15 Ways To Speed Up a Slow Windows Computer

A slow computer can be frustrating, especially if you are in a hurry. Most people will just blame it on their computer being out of date or coming to terms with the fact that there will be no more fun computing time until they get a new PC. But what if you can relieve your computer’s slow performance without having to fork out for a new computer?

So What Slows Down A Computer?

Enlisted are reasons why your computer can slow down and tips on how to rectify your problems.

1. Too Many Programs/Bloatware:

Yes, it’s super easy to get carried away when you first get a new computer. And unfortunately, the majority of people end up installing a lot of programs – even those that they know they don’t really need – onto their computer. This adds up to a slowdown in performance and ends up being quite the problem for a computer that used to be speedy. Not only do they burden your computer’s registry and startup, but these programs can also be your bane. Many people do not realize that most bloatware is set to startup automatically when your computer boots up and so ends up being your biggest cause of computer slowdowns. So, start uninstaller and start uninstalling these programs from your computer.

2. Virus/Malware:

If you think your computer has slowed down all of a sudden, and you suspect that there is a virus in your computer, you are probably right. Viruses and Malware are popular methods used by people to infect computers with viruses that slow down the PC’s performance to an extent where the computer is virtually unusable. These viruses can be transmitted via emails, attached files, websites, and even from USB drives. So be aware of what you do on your computer, and do not open attachments from unknown senders. To effectively tackle a virus, make sure you have a good antivirus program installed. Always make sure to update your antivirus regularly so that your computer is always protected from any new threat that might appear. In the event that you suspect that you have a virus, be sure to run a scan immediately.

3. Low RAM:

If you have low RAM, and you are always having a problem with your computer going slow, it is probably time for you to invest in more RAM. With technology becoming more and more complicated, the amount of RAM that your computer needs is also increasing. The least you should be aiming for is at least 8GB of RAM, which nowadays a common specification in even most budget-friendly computers. However, if you are a power user who is always running programs and are doing multiple tasks at the same time, you should look into getting more RAM for fast and seamless performance.

4. Close Background Apps You Don’t Need:

Windows 10, with its new interface and awesome new features like a touchscreen-optimized user interface that makes it easy to work on, is a great improvement over previous versions of Windows. However, with this new feature comes a new problem. Windows 10 is now loaded with background apps that continue to run when you are not using your computer. So if you want to speed up your computer, this would be a good start.

Go to the Task Manager and look for a list of apps that are running in the background, and then shut them down. Alternatively, it is also possible to go to the Settings App, and under Privacy, you will be able to find an option to disable background apps.


5. Clean Up Unused Files:

A cluttered and junk-filled computer is a sure-fire way to have a slow computer. It is the same as when you keep your house messy; you have to spend a lot of time cleaning it up and then moving all the unused things to the attic or storeroom. The same goes for your computer; it is easier for it to slow down when all your files are scattered about in different places. So make sure that you keep your file and folder clean and well organized, which will allow Windows to run better. The best way to do this is by utilizing the Disk Cleanup Tool that is built into Windows. With this tool, you can eliminate unnecessary temporary files and folders from your computer and free up space.


6. Eliminate Temporary, Obsolete, and Junk Files or Clear Cache

Cleaning your drives for free space helps a lot in increasing the loading speed of your computer. It is highly recommended to keep at least 20 percent of the drive space free. You also need to clean the windows TEMP files, cache files, web browser’s temporary files, etc. The entire web browsers have that option. There are tools such as CCleaner available that can help analyze as well as clean all unnecessary internet files, system files, and Windows Explorer files.

7. Use a light-weight Anti-Virus Software

If you browse online every day, there is a high chance that your personal computer is infected by spyware or adware. Most spyware and adware open many connections for spreading infection online. This might affect your computer’s loading time; other damaging viruses may crunch your system and memory resources, mostly reducing the speed of the startup process.

So, you must:

  1. Make use of lightweight and reliable adware, spyware, and antivirus removal software like ESET.
  2. Update your computer regularly. Allow the automatic update mode for security. You can run a regular scan.


8. Defragment Hard Drives / Optimize SSDs

When files are created or moved on your computer, they are saved into fragments erratically on the disk drive. Once you open these files, it will take time to get all those chunks and place them back to create that single file. Defragmenting your hard drives or optimizing your SSDs helps sort out the scattered fragments properly on your hard drive or SSD; this leads to loading the program faster.

In Windows, there’s a dish defragmenter utility; all you need to do is to follow this step:

  1. Open My Computer, then
  2. Right-click on the disk drive you wish to defragment/optimize, click Select Properties,
  3. Under Tools click Defragment/Optimize now.

9. Clean Computer Registry

Windows registry refers to a database of a file, folders as well as windows configuration. These files grow as you utilize windows, which can also be erroneous. As a result, it becomes vital to repair and clean registry errors on a regular basis. CCleaner can scan and repair registry concerns.

10. Check Your Disk for Errors

Scanning and checking the disk for errors on a regular basis is essential. There might be misplaced links or fragments that might result in mistakes in the application. You can run the Scandisk test at least once a week to keep your computer running smoothly. In windows, the error checking utility will scan and check as well as pull-through bad sectors. You can follow these steps:

  1. Click Open My Computer,
  2. Right-click the drive,
  3. Go to Properties, Tools, and
  4. Check Now Button.

11. Remove Startup Items

Removing unnecessary startup software can help speed up the booting process of your computer. There are some programs that take so much time to load, like MSN messenger or Limewire. You can eliminate these and run them when required. To eliminate these:

  1. Click on Start,
  2. Click Run and type
  3. MSConfig and then
  4. Click OK.


12. Uninstall Unwanted Programs or Apps

Uninstall those apps or programs that you do not utilize anymore. Doing this will help to free disk space as well as assist windows in performing well. It is also advisable to eliminate the windows unnecessary components such as Outlook Express and Indexing services from the Add/Remove programs.

13. Keep Your Computer Updated

Search for a regular update, enable window updates. Updates includes main bugfixes that can be valuable. It is also vital to search for a new service pack for superior hardware compatibility. It is also vital to update antivirus apps, device drivers, and other apps. Hardware manufacturers continue to update their device drivers for a smooth and better functioning computer.

14. Eliminate Unnecessary Visual Effects

Fading menus and animated windows can affect the loading time of your PC. You can eliminate or erase these fading effects by switching over to window classic styles theme, removing heavy graphic wallpaper. You can also reduce color quality and reduce the resolution of the screen for better and improved performance.

15. Just Utilize Lightweight Apps

You need to replace resource-consuming apps and search for better choices, particularly if you lesser RAM and a slower processor. Using lightweight apps helps in boosting the loading time of your computer. Some lightweight apps include Avira, AVG, and ESET NOD32, etc. This will assist in boosting performance and can help speed up the loading time.

If none of these tips helped you increase your computer’s performance, make sure you regularly back up your files because it might be time for a completely new OS install or an upgrade which might get complicated. Get in touch with us to see how we can help you fix your computer.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...