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How to speed up your computer without spending a cent

Because we can’t all be spending hundreds on new hard drives and laptops.

THESE CHANGES WON’T get it back to the same speeds as when you first bought your computer, but you should see an improvement.

Remove unnecessary programs
The first step for any speed up process, checking to see what programs you have installed will show you exactly how many you don’t use. You can filter them by size so you can identify the biggest offenders.

It’s also worth prioritising certain types of programs over others. That copy of MS Office will always come in useful, but installed games mightn’t be as good an investment.

Add Remove Program Source: Windows

Download a third-party cleaner

It’s not a case that first-party removal programs aren’t good, but third-party products usually take the extra step when it comes to cleaning. One of the best examples out there is CCleaner, which not only scans your computer for unnecessary files, but lets you control what’s removed to a significant degree.

ccleaner1 Source: CCleaner

Check for malware and viruses

Sometimes your computer is slowed down because malware or viruses have infected it without you realising. That’s why it’s vital to have a good anti-virus software program installed so it can detect and remove these threats. It’s always good to scan your computer every month as you never know when certain malware will slip under the radar.

Don’t multitask

Applicable to life in general, but in this case, try to keep the amount of programs open to a minimum. Chances are you won’t be able to work on seven different things at the same time so only open the ones that are absolutely necessary.

The same advice applies to browser tabs as some will be more labour intensive than others, especially if you’re using a browser like Chrome. If you have too many tabs open, it might be worthwhile to download a plugin like TooManyTabs to help manage this.

Switch to a simpler theme

In the case of Windows, the later versions use a theme called Aero (or a variant) which opens up somewhat transparent, which apart from looking nice, doesn’t offer much use. By going into Start > Control Panel and Personalisation, you can choose the theme your computer uses. It’s best to choose basic since that’s the least resource intensive.

Defragment your computer

One that will take a little bit longer than the other examples. Defragmenting your computer rearranges the files so your computer runs more efficiently. It’s best to use it after you’ve removed the programs you don’t want, but remember that the more files you have saved, the longer it will take.

Advanced

(Warning: the advice below requires you to tinker with system settings which could lead to problems if you’re not careful. The best rule of thumb is if you don’t know exactly what something does, don’t touch it)

Find data hogs

If you want to go a little bit deeper, heading into Windows Task Manager will give you a more comprehensive look into what your computer is running. hitting control+shift+escape will bring it up and going into processes will show you all the programs and services that are running.

Clicking on memory will sort them out from most to least intensive, and is a good way of seeing which ones are using up memory. Also, only remove programs that you definitely know where they came from (eg: Chrome). If there’s any uncertainty then keep away from it, even if it’s a data hog.

Disable start up programs

Go into Start and Run (or the search bar if one is available) and type in msconfig. This will launch the Again, you will see the list of programs that start when you boot up your computer. A number of them are essential to the system so only disable ones you’re absolutely certain won’t affect your computer before doing anything.

Read: Why you need IFTTT in your life right now >

Read: Running out of space on your smartphone? Here’s how to free some up >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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