Top Tips on How to Make Your Computer Faster

Is your computer slow? Learn how to make your computer faster with these simple steps. We’ll cover everything from software updates to hardware upgrades.

Key Takeaways

  • Installing the latest operating system updates and managing when they are installed can significantly improve your computer’s performance and security.

  • Closing unnecessary background programs and managing startup items can help free up system resources, improving overall efficiency and speed.

  • Deleting temporary files, utilizing Storage Sense, and cleaning internet files regularly can help maintain disk space and prevent slowdowns.

1 Install the Latest Operating System Updates

Operating system updates installation

Keeping your operating system updated is akin to servicing your car; it’s essential for smooth performance. With the latest version of the Windows operating system, updates are downloaded and installed automatically, ensuring your device remains secure and up to the minute.

Should you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can install Windows updates manually. Delve into the settings, select ‘Windows Update,’ and with the click of ‘Check for updates’, you’re in control. And if you’re caught in a bind, the Windows Update Troubleshooter is your trusty sidekick, ready to iron out any kinks.

There’s an art to timing updates, ensuring they don’t disrupt your digital flow. Windows lets you schedule restarts to install updates, allowing you to work uninterrupted. It’s like setting an appointment for your PC’s rejuvenation, ensuring it doesn’t call in sick during your most productive hours.

The act of updating not only tightens system protection but also can give your computer a noticeable boost in speed. In some cases, you might need to re install windows to achieve optimal performance.

Close Unnecessary Programs Running in the Background

Imagine a juggler, each program running in the background is another ball to keep in the air. Too many, and the performance falters.

The Task Manager is your window into this juggling act, revealing which programs are hogging the limelight with excessive memory and CPU usage. Prune the unnecessary—like the seldom-used Calculator.exe or the lurking NewsAndInterests.exe—and watch your PC’s agility return.

Third-party culprits often skulk in the shadows, sapping strength from your system. A firm click in the Task Manager can put a stop to their antics or disable their startup entirely, preventing them from joining the fray when you power on your PC.

Moreover, the incessant background chatter of apps syncing can be quieted, freeing your system to focus on more pressing tasks.

Venture into the settings, and under ‘Background apps’, you can command a full stop, halting the unnecessary background processes in their tracks.

Remember, when cloud storage services like Dropbox or OneDrive are constantly syncing, it’s like a tap left running, slowly draining your system’s vigor. A strategic pause can be a game-changer.

Delete Temporary Files and Internet Files

Disk cleanup

Temporary files, including temporary internet files, are the digital equivalent of cobwebs, accumulating in the corners of your system and doing little but take up space. These files, often with the.

TMP extension, are squirreled away in a Temp folder, forgotten by the programs that created them. Left unchecked, they sprawl out, cluttering your hard disk and bogging down your PC.

Thankfully, Windows offers a handy ally in this clean-up crusade—Storage Sense. This feature wipes away the digital dust bunnies automatically, keeping your system spry and taking care of all the files, including temporary ones.

For those who prefer a more tactical approach, the Disk Cleanup utility is a stalwart friend. It sifts through your drive, pinpointing files ripe for removal without a hint of remorse.

And for the bravest souls, wielding the Command Prompt with the command ‘del /q/f/s %TEMP%’ unleashes a purge of temporary files that would make decluttering gurus proud.

Browser bloat is another stealthy speed-thief, often causing a slow computer. Cache, cookies, and history pile up, heavy and cumbersome, dragging down your web adventures. A periodic purge can see your browser zipping along at a brisk pace once more, unburdened by the weight of unnecessary internet files.

Disable Startup Programs

Each morning, your computer’s startup is a stage for programs vying for the spotlight as soon as Windows starts. But not every actor deserves a leading role.

By peering into the notification area on the taskbar, you can spot these eager beavers and decide who gets to stay and who’s cut from the show.

For those lurking unseen, the Startup tab in Task Manager is your casting couch, where a simple ‘Disable’ click prevents unwelcome programs from taking the stage at startup.

Windows 11 streamlines this process further, allowing you to direct the theater of startup programs right from the Settings.

A toggle here, a toggle there, and you’re the director of a more efficient boot-up sequence. The digital stage of your Windows 10 or Windows 8 is no different, with Task Manager or Settings providing the director’s chair for who gets to start automatically.

