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Windows Speed Up Tips

Don't you just love the speediness of new computers? In time however, start up time takes longer and longer. Eventually your daily computing becomes a chore because the PC takes longer to respond when you click something or open a program. Sometimes you're left twiddling your fingers while your PC is just chugging along without the original speed it had when you first bought it. If this scenario seems familiar, here are a few tips that can help.

First run a Virus Scan to make sure there are no hidden viruses (or worse) sneaking about. When finished, perform some Basic PC Maintenance and check to see what programs are starting up when the PC boots. You can disable the programs that you don't need running constantly in the background.

Many programs set themselves to start up when the PC does so that they can startup faster when you click them, but all those unnecessary programs running in the background can sometimes have a negative impact on your computer's performance. To check what's lurking in my startup and disable what's not needed, I like to use a freeware program called Starter. It is very easy to choose what you want to disable (just uncheck the box next to the name). You will get an alert asking if you want to disable it, click yes and it'll no longer be running automatically on start up. This program is great because there is no need to delete an entry in order to disable it. If you change your mind later on or a program doesn't work as it should, all you just have to do is go back into Starter and add a checkmark to the start up item to re-enable it again. Although it's tempting, please do not uncheck everything that starts up, this program makes it relatively easy to see what program the start up entry belongs to so that you can decide if it's necessary at startup (leave your Antivirus and Firewall enabled). If you're not sure whether the startup item is necessary, you can check the name against a startup list such as Bleeping Computer’s Startup Program Database to see if you should disable or not. Because Starter is a full featured, very powerful program, I recommend you only modify entries in the Start up tab, not the Processes or Services Tab since those changes (processes and services) can affect your programs if you don't know what you're changing.

Additionally, if you use Internet Explorer you can set it to delete your temporary internet files after you finish surfing online. Just click Tools, Internet Options, from within Internet Explorer and go to the Advanced Tab to see the setting:

Internet Explorer Advanced Settings

In Firefox you will get the same options by going to Tools, Options, Privacy:

Firefox Privacy Options

Another great way to make your PC more responsive is to disable indexing. The indexing service is supposed to make searching for files on your computer faster by creating indexes from your files and folders, but having it running in the background can sometimes slow down your PC. You can safely disable the service in by right-clicking your drive and choosing properties. From the general tab you can disable (uncheck) the option to Index files. It will ask for a confirmation, click OK. Repeat the procedure for all your hard drives.

Internet Explorer Advanced Settings

Your computer should now be speedier and more responsive.