You are probably reading this because you are frustrated with your computer running slow. Maybe it is a couple of years old and it slows to a crawl every time you try to do anything. Perhaps someone down the pub told you “Your registry needs cleaning.” So, will registry cleaner software speed up Windows on your PC? The short answer is “probably”. However, there are several ways besides a registry fix to make your PC faster and give that old computer a new lease of life without spending a small fortune on technician repair. In this article, I will briefly describe most of techniques that you can use to make your PC faster. Most are quick and easy but some involve delving inside your machine and you may prefer letting an expert take over for those. The good news is that all of these ways to speed up your PC are either free or fairly inexpensive. I have a computer that is over three years old and it is running just as well now as when it was brand new. I simply follow a plan of preventative maintenance. Unfortunately, space limitations prevent me from fully describing every technique so I will be adding more in-depth articles later. For detailed descriptions of these methods, click on the link for my web site at the end of this article. Warning! A slow PC is usually better than a PC that does not work at all. So, before making any of the changes that I am about to suggest, take some sensible precautions;
- Make a backup of all of your data (include your email data. The default storage folder for email is not in “My Documents”.)
- Create a system restore point and test it.
- If you have the software, make an image copy of your system drive and test it.
Let’s look at why your PC runs slow with use. In normal operation (i.e. ignoring virus infections or hardware faults for now), two major factors cause this; accessing the hard drive and accessing the registry. The hard drive gradually accumulates more data files. At first, these files are stored in an efficient way but, over time, your files become fragmented. This means that parts of the same file are written on widely separated parts of the drive. The result is that the computer spends more time reading (and writing to) the drive not only when you are accessing your own files but also for many hidden operations done by Windows. The registry is a database of settings and parameters, which describes all the variations of all the programs and hardware on your computer. Gradually, redundant and erroneous entries accumulate and bloat the registry. Windows constantly reads the registry and as it grows and gets more and more “dirty”, Windows takes longer to read it. This explains why repeatedly installing and uninstalling programs is bad.
Windows is poor at removing registry entries when you uninstall a program. These two then, are the major causes of why your computer runs slow. Hard drive fragmentation can be easily fixed. A dirty registry is more difficult. You should perform a disk check and defragment your hard drive at least once a month. You can download several free defragging programs that work more quickly and efficiently than Windows. Some work in background whilst the computer is idle. Search for SmartDefrag and UltraDefrag. These will also defrag the page file, which window does not. A registry fix is harder. Sure, reinstalling Windows (plus all of your programs) will cure the problem but is a fairly drastic cure at best and very time consuming. The advantage of this is that it will eliminate any viruses and effectively defrag your hard drive as well. Assuming you want something quicker, registry cleaner software is the best solution. Click my site link at the end for registry cleaner reviews and videos of them in use. Here is a list of other tuning tips, which I will explore in depth in later articles. Most are free.
- Install and keep up to date an anti-virus program. Some of the free programs are better and impact less on performance than the subscription programs. My own preference is free AVG.
- Free up wasted space. Rather than doing this manually, search for CCleaner.
- Check cooling – inspect fans & heat sinks for dirt.
- Remove unused programs.
- Turn off visual effects.
- Turn off drive indexing, use free agent ransack instead.
- Use CCleaner to remove some start up programs for a faster start.
- Avoid file compression.