5 Easy Way To Make Your Computer Run Better

Do you have a computer that runs very sluggishly? Here are some easy ways to optimize your PC for speed:

1. Configure msconfig

One reason why your computer might be running slowly is because you have a lot of background programs loading when your computer starts up. They will run behind the scenes in the background of your computer while your doing your daily tasks. To prevent them from starting up, this little tip will guide you through the steps of optimizing your windows startup programs.

First, open up the start menu and click run.


Then, type in msconfig into the text box that appears.

Once you've typed that in and clicked OK a window like this should pop up.

Make sure you select the Startup tab at the top of the window.

msconfig startup

This may look quite confusing to you, but if you look closely you'll notice that most of the programs that are listed are utilized by the windows program. In the Command column it will contain the words "C:Windows" if it is a Windows program. All of the rest of the programs on the list were either installed by you or somebody else that uses the computer. The tricky part here is deciding which programs your computer needs to run its normal functionality versus the programs that are unneeded at startup. Look for names of programs that sound familiar to you in the Startup Item and Command columns. If you look above in my screenshot there is an iTunesHelper Startup Item. As I do not use iTunes very often, I won't need to have this program startup with Windows. Here are the the steps to disable a program or programs that are unwanted.

First, uncheck the box next to the unneeded program. Be careful though, ONLY SELECT PROGRAMS TO DISABLE THAT YOU ARE SURE ARE NOT NEEDED! After you have unchecked the box click the Apply button at the bottom of the window next to the cancel button. Once the changes have been applied, click the OK button. After you have clicked the OK button, a message should appear asking if you would like to restart your computer to accept the changes. Make sure you have all your worked saved if you're running some other programs, and then click the Restart button in the message window.


After your computer has restarted you will get a message reminding you that you have made changes to the system startup. If your changes have not messed up any computer functionality, the uncheck the Show on Startup box and then click the OK button. Now you're done! And your computer should run more efficiently now.

2. Defragmenting Your Hard Drive

After using your computer you should always make sure to defragment your hard drive at least once every couple of months. What happens is when new programs are installed and old files are deleted it causes them to be spread out all across the writing surface of your hard disks. The more spread out your files are, the longer it takes for your computer to find them and access them, thus causing it to run more slowly. Simply running the Windows defragmenting program can fix this problem. It will take quite a few hours to complete, so this task is best done right before going to sleep at night.

First, go to Start --> All Programs --> Accessories --> System Tools, the click the Disk Defragmenter program.


Once you have clicked on the program and opened it, you should see a window like this.


If you look at the bottom of the window you will see two selectable buttons (Analyze and Defragment). For our purposes all you will need to do is click the Defragment button. The program will begin running after you have clicked the button. Keep in mind that while the program is running your computer will run very slow and will be almost unusable unless you click the Pause button. After you are done pausing for whatever reason you will need to click the Play button to resume. This process may take several hours, so be prepared for the long haul.

3. Switch From Your Current Anti-virus to Avast! (if you have an antivirus program)

A common misconception of anti-virus software is that if you pay for it then it is better than one that is free. That could not be any further from the truth. Anti-virus software, especially commercial Anti-Virus software uses up vast amounts of your PC's memory and processing power. This by all means may be the biggest reason for most slow computers. This problem can easily be solved by removing your old anti-virus program and installing avast! for free directly from their website. Here are the steps for removing your old anti-virus:

First, go to Start --> Control Panel.


Once you click Control Panel this window should appear:


Double click the Add or Remove Programs icon top open up the program. You should then see this:


Now simply scroll around in the window until you find you anti-virus program (in some instances, such as with Norton Anti-virus, there might be multiple parts to this program on the list). Now, select the program you would like to uninstall and click the Remove button. It most likely will take you through an uninstall program. Just follow the onscreen steps and it should remove it for you.

Last but not least, make sure you download and install Avast! immediately following your old programs removal. Here is the web link:


After you have downloaded and installed the program you should be all set!

4. Clean Up That Spyware!

One reason that many peoples PC's run slow is because they are being bogged down by spyware. Spyware is different from a virus because it doesn't seek to destroy your computer. Spyware gathers information about your computer and sends it over the internet. It also seeks to spam you with popup ads in order to try to sell you a product. These programs are somewhat malicious and use your computer's resources, so it's best to have them removed often. A very popular spyware removal program is Adaware by lavasoft.com. It is a free program and once it is installed, it will scan and remove and spyware that your computer might contain.

Here is a link to obtain the program download:


5. Clear Your Browser Cache

Every time you visit a website, that website's pages are downloaded and stored into a special folder on your computer. These files are saved until you delete them in order to make surfing faster for you when you revisit sites that you've been to in the past. This is a very nice feature, but over time your folder will get filled with a lot of web pages. An overfilled cache will use up your computers memory, and at times actually make your web browser load up slower. As all browsers are different in how you clear their cache, I am going to post you a link to a tutorial that explains each of the most popular browser's cache clearing methods.

Here is the link:


I hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative! If you complete these 5 things it will more than likely make your computer run faster (of course that is assuming your computer isn't brand new). If your computer is still running slow, there may be some more deep seeded problems such as a virus infection or a hardware malfunction. In this case I cannot go into lengths on how to repairs these problems, but I hope this information will help you diagnose your problems and lead to their repairs. Thanks for your time!