General Question

McBean's avatar

What are 5 things I can do right now to safely make my computer faster?

Asked by McBean (1703points) August 13th, 2008

I’m hopeless with computers, so speak clearly and slowly and help me out here. Is there something I can safely empty or tweak? Are there things I should look for and turn off or delete? This machine is making me nuts!!! I’m using a high speed cable modem, by the way.

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10 Answers

bassist_king1's avatar

what kind of computer is it? any specs like how much ram, what videocard, etc. are you asking how to increase your computer itself or the internet speed?

you can do a spyware/virus scan, upgrade your ram, defrag your harddrive, delete temp files, clear cookies/cache and maybe even history if you want(but history wont really make a difference), go to control panel and go to add/remove programs and delete any old programs or just stuff you dont use anymore,

i dont remember where but i think its in control panel.. you can select which programs run when your computer first boots up. try and turn off as many as you can and your computer will start up faster.

having a firewall will help to prevent spyware/viruses (not all, but alot better then without) but will probly slow your computer down a bit, but its worth it to be safe.

Skyrail's avatar

The two easiest things I guess I could suggest would be to defrag your hard drive and clear up unwanted files and such. You can do the latter using CCleaner, make sure you read what it does, and only tick the boxes on the program that you need otherwise you may remove things that you want. For the former you can use Microsofts defragging software or the one made by the same people who made CCleaner, it is called Defraggler and I find it to be nicer then Microsoft’s own version. Although all of this is only useful if you use Windows of course, but who would have thought a Mac to get slower, which is why I presume that it’s Windows.

As for what bassist said above CCleaner will allow you to remove programs as well, delete temp files, cookies, history, etc. but in one easy interface. It also does startup programs as well :)

jdogg's avatar

under run type in %temp% press ctrl+a and select delete and it should rid of all the temporary files. i dont know what kind of OS you have but hopefully this works allright it worked great for me on vista. also try to defragment your system and system clean up. virus scans and spyware helps to if you download alot of files. and if your pc is slow period get a RAM memory upgrade (I would say 2 gigs of ram is enough for vista and down. also if you have lots of startup programs go into control panel and under add/remove programs (you might have to search for a while or just type add/remove programs under search if you have vista and it should pull up) and uninstall every program you DON’T use or barely use and that should open alot of memory. hope this helps.

tonedef's avatar

Minimem is a great piece of software for Windows that optimizes the memory that bloated software uses. It really makes a difference with Firefox!

bassist_king1's avatar

yea, ccleaner is good. for spyware you could try spybot search and destroy, or ad aware. i think avg is still one of the good free virus scanners, i dont remember, since i bought trend micro, which is alright, but it slows me down pretty bad unless i turn everything to low security.

McBean's avatar

Windows XP 2002 version, service pack2
Pentium 4CPU
1.4 GHz

Really old, I know. It’s been terrific, though, until fairly recently. The whole thing has slowed down, but it’s the internet speed that is mind-numbing. I have recently updated my avg virus scanner -which implements its own firewall. I’m wondering if that’s the problem?

Spargett's avatar

I don’t mean to sound like a “fan-boy”, but the easiest solution for you would be to get a Mac.

The epic battle between you and your machine ceases to exist. That’s honestly the best advice I have for you. Listen to yourself in the last post. The whole deal is just a mess.

Though in the end, I’m 100% pro-choice.

bassist_king1's avatar

can you set the firewall to low security or something like that? try turning the firewall off and seeing if your internet is faster just for a bit to see if its the firewall or not.

Tone's avatar

Get more RAM. RAM is the easiest and by far the cheapest way to increase system performance. 512MB is a bare-minimum these days. RAM is cheap, easy to install (usually), and will definitely help. Especially on older systems, RAM modules will probably be very cheap, so get as much as your system will support.

With Windows, the system will just bog down after a while. It pollutes itself with temporary files which aren’t so temporary, registry entries, not to mention the likelihood of spyware, etc. RAM will definitely help, but cleaning up the system as others have suggested is also a great idea.

When I used to run Windows, I kept a disk with all the installers I needed, a text file with step-by-step instructions on what to install, and I’d just reinstall the OS every year or so. It took a couple hours, but it was worth it.

Also, try turning things off one by one. Turn off your virus thing, see if your internet performance improves. If not, turn it back on and turn off something else. Try booting into “Safe Mode” and see if there’s a difference. Create a new user and see if that user has the same issues. Uninstall anything in your system tray that you don’t use, or at least prevent them from running at startup. Trying all of these things will give you a clearer picture of what’s going on.

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