frustrated person using laptop


You yearn for a faster, more efficient computer.

Yours was lighting-fast when you got it, but now it's slower than a snail crawling through molasses. And all you want to know is how to speed up your computer.

Check this out:

A computer is like a boiling pot of spaghetti noodles. When you first add the noodles, they're stiff and robust, ready to poke an eye out.

But the longer they boil, the softer they get. Starch builds up, and they get sticky.

Soon enough, they're nothing but a bowl of soft, mushy noodles covered in sauce.

Here's the difference:

You want your noodles that way, but you DON'T want your computer to end up like a bunch of mushy of noodles.

Aside from being frustrating to use, it can be bad.

And the worst part is:

  • You can get more viruses
  • Your hard drive can die
  • It uses more electricity
  • It can cost you money to repair

COMPUTER FACTS !

There are more than 500 new computer viruses released into the world every month!

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Here's the good news:

Making your computer speed up is relatively easy. With a few simple tweaks, you'll be blazing fast again!

with the following information:

Computer Efficiency Is Important...Really

By now you know that your computer needs help. You also know that there are lots of reasons why a slow computer can be harmful.

Keep this in mind:

When your computer runs too slow, it has a harder time stopping spyware, viruses, ransomware, and hackers. These nasties move fast. We're talking really fast.

Also, they're built to get around the newest anti-virus software, which is why your anti-virus is always updating.

You do have an anti-virus program, right?

When your computer runs too slow, your anti-virus syncs slowly, loads slowly, and basically can't catch the attacks heading your way.

And that's bad.

And we don't stop there:

If you like money and don't want to give it away to utility companies, then you want to know how to speed up your computer.

Here's the reason:

A slow computer can actually consume more power than a fast one.

It's true!

Slower computers require more wattage to power everything from their CPU to their graphics card.

Energy Information Administration

Image via eia.gov

According to the Energy Information Administration, computers in the US used a whopping 11-percent of all power in the country!

Now, let’s say a computer is running at 130 watts for 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. At a cost of about 11 cents per kW/h (kilowatt-hour), that computer will increase the power bill by $129.73 each year. Mathews, Kayla - How Much Energy Does Your PC Use?  - Makeuseof.com June 14 2016

These are just a few things that can happen. The list is almost endless!

Get it?

Here's why it's important that you know how to speed up your computer.

Prevent infections

A computer running efficiently is a healthy computer.

That means:

  1. No viruses
  2. No spyware
  3. And no ransomware

As you just learned, a fast computer can catch fast viruses before they get a chance to infect your machine.

But that's just part of the story...

You see, most malware gets installed by the users themselves. That means your antivirus program might not get a chance to catch the virus, no matter how fast your computer is.

Malware loves to enter through downloads from strange sites masquerading as legitimate programs. Or from spam email, or from bad links in an email or on a website.

We're talking Trojan Horses, baby.

COMPUTER PRO TIP:

Never open an attachment in a spam email

So once the malware is in, it wreaks havoc on your system.

And it gets worse:

It can even go so far as to steal your banking information and wrack up huge credit card bills!


come back here giphy

via GIPHY

A fast computer can give the antivirus the power it needs to locate and destroy the virus before that happens.

A slow computer, on the other hand:

Prolong life

And we don't stop there.

As it turns out, when your computer runs efficiently, it lasts longer. You see, your hard disk contains many moving parts, such as metal plates that spin violently and precision heads that read the information on them.

A slow computer takes more energy to spin the disks and read them. The end result is the disk drive dies.

But that's not all:

Your power supply can also die due to a slow computer.

That's because it needs to work twice as hard to supply the same power as it would if the computer were working faster.

Knowing how to speed up your computer will save it in the long run.

So, when your computer runs efficiently, it lives longer. Plus, the hard disk lasts longer, the power supply chugs along happily, and you don't need to buy a new computer.

COMPUTER FACTS !

The first 1GB hard disk released in 1980, weighed 550 pounds, and cost $40,000

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​Conserve power

Even better is the fact that an efficiently-running machine saves you money on your electricity bill.

A slow machine takes longer to achieve tasks and often sucks up more energy to do it.

The bottom line is:

You end up using more power.

And we all know electricity isn't cheap these days.

pay up your bills giphy

via GIPHY

Keep your computer running smooth and efficiently, and you'll save over a hundred dollars every year.

And that's not all:

You'll keep your files safe, you'll prolong the life of your machine, and best of all...

You'll save money.

COMPUTER FACTS !

Only eight percent of the world's money is cash. The other 92-percent exists solely on computers.

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Reasons Your Computer Runs Like a Snail

To learn how to speed up your computer, start with why your computer runs too slow in the first place. A doctor can't fix a problem without a diagnosis, and your computer isn't much different.

Here's the sad truth:

Many people overlook the more common reasons that cause a computer to run slow and jump right into panic mode. Often they'll head to a repair shop or do a complete system reset, wiping everything off their computer in the process.

Hold your horses.

You don't need to wipe your computer clean or pay an expensive repair technician to fix your computer.

Once you know why your computer runs slow, it's easy to learn how to speed up your computer.

But hold the phone:

So far, while we've been discussing slow computers, we've been doing so with Windows in mind. That's because almost all of the problems you can experience happen to Windows machines.

If you have a Mac or use Linux, you probably don't get these problems.

