How Can I Speed Up My PC Performance for Free?

by Art Corvelay

One frustrating image you may encounter on your PC is the image of an hour glass. This image denotes to the user that the computer is processing or loading. Seeing this image consistently may indicate that your computer is not performing as fast as it should. You can take some actions to speed up your PC by using the utilities that are built into the Windows operating system. Because these utilities come with Windows, they are free.


Run the "Disk Defragmenter" utility on your computer. Fragmented files can slow down your PC performance. Click "Start," "All Programs," "Accessories," "System Tools" and "Disk Defragmenter." Highlight the hard drive you want to defragment if you have multiple hard drives installed on your computer. Click "Defragment Disk" at the bottom of the window. For Windows XP users, the button is simply labeled "Defragment."


Delete unnecessary files on your computer. A cluttered hard drive can cause your computer to slow down. Simply drag files into the Recycle Bin and then empty the Recycle Bin.


Use the "Disk Cleanup" utility to help delete files you may have missed. Click "Start," "All Programs," "Accessories," "System Tools" and "Disk Cleanup." Highlight the hard drive you want to clean if you have more than one hard drive installed on your computer. Select the files you want to remove and click "OK." All files listed can be removed safely because Windows has analyzed the files and determined that they are not necessary to your computer. However, if you want to delete only a few files, choose the files that take up the most memory.


Fix any disk errors that can lead to a slow computer. Left-click on "My Computer" or "Computer" and right-click on your hard drive. Select "Properties" and then click the "Tools" tab. Click "Check Now" to open the "Error-checking" utility." Click the check boxes next to "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" and "Automatically fix file system errors." Click the "Start" button at the bottom of the dialog box.


Scan your computer for viruses and other malware. Use your virus scanner if you have one installed on your computer. If you don't, see "Resources" for a link to a free virus and malware scanner.


End processes if you have too many programs running at once. Close any applications that you aren't currently using. You can see all your processes that are currently running by clicking "Ctrl," "Shift" and "Esc."

About the Author

Art Corvelay is a freelance writer for demand studios who has been writing and editing for five years. He holds a Ph.D. in technical communication and teaches courses in writing and editing at the university level.