A common phenomenon - the computer began to slow down, Windows starts for ten minutes, and in order to wait for the browser to open, you need to have good patience. In this article, we’ll talk about the easiest ways to speed up a computer with Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and 7.
The instruction is intended primarily for novice users who have not previously thought about how various MediaGet, Zona, Mail.Ru agents or other software affect the speed of work, like to install numerous programs that speed up the computer or designed to clean it. But, of course, these are not the only possible causes of a slow computer, which I will consider here. In general, proceed.
Update 2015: The manual has been almost completely rewritten to better reflect today's realities. Added additional points and nuances designed to improve the performance of your PC or laptop.
How to speed up your computer - basic principles
Before talking about specific actions that can be taken to speed up the computer, it makes sense to note some basic aspects that affect the speed of the operating system and equipment.
All the marked items are the same for Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and 7 and relate to those computers that previously worked fine (therefore, I do not mark, for example, a small amount of RAM in the hope that it is enough).
- One of the main reasons that the computer runs slowly is all kinds of background processes, that is, the actions of those programs that the computer executes “secretly”. All those icons that you see (and some of them are not) at the bottom right in the Windows notification area, processes in the task manager - all this uses the resources of your computer, slowing down its work. For the average user, almost always more than half of the programs running in the background are simply not needed there.
- Problems with the operation of the equipment - if you (or another person who installed Windows) did not make sure that the official drivers were installed for the video card and other equipment (and not the ones that the operating system installs on its own), if some computer hardware it’s strange, or the computer shows signs of overheating - you should do this if you are interested in a fast-working computer. Also, one should not expect lightning-fast actions from outdated equipment in the new conditions and with new software.
- Hard drive - a slow hard drive that is full or malfunctioning HDD can lead to slow operation and system freezes. If your computer’s hard drive shows signs of malfunction, for example, makes strange sounds, you should consider replacing it. Separately, I note that today the acquisition of SSD instead of HDD provides perhaps the most obvious increase in the speed of a PC or laptop .
- Viruses and malware - you may not be aware that something potentially unwanted or harmful is installed on your computer. And it, in turn, will willingly use free system resources. Naturally, it is worth deleting all such things, but I’ll write more about how to do this below in the corresponding section.
Perhaps all the main listed. We move on to decisions and actions that can help in our task and remove the brakes.
Remove programs from Windows startup
The first and main reason why the computer boots up for a long time (i.e. until the moment when you can finally start something on Windows), and also works wildly slowly for novice users - a huge number of various programs that start automatically at Windows startup. The user may even know about them, but consider that they are needed and not attach special importance to them. However, even a modern PC with a bunch of processor cores and a significant amount of RAM can begin to seriously slow down if you do not monitor what is in startup.
Almost all programs that automatically start when you log in to Windows continue to run in the background during your session. However, not all of them are needed there. Typical examples of programs that should not be kept at startup if speed is important to you and you need to remove computer brakes:
- Printers and scanners programs - if you print from Word and other document editors, scan through some own program, the same Word or graphic editor, then not all programs of printer, multifunction printer or scanner manufacturers are not needed at startup — all the necessary functions will work and without them, and if any of these utilities is needed, just run it from the list of installed programs.
- Torrent clients are not so simple here, but in the general case, if you do not constantly have a lot of files to download, you do not need to keep uTorrent or another client in startup: when you decide to download something, it will start by itself. The rest of the time, interfering with work, it constantly works with the hard drive and uses traffic, which in total can have an undesirable effect on performance.
- Utilities for cleaning your computer, USB scanners and other utility programs - if you have an antivirus installed, then it is enough in the list of automatically downloaded programs (and if not installed, install it). All other programs that are designed to accelerate and protect everything at startup are not needed in the vast majority of cases.
To remove programs from startup, you can use standard OS tools. For example, in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, you can right-click on “Start”, open the task manager, click on the “Details” button (if displayed), and then go to the “Startup” tab and see what is there in the same place disable programs at startup.
Many of the necessary programs that you install can automatically add themselves to the startup list: Skype, uTorrent and others. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. A slightly worse, but more frequent situation is when you quickly install the desired program by clicking the “Next” button, agree with all the “Recommended” items and, in addition to the program itself, acquire a certain amount of program junk that is distributed in this way. These are not viruses - just various software that you don’t need, but it still appears on your PC, starts automatically and sometimes it’s not so easy to remove (for example, all sorts of Sputnik Mail.ru).
More on this topic: How to remove programs from startup Windows 8.1 , Startup programs in Windows 7
Many users do not even realize that something is wrong on their computer and they are not familiar with it, which slows it down due to the presence of malicious and potentially unwanted programs on it.
Many, even excellent, antiviruses do not pay attention to this kind of software. But you should pay attention to it if you are not satisfied with loading Windows and running programs for several minutes.
The easiest way to quickly verify whether malware is causing your computer to slow down is to run a scan using the free AdwCleaner or Malwarebytes Antimalware utilities and see what they find. In many cases, a simple cleaning using these programs already significantly improves the visible performance of the system.
More: Malware Removal Tools .
Computer acceleration programs
Many people are familiar with all sorts of programs that promise to speed up Windows. This includes CCleaner, Auslogics Boostspeed, Razer Game Booster - there are many similar tools.
