You can speed up your computer by upgrading hardware, deleting unnecessary files or shortcuts, running scans or reducing startup usage. You can reinstall your operating system to factory settings as a final measure.
- Check the hardware
If your computer is running slow, the system's RAM may be low. Most PCs and Macs can be equipped with additional RAM cards or replaced with upgrades to existing cards. RAM cards make a significant difference to your computer's performance. Methods vary, but check manuals to find help with replacing or adding RAM to a computer.
- Clean your desktop
Computer systems can slow down quite a bit if the desktop is cluttered. Too many shortcut icons on the main screen take time to load and take a toll on your computer's running processes. Browse through and delete any shortcuts that you do not use frequently.
- Run scans
You should already periodically run anti-virus programs, but if you do not, run it now. This could detect something malicious slowing things down. PCs and Macs provide various cleanup utilities, such as Disk Defragment or System File Checking. You can also download and install third-party software, such as CCleaner or Daisy Disk. Some programs detect and remove spyware or adware, which also clean up your computer and get things running smoothly.
- Uninstall unwanted programs
Using your computers Uninstall Program option improves performance if large programs are clogging up space. Be sure that you know what you are removing before uninstalling a program to avoid taking out a critical program.
- Check your startup
Certain programs are sometimes set to always start when you start your computer. Remove unnecessary programs from automatic startup.
- Reinstall the operating system
This is usually a last resort when none of the above steps work. Be sure to back up all critical files, photos, songs or videos before resetting the operating system. Some systems offer the option to keep the files but restore factory settings, but the safe route is to create a backup anyway.