From time to time we share solutions to common computer problems with out readers, we also keep receiving problems and questions on our Question Answer portal. One of the most common questions which we receive on our portal from our readers is regarding the slow speed or poor performance of old Windows PCs. This problem tends to increase while the PC starts getting old, used more often and gets more softwares and applications installed on it. Older PCs also tend to have older hardware technologies as the technologies in computer hardware change very frequently which also aggravates the problem. But if you buy a good computer with decent hardware specifications at any time, it is expected to give you a decent performance for 3 to 4 years before you plan to upgrade it. So if you are reading this article because your computer has slowed down in performance gradually and it is 0 to 4 years old, there are high chances that these tips will largely help to improve your computer’s performance. But if your computer is 4 or more years old, you can still get some improvements, but we would ask you to consider a hardware upgrade if you like considerable changes in performance.
Uninstall What You Don’t Need
It helps to ease the load on Windows startup list as well as frees some hard disk space when you uninstall programs which you installed in the past but don’t need to use them anymore. You might have heard or read this several times on several websites and computer technicians and the reason why people suggest this so often is that it really makes an impact. Even if the results are not strikingly noticeable, yet it does improve the performance to good levels. It is like cleaning your wardrobe as it not only makes more space, but also helps you locate your stuff easily, in same way, your computer finds it easy to run the remaining programs and applications.
To uninstall unwanted stuff, you need to go to Control Panel > Add Remove Programs or Programs and Features, from there browse through the list and remove the unwanted programs and applications. For the same you can use some free tools reviewed by us here – Top 3 Uninstall Tools for Windows or if you to know deeper about the installed programs, here is an advanced tool called Geek Uninstaller.
Remove Unnecessary Stuff From Windows Startup List
This is the most important tip in this list as following this will show the most visible improvements in performance. Windows operating system (all versions) have a startup list of programs, these programs are started when Windows starts and they continue to run in background. The list is very small in new Windows computers and it does not hamper the performance, but the problem arises when you start installing softwares, many softwares make their entry in this list and start (some fully and some partially) in background using up RAM and CPU resources. For most old computers, it starts using considerable amount of resources, so much that Windows becomes really slow at the start itself. This problem is even more severe when there is low RAM (less than 1GB) on computer. We have already shared some tutorials to do this task – Remove Programs From Windows Startup List, you can also use another very useful tool for the same purpose called Soluto.
These two methods work for all versions of Windows, but you will need to have administrator permissions for the same (which most users have on their personal computers). I am sure after this optimization, you will certainly see a considerable performance improvement after the next reboot. NOTE – Do Not remove Windows basic tasks from the startup list, only remove the softwares which you have installed, if you are not sure of which software to keep and which to remove, we recommend you use the second tool called Soluto as it will prevent you from using Windows tasks.
Run a Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Scan
A number of performance or speed problems in Windows also arise because of virus or malware infection in Windows PCs. If you have an anti-virus software installed, we recommend that you update it regularly, if you don’t have it installed, we recommend you install one (free or paid) and run a full scan once every week. Keeping your computer clean of virus and malwares will not only keep it fast but also it will keep you safe from Internet related threats and identity thefts. If you need help to decide which one to use, you can check this list – 5 Free Windows Antivirus Which Don’t Slow Down Windows
Run Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmentation
Disk Cleanup and Defragmentation is like keeping your drawer neat and organized so that you can locate your stuff quickly and easily. While disk cleanup removes unwanted files and folder freeing the space, defragmentation helps keep it more organized by keeping files and folders organized close together on physical locations on hard disks.
For disk cleanup, you can use Windows built-in tool or for advanced options you can use a tool like Wise Disk Cleanup.
Use High Speed Pen Drive To Improve RAM Performance [Vista Onwards]
If you have an old computer running Windows Vista or newer Windows OS and a high speed pen drive to spare, you can use the pen drive to assist RAM to improve the overall memory performance of your computer. Here is how you can do the same– How To Use ReadyBoost In Windows.
Keep Your PC Clean And Covered When Not In Use
One small tip which is not related to softwares is to keep the PC as free form dust as possible. The reason is that most computers (both laptops and desktops) have internal fans and metallic fins to get rid of the heat generated inside them. As computers get old, the dust start to accumulate which hinders the heat from going out effectively, which in turns makes the computer or laptop to run much hotter and it decreases the performance and speed of the computer. It may also cause computer to hang frequently or stop responding for some time. If you hear the fans noise and fans running at very high speed all the time, its suggested that you get the computer serviced or cleaned by an authorized technician or computer manufacturer. When you turn off the PC completely and not using it for long hours, keep it covered with a cloth so that the dust does not accumulate on it, this will improve the overall life and performance of the computer.
There are more ways and tips to do the same which we might have missed here. Please let us know of the same using comments below. Do share this article with your friends as it will also help them to keep their PC running cool and fast. You can also check out some more Windows Tips And Tutorials by Trouble Fixers.