How to Speed Up a Slow Computer

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Few things are more aggravating than waiting for a slow computer to load. In today's businesses, productivity depends on high speed. At home, surfing the Internet can stop being fun and become a real chore with a slow computer. It does not need to be that way. There are simple and inexpensive ways to speed up a slow computer.

Eliminate Viruses and Spyware

Step 1

Run your antivirus program. There may be something slowing your computer that you can remove. It is a good idea to run your antivirus program every week.

Step 2

Remove spyware. Run a good spyware tool at least twice a month.

Step 3

Use a pop-up blocker, if you have one. Check your antivirus program.

Dispose of the Extras

Step 1

Delete your document files for anything you no longer need. Saved pictures, audio and video files in particular can slow your computer.

Step 2

Remove unwanted programs from the Control Panel area. Old toolbars or games the kids downloaded off the Internet are a good place to start. Look for software you no longer use, such as the old printer you threw out last year.

Step 3

Clean out your email. Old messages are a constant drain on your computer's resources. Go through every folder, deleting everything you do not need. Leave no mail! Finish by emptying the Deleted Items folder.

Step 4

Turn off unnecessary programs. Check your taskbar for icons that show running programs. Disable anything you are not currently using.

Run Maintenance

Step 1

Run the Disk Cleanup tool located in your Control Panel. (Windows only. For other operating systems, please check the Resources section below.) This will remove temporary files, cookies and unnecessary components to speed up your computer.

Step 2

Defragment your computer. Defragging takes some time, but will speed your computer significantly. You can find the tool in your Control Panel. Run it monthly.

Step 3

Check for disk errors. Sometimes corrupted files slow down your computer. To find and fix these files, Go to My Computer and right-click on C drive. Choose Properties, then Tools.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be extra careful with program removal. When in doubt, do not delete!
  • Never turn off your antivirus program!
  • The Disk Cleanup tool may offer to delete things you wish to keep. Read carefully!