And let’s not forget the classics. For those still waltzing with Windows 7, Vista, or XP, MSConfig is the old-school method of managing the startup ensemble.

Uncheck the undesirables, and the stage is set for a swifter start. Task Manager’s Startup tab can even rank these programs by their performance impact, spotlighting the most resource-hungry of the lot.

Free Up Disk Space

Freeing up disk space

As our digital lives grow, so too does the clutter on our hard disks. It’s akin to a wardrobe bursting at the seams—without regular purging, finding anything becomes a chore. Enter Storage Sense, a digital declutterer that sifts through your files, casting aside the unnecessary with automated precision.

For a more tailored clean-up, the Cleanup recommendations under Storage settings let you select exactly what to discard, like sifting through old clothes for a donation.

Unused apps and unnecessary files are like unworn outfits taking up valuable space. Uninstalling them is a liberating purge, making room for more important things and creating some free space.

And if you find your files are spilling over, consider relocating them to an external drive. A simple cut and paste via File Explorer, and voilà, your digital closet is organized and your system breezes along.

Optimize Visual Effects

A dazzling display of visual effects can transform the mundane into the magnificent. Yet, like an elaborate stage set, they can also consume precious system resources, particularly on devices where RAM is not abundant.

Adjusting these settings is a balancing act, trading some visual flair for a boost in performance. Dive into the system settings, seek out ‘performance’, and from there, you’re a mere few clicks away from optimizing your visual effects for better speed.

For those yearning for the utmost efficiency, selecting ‘Adjust for best performance’ in the control panel strips away all unnecessary frills, leaving a pure, undistracted environment for your PC to perform in.

The disappearance of rounded window corners, fading menus, and 3-D button styles may seem stark, but the freed-up computing power is a worthy trade-off.

Particularly for those PCs gasping for breath under the weight of limited RAM, disabling these visual effects can be a rejuvenating elixir. Animations and shadow effects are lovely to look at, but they’re a luxury that can slow down your digital dance.

Use Antivirus Software

Antivirus software scan

In the digital realm, malware looms like a shadowy figure, ready to pounce and slow your computer to a crawl. But fear not, for antivirus software stands guard, a digital knight warding off these nefarious entities.

Regular scans are the patrols of this knight, seeking out and banishing these resource-hungry malefactors, thereby freeing up your system to sprint ahead.

Antivirus software is your vigilant sentry, scrutinizing files for known threats and sounding the alarm when something seems amiss.

Windows Security is at your service, offering a swift ‘Quick scan’ to assure you that all is well within your digital walls. And should you suspect a program of masquerading as a startup item, a virus scan could reveal its true, malicious nature.

Sometimes, even the mightiest of digital defenses can be breached. If a particularly stubborn virus resists eviction, Microsoft Support is your ally, ready to assist in the battle for a clean system.

But beware the temptation of multiple antivirus programs; like squabbling knights, they can do more harm than good, tangling their swords and slowing your quest for speed.

Upgrade Hardware Components

computer technician upgrading the motherboard and RAM

Sometimes, software tweaks alone can’t awaken the full potential of your aging steed. This is where hardware upgrades enter the fray, a proverbial shot of adrenaline to your system’s heart.

Adding more RAM is like expanding the memory space for your computer’s performance—more space, more actors, more action, all without skipping a beat. And for the gamers among us, this means richer worlds and smoother gameplay, devoid of the dreaded lag.

When pondering a memory upgrade, compatibility is key. Tools like the Crucial System Scanner swiftly reveal the RAM destined to harmonize with your laptop. And the allure of SSDs is undeniable.

Swapping an old hard disk for a sprightly SSD is like trading in a horse and carriage for a sports car—the speed difference is palpable.

If your laptop’s cries for more storage grow too loud to ignore, consider an SSD upgrade. The process is a cinch, and the benefits are immediate—like clearing a clogged artery for full, free-flowing performance.

And when your RAM usage regularly tips over the 75% mark, it’s a clear sign that an upgrade could be your golden ticket to a more responsive PC with better allocated memory.

Regularly Restart Your Computer

Imagine your computer as a bustling city, with data flowing like traffic through its digital streets.

