How to Clean Up Your Computer and Make It Run Quicker

You can accelerate your computer's performance by doing periodical maintenance. This includes running anti-virus and anti-spyware scans, eliminating unnecessary startup items and ridding your computer of temporary files.

Step

Make sure you have the adequate amount of RAM. The amount of RAM your computer has can have a significant impact on your PC's performance. Your system RAM can be viewed by right-clicking on "Computer" and selecting "Properties." From the "General" tab, look at the Computer section, which displays the amount of RAM in your computer. Microsoft recommends for a computer running Windows 7 a minimum of 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM for a 32-bit system and 2GB RAM for 64-bit system.

Step

Eliminate unnecessary startup Items. The number one cause of poor PC performance is excessive memory usage by unnecessary programs in your Startup list. You can view these items by navigating to the "Start" menu and selecting "Run." In the Run dialog, type "msconfig" (without quotes) and click "OK." Then select the "Startup" tab. Uncheck the unnecessary processes. To determine whether a process is necessary, research the process description using the Uniblue Process Library site (liutilities.com/products/wintaskspro/processlibrary).

Step

Eliminate spyware and computer hijacking software. Download and install a spyware deletion program, such as Lavasoft's AdAware (lavasoft.com), SpywareBlaster (javacoolsoftware.com) or Spybot (safer-networking.org/en/home/index.html). These programs are free. Don't automatically run these programs at startup if you're trying to minimize startup programs to save memory; instead, run the program at regular intervals.

Step

Run an anti-virus application, such as AVG Free Edition (free.avg.com) or Microsoft Security Essentials (Microsoft.com/security_essentials/default.aspx).

Step

Clean up general inefficiencies such as temporary files, Internet explorer files, registry errors. You can use your operating system to do this or use an application, such as CCleaner (piriform.com/ccleaner/download).

Step

Repeat these steps at regular intervals based on system performance. Be aware that the number of programs that you open at once will also utilize RAM and slow your PC. Therefore, make a good habit of closing programs that aren't in use.