There's a reason for that:

Macs use software optimized for their hardware. Apple makes everything from the top down to work together, and they release updates to patch holes as they find them.

Also, because Macs make up only 10-percent of the market, there aren't many viruses designed to go after them.

Linux has even less market share.

That means if you're using Windows, you're getting more viruses, more hardware problems, and more operating system issues. Lucky you!

But like we said:

Often times the issue is simple to fix. Still, you NEED to know what's slowing down your computer.

Too many startup programs

When you power on your computer, do a hundred programs need to start up before you can use it? Ya, that needs to stop.

Here's why:

Each one of those programs is eating precious memory, like hungry little parasites.

Your operating system is trying to load, using RAM. But at the same time, all of those programs are trying to get their share of RAM to startup at the same time.

The end result is this:

Your computer tries to share the RAM with everyone, and the whole thing slows down.

So ask yourself this:

Do you really need Facebook Messenger, Skype, Slack, AND Candy Crush to boot up when you launch your computer?

The fact is that almost every program except for your operating system and anti-virus can start up after the computer.

Know how to speed up your computer by disabling these programs.

COMPUTER PRO TIP:

Uninstall manufacturer "crapware" (programs your PC manufacturer installed) and watch your computer go faster!

​Not enough RAM

Talking about RAM, maybe you need some more?

Random-Access Memory is what your computer uses to run programs actively. The memory is wiped clean when the program stops running, which makes it different from drive memory.

Think of it like this:

All your food is stored in a cupboard. That's your drive memory. When you want to cook spaghetti, you boil it in a pot on the stove. The stove is your RAM.

You only have four burners. You can't cook all your food at once, because there isn't enough room on your stove top.

Just think about it:

If you don't have enough RAM to run to all your programs or even one large program, then you need to get more.

The great thing about RAM is that it's relatively cheap, and super-easy to install.

​Unoptimized settings

If you try to play a game or watch a movie, does your PC start to sound like a diesel engine? Worst of all, does your game lag or your video not buffer?

Here's your likely culprit:

Chances are your settings aren't optimized to your computer's actual capabilities.

Often times when we buy a computer it comes with a low-powered GPU (your graphics card). Yet we try to watch 4K videos or play graphics-intensive games, and it sucks.

The computer slows right down as the system scrambles to power your cheap GPU.

And you find out:

you can't do that giphy

via GIPHY

Thankfully there are two really easy ways to fix this issue:

1. Upgrade your graphics card. If you're a gamer, this is your best bet.

2. If you just want to watch a movie, simply adjust your settings.

​Spyware

You've heard about it a million times. You never thought it would happen to you. But you have spyware installed on your computer.

We've all been there.

There's a virus on your computer that's spying on everything you do. It's sending data back to wherever it came from.

In the process, it's hogging system resources like RAM and bringing your operating system to a crawl.

Spyware usually infects your computer through email or bad links.

And here's the bad news:

This one's a bit trickier to fix because it requires third-party programs, and there are no quick tweaks you can make to get rid of it.

COMPUTER FACTS !

Spyware can turn you into a spammer. It can attach itself to your email and infect your family, friends, and coworkers computers when you send them something.

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​Rogue programs

Sometimes a program goes rogue. A piece of code might have become corrupted, or maybe a virus sent it haywire.

Most likely it's designed to be rogue by some unfriendly software designers far away.

they're not friendly witches giphy

via GIPHY

Rogue programs run in the background, taking up RAM and other system resources.

They act like a regular program, only you're not using them. Often you're not even aware that they're there.

This is what makes them special:

Rogue programs trick your virus scan into thinking they're legitimate programs.

They're like underage kids with a fake ID, sneaking into a nightclub. Once they're in, they go undetected.

It gets worse: 

Finding and eliminating a rogue program is really hard for most anti-virus programs. You need to find it yourself and isolate it before you can destroy it.

So, if you want to know how to speed up your computer, first learn how to monitor your CPU usage.

​Corrupted hard drive

It's rare, but if your computer is older, or gets a lot of use, then your hard drive might be damaged.

Remember that spinning disk we told you about? That can become damaged beyond repair, and it can bring your entire computer to a crawl.

If that's the case, then it's only a matter of time before the hard drive dies completely.

And there's more bad news:

Knowing how to speed up your computer won't help you in this case. You'll need to replace the entire hard drive, or just get a new computer.

On the other hand, your hard drive might just be corrupted. That means some code is out of whack, or there's a corrupting file stored there.

If so, good news:

Fixing it can be easy and, best of all, free.

So before you throw your PC in the trash, take the time to fix it yourself. Once you know how to speed up your computer, you won't want or need a new one.

FUN COMPUTER FACTS !

People only blink seven times a minute when they're using a computer. They blink 20 times a minute when they're not.

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You Have the Need: The Need For Speed

You're in a never-ending battle with your computer. There are so many threats that can cause your computer to slow down, and you don't know where to start.

The good news is:

You can fix most of them with some easy tweaks to your settings.

Now that you know how a slow computer is costing you money, it's time to learn how to speed up your computer.

The first thing you want to do is to disable startup programs.

We'll be honest with you, we really dislike startup programs, so shut them all down.

Next, clean out all the junk from your hard drive.

Then defragment it. That will take care of hard drive corruption issues.

You