Over time, congestion builds, and the flow becomes sluggish. A restart acts like a city-wide reset, clearing the streets, refreshing the traffic, and getting everything moving smoothly again. By restarting, you’re clearing temporary files, freeing up memory, and giving your system’s RAM a clean slate.

The simple act of restarting can be a panacea for minor glitches and errors, resetting the system’s heart—its CPU, memory, and controllers—back to a state of equilibrium.

It’s like a good night’s sleep for your PC, waking refreshed and ready to tackle tasks with renewed vigor. Moreover, it’s during these reboots that updates and patches take effect, fortifying your system’s defenses and smoothing out its performance.

Check for High Disk Usage

Like a detective on the trail of a suspect, Task Manager helps you sniff out the programs that are hogging the disk’s attention. With a quick Ctrl + Shift + Esc, you’re in the command center, sorting processes by their disk usage with the click of a column.

Those guilty of high usage will stand out, their bright orange boxes a beacon of excess in a sea of moderation.

Occasional spikes in disk usage are part of the digital ebb and flow, peaking at 100% before settling back to a more modest level.

But should this number linger in the upper echelons, it’s a sign of trouble—a clogged pipeline that needs clearing. The culprits can be varied, from the sinister presence of malware to outdated drivers or persistent background processes, each demanding attention and sapping the speed from your system.

Manage Browser Tabs and Extensions

The browser is often the gateway to the web, a portal to a world of information and entertainment.

Yet, with each additional tab, it becomes a heavier burden for your computer to bear. Prudent management of these tabs can be a liberating force, cutting the chains that hold your browser back and allowing it to soar at speed.

Similarly, extensions are like the browser’s adornments—useful, yet in excess, they can weigh it down. Turning off or deleting the superfluous can invigorate your browser, restoring its nimble nature.

Clean Your Computer’s Hardware

The silent guardians of your PC’s performance are its fans and vents, tirelessly working to keep the inner workings cool.

Neglect them, and you’ll find your computer’s performance wilting under the heat. Regular cleaning of these components is akin to keeping the air filters in your home clean—a necessity for maintaining a comfortable and functional environment.

Compressed air is the hero here, sweeping away the dust that chokes your system’s breath, ensuring it can run without breaking a sweat.

Utilize Cloud Storage

The digital age has bestowed upon us the gift of the cloud—a vast expanse where data can live, freeing up the physical confines of our hardware. By transferring hefty files to the cloud, you’re lightening your computer’s load, allowing it to move with grace and speed.

Cloud storage is not just an overflow valve for your files; it’s also a fortress, protecting your data from the potential demise of your local hardware.

Create a System Restore Point

Navigating the ever-changing landscape of software and updates can sometimes lead to treacherous territory. A system restore point is your safety net, allowing you to retrace your steps back to safer ground should the path prove perilous. Creating a restore point is a straightforward affair.

Search for ‘create a restore point’, and with a few clicks, you’re setting a digital pin in your system’s timeline, marking a moment of stability.


In this odyssey through the intricacies of computer performance, we’ve navigated from the digital surface down to the very silicon that powers our devices. With each step, the path to a faster, more responsive computer becomes clearer.

From the foundational updates of our operating systems to the cathartic release of unnecessary files and programs, each action is a stride towards digital harmony.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I install Windows updates to keep my computer running smoothly?

You should aim to manually check for Windows updates at least once a month to keep your system up to date and secure. This will help ensure your computer runs smoothly and remains secure.

Can too many browser tabs really slow down my computer?

Yes, having too many browser tabs open can slow down your computer by using up memory and processing power. Closing unnecessary tabs can improve your computer’s performance.

Is it really necessary to physically clean my computer’s hardware?

Yes, it is necessary to physically clean your computer’s hardware to prevent overheating and maintain optimal performance. Regular cleaning of vents and fans can help prevent dust and debris buildup.

Will using cloud storage speed up my computer?

Yes, using cloud storage can help speed up your computer by offloading storage-intensive files from your local hardware.

How do I know if I need to upgrade my computer’s hardware?

If your computer struggles with multitasking or runs slowly even after software optimization, it may be time for a hardware upgrade. Monitor your RAM and storage usage to gauge if they’re consistently high, indicating a need for more RAM or an SSD upgrade.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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