Top tips for speeding up your computer

As society looks towards AI and robotics to increase our productivity and assist our everyday working and social life, experiencing a slow computer can appear to be something that shouldn’t happen anymore. Yet, this is a problem many needlessly face every day. Whether it is when starting up your laptop or flicking between applications on your computer, having a slow PC is incredibly frustrating. To prevent this from happening, here are our top five tips:

  1. Regularly delete unwanted programs

Your PC can experience performance issues if you have too many programs running at the same time. Many programs automatically run as your PC starts-up. They can be manually switched off in Windows 8 and 10 by going to the Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete) and going to the Start-up menu.

From here, you can decide which start-up programs you would like to continue running in the background.

In Windows 7 press the Windows key + R, type Msconfig, and then choose Startup from the box that pops up.

Some are important to keep on (Anti-Virus software for example) but others such as Google Drive can be switched on when they are required, instead of running in the background and slowing down your PC. Otherwise, you can always access your Task Manager (click right on the taskbar) and choose which active programs to turn off.

To keep your machine running smoothly, it is also useful to free up storage space and memory by deleting or uninstalling large programs which you no longer use. Whether this is by removing trial programs, old games or out-of-date security software, your computer will thank you for de-cluttering.

      2. Remember to defrag your hard drive

Whilst this may sound very complicated, it is an easy process which has a big difference to your PC’s performance. When you save large files to your hard drive, they are broken up into smaller pieces and stored in different locations. Adding and removing files creates ‘empty spaces’, making your hard drive work harder to find and open programs. Defragging your PC organizes these split files into one place, using up less space and making them easier to find. Windows has its very own tool built in to do this for you called ‘disk defragmenter’ but there are many free options available online. As always, make a copy of any important files or folders which you would not want to lose, just in case any are lost in the process. Please note, if you have a solid-state hard drive (SSD), you should not defrag it as this won’t improve performance, and could reduce the lifespan of your drive. 

      3. Check for viruses and other malware

Another common cause of having a slow computer is malicious programs, looking to harm your PC. Every computer is vulnerable to malware and spyware (you can watch award winning cyber-security expert Jason Hart, discuss different forms of threats here) and they operate by using your computer’s resources and storing itself in your system’s memory. Which, in turn, slows your computer down. Therefore, not only is it important to have robust anti-virus software, but also to run system checks regularly to ensure you do not have any malicious software slowing your PC down.

      4. Remove your cache and cookies

As you browse the internet, your system is quietly storing small amounts of information about which websites you visit. This is to help tailor your browsing and improve your experience. However, your web page history is often stored as ‘caches’ in a temporary folder. Likewise, your computer will stockpile ‘’, which contain further information about your browsing habits and details. Now these do not delete themselves, so it is important to remove them to help your browser operate smoothly. This can ordinarily be done through opening the Settings menu on your online browser and clearing browsing data or cache and cookies.

      5. Make sure all software is up-to-date and restart your PC

These may sound very simple but are often overlooked. Ensuring your software is up to date and restarting your PC is a great move to boosting your computer’s speed. Microsoft, amongst other operating system providers, regularly release fixes for glitches or holes in their system and so if you do not use the most updated version, your PC will encounter problems. It’s like an athlete running with faulty shoes. Similarly, restarting your PC is much healthier than permanently using the sleep function. It clears RAM, installs pending updates which have been waiting in the background and closes Apps.

Similarly, for your complete device tune-up, you can read our post on how to speed up your mobile, here.

Got any further questions or comments? Let us know below or by tweeting to us at @JustAskGemalto.