How to Clean a Slow Computer & Stop it From Being Slow Again
Last updated: October 8, 2018 at 1:08 am by Adam Dominik
If you are finally tired of your Windows computer being slow and want to finally put an end to it from being slow, then I have the top 10 tips on how to clean and improve the performance of your computer easily and quite quickly. You can think of the top 10 tips as a spring clean of your computer, cleaning up what is dirty and removing what has not be used in a very long time. The tips are explained in great detail for Windows computers, but the principles apply to any computer or laptop running Windows, so if you want your computer running like you expect it to, please continue and read on.
Before getting started I would like to let you know that, you can speed up your computer back to its full potential with a few clicks of your mouse. No need to call in the experts, you can perform all the necessary procedures yourself.
Before you do anything, there is a really simple and quick solution to stop your computer from being slow again – and that is by using a decent, trusted computer cleaner. It’s often hard to discern which free online programs are legitimate and which are nasty virus laden software or considered bloatware. The only such software I use personally at work and at home is PC Health Advisor. Click here to download PC Health Advisor, a free trial, easy to use piece of software that addresses all the major causes of why your PC is slow to start you off.
If you want to have a go and fixing your computer yourself, then please read below!
The Best Fixes to Clean a Slow Computer and Stop it From Being Slow Again:
- Clean Out Duplicate and Junk Files
- Delete Programs You Don’t Use or Need
- Defrag your Hard Drive
- Remove Programs from Start-Up
- Clean up and Organise your Windows Desktop
- Ensure You Have All Windows Updates
- Ensure You Have all Your Device Drivers Updated
- Scan your PC for Viruses and Malware
- Literally Clean the Insides of your PC
- Use PC Health Advisor to Stop Your Computer From Running So Slow
Clean out Duplicate and Junk Files
As time goes by, more and more data you didn’t expect or ever thought existed accumulates onto your computer. There will be plenty in the Windows Temp folder. This in turn does impact computing performance, as your hard drive has to work twice as hard to find the files and programs it needs to access. Clearing out the Temp folder and even the Temp Internet files folder is a good place to start cleaning out your slow computer. Duplicate files are another hindrance. Typically these will be music or photo files. There’s no downside to removing such junk, and the free Duplicate Finder tool will speed up this process. Install it and follow the simple instructions.
Windows also contains a built-in cleanup tool to create more hard drive space: they do so by emptying the Recycle Bin and removing an assortment of other junk files you no longer need or are degrading your computer’s performance.
In Windows 10,8,7, Vista and XP Go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, then choose System Tools, Disk Cleanup.
Delete Programs you Don’t Use or Need
Next, remove any programs you don’t use – again Windows has its own tool for this. In Windows 8 head to the Search Charm and search ‘Uninstall’. You’ll see an entry for ‘Uninstall programs to free up Disk Space’. In Windows 7 head to Start, Control Panel, Programs and choose ‘Uninstall a program’.
In each case you can see a list of programs and the space they take up. Scroll down the list and select the program you want to remove, then click the Uninstall button at the top of the window. Remember you want to delete only programs you don’t use.
It isn’t always possible to completely remove all traces of a program using Windows’ utility. For this, you need a third party tool such as Revo Uninstaller. In Revo’s interface, double-click a program’s icon to remove it. You can then scan for and remove leftover files or Registry entries.
Defrag your hard drive
Over time, files on your hard drive get fragmented, and your computer slows down because it has to check multiple places on your drive for those pieces. To have your computer run more efficiently, use the built-in tool in Windows to defragment those files. Here’s how and when you should do it.
Windows 10, like Windows 8 and Windows 7 before it, automatically defragments files for you on a schedule (by default, once a week). However, it doesn’t always run consistently, so if you notice files are taking longer to load or you just want to double-check every month or so, you can see how fragmented the drive is in Windows.
Just open the Start menu, click Run, type Dfrg.msc and press Enter. You’ll open up the Disk Defragmenter, from which you can defragment each of your drives individually. Or you can right click on the hard drive icon to be defragmented from the Desktop or Windows Explorer. Click on the Tools tab followed by the Optimize button.
Remove Programs from Start-up
You don’t even have to completely remove a program from your PC to speed things up. You could just remove them from the startup process. Many programs autoload at startup, so you don’t need to wait around when you later want to use them – but you don’t always want to use them. You know how your older Windows PC takes an age to boot up? Removing startup programs will help.