Should I use such programs? If I say about the latter that it is rather not, then about the first two - yes, it’s worth it. But in the context of accelerating the computer’s work, only to manually perform part of those points that were described above, namely:
- Remove programs from startup
- Remove unnecessary programs (for example, using the uninstaller in CCleaner)
Most of the other options and functions of “cleaning” do not lead to speed up work, moreover, in inept hands they can lead to the opposite effect (for example, clearing the browser’s cache more often leads to slower loading of sites - this function does not exist to speed up, like a number of others similar things). You can read more about this, for example, here: Using CCleaner with benefit
And finally, programs that “speed up the computer”, are in startup and their work in the background leads to reduced productivity, and not vice versa.
Remove all unnecessary programs
For the same reasons that are described above, your computer may have a large number of completely unnecessary programs. In addition to those that were accidentally installed, downloaded from the Internet and long forgotten as unnecessary, the laptop may also contain programs that the manufacturer installed there. You should not think that all of them are necessary and beneficial: you do not need various McAfee, Office 2010 Click-to-Run and various other pre-installed software, except that it is intended directly for controlling the laptop hardware. And it is installed on the computer when buying only because the manufacturer receives money from the developer for this.
In order to see a list of installed programs, go to the Windows control panel and select "Programs and Features". Using this list, you can delete everything that you don’t use. In some cases, it is better to use special programs to remove programs (uninstallers) .
Update Windows and Graphics Card Drivers
If you have licensed Windows, then I would recommend installing all updates automatically, which can be configured in Windows Update (although, by default, it is already installed there). If you continue to use an illegal copy, I can only say that this is not the most reasonable choice. But you are unlikely to believe me. One way or another, in your case, updates, on the contrary, are undesirable.
As for updating drivers, the following should be noted here: almost the only drivers that should be regularly updated and which noticeably affect computer performance (especially in games) are video card drivers. Read more: How to update video card drivers .
If you are considering whether to increase RAM from 4 GB to 8 GB (or other options), buy a new video card or do something else so that everything starts up faster on your computer, I strongly recommend that you buy an SSD drive instead of a regular hard drive.
You may have seen phrases like “SSD is the best thing that can happen to your computer” in publications. And today it is true, the increase in speed will be obvious. Details - What is an SSD .
Unless in cases where you need to upgrade exclusively for games and in order to increase FPS, it would be more reasonable to purchase a new video card.
Clean hard drive
Another possible reason for the slow operation (and even if this is not the reason, it’s better to do it anyway) is a hard drive clogged up with the eyeballs: temporary files, unused programs and much more. Sometimes you have to meet computers that have only a hundred megabytes of free space on the HDD. In this case, the normal operation of Windows becomes simply impossible. In addition, if you have an SSD installed, then when filling it with information above a certain limit (about 80%), it starts to work more slowly. Here you can read How to clean the disk from unnecessary files .
Defragment your hard drive
Attention: this item, I think, is outdated today. Modern Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 OS defragment your hard drive in the background when you are not using a computer, and defragmentation is not necessary for an SSD. On the other hand, the procedure will not do much harm.
If you have a regular hard drive (not an SSD) and a lot of time has passed since the system was installed, programs and files were installed and removed, then disk defragmentation can slightly speed up the computer. In order to use it in the Explorer window, right-click on the system drive, select "Properties", then the "Service" tab, and on it click the "Defragment" button ("Optimize" in Windows 8). This process can take a long time, so you can start defragmenting before leaving for work or in an educational institution and everything will be ready for your arrival.
Paging file setup
In some cases, it makes sense to independently configure the operation of the Windows swap file. The most common of these cases is a laptop with 6-8 GB or more RAM with an HDD (not an SSD). Considering that hard drives on laptops are traditionally slow, in the described situation, to increase the speed of the laptop, you can try to disable the page file (with the exception of certain work scenarios - for example, professional photo and video editing).
Read more: Setting up a Windows swap file
So, the final list of what can be done to speed up the computer:
- Remove all unnecessary programs from startup. Leave the antivirus and, possibly, Skype or another program for communication. Torrent clients, NVidia and ATI control panels, various bells and whistles included in the Windows builds, programs for printers and scanners, cameras and phones with tablets - all this and much more are not needed at startup. The printer will work, KIES can be started, and so, the torrent will start automatically if you decide to download something.
- Remove all unnecessary programs. Not only in startup there is software that affects the speed of the computer. Numerous Defenders Yandex and Satellites Mail.ru, unnecessary programs that were pre-installed on a laptop, etc. - All this can also affect the speed of a computer, having running system services for its work and in other ways.
- Update Windows and drivers for the video card.
- Delete unnecessary files from the hard drive, free up more space on the system HDD. It makes no sense to store terabytes of already viewed movies and images with game discs locally.
- Install an SSD, if possible.
- Set up a Windows swap file.
- Defragment your hard drive. (if it is not an SSD).
- Do not install multiple antiviruses. One antivirus - and that’s all, do not install additional “utilities for checking flash drives”, “anti trojans”, etc. Moreover, the second antivirus - in some cases this leads to the fact that the only way to make the computer work normally is to reinstall Windows.
- Check your computer for viruses and malware.
See also - What services can be disabled in Windows 7 and Windows 8 to speed up the computer
I hope these tips will help someone and will speed up the computer without reinstalling Windows, which is often resorted to with any hints of “brakes”.