Quickest ways to speed up your Computer PC or Laptop
How to quickly speed up your Computer PC or Laptop and Internet browsing experience.
In July 2014 we issued our post entitled TOP 12 WAYS TO SPEED UP YOUR COMPUTER PC OR LAPTOP this article updates that post and takes into consideration the Windows 10 release and our many other recent articles such as HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR INTERNET SPEED
Why do you think your Computer is running slow?
Speed is a relative thing. Those of you using a computer 20 years ago think anything today is lightening fast but if you are a teenage or 20-something gamer playing the latest release online games you probably have quite different perceptions as to what is slow and what is fast in a computing sense.
What is your perception of slow-speed based on?
Maybe one or more of the following:
a) Is it the time it takes your PC or Laptop to start and fire up the Operating System?
b) Is it due to a “lag” in the opening or processing of documents or spreadsheets?
c) Is it due to the slow processing of data records in a database
d) is it the speed of downloading files, browsing web pages or streaming videos and movies?
How to reduce the time it takes your PC or Laptop to start and fire up the Operating System?
Reduce the number of programs that “run-on-startup”
When installing new programs there is often a little tick box that is selected by default which says “Run on startup“. Before you know it, you have 10 programs trying to start when you switch your computer on or reboot and all greedily trying to load first by using the computers memory or CPU. This can slow your computer down considerably.
Some of the worst offenders of this are Skype and Chat clients such as Yahoo Messanger, Sharepoint, Google Drive, Lync, AOL chat etc etc
By stopping these programs from loading on startup (In Skype goto Tools – Options – General Settings and “un-tick”, “Start Skype when I start Windows”) your computer will start much quicker.
Assuming you have done this for Skype and your various chat clients but your computer is still taking an age to start, then you need to look a little deeper into what is happening.
When your computer is starting up hit “Ctrl-Alt-Delete” buttons all at the same time and then select “Start Task Manager”
The Task Manager shows you all the applications and processes being run by your computer at that very moment. You will see the amount of CPU Usage going up and down …on startup this can be very high but once settled down should be running at less than 50%. This will vary depending on how much memory or RAM your computer has. Computers with 1GB of RAM will have a higher work rate than those with 4 or 8GB of RAM.
Make sure you have the tick box selected show processes from all users then click on the CPU and Memory column descriptors to reorder the list in terms of CPU usage and Memory Usage.
If you notice a program running that you do not recognise, does not appear to be associated with Microsoft, your computer’s manufacturer, anti-virus products etc… then take a note of the item and google-it as I did with the image name igfxsrvc.exe which I was not familiar with so I google it. From the results I am confident it is harmless.
If you find a process you suspect of beig a virus or malware…simply highlight that process and click on “End Process” if this appears to fix your problems you now need to figure out what is causing that process to run as the next time you restart your computer the process will again be activated automatically.
Check and Cleanup your Startup processes
A simple tool for removing unwanted start-up processes can be found in the FREE CCleaner utility. Use this utility to identify start up processes, disable them and then uninstall them using the tools-> uninstall feature.
Add more Memory (RAM)
The quickest and easiest way to increase the speed of your computers start-up and performance generally is to increase the amount of RAM memory it has. There are still many PC’s and Laptops out there with only 1GB of RAM. This was fine for Windows XP but if you are Running Windows Vista, 7 or 8 then you need a minimum 2GB memory and ideally 4GB or 8GB (but you may not have enough memory slots or your computer to accommodate this extra RAM) … check the specification of your computer online before buying or installing the extra memory.
Add a bigger and faster disk drive
The increase in manufacturing and Hard Drive technology also means that conventional drives are becoming faster each year. As each year goes by the chances of your disk drive failing increase, especially after 6 years (see “how often should I replace my Hard Disk Drive”) and as they are relatively inexpensive, upgrading your HDD annually is a good way to clean up your data and speed up your PC.
