How often do you hear - “My computer is slow”?

Whether it is from friends, family, or co-workers, I hear it almost on a daily basis. A majority of the time, I am dealing with an older computer that only has 256 - 512 MB of RAM. Often the computer barely meets the minimum hardware requirements for the software or they have such an out dated version of the software which has memory leaks.

One common culprit is when a person has FireFox installed with a dozen different extensions installed. At most this person only uses 2 - 3 extensions and there is no point in having all this bloat installed. Furthermore, it is not until recently that FireFox has started to fix memory leaks in extensions.

Another issue I find is the installation of games and random software that people install. These programs end up running silently in the background consuming resources and ultimately slowing down your computer.

Here are a few simple tips that will hopefully improve the performance of your computer without actually buying any new hardware or a new computer.

  1. Remove programs that you never use but run at startup. Since you never use the software, why have it installed? Simply uninstall it.

  2. If you are on Windows, I suggest running CCleaner to remove any leftover garbage from the uninstalled programs. CCleaner is also available for Mac OS Lion.

  3. It is a good idea to defragment your Windows computer from time to time. I recommend DeFraggler and I would set it up to automatically defragment the computer based on a schedule.

  4. Check that your computer does not have a virus or infected with malware. I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows computers. Install it and set it up to do a scheduled scan however often you like.

  5. Install Soluto. Soluto is a great way to find out which programs are launched when the computer starts up. You can then easily disable these programs from launching which will help your computer startup faster and only allocate resources to these programs when needed.

I hope you find those tips helpful and let me know if you have any suggestions on how to make a computer run faster.

I am no longer on a Windows computer but when I used Windows 7, I had installed Soluto and it helped me shave off about 2 minutes on my boot up time. That is a lot of time saved.