Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Techy Tuesday - 8 Ways to Speed Up a PC

Let me start by saying that 6 months ago I became a total Apple devotee.  Like many, it started with the iPhone.  Then the iPad.  Then I read the Steve Jobs biography.  I resisted a Macbook for a long time, but when my PC died, I took the plunge, and I will never, ever go back.

That being said - our school district still uses PCs, and, unlike Apples, they get bogged down every now and then.  They start running slow and get temperamental, and that's usually when I'll take it home, sit down with some TV, and do a little clean up and maintenance to get it running smoothly again.

Here are the 10 things I do to get my PC back in shape.

1.  Clear out unwanted programs.  Go to your Control Panel, open up your programs, and uninstall anything you don't want.  Be careful, though - you don't want to uninstall something you really need. Anything with Microsoft in the name I leave, and anything I'm really uncertain about.  But if it's something I recognize and I know I no longer need, I get rid of it.

2.  Clean up your start up programs.  This can make a HUGE difference in your computer's speed, particularly when you first start it up.  Click the start button and type "system configuration."  Click services.  Leave anything from Microsoft and PC services.  Probably Apple, too.  But most of it you don't need to run at start up, like Adobe or something.  You want as little going on when you first turn your computer on.

3.  Run a disk cleanup.  Definitely get rid of your temporary files.  This can release a huge amount of space.  Click the start button and type "disk cleanup" and then click disk cleanup.  It will scan your computer to see how much space you can free up.  Just click to delete unnecessary stuff.

4.  Clean out your malware.  I like Malware Bytes.  Download it and then run a scan.  Authorize it to delete anything it wants to.

5.  Defragment your disk.  Your computer is likely set up to do this automatically, but it may be at a weird time, like 1:00 a.m.  If your computer isn't on, it can't defragment.  Click the start button and type "defray."  Then select the defragmenter.  It consolidates files on your hard drive so that free space is more available.  Then, either set this to be done at a more realistic time or make a note to do it on your own every week or so.

6.  Empty your recycle bin.  Self explanatory.  

7.  Troubleshoot.  There may be issues going on you don't know about, and this task will help you find and fix them.  Click the start button and type "troubleshooting" and then click troubleshooting.  Under systems and security, click check for performance issues.  

8.  Update.  Check extra utilities, such as Adobe, for updates.  Usually you'll get an alert when updates are available, but I'm bad about clicking "remind me later" and then never doing it.  Especially check for updates with your antivirus!

After you've done all of this, be sure to shut down your computer.  Many changes only take effect after you've rebooted, particularly updates.

Do all of this, and you should see a noticeable difference in your PC performance.

Of course, buy an Apple, and you don't have to mess with any of it.  


  1. Love this post! Great tips!
    I had to buy a new laptop this summer and I bought a PC again. You're right though - I love my iPhone and iPad so I know it's inevitable that I'll own a Mac but I just couldn't do it yet!

    Teaching Voracious Learners

  2. Thanks!! Glad it can help!

    My horror of Windows 8 is what kept me from buying another PC when I needed something, but I'm so glad I went with a Mac. There was a definite learning curve - and a heftier price tag - but it's been so worth it for me. :)

    Thanks for stopping by!!