5 Easy Ways to Speed up Your PC

By: Mark James

Over the years that computers have been around, speed has been a crucial factor. Not even always online - you need speed to copy a huge file from one folder to another.

Online gaming, file downloading, playing videos - all of these are affected by the speed of your computer. You need to efficiently maintain your computer.

Firstly, the most obvious one. Free up disk space. I mean, that's one of the easiest things you can do. Don't get wreckless and delete everything, but If you have work that used to be important but now isn't relevant, get rid of it. Using some sort of program like DiskCleanUp can help - it can:

- Delete temporary Internet Files
- Delete Cookies
- Remove windows temp. files.
- Clean the recycle bin.
- Delete Downloaded Program files.

Be careful though - Disk Clean Up may try and delete programs that you haven't used in a while. But if you paid for photoshop 2 years ago and haven't used it, that doesn't mean you should delete it. If you run windows then DickCleanUp should be in Start > All programs > Accessories > System Tools. Using it is pretty simple, it's all about telling it what to delete and checking boxes.

Secondly, use something like Disk Defragmenter to speed up access to files. If files ARE fragmented, then your computer has to search the hard drive once you've opened the file to put it all back together. This obviosuly will make the access time a significant amount of time longer. Microsoft recommends using Disk Defragmenter once every month - but if you :

- Are very low on memory
- Install a lot of new programs
- Or download a lot of items,

They recommend running it anyway. It's in the same place as DiskCleanUp - Start > All programs > Accessories > System Tools.

By now you're probably getting the jist that Microsoft already adds programs to your computer to help you increase it's speed. The Error Checking utility checks disks for file errors. It is will scan your hard disk for bad parts, and find file system errors to see whether certain components are misplaced or missing. You can access this by going to what you want to search > Properties > Tools > Check now.

Delete shortcuts on your start menu. These can take ages to load and slow everything down. Don't go mental with files on your desktop either. I have none, there's just no need. How many internet browsers do you have? Too many programs can slow you down, and what's the point in having Opera, Internet Explorer Firefox and Safari? Just get one and stick to it. I have 2 - I use Firefox generally but sometimes Internet Explorer need to be use - on the Microsoft Updates site for example.

Finally, the big bang. Reformatting. If you computer is slow, programs don't work, you're missing vital components and you feel like it's time you bought a new computer, just reformat. As long as computer is fast when maintained, reformatting is a great way to get everything back to a high speed. But you'll have to re-install all programs and you would've had to back up important files. But hey, in desperate times, what else can you do.

Get an operating system on CD, boot your computer from CD and delete the old partition. Install the new one, and you're away!

Keeping a fast computer is all about maintenance and keep places clean. Organise your computer like a neat bookshelf, and you should be ok.

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