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Make your computer run faster

How to Make a Computer Run Better

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Ever felt like it took 10 minutes to load one program? This will tell you how to make it take a little less time to do things you need done.


  1. The best thing you can do to speed up your computer is installing Linux as a replacement for your current OS. Ubuntu is a good option for reasonably new computers, while Xubuntu or, in more extreme cases, Damn Small Linux, should work well for older hardware. If you aren't willing to take this step, however, continue with the steps bellow.
  2. Use Firefox for your Internet browsing. Less spy ware targets Firefox than Internet Explorer, so it will help keep it off of your computer. Also its open-source so it's free to download/modify.
  3. Defragment your hard drive every one to two weeks. This tool can usually be found by right clicking a hard drive in "My Computer" and clicking on "Properties." Then click the tab "Tools."
  4. Some applications install things on your computer that make it run slower. Things such as having hundreds of fonts will make it load slower. Spyware and Ad-Ware will also make your computer run slower so get a good spyware cleaner. And some anti-virus programs although needed for a Windows computer will slow down your computer.
  5. Try not to change in-depth system preferences. This can cause unexpected results. If you do change them and do not like the results and cannot undo them, execute "System Restore." It is much like a time machine for your computer. There are three different ways to execute this program:
    • Open "My Computer" and click "Control Panel." There should be a "System Restore" somewhere.
    • Click your start button. Then choose "All Programs." Then go to "Accessories." Lastly, choose "System Tools." There should the be a "System Restore."
    • In case it is not in both places stated above, it is then in this file directory: "C:/WINDOWS/system32/Restore" with the executable named "rstrui." This is only available in Windows XP, as far as I know.

  6. If you have a lot of videos or music, keep them organized. Also, keeping them all loaded in programs such as Winamp may cause your computer to run more slowly.
  7. Clear your e-mail in box regularly. This helps a bit, but only on Thunderbird or other E-Mail clients that save stuff to your hard drive; with webmail such as Yahoo Mail it will make no difference.
  8. Don't have a huge graphic picture as your background wallpaper. This makes your computer have to work a lot harder just to boot up. It's the same as trying to load a large digital picture; it takes forever, at least for slower computers.
  9. Change the computer theme to "Windows-Standard" (Start > Control Panel > Screen and desktop > Themes)
  10. Change the computers desktop to none, and change the color to black or some other basic color. (Start > Control Panel > Screen and Desktop > Desktop)
  11. Run Disk Cleanup (Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup). Select the hard drive you wish to cleanup (usually C:), and once the scan is complete, choose the types of files you wish to remove.
  12. Get rid of unwanted start up programs. Click Start > Run..., type "msconfig" in the box, and click OK. Select the 'Start up' tab, and deselect any programs you don't want to automatically run when you boot up. If you're not sure what something is, Google the name of it and you can usually find a description. Don't get rid of anything you're not sure about. This can have a substantial impact on boot time and overall system performance.
  13. Download and install the latest drivers for your motherboard's chip-set and the video card. You can get the chip-set drivers from you motherboard manufacturer's site. The video card drivers you can get from ATI's or nVidia's website. *** Make sure you make a restore point before installing the drivers. This is also true for Linux computers usually the proprietary driver will run faster/better then the free community driver but this is not always the case.
  14. Download updates for Windows from Windows Updates.
  15. In extreme cases, you may have to "reformat" your computer and reinstall Windows. You can do this with the disks that came with your computer, or a "system recovery" application on your computer. This will make your computer as fast as the day that you bought it, but will delete all of the files that you have put on your computer. Do a complete backup first.
  16. Increase the amount of RAM on your computer. With more RAM, you can keep more programs in memory at once, and they will respond more quickly. For Windows Vista, having at least 2-4 Gigabytes of RAM is recommended for great system performance, for Windows XP usually 1-2 Gigabytes is overkill unless you do a lot of gaming or video editing, Same with Linux unless you're booting from live CD you don't need tons of RAM. Be careful though, if you put too much RAM in your computer that it doesn't actually need, it can actually have an adverse affect on your computers overall performance as it has to constantly be refreshing that extra RAM.


  • If you mess around with system files: Make sure you know somebody / someplace that you can get your computer fixed quickly, in case you need it soon after you mess it up.
  • Back up all the files you need to an external drive.
  • Make a system restore point.
  • Do research. Go to blogs or forums and learn the consequences of what you're about to do.
  • Tread lightly. Don't delete all your files or change them all at once; do simple steps only a few at a time, then restart your computer and check that it still works well.
  • if you mess up but can still get to just past the login page sometimes you can just about run a window manager by going: ctl+alt+del>run program > then type "explorer.exe" now you can run stuff by finding the program exe"s on your hdd

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  • Again, make sure that there is somebody you can contact in case you break something and you need your computer repaired quickly.
  • Try to avoid messing with hardware inside the computer. If something breaks, it will usually need to be replaced, which is expensive. These take a lot of space causing your computer to go slower.
  • If you're set on changing hardware, don't be scared of looking inside. Just follow some common sense rules: be clean and dry, and don't force anything.
  • Before buying a part, make sure it is compatible with your motherboard and other computer parts. At the very least, consider how old your computer is and how old the new part is. Are they likely to be compatible?
  • Never open up or mess around with the power supply because even after it has been off for a very long time, capacitors inside the power supply can maintain electric charges.
  • When working inside your computer, make sure the power is off and the power cables disconnected. Static electricity ruins computer components, so make sure you are grounded before reaching inside.
  • Be very careful when working with the registry; back up everything and double check that you are manipulating the right registry entries.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make a Computer Run Better. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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