Every day, there are millions of people using computers that don’t quite perform to their maximum potential. Unfortunately, the majority of these users don’t even know the first step to take in the process of speeding up their machine. The fact is, it’s generally a pretty simple process to boost your performance, even if routine maintenance hasn’t been a priority.
Free up Hard Drive Space
The first thing you should do is take a look at the free space on your HDD, if the “used space” bar is red, that means you really need to start clearing out some old files. First of all, empty your recycle bin, then head to your PC’s downloads/documents folders and delete anything that is obsolete. Next, go to the Control Panel, then to All Programs, and start uninstalling any software you no longer use.
Clean out your Cache
For this, I recommend downloading a program called CCleaner, which is free to use. Once you’ve downloaded and installed this program, open it up and click “Run Cleaner”. Then, the software will being to clean out any temporary or cached files that are taking up unnecessary space on your HDD. This will not only help fix errors and boost performance, but it will also give you some extra HDD space to work with.
Update Your Drivers
To get the latest drivers for your computer’s hardware, head to the start menu and search for Device Manager. Go through your major components and double-click them, click the Driver tab, and click Update Driver, choose the option to automatically search for drivers. Alternatively, if you know the models of your hardware (Graphics Card, Processor, Sound Card, etc), you can do a quick google search to find the latest drivers – make sure to include the exact model and the words “latest drivers”.
Run an Anti-Virus Scan
Most people are already aware of this, but in-case you don’t have virus protection, you really need to get some. Now days, there are tons of free Anti-Virus programs available, such as Avast, that will give you real-time protection against PC threats, as well as remove any existing ones. Just download and install one of these free Anti-Virus programs and run a full scan, it may take a couple hours, but it’s worth it.
Upgrade Your Hardware
If you’ve gone through the previous four steps, it’s likely that your computer is just outdated. Your only other options are to either purchase a brand new machine, or upgrade the components of your current computer. Upgrading is a great way to save money, but can be difficult for those who don’t know what they’re doing.
A good way to start out is to upgrade the RAM, this is the easiest upgrade to do, and can definitely speed up your PC quite noticeably. Just make sure the RAM you purchase is compatible with your motherboard, the easiest way to do this is to look at your current RAM and find where it says DDR1, DDR2, or DDR3. You should order the same DDR number of your current RAM, otherwise you’ll ruin those RAM slots on your motherboard.