If your computer is starting to run slow there are a few things you can do yourself to help speed it up again without doing anything drastic like wiping it and re-installing the operating system.
1) Clean out / delete your temporary files
When you run a program certain files get left behind which takes up valuable disc space. Over time, you will be left with thousands and thousands of files that all take time to virus scan and navigate through therefore slowing your computer down. Some malware or viruses can also lurk in the temp files area and we suggest its best to periodically delete temporary files.To do this go to Start Menu and click Run (or press Windows key + R at the same time). Type “%temp%” then click OK.
A folder full of files comes. Select ALL the files and delete.
2) Reset Internet Explorer Browser
If you use IE then every few months The Laptop Fixer's recommend that you reset it back to default. You may need to set your home page back again after but resetting it back to defaults will remove those pesky tool bars, clean out your temporary internet files (where viruses could be lurking!) and generally improve your online browsing experience. To reset Internet Explorer try the following:Close all Internet Explorer and Explorer windows that are currently open. Start Internet Explorer. Note If you are running Windows 8.1 or Windows 8, start Internet Explorer from the desktop. Changing your settings will affect both Internet Explorer and Internet Explorer that you start from the desktop.
On the Tools menu, tap or click Internet options. If you don’t see the Tools menu, press Alt.
In the Internet Options window, tap or click the Advanced tab.
Tap or click Reset. If you’re using Windows Internet Explorer 6, click Restore Default.
In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog box, tap or click Reset.
Note: Select the Delete personal settings check box if you also want to remove browsing history, search providers, Accelerators, home pages, Tracking Protection, and ActiveX Filtering data.
When Internet Explorer finishes applying the default settings, tap or click Close, and then tap or click OK.
Exit and then start Internet Explorer.
To Reset your Home Page
On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
Click the General tab.
In the Address box, type the Web page address that you want for your home page. NOTE: If you want the page that you are currently viewing in Internet Explorer to be your home page, click Use Current. Click OK.
3) Update your Anti-Virus Software and Run a full virus scan
Its important you keep your anti-virus software up to date to help detect and remove any viruses / malware that can find their way onto your computer (100,000 new viruses are released every day!!). Running a full virus scan ensures your system is as virus free as possible which will ensure it operates as quickly as it can. Using a decent premium virus scanner (such as Kaspersky, Bitdefender or ESET) will run a lot quicker and give you better protection than any of the free ones.
4) Remove Old Programs
Old programs you no longer need can take up valuable hard disk space and could also be set to auto-run when you start up your computer causing your computer to take longer to boot up which also uses up valuable resources. To uninstall programs you no longer need to go Control Panel > Program and Features (Add/Remove Programs on XP). Go down the list and remove programs you know were installed previously that you no longer use.
5) Run Disk Defrag
Defragmenting your hard disk drive reconfigures how your computer stores files on your drive. Think of it as putting your filing cabinet files in alphabetical order. When your computer attempts to find a file it can locate them much faster because its in a better order. To start defragging your hard disk drive go to Go to “My Computer”, right-click on the hard drive and select “Properties”. Under the “Tools” tab click the option to “Defragment Now”. Windows 8 does this automatically but you can check the status / start it running if it has not started yet.
6) Windows Update
One of the most important tasks you can do is to ensure your Windows (or Mac) operating system is up to date. This will ensure you are not left vulnerable to viruses and security flaws but also bugs and improvements to speed up your computer gets installed with the latest updates. To ensure you are fully up-to-date try not to ignore the “Remind me later” pop-up that reminds you new updates are ready to install. You can check for updates manually by clicking on the Start button and choosing Programs->Windows Updates.
7) Update all your other software
Its not just Windows / Mac updates that can cause your system to be slow or leave you vulnerable, but all your other non-Microsoft software if left can cause issues and most software manufacturers often release newer versions to fix bugs and issues. The list below is the most common software that needs to be updated regularly by going to their website and downloading the latest version:
Your Anti-Virus software (such as Kaspersky, Norton, etc)
Your Printer Software (such as Epson, HP etc)
Any other software you may have installed since buying your computer.
8) Use a flash drive to speed up your drive
ReadyBoost in Windows 7 can use your flash memory drive to add instant RAM to your PC. Once you plug in a memory card or USB flash drive you can start using ReadyBoost right away and helps if you are starting to get low on memory.
9 – Hoover out the dust in your computer
If your computer is overheating then this will stress your processor and graphics chip (which already get very hot!) and cause them to slow down to cope with the overheating. If you can blow the dust out (use your hoovers reverse suck if possible) or use your hoover to try and remove dust built up in and around the vents. (Note: Don’t use the brush part of your hoover as this can cause static and damage something). If you have a desktop, you can easily remove the side panel to get in with the small hoover nozzle to clean out the dust.
10) Internet Seems slow?
If you computer’s internet seems a bit slow then check with your internet provider what speeds you are paying for. Anything under 20Mbps is pretty slow these days and with Virgin / BT (with speed of up to 150Mbps / 72Mbps respectively and getting faster) via fibre optic you will notice a massive difference in your web experience if you upgrade. You may also need to upgrade your wifi card or adapter to get the most out of the faster speeds.
Still Running Slow after trying these BONUS tips?
If you computer is still running a bit slow after going through all these tips then pop it into The Laptop Fixers and book your computer in for a FREE HEALTH CHECK. They can take a look at it and make their recommendations to speed up your computer. Most common recommendations that make a real difference is: