Slow Computer Step by Step Fix It Guide
Simple FREE DIY Steps To A Faster Windows PC
Windows slow to startup? Programs take forever to open? Web pages take forever to load? Constant "egg timer" or "spinning wheel" cursor?
Work through the following FREE PC maintenance steps. Any questions then please Contact Us
Or if you are uncomfortable with making changes to your system then have our cloud based Automated Home PC Maintenance service carry out these steps for you daily / weekly automatically. More info on our Automated Home PC Maintenance service here
Software / Operating System Fixes
First of all - Stay AWAY from Registry Cleaners / PC Performance boosters
They are useless and can do more harm than good!
Follow the steps below for a faster computer
Clear Your Temp files
- Clean out your temp files. As time goes by your computer builds up temporary files from installing programs, browsing the internet etc. These can really slow down your PC and make anti-virus / malware scans take a lot longer.
- Clear your temp files easily with:
- TFC - Just download, Close ALL programs, double click to Run then press Start - Reboot if prompted.
Real time security programs / Firewalls
ONLY INSTALL ONE REAL-TIME ANTI-VIRUS PROGRAM / ONE REAL-TIME ANTI-SPYWARE / MALWARE PROGRAM AND ONE FIREWALL
- Having more than one real anti-virus scanner, malware / spyware program or firewall may seem like a good idea and provide you with extra layers of security. However having more than one real time scanner can actually degrade performance as each scanner in turn checks files. We advise that ONLY one real time anti-virus and one real time malware / adware / spyware scanner be installed on any system.
- Check for multiple / conflicting security programs installed with SecurityCheck - Double click to Run and once done a file will appear listing what security programs are installed on your system.
- If you are unsure what the SecurityCheck info means then just select ALL the data in the output file (Ctrl + A keys) copy (Ctrl + C keys) and paste (Ctrl + V keys) it and Email it to us and we can tell if you have conflicting security programs that are slowing down your system.
Turn Off Indexing / Windows Search Service
- If you don't use the Windows built-in search / indexing then turning it off will greatly and instantly improve performance
- Windows XP:
- In XP Go to Start > Control Panel > Administration Tools > Services or
- Type services.msc into the Run box
- Then scroll down to Indexing Service and right click then select Properties
- Set Startup Type to disabled / manual
- Stop the service if already started
- Then select OK
- Windows Vista / 7:
- Go to Start > Control Panel > Administration Tools > Right click on Services and select Run as Administrator or
- Type services.msc into the Run / Search box then press Ctrl+Shift + Enter
- Then scroll down to Windows Search Service and right click then select Properties
- Set Startup Type to disabled / manual
- Stop the service if already started
- Then select OK
Remove Unwanted / Unused Programs
- Uninstall any old, demo or not required / unused programs. Use either the uninstaller that comes with the program or Add / Remove from the Control Panel. DO NOT just delete the program shortcut or the folder in \Program Files. Only install what you need or use.
- For an advanced uninstaller for stuborn programs use Revo Uninstaller Free Version
- To remove unwanted or trial software that came with your system use PC Decrapifier
- Or run your Apps via the Cloud. See our Application Virtualization section below
Limit Desktop Icons
- Desktop icons are supposed to enable users to find and open programs quickly and easily. But some people just crowd or clutter their desktop with icons, making it slow and difficult to find desired programs. This totally defeats the point of desktop icons.
- Loads of desktop icons will also slow down Windows boot / load times.
- Only put the icons you actually use on your desktop and delete the rest.
- We recommend only ONE or TWO rows of essential icons - This keeps your desktop neat and new, strange, unwanted, often malware related icons can be spotted easily.
- Essential programs can also pinned to the Start Menu
- Simply Right click on any unwanted icon and select Delete
- Or request NO desktop icon when installing a program
- Deleting an icon DOES NOT delete the installed program
Limit Startup Programs / Autoruns
- Reduce the number of programs that autorun on startup. Do you really need all your programs to run on startup?
- DO NOT use msconfig to permanently disable start up items as this is meant for troubleshooting purposes only.
- Use StartUp Lite which is easy to use or
- Autoruns (more advanced / user caution recommended) instead.
Enough Hard Drive Space?
- Is your hard drive nearly full. Go to My Computer and right click your C: drive and select properties. A dialogue box with a pie chart will appear showing you both used and free space among other hard drive tools.
Swap / page file
- Check your swap / page file size. This should be 1 / 1.5 X the size of the amount of RAM installed in your PC and you must have this space available on your hard drive.
- On 32 bit systems the page file CANNOT be greater than 4 GB
- On 64 bit systems the page file CAN be greater than 4 GB
- Do NOT let Windows manage your page file / virtual memory. Set a Custom page file instead of having Windows manage it for you. Set the initial and maximum as the same size.