We’ll do this process in Windows 7 and then in Windows 8.
In Windows 7 type msconfig in the Start menu Search bar. Click the Startup tab in the System Configuration window and deselect any programs you don’t want to launch at startup. Press Apply, Ok.
Free boot-analysis tool Soluto offers advice on which programs can be safely removed from the startup process. This handy utility improves on the System Configuration tool’s functionality by also letting you defer certain items to load just after the desktop becomes responsive.
Clean up and Organise your Windows Desktop
Is your Windows Desktop dotted with files? Have you noticed that your fast computer has been running slower and slower? Do you see the hard drive light often flashing while you wait for the computer to respond to an action? To speed up your computer, clean your Windows Desktop.
Each time Windows boots, operating memory is used for all files on the Desktop. If those files are Shortcuts, the total amount of memory used will be small. If however, there are several or dozens of files on the Desktop, those will use lots of operating memory, essentially for no purpose or gain. With less memory available, the computer runs slower because it has to swap out information from operating memory to the hard drive. It does this process (called memory paging) to keep everything the user wants to do, running at the same time.
Remove icons belonging to programs you don’t use and shift everything else into the My Documents folder. This is the quickest and easiest way to clean up your Windows Desktop.
Ensure You Have All Windows Updates
Is Windows Update enabled on your PC? If you don’t know the answer to that, you should — Windows Update keeps Windows, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office up-to-date with the latest security patches and bug fixes, ensuring your computer is as secure as possible.
While Windows Update can be obnoxious, it keeps your computer secure and is well worth using. It can also be made less obnoxious with a few quick settings changes.
Ensure You Have all Your Device Drivers Updated
Drivers, also referred to as device drivers, are special types of computer programs which allow your computer OS and various other apps connect with some hardware that you have. For instance, your PC lacks the knowledge of using all of your video card features, and it requires the assistance of a driver. Basically, using camera, printer, scanner, mouse and any other hardware on your PC can be impossible without a driver. Similar to any standard computer program, drivers also have updates.
Outdated drivers may be incompatible with the version of Windows you are using, reducing the performance of the particular piece of hardware and thus the entire computer. New drivers can also contain additional performance benefits with new updates which can increase the performance of particular hardware, lifting the performance of your entire computer.
Scan your PC for Viruses and Malware
If your PC gets too cluttered with too many spyware programs malware or viruses, the accumulation and operation of these unnecessary and unwanted applications can create a significant drain and burden on your computer’s resources—just like having too many programs installed and running on a PC can slow down the entire computer quite drastically.
Literally Clean the Insides of your PC
Old PCs can accumulate vast amounts of dust, carpet fibers and other detritus that can clog fans and so on. Turn off your PC and unplug it from the mains, take the lid off, then gently blow the dust out. Make sure that the fans spin freely, and that all the cables are pushed firmly home. Static electricity kills chips, so you should wear an ESD (electrostatic discharge) strap. If not, make sure you ground yourself to make sure you are not carrying a static charge. Either way, keep your fingers well away from the motherboard.
Use PC Health Advisor to Clean a Slow Computer and Stop it From Being Slow Again
PC Health Advisor is able to search and instantly fix everything that is currently causing your computer to run slow. PC Health Advisor features a class leading intelligent engine that is able to detect all computing issues which cause slow performance, find solutions to each of the problems and then automatically resolve them requiring only a few simple clicks from you. What really makes PC Health Advisor work so well and be a class leader is the simplistic nature of the software. Literally, PC Health Advisor works in a two click approach, one to scan your computer so it can find everything it needs to fix, followed by a second click to fix all the issues and errors detected. Finish off the process with a reboot and your Windows machine will be fixed and fast once more.
Vastly improved and easier to use PC Health Advisor has just been released. Read more about PC Health Advisor here.
Time to Take Action Now
That is all that there is to on how to clean a slow computer and stop it from being slow again. The next course of action is of course to get these issues resolved and have your computer running smooth and responsive like it once used to. I highly recommend using PC Health Advisor to complete these tasks. PC Health Advisor is the Windows optimization tool that currently leads the industry; it is an all-in-one tool that has been speeding up computers since 2006! It is a powerful Windows optimization tool that makes speeding up and optimizing your Windows computer incredibly simple.
Lead editor here at Fast PC Life, I’m a proud desktop support analyst since 2006, helping co-workers, clients, family and friends & now online readers resolve slow computing issues.