Do you have a PC that's been acting sluggish lately?  Are you wishing that your computer could get back the speed and performance it had in when you first purchased it?  Is your computer constantly freezing and taking forever to open up simple programs?

Then it's time to put everything aside and follow these 5 tips that you can do that will help improve the speed of your computer and bring it back to it's factory performance.

Scan For Spyware and Malware

The first tip I have for you is a very important one.  After several months (or years if you've never scanned), spyware and malware can build up on your computer causing it to slow down.  This happens because these spyware programs sit in the background and take up resources.

The more spyware you have, the slower your computer will be.  So what you need to do is run a program specifically created to remove these types of annoying programs.

They aren't viruses or anything like that, but they simply drain resources and computer speed.

I usually use two programs to scan for spyware.  They are:

  1. Spybot Search & Destroy
  2. Webroot

Both of these softwares have consistently done a great job at keeping my computer free from malware and spyware.

I personally do not run any anti-virus software on my computers as I feel that they take up way too much resources and actually drain performance.  Keep this in mind.

Remove Unused Programs

If you've had your computer for quite a while, chances are you have dozens of programs installed that you no longer use.

You may also have programs installed that you have no idea what they do.

My suggestion with these programs is that you only remove the ones that aren't from Microsoft or your computer manufacturer and make absolutely no sense to you.

For example, a screen saver program would be something that I would remove.  Or perhaps a toolbar.  These are all programs that I would uninstall.

To uninstall a program, you need to navigate to the Control Panel (in the start menu) and find the Remove Programs link.

Go through the list and remove programs that meet the criteria I explained above.

Clean Up The Registry

The next step to take on our list is to clean up the Windows Registry.

Now you'll never be able to do this manually as the registry is a very complex database of 'stuff' that I don't even understand.

However, a clean registry simply means less errors and problems which will result in better computer performance.  Therefore, it's very important that you follow this step as well.

Here are some reasons why the registry can create conflicts and slowdowns:

  • unused registry entries caused by old drivers and software
  • installing and uninstalling programs
  • removing programs that leave behind registry entries
  • spyware and malware that write registry entries

There are more reasons but these are the main ones.  Notice that spyware can make changes to the registry as well.  It's why we removed it in the first step.

Normally, removing these registry entries would be next to impossible.  Thankfully, there are programs that exist to make this task a simple one.

I personally use CC Cleaner and I recommend that you do as well.  It's free and you can have it up and running in a matter of minutes.

Run Windows Disk Clean-Up

After you have cleaned up the registry, you should now run disk clean-up.  It is located by navigating to the Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories folder -> System Tools folder.

Once you've opened up Disk Clean-Up, you select the hard drive that you want to clean up (most likely C:) and let the program go to work.

This program will remove any temporary files that your computer has stored for some time which usually results in freeing up hard drive space and improving the performance of your computer.

Defragment the Hard Drive

This is the last major step you'll take.  You've removed spyware, you've cleaned out the registry, you've removed programs that you no longer need and have freed up some hard drive space.

The next step is to defrag the hard drive so that Windows can organize everything in the quickest way possible, resulting in a much improved PC performance.

To access the disk defragment, navigate to the same System Tools folder and click on Disk Defragmenter.

Select the hard drive disk that you wish to defragment.  Start with C: which is most likely where Windows is installed to.

If you have other options, you should defragment those after the C: drive has been defragmented.

Update Your Computer Drivers

This is actually a bonus step that I recommend you do as well.  Your computer has dozens of hardware and software programs installed that requires drivers to run.  Things like printers, graphic cards, cameras, blu-ray drivers, etc. require drivers to run.

Occasionally these drivers become out of date which can cause major performance issues.  The manufacturer of the hardware will usually release a newly, updated driver that has performance fixes.

I use a program called Driver Genius to scan for driver updates as I simply don't feel like spending hours going to all sorts of different websites looking for updates to my hardware.  If you feel that you're in the same boat, then driver software is a very nice program to run about once every month or so simply to check for updates.

So, I hope these tips have helped you out.  By following each one down the line, I promise that you'll increase the performance of your computer.  You can use any major search engine to find the programs I recommended in this article.

Thanks for reading and good luck!