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5 Quick and Easy Steps to Speed up your Windows Computer

Like most people, you want the best out of your PC. Over time you may find that your computer is slowing down. It takes longer and longer to boot, programs take more time to start, etc.

How to Improve the Speed of a Computer

There are 5 easy steps anyone can take to help improve the performance of their PC. Please be aware that you may affect the way in which your Windows works by following this guide. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage however so caused.

1. Defragment the Hard Disk to Speed Up Access to Data

One of the primary factors that slow the performance of the computer is disk fragmentation. “File Fragmentation” means the file is split across many parts of the drive. The best way is to keep the file in one continuous piece. This enables the drive to read the file in one pass. Disk Defragmenter is a Windows utility to rejoin the separate parts of files.

Depending on your version of Windows, the steps to follow are:

[tabs style=”boxed”] [tab title=”Windows Vista”]
  1. Click the Start button, go to All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter. Administrator permission is required. Type the password or provide confirmation if requested
  2. Click Defragment Now
[/tab] [tab title=”Windows 7″]
  1. Open Disk Defragmenter by clicking the Start button. Type Disk Defrag into the search box and click on Disk Defragmenter
  2. Under Current status, select the disk you want to defragment
  3. Click Analyse disk. This task requires Administrator permissions.If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation
  4. Windows will analyse the selected disk and you can check the percentage of fragmentation in the Last Run column. If the number is above 10%, you should defragment the disk
  5. Click Defragment disk. Administrator permission required again
[/tab] [tab title=”Windows 8/8.1″]
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Search (point to the upper-right corner of the screen, click Search if using a mouse).
  2. Type Defragment in the search box, and then tapping or clicking Defragment and optimize your drives.
  3. Under Status, tap or click the drive you want to optimise.
  4. Click Analyse to check if the drive needs optimisation. Administrator permission is required; type the password or provide confirmation.
  5. Windows will analyse the drive and provide the optimisation status under Current status. If the drive is more than 10% fragmented, you should optimise the drive now.
  6. Tap or click Optimise. Administrator permission required again.
[/tab] [/tabs]

2. Detect and Repair Disk Errors

Over time, your hard disk can develop bad sectors. These bad sectors slow down hard disk performance because they are not able to store or read information the right way. This causes Windows to read the data many times before the correct information is retrieved. Sometimes bad sectors make data writing difficult or even impossible. To detect and repair disk errors, Windows has a built-in tool called the Error Checking utility. This can search the hard disk for bad sectors and system errors and repair them for faster performance.

[tabs style=”boxed”] [tab title=”Windows Vista”]
  1. Click Start -> My Computer
  2. In My Computer right-click the hard disk you want to scan and click Properties
  3. Click the Tools tab
  4. Under Error Checking, click Check Now
  5. When the Check disk options dialog box appears you have two options:
    1. To run Chkdsk in read-only mode, click Start (You can repair errors without scanning the volume for bad sectors by selecting Automatically fix file system errors check box)
    2. To fully scan and fix problems, tick the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box
  6. When you have chosen, click Start
  7. If one or more of the files on the hard disk are open (you are scanning C: for example), you receive the following message:
    The disk check could not be performed because the disk check utility needs exclusive access to some Windows files on the disk. These files can be accessed by restarting Windows. Do you want to schedule the disk check to occur the next time you restart the computer?
    Click Yes to schedule the disk check
  8. Close all open files and programs, then restart your computer to start the disk check
[/tab] [tab title=”Windows 7″]
  1. Click Start -> My Computer
  2. In My Computer right-click the hard disk you want to scan and click Properties
  3. Click the Tools tab
  4. Under Error-checking, click Check Now
  5. When the Check disk options dialog box appears you have two options:
  6. To run Chkdsk in read-only mode, click Start (You can repair errors without scanning the volume for bad sectors by selecting Automatically fix file system errors check box)
  7. To fully scan and fix problems, tick the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box
  8. When you have chosen, click Start
  9. If one or more of the files on the hard disk are open (you are scanning C: for example), you receive the following message:
    Windows can’t check the disk while it’s in use
    Do you want to schedule the disk check to occur the next time you start your computer?
    Click Schedule disk check
  10. Close all open files and programs, then restart your computer to start the disk check
[/tab] [tab title=”Windows 8/8.1″]

Windows 8 automatically runs a disk check periodically, during automatic system maintenance. You may not notice this happen unless an error has been detected. If an error is found, you will be prompted to restart your computer to allow a more thorough check to run or to schedule the next time the computer starts.

if you wish to manually run a disk check, you still can.

  1. Right-click on the drive you wish to scan, select Properties
  2. Click the Tools tab and click Check
  3. If errors have been found, you will be prompted to check the disk, otherwise the following message appears:
    You don’t need to scan this drive
  4. You can force a disk check by clicking the Scan drive option

Unlike previous versions, the C: drive can be scanned while still in Windows. You only need to restart if errors are found.

[/tab] [/tabs]

3. Disable Indexing Services

Indexing Services is a little application that uses a lot of CPU. By indexing and updating lists of all the files on the computer, it helps you to do a search for something faster as it scans the index list. But if you know where your files are, you can disable this system service. It will not do any harm to you machine, whether you search often or not.

[tabs style=”boxed”] [tab title=”Windows Vista”]

Click Start -> Control Panel and open Services

  1. Double-click on Windows Search in the list of services (usually sorted alphabetically)
  2. Change the Startup type of the service to Disabled, and then click the Stop button to stop the service.
[/tab] [tab title=”Windows 7″]
  1.  Click Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features
  2. Click Turn Windows features on or off on the left
  3. Untick Windows Search in the list and then click OK
[/tab] [tab title=”Windows 8/8.1″]
  1. Go to Start Screen and type services.msc into the Search Box and hit enter
  2. In the Services list, look for the service named Windows Search. Right-click and select Properties
  3. Look for the Startup type section in the General tab. Change the dropdown list to Disabled
  4. Click OK to save the new setting
  5. The next time you boot, Search Indexing will not start
[/tab] [/tabs]

4. Optimize Display Settings

Windows XP introduced a new look to Windows. Windows Vista and 7 added extra fancy graphics to the desktop and window edges. It costs you precious system resources to display all the visual items and effects. Windows will run faster but look a little less appealing if you disable them.

