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How to Speed Up a Slow Windows Computer for Free
• Stop all unused applications. The Taskbar is on the bottom edge of the screen (unless relocated by the user). In the right side of the TaskBar appears a group of small icons, collectively named as the "system tray". Each of these icons represent a program that has been at least partially started or is running "in the background". Regardless of state, each causes a reduction of available memory and processing power, or resources. Closing, exiting or canceling any unused icon returns those resources to the system, and becomes available for use by the application(s) started specifically by the user. Go to your task manager and click on the Process tab. End all process that you can.

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A utility called Process Explorer (procexp.exe) can be used to list all programs running on your Windows system. It is more comprehensive than the Task Manager, and hovering your mouse pointer over any program name will tell you what it is about. A utility is built into Windows that can enable/disable taskbar programs and processes from automatically loading with Windows. To access it, go to Start > Run > type in “MSCONFIG” and click OK. If you do not know what a process does, search its name. Do not disable processes if you are unsure, as some processes are necessary for your computer to function normally. A useful freeware program called Game Booster by IObit (the same people who wrote the well regarded Advanced SystemCare software) will temporarily disable unnecessary background processes and boost performance on your computer when you are actively using only one program; such as a game program or video editing software. When you

• 3 Do a shut down/reboot also known as a cold reboot. and then Advanced system settings. and choose "Adjust for best performance". then Control Panel. Some programs do not release memory properly when they close. then choose System and Maintenance. type the password or provide confirmation.right click on My Computer. a space would be allocated for it by the operating system (like Windows). and click the Settings button under the Performance section. and the 3-D button styles on modern Desktops all require some computing power and can overwhelm older machines. which is the case for some operating systems. The allocated . Windows 7 . selecting Properties. the way the menus fade in and out. and turn on and off individual settings to see which ones will work without slowing your machine down. To turn off these appearance only enhancements: • • • Windows XP . You can also try the "Custom" option. go to the Visual Effects tab. Here.Compiled by amanuel are finished. and choose "Adjust for best performance". When a program is asking for some memory. On a side note. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation. Even doing a warm restart will not release some of the memory drivers and other core programs had allocated. this menu can be accessed much quicker by right-clicking on Computer. When you see System. and choose the Properties option.Click the Start button. and then System and Security. The computer has to be completely shut down and then restarted. then choose the Advanced tab. Click Adjust visual effects. then Control Panel. then Performance Information and Tools. Click the Visual Effects tab. you can resume "normal mode" and all the background processes will be reloaded. from either the Desktop or Start menu. and turn on and off individual settings to see which ones will work without slowing your machine down. you can also choose Adjust for best performance or choose Custom if you'd like to compromise between fancy visuals and performance. From here you can make sure you're on the Advanced tab and click on Settings under Performance. Vista . The fancy rounded window corners. click on it and then Advanced system settings. You can also try the "Custom" option. In the Performance Options dialogue that comes up. • 2 Turn off unneeded Desktop Features that try to make things look better.Click the Start button.

• 5 Uninstall all applications that are no longer needed. but some processes can not be closed such as core processes. The user workaround is to terminate the program or process. Shutting down the system will have the operating system forget which memory locations aren't free. rather they are moved to a temporary holding area on the hard drive for easy restoration. Programs typically let go of their hold of this memory space but some programs don't . which is caused by a programming error. This area is called the Recycle Bin and is usually displayed on the Desktop. all memory locations are free to use.Compiled by amanuel memory can not be used by any other programs. . Review the contents before emptying. Once emptied. some files are written in the Windows directory structure and dozens (or more) changes are made to the Windows Registry file. so proper removal requires uninstalling the application through the Control Panel's "Add or Remove Program" or "Programs and Features" icon. Note that this will only speed up your computer if the hard drive is nearly full. Simply deleting files from the disk doesn't really delete them at all. • 4 Empty the Recycle Bin. Most of these changes are not readily apparent to the user. so on the next boot. the space on the hard drive that the data occupied is made available for reuse and the restoration of files emptied from the recycle bin becomes extremely difficult.this is known as a "memory leak". A memory leak is easily evident when a program uses up an abnormally high amount of resources because it keeps on asking for more and never gives back any of the allocated memory space. When applications and games are installed to a Windows PC.

