Are you one of the many Windows users who covets the speed with which the new machines load and run? Do you see your friends getting to work while your device sits and spins? Unless you are willing to shell out the money to get a new, state-of-the-art computer, you will need to look for ways to speed up what you already have. Lucky for you, there are things you can do to increase the loading and processing speeds of your computer without spending a cent.
Windows machines are known for slowing down over time because of hard drive clutter and other software-related problems. And if you have an older machine without the best and newest hardware, it makes the problem even worse. If you are ready to speed things up, these free tools may make a difference for you.
1. Malware Issues
Before you do anything else, you want to clear your computer completely of any malware. This process can take a while but will be worth it in the end. If you have antivirus software (which you should), open it and run a full scan to find and remove any malware.
If this isn’t working for some reason, try these free steps to eliminate the suspect programs.
First, open a browser window, and download the free version of Malwarebytes. Run the program to get rid of the malware.
The next free tool to get rid of all malware to help improve your computer’s performance is Spybot Search & Destroy. Download this and remove any malware that it locates.
And lastly, download and use the free Sophos Rootkit Removal Kit to remove rootkits. Rootkits are an especially nasty kind of malware that gives hackers administrative access to your computer without your permission or knowledge. The hackers can use them to control your device remotely.
2. Unwanted Programs
After you have completely removed any malware from your computer, the next step is to remove any programs you don’t need and don’t plan on using. You can remove these programs by using the Windows “Remove a Program” utility, but if you want to get rid of all traces of the programs, you can use the free tool Geek Uninstaller. This program will remove every last trace of the programs, even those traces that are left over by the Windows tool.
3. Startup Gridlock
From here, you want to change some settings to speed up the startup process. You will get to your desktop faster when you remove nonessential startup programs and utilities that are loading when you start your computer. Every time you start up your machine, some programs automatically start up as well. Some of these you need, and some you don’t, and all those unnecessary programs running at the same time slow down the process. You will get to your desktop faster when you remove nonessential startup programs and utilities that are loading when you start your computer.
A free tool that you can use that easily stop these programs from loading at startup is called Autoruns. When you download this program and run it, it will present a list of startup processes. All you need to do is uncheck any programs that don’t need to start when you begin Windows.
Another free tool you can use is Startup Delayer. This tool not only allows you to stop specific programs from loading automatically, but it gives you the option of delaying the initiation of some programs so that they are not all running at the same time. Once Startup Delayer is installed and running, you drag and drop startup programs into either the “Normal Startup” or “Delayed Startup” sections.
4. Too Much Junk
As a final step, you may want to find and remove junk files or duplicate files stored on your computer. Programs like Iolo System Mechanic locate and delete those files that may be bogging down your system.
If your computer has been running slowly, you don’t need to replace it. You don’t even need to replace or add components to it. With some of these free tools and a little maintenance, you can keep your computer running more quickly and efficiently without running low on cash.