[tabs style=”boxed”] [tab title=”Windows Vista”]
  1. Click Start button -> Control Panel
  2. Click on Appearance and Personalization
  3. Click on Personalization
  4. Click on Window Color and Appearance
  5. Under the Color scheme box, click on Windows Vista Basic, or Windows Classic for an even faster windows experience
  6. Click OK
[/tab] [tab title=”Windows 7″]
  1. Click Start button -> Control Panel
  2. Click on Appearance and Personalization
  3. Click on Personalization
  4. Click on Window Color and Appearance
  5. In Change the visuals and sounds on your computer section, click on Windows 7 Basic, or Windows Classic for an even faster windows experience
  6. Close Control Panel
[/tab] [tab title=”Windows 8/8.1″]

For Windows 8 there is nothing to disable as it has already been removed.

[/tab] [/tabs]

5. Remove Fonts for Speed

Fonts, especially TrueType fonts, use quite a bit of system resources. Windows will try to load each one every time the system starts. For best performance, trim your fonts down to just those that you need to use on a daily basis and fonts that applications may need.

[tabs style=”boxed”] [tab title=”Windows Vista”]
  1. Click on Start -> Settings -> Control Panel
  2. Open Appearance and Personalization -> Fonts
  3. Go though the list and remove any fonts that are no longer required by selecting them and clicking the Delete option in the menu bar
  4. When deleting fonts, ensure these are the minimum that remain:
    • Arial (TrueType)
    • Arial Bold (TrueType)
    • Arial Bold Italic (TrueType)
    • Arial Italic (TrueType)
    • Courier 10,12,15 (VGA res)
    • Courier New (TrueType)
    • Courier New Bold (TrueType)
    • Courier New Bold Italic (TrueType)
    • Courier New Italic (TrueType)
    • Marlett (Windows 95/98)
    • Modern (Plotter)
    • MS Sans Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24 (VGA res)
    • MS Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24 (VGA res)
    • Roman (Plotter)
    • Script (Plotter)
    • Small fonts (VGA res)
    • Symbol (TrueType)
    • Symbol 8,10,12,14,18,24 (VGA res)
    • Times New Roman (TrueType)
    • Times New Roman Bold (TrueType)
    • Times New Roman Bold Italic (TrueType)
    • Times New Roman Italic (TrueType)
    • Wingdings (TrueType)
    • Any font with a red A for its icon.
    • Any font that begins with the letters MS.
[/tab] [tab title=”Windows 7″]
  1. Click on Start -> Settings -> Control Panel
  2. Open Appearance and Personalization -> Fonts
  3. Go though the list and remove any fonts that are no longer required by selecting them and clicking the Delete option in the menu bar
  4. When deleting fonts, ensure these are the minimum that remain:
    • Arial (TrueType)
    • Arial Bold (TrueType)
    • Arial Bold Italic (TrueType)
    • Arial Italic (TrueType)
    • Courier 10,12,15 (VGA res)
    • Courier New (TrueType)
    • Courier New Bold (TrueType)
    • Courier New Bold Italic (TrueType)
    • Courier New Italic (TrueType)
    • Marlett (Windows 95/98)
    • Modern (Plotter)
    • MS Sans Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24 (VGA res)
    • MS Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24 (VGA res)
    • Roman (Plotter)
    • Script (Plotter)
    • Small fonts (VGA res)
    • Symbol (TrueType)
    • Symbol 8,10,12,14,18,24 (VGA res)
    • Times New Roman (TrueType)
    • Times New Roman Bold (TrueType)
    • Times New Roman Bold Italic (TrueType)
    • Times New Roman Italic (TrueType)
    • Wingdings (TrueType)
    • Any font with a red A for its icon.
    • Any font that begins with the letters MS.
[/tab] [tab title=”Windows 8/8.1″]
  1. Go to  Start screen, type Fonts into the Search box and hit enter
  2. Choose Settings and Fonts
  3. Go though the list and remove any fonts that are no longer required by selecting them and clicking the Delete option in the menu bar
  4. When deleting fonts, ensure these are the minimum that remain:
    • Arial (TrueType)
    • Arial Bold (TrueType)
    • Arial Bold Italic (TrueType)
    • Arial Italic (TrueType)
    • Courier 10,12,15 (VGA res)
    • Courier New (TrueType)
    • Courier New Bold (TrueType)
    • Courier New Bold Italic (TrueType)
    • Courier New Italic (TrueType)
    • Marlett (Windows 95/98)
    • Modern (Plotter)
    • MS Sans Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24 (VGA res)
    • MS Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24 (VGA res)
    • Roman (Plotter)
    • Script (Plotter)
    • Small fonts (VGA res)
    • Symbol (TrueType)
    • Symbol 8,10,12,14,18,24 (VGA res)
    • Times New Roman (TrueType)
    • Times New Roman Bold (TrueType)
    • Times New Roman Bold Italic (TrueType)
    • Times New Roman Italic (TrueType)
    • Wingdings (TrueType)
    • Any font with a red A for its icon.
    • Any font that begins with the letters MS.
[/tab] [/tabs]

Extra Tip

If you find that you need to frequently run ChkDsk, there may be a problem with your hard drive and it could need replacing. Contact us for a quote for testing and repairing your computer.

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