5 Free Ways to Speed Up Your Computer

There are many ways to make your computer faster. Many approaches requires money, but that leaves plenty of ways to speed up your computer without spending a dime. I’ll go over 5 ways right here, right now.

1. Uninstall Norton!

Norton Anti-virus and Internet Security clows down your computer a lot. Instead, use AVG free edition. It uses far less resources, thus your computer runs faster. My sister-in-law turned me onto this anti virus a few years ago and I recommend it for anyone.

When you uninstall Norton, make sure to remove the various programs in a specific order. First, you should uninstall the anti-virus and internet security. After a reboot, uninstall LiveUpdate and reboot again. Now, simply go to download.com and search for “avg free” and download & install. Note: ignore the sponsors.

2. Kill the programs in your systray, by the clock.

If you have more than 2 or 3 icons in the systray, this will help immensely. Run the program “msconfig” from Start->Run… This will bring up the system configuration. We’re only interested in what is in the Startup tab.
Uncheck everything under the startup tab, then put a check for your anti virus. If you have AVG, those programs will have ‘avg’ in their name. Click OK and reboot. Your computer should run at least 10%, up to 75%, faster now.

3. Set your browser’s home page.

Does your browser, Internet Explorer or Firefox, take forever to load? Part of the problem might be your home page. If your home page is big and lengthy, the process of downloading and rendering the page could add upwards of 15 seconds to your browser’s load time.

You have several options available. One is to set your browser’s home page to something that is relatively quick to load, like Google.com. Another option is to set it to use a blank page.

4. Change the performance options.

This is something most people don’t know exists. If you’re fine with XP looking like Windows 98, this fix is for you. Sorry Vista users, I have not used Vista, so I don’t know how to do this with Vista. If someone figures it out, please leave a comment.

To make this change, right click on ‘My Computer’ and click on properties. Under the ‘Advanced’ tab, click on ‘Settings’ under ‘Performance’. In the window that pops up, choose ‘Adjust for best performance’ then click OK. You computer will stop responding for up to 10 seconds and will come back a lot quicker. Do a reboot to finish this fix.

5. Sort out your Start Menu.

Do you have multiple columns in your Programs menu from the Start button? If so, that could be slowing down your computer every time you open that menu. Sorting the menu down to 1 column can save you time two fold. You programs will be organized and easier to find and you computer will load and render the menu much faster.

This sorting can be somewhat complicated, mainly because Windows gives each user their own Programs folder and a centralized Programs folder for all users. Each user will see the blending of the centralized and personalized Programs folder. If there is only 1 login for the computer or each user should have access to all the programs installed, you can just put everything in the centralized location (2 Steps). If this isn’t the case, you’ll have to figure out which programs are needed by which user and which programs are needed by all the users(3 Steps).

Step 1: Consolidate the Programs menu

To sort the menu, right click on the Start button and click on Explore. This brings up your Programs menu folder. To copy everything to the central location, double click on programs, select all the folders & files, and cut. Now on the left pane with all the folders, click the plus next to ‘All Users’ then the plus next to ‘Start Menu’. Click on the Programs folder under that. Now paste.

Step 2: Sort the menu

Now that everything is in the central location, create a folder called “Internet”. You can find the individual programs and drag them into this new folder or you can drag folders into this folder. Just repeat this process until you are happy with your start menu.

Step 3: Personalize the start menu

This step is only required if you want to limit the programs available to certain users. Each user, or login, to the computer has a folder under ‘Documents and Settings’. Under each user’s folder, there is a Start Menu folder. If you want user x, and no one else, to have quick access to a certain program just cut and paste that program from the central, ‘All Users’, into that user’s start menu. If you want user x and user y to have access, just copy and paste instead.

Now that your computer is running faster, you’ll probably be more productive, if you don’t just play games that is. As always, if you have any questions, please leave a comment.