Compiled by amanuel • • • If the program is not listed in the Control Panel use the "uninstall" command provided by the application. e. iTunes® will not work if Quicktime® is uninstalled. or more often if the PC is used heavily. Right-click a drive icon in "My Computer" and select "Properties" followed by "Tools". • 6 Run "Error Checking" on all hard drives. Simply deleting the entire application directory is not the same as uninstalling. Right-click a drive icon in "My Computer" and select "Properties" followed by "Tools". • 7 Run "Defragment" on all hard drives. and in those cases could be set to run automatically without ever having to manually run again. as all the files written to the Windows directory and changes to the Windows Registry file will remain and may be reloaded when the system is rebooted. Choose "Error Checking" to let the utility scan the drive for damaged files that can contribute to slow drive access speeds. Choose "Defragment" to let the utility clean up fragmented files and consolidate free space on the drive. This process may take anywhere from several minutes to an hour or more to complete . This should be done at least once per week. Make sure that you do not uninstall any programs that are required by others. and many programs rely on other Microsoft programs. Some versions of Windows allow for the scheduling of this utility.g. This process may take several minutes or more to complete.

Three popular free AV solutions are Avast!. After completion the speed of hard drive read and write times may improve significantly. Note that while installing antivirus software actually slows down your computer. but also reduces temp disk space for the browser by about 30% by not downloading advertising • 9 Install "Malwarebytes". you will have to opportunity to try the Pro version for 30 days. and Avira AntiVir. it does not slow it down as much as malware does. • 8 Install anti-virus software and keep it current.Compiled by amanuel depending on size of the drive(s) and amount of unused capacity or free space. Install an Ad Blocker. A very good example of a free defrag program that allows automatic and scheduled defragmenting is IOBit's Smart Defrag 2.assuring you of the latest. During installation. There are many from which to choose at the software store. unadulterated version. free anti-malware program for Windows computers. It should be downloaded from the developer's page directly . AVG. free of charge. Anti-virus (AV) software is an absolute must. but there are free AV solutions that do a very good job. too. Consider starting the defragment process so that it will run over night or prior to logging off. You can accept or pass on this offer as decided by you. it not only prevents malware sites. All include regular "virus definition" file updates that allow the AV program to detect and protect from the latest virii being released. The program comes with a setup wizard to make installation as easy as possible. There are also stand-alone defragmenting programs available from other developers available for download that may or may not charge a fee for use. Malwarebytes is a highly regarded. The Pro version will .

These files (depending on Windows version installed) are hidden and are usually located on the Windows drive (usually "C:") If there is a second physical hard drive in the system. Go to "C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp" (Windows XP). consider moving to the secondary drive. and each time a scan is started. • 10 Relocate the Swapfile or Virtual Memory file. • 11 Find and Delete Temporary Files.Compiled by amanuel allow you to automatically run the program silently in the background to prevent malware from entering your computer. This should be allowed for maximum protection at the time of each request. A thorough scan would be comprehensive. these files work best when located on the fastest and largest (in terms of free space) drive in the system. Right after installation. Choose a "quick scan" if you suspect trouble. The free version must be manually started to scan for suspected malware installations. Temporary Files are used for supporting some applications for a limited period of time and left unused for later. "C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp" (Windows Vista). The procedure for changing the location varies by version of Windows. but can take quite some time to complete . you will be asked if the program can download an updated list of threats for its database. Ideally.depending on the amount of data on the drive(s) to be scanned. If there is a problem deleting one or more . and is not detailed here at this time as it is fairly advanced. to clear most problems in a few minutes. or "%TEMP%" (any version of Windows) and delete all the files from this folder.

minimum. Regardless. The Temporary Internet Files directory can also be emptied. It seems that the amount of frustration you can endure best determines how long you will run your current setup. Keep in mind that the Minimum System Requirements on the software box is indeed. The best experiences usually require that the system is configured to Recommended System or better. Technology marches on and it seems there is a game of "one-up-man-ship" played between software developers and hardware designers. but that doesn't mean that it will do it very well. eventually new software will require new hardware or vice-versa.Compiled by amanuel files. The "high end" computer purchased as new 5 years ago may run the latest version of Windows. instead. • 12 Be realistic. This will free a lot of space on the drive. • 13 Set your computer's energy settings to High Performance. skip those files and remove the rest. This is especially true in Laptops and Netbooks where the processor speed is altered in accordance to energy settings (and if you are running on battery power) .

it will show a list of unnecessary files and simply select all these check boxes and start cleaning your drive.Compiled by amanuel • 14 Clean Up Primary Partition. in most cases C:/ drive) and scan it for junk files. Click "Start" type "cleanmgr" and press "Enter" key. Select your primary partition ( Windows installed drive. . After few seconds.