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How to speed up your computer

12 easy ways to speed up your PC

Profile picture of Tom Rains
by Tom Rains ConsumerAffairs Research Team
computer on table with coffee mug

If your computer is lagging, you can speed it up in just a few minutes. Try some of our tips, and your computer will run faster in no time.

1. Delete pre-installed programs

Many computers come with pre-installed software, also known as bloatware, that most users don't need. If your computer came with a pre-installed program that you’ve never used and will never use, delete it. If you downloaded a program yourself but don’t need it anymore, go ahead and delete that, too. Remember, you can always download it again later.

2. Try the Disk Cleanup program

If you have a Windows computer, you can use the operating system's Disk Cleanup program to get rid of unused files on your hard drive. Search “Disk Cleanup” in your taskbar search box to open the program.

3. Try a new browser

Have you noticed your computer runs slowest when you’re browsing the web? Try using another browser. The jury’s still out on the fastest browser, but Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are popular choices. Internet Explorer is a much-maligned browser, but the newer Microsoft Edge is a solid choice. Other lesser-known options include Opera and Vivaldi. Just Google the name of the browser you want to try to learn more and download it.

4. Clear temporary files

Cookies and your internet history are just temporary files stored on your computer. Delete them, and your PC often speeds right up. You can delete both from within your browser.

5. Amp up performance

If you’re willing to spend a bit more on electricity, you can change your computer settings to High Performance. This uses more energy but also speeds up your PC. If you have a Windows computer, search for “Power Options” from your taskbar search box. Then go to “Show additional plans” and select “High performance.”

6. Shut it down

Just like you, your computer needs a break sometimes. The best way to give it a rest is to shut it down or restart it, so make sure to do this regularly. We recommend incorporating this into your nighttime routine so you don’t forget. For example, you can always turn off your computer right after you brush your teeth. It only takes a second, and your computer will run faster in the morning.

7. Close some tabs

Have you noticed your computer slows down when you have several tabs open? That’s because browsers require lots of memory to run. Make it a habit to close tabs you aren’t using, and your computer will run much more smoothly.

8. Install trusted antivirus software

It goes without saying that spyware and malware harm your computer’s functionality. Install trusted antivirus software to make your operating system safer and speedier.

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9. Stop programs from automatically launching

Some programs have a setting to launch automatically when your computer starts. This slows down your computer, so make sure to change the settings for programs you don’t want to mess with when your computer starts.

10. Organize your folders

It takes time for your computer to load the folders on your desktop. Try consolidating some of these folders so your computer has fewer folders to load and runs faster.

11. Move your photos to the cloud

Photos and videos take up a lot of memory. Storing them online, also known as moving them to the cloud, frees up space on your hard drive and speeds it up.

12. Pro tip: Add RAM to your computer tower

This one isn’t for novices, but you can speed up your PC by adding additional RAM to your computer. If you have a desktop computer, your computer tower might have extra space. You can order RAM online and install it yourself.

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Profile picture of Tom Rains
by Tom Rains ConsumerAffairs Research Team

Tom Rains graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2014 with a master’s degree in Professional Writing. Tom’s passion for delivering quality content fuels him to provide consumers with accurate, well-researched information on major life purchases.