Improving Performance Without Spending A Lot Of Cash
Paul Watson, PC Technician Thursday, June 25th 2009
Better Performance Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive
There are some things you can do to improve the performance of your computer that are neither difficult nor expensive. If you have not already tried these techniques, you could find yourself with a better performing computer with a relatively small effort on your part.
First, run your anti-virus and anti-malware scanners. Make sure nothing is deliberately slowing the performance of your computer. Clean up whatever you find. Keep in mind that viruses usually write something into the computer’s registry. RegCure removes viral leftovers, empty registry keys, and other leftover bits that will slow the performance of your computer.
Defragment your hard drive using the Disk Defragmenter that comes with Windows. You’ll find this under “System Tools.” A badly fragmented hard disk can cause your computer to slow significantly. Getting your data organized in a way that makes finding it easier will improve your computer’s performance noticeably.
Check your Startup Items and limit Startup Items to only those applications that must run all the time. That would include anti-virus and anti-malware protection. Application installers often set apps to start automatically. This is a bad habit to get into because every startup application takes away a bit of memory from your computer. Instead of running all of your applications, run only those you need. Also close applications when you’re finished with them.
Choose your desktop theme carefully. The Aero theme (you know, the one with the transparent windows?) is notorious for slowing the performance of a computer. Choose a classic theme for better performance. Also, get rid of any desktop backgrounds that are saved as bitmaps (.BMP). If you have to use a background picture, choose a JPG file instead.
Shut off services you don’t need. This goes along with paring down your Startup Items. If you don’t need to have remote access to your computer, for example, you can safely turn off the Remote Desktop Protocol. Eliminate language support and other similar services you don’t need.
If you want proof that your changes have been meaningful, look at before-and-after “snapshots” of your system with Performance Monitor, also included with your OS. Making careful decisions about what to run and when to run apps on your computer can make a world of difference in your computer’s performance.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Rock/