To super-charge the speed of your PC or Laptop consider buying a solid-state hard drive (SDD). These have no moving parts and are completely electronic. Although smaller in capacity they are extremely fast, especially if a program does a lot of disk access (such as a database)
Clean your Computer
A PC, Computer or Laptop uses power and as a result generates heat. Every PC has 1,2 or 3 fans in the case designed to keep the components cool and working optimally. Like a car….. if the radiator blows…. so does the engine, but before it blows it can simply slow down the computer.
Checking the outlets or opening up the box could reveal a dust-infected-horror-story.
See our article about giving your computer a spring clean
Scan your computer for Viruses
If your computer or laptop has suddenly become slow, unresponsive, cannot access the internet etc… then the chances are you have become infected with a Computer Virus, Malware or Spyware. We specialise in removing these nasties but if you wish to try and do so yourself, see our article called “How to remove 99% of computer viruses, malware and adware for FREE”
Remove unnecessary browser “Add-Ons”
Too many “toolbars” or “add-ons” as well as spoiling your browsing experiences will also slow down your internet browsing and may flood you with unwanted advertising etc. See the following articles about removing unwanted browsers toolbars, add-ons and resetting your search engine defaults.
Reinstall or Repair your Operating System (OS)
A drastic step to increasing the speed of your computer maybe to reset to factory settings by reinstalling your computers OS (Operating System) such as Windows 7,8 or 9 or at least repairing same If you have windows Vista or XP, consider the following step of upgrading rather than reinstalling.
9) Upgrade your Operating System (OS)
It is pointless reinstalling an old OS on a new or upgraded PC. Installing Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will give you an overall speed increase depending on the specification of your hardware. You maybe restricted in which operating system you install by the availability of “drivers” for your motherboard and peripherals. Check with the manufacturer first.
Replace your modem
If your Internet Browsing experience is slow and all the above 9 items have been addressed without any significant increase in Internet Speed then it would be advisable to look at your Modem and ISP (Internet Service Provider)
Technology marches on pretty quickly these days. And at only $200 or less it’s cost efficient to replace your modem to a new one every few years.
The box or boxes that connect to your phone line and then to your computer or WI-FI devices are known as a “Modem” or a “Modem-Router” or sometimes a “WIFI Router”
Today one box does both jobs as per these examples.
However, a few years ago you needed two separate boxes as per this example.
If your current setup resembles this example then upgrading to a new modern “Modem-Router” will vastly improve your Internet performance. You should do this as a first step
BEWARE …. all modems are not built the same and spending a few extra dollars can improve your speed, especially WIFI speed. Here is what you should look out for the cheapest “Dual Band” Wireless Modem … this will give you the best performance, If your planning to move to NBN or a fibre network in the next year or so, get a modem that has a “cable” or “fibre” connection option. Ideally an ADSL2+/Fibre Broadband Router. These modems are not readily available in retail stores so contact us here and we can supply one for you.
Need expert help in fixing Internet & Wi-Fi Issues and live in Perth, Western Australia then call The IT Guys (WA) on 08 6365 5603
Contact your ISP ask for a “speed-test” and see if they can “boost” your internet speed
The company providing your Internet Service are known as an ISP (Internet-Service-Provider) quite often they maybe employing techniques such as “shaping” or “throttling” to reduce your Internet speed, usually when you exceed your monthly allowance. Without knowing it, you maybe exceeding your limits after a few days and then spend the rest of the month at a vastly reduced speed. Speak to your ISP, ask them to test the line, the response of the modem and ask them to suggest the best “plan” to be on. Simply by complaining about your connection speed can be enough for them to “tweek” or “boost” your speed. Also consider moving to another provider if you dont think you are getting the speed that they are supposed to be providing.
Buy a new PC or Laptop
And of course the “quickest” way to get more computing speed and power is to buy a new laptop or PC. If you’d like us to help you out with a quote, including transferring your old data and programs then give us a call You can contact us here.
Guide 1 – How to test your internet speed
If you would like The IT Guys(WA) to analyse, test and advise you on how to fix any of the above issues, click on Internet and Wi-Fi Testing and Consultancy Services where we offer paid remote on on-site services.
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