip # 1 – Know your specs

When we say “specs” (short for specifications), these are the exact numbers of the computer we are using. How can we know this? Let me share to you the most basic way to get these info.

Start > Right click My Computer (Computer for Vista) > Properties

In this window we would know the Operating System (OS) we are using, the processor speed and our memory (RAM) amount. The highlighted numbers are most important. We would not focus on processor speed because it will be more complicated to discuss. Our main focus is the RAM or memory because it has a direct impact on the speed of our computer. If you get this info, write it down on a piece of paper just so you wouldn’t forget. It will become handy later.

It is important to know our specs because we could not expect our computer to run fast if our specs are low. It would run according to its optimum speed only. If your specs are low then we need more patience.

Tip # 2 – Keep your taskbar clean

The taskbar is the long horizontal bar at the bottom (or any place you assigned it to) from the START button across the system clock, as illustrated in the picture.

If you want your computer to respond faster, keep it clean. There are programs that we need to have open at the same time but for the things that we don’t need at the moment, just close it and open it later. Computers multi-task alright but think of it as a human. It needs time to rest. The example above is a bad example. Do not copy.

Tip # 3 – Keep your system tray clean

The system tray is usually at the bottom right corner of our monitor next to our system clock. If there are lots of icons on your tray that means more programs are running in the background which can make your computer run slowly. Remove the things that you don’t need by right clicking on the icon, then clicking exit, close, or shut down. Keep your anti-virus or anti-spyware program icons on your tray. Do not worry that these would not work if they disappear on the tray. Once you restart the computer, all those icons would come back. If you want to permanently remove these icons then you need to follow the next steps.

Tip # 4 – Understand your Task Manager

You can open your Task Manager by pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL simultaneously or CTRL + SHIFT + ESC. The Applications Tab would list all the programs that are currently running. If our computer is not that fast, do not let this list get crowded. Close programs that are not needed.
However the more important tab is the Processes tab as shown in the picture. Click MEM USAGE twice to arrange the items from the highest to lowest usage of memory. The number you have written down on the paper, minus the sum of the highlighted numbers on the illustration (you don’t need to compute it though) can give you a hint why your computer is running slow (or fast). The lesser amount of memory remaining, the slower your computer would run. Do not end processes that you do not know. If you want to learn about a specific process just google the exact image name showing on the list. The more processes listed, the more work you give to your computer. Close programs properly by doing File > Exit functions or by clicking the “X” button ont he top right corner of the windows.

Tip # 5 – Understand MSCONFIG

Start > Run (on Vista just use the Search function on the Start Menu) > Type msconfig > Click OK
Click the STARTUP tab to see this screen.

You don’t need these things. The only items that should remain checked are your anti-virus or anti-spyware programs. The things that would remain here would be the only things showing on the system tray. This is the first and most effective way of making our computer boot faster. You can know what programs you are unchecking by expanding the Command tab above to lessen your worries about the programs you are disabling.
Click the SERVICES tab to see this screen.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Please CHECK HIDE ALL MICROSOFT SERVICES as highlighted on the picture.
After you’ve done this the only things that needs to remain checked are your anti-virus or anti-spyware program. After these changes, click APPLY > OK > RESTART. You will notice that your computer would boot slightly faster after doing these things.

I repeat. These steps are not absolute fixes. It still depends on the situation, most specially if we are dealing with viruses or spyware.

So that’s it. I hope I was able to make my friend happy somehow and I was able to give information to the others. This is not a detailed post because the topic itself is broad. For more information consult your nearest (or closest) computer technician.

Published by

emilayskie

Just doing what I got to do.

12 thoughts on “How to make my PC run faster without upgrading?”

  1. thanx..
    my laptop start and shutdown so slow..
    i didnt know why..
    can u help me..
    what shud i do..to make it more faster??

  2. speed is perception. it’s like driving 90 miles per hour. in the beginning, you’d think it’s fast. but as you get used to it, it doesn’t seem to be fast anymore. and so with computers. the lightning fast pc that you bought becomes dreadfully slow shortly after a few months of use.

    perception aside, your suggestions will help speed up anybody’s pc or laptop. i’d like to add that proper maintenance is essential, too. the more you use your pc or laptop, the more your hard disk and windows registry get cluttered. and the more they get cluttered, the harder your pc or laptop works to sort things out.

    to clean up your pc or laptop, it’s essential to do the following:

    1. ensure that there’s no virus or malware residing in the pc or laptop.

    2. uninstall all programs that aren’t needed to free up disk space. the more free space, the freer the pc or laptop can breathe.

    3. clean up the hard disk of all unneeded and orphaned files.

    4. clean up the windows registry.

    5. for #3 and #4, ccleaner is a freeware utility that can help. download it at http://www.ccleaner.com.

    6. optimize the windows registry. ntregopt is a freeware utility that can help. download it at http://www.snapfiles.com/get/ntregopt.html.

    7. optimize the hard disk with the utility that came with your version windows. as the hard disk gets older, it may start suffering from dementia, spinrite is a utility that can help prolong its life.

    8. do the above steps on a regular basis.

  3. What i have learnt from what was posted I totaly agree,because another IT Technition showed mw the same and it worked

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s