- If you have a 2nd faster hard drive in your system then put the page file on that instead.
- Or type sfc /scannow into the Run / Search box
- XP users might need their original operating system installation media CD / Slipstreamed CD
- Use nLite to create an XP Slipstreamed CD and more
- Vista / 7 users will NOT
- or type chkdsk c: /f /r at a Command Prompt and press Enter then press Y to schedule on reboot
Windows / Software updates
- Keep all your software up to date with Secunia PSI.
Hard drive defrag
- Defrag your hard disk with:
- MyDefrag or
Tips for defragging a hard drive:
- Clean out junk files BEFORE defragging
- Reboot then defrag
- Defrag in Safe Mode
- Turn OFF any real time anti-virus software BEFORE defragging
- Move your page file (C:\pagefile.sys) to another drive BEFORE defragging then move it back
- If you don't have another drive then reduce the page file to say 100MB, defrag then increase the page file once the defrag has finished
Page File defrag
XP / Server 2003 Users:
Defrag your page file and registry hives with PageDefrag
Or work through this pagefile defrag tutorial for ALL Windows versions
- You can tweak your system for even greater performance with Simple System Tweaker - Download the portable version
- The tweaks are totally reversable should you experience any problems
Faster Boot Up Times
Speed up Vista boot time / start up
Should be OK for Windows 7 too
- Once you have done ALL the above, create a new System Restore point and get rid of ALL old, possibly infected ones.
- Or use System Restore Manager - Windows 7
- Application Virtualization
- As we are now in the days of Application Virtualization, there is NO need to actually install software on to your system anymore. Just run a virtual copy of your favourite web browser or other desktop application via the web.
- Spoon.net will let you run virtual copies all the top browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera as well as other popular desktop apps and utilities.
Windows 7 Freezes at Startup / Welcome Screen:
Should Windows 7 (ALL editions) freeze at the welcome screen then click here to run this Microsoft Hotfix
Slow Internet / Browser Fixes:
Browser / Internet Connection problems
Got a slow internet connection? Opera's built in Turbo Feature is ideal for public hotspots, dial up, mobile phones etc.
It's also a very fast and secure browser favoured by the Russians who are experts in security and hacking.
- Fix general Internet Explorer issues
- Fix this page cannot be displayed errors
- Fix Winsock Problems
- IE Performance Tuning
- IE Network Troubleshooting
Test your internet connection for speed info / port blocking / traffic shaping / bandwidth throttling etc with:
Does your computer meet the minimum requirements to run your operating system?
Not sure which operating system you have? Right click My Computer and select properties. Info will be listed.
- If possible use a 64 bit operating system version as you can install / utilise more RAM
- Got an older system? - Bring it to life with Xubuntu - Requires ONLY 256 MB RAM!
Inside the computer clean?
- Is your PC clean inside? Dust can build up on the fans etc resulting in bad airflow which in turn can cause the PC to overheat. An overheating PC can cause all sorts of problems such random reboots, screen freezes etc. Use a can of canned air to remove the dust like this one. For temperature monitoring there are a number of good freeware programs that can identify the temperature of your fans, processor, hard drives etc. Check out: Core Temp or Speed Fan or Everest
- Your computer's power supply unit (PSU) powers all the components in your PC. The more components you add the more power it needs. Should your PSU be failing or lacking in power then computer performance can be degraded causing all sorts of strange problems. An easy way to check if your PSU is not supplying enough power is by downloading SpeedFan. Once downloaded and installed, open up SpeedFan and look at the voltages on the bottom left of the Readings tab. Look at the +3.3v, +5v and +12v inputs at the bottom left. Your voltages should be within + or - 5% of these. If they are not then test the system with a new / known to work PSU.
- Power Supply Calculator from Thermaltake - Know how much power you need to run your system
Enough System Memory?
- Does your computer have enough memory? More is definately always better and please don't confuse RAM memory with hard disk space. Right click My Computer and select Properties to find out how much RAM you have. As a basic rule we recommend atleast 1 GB for XP and 2+ GB for Vista / 7. You can check the correct memory upgrade for your computer using Crucial scan my system tool or CPUID
Hard drive diagnostics
- Check your hard drive's health using diagnostic tools supplied by the manufacturer.
- Update all your drivers with:
Use ReadyBoost (Vista / Win 7)
Windows Vista / 7 allows you to add a USB flash drive / SD / CF card that can be configured as a hard drive cache to boost disk read performance. A simple yet effective trick to reduce start up and application loading times.
More info on ReadyBoost
In Windows 7 you can add up to 256 GB of additional memory using ReadyBoost
Following all the above software and hardware steps should leave with a good running system.
Should you need help with any of these steps then please Contact Us
Last Updated (Tuesday, 23 April 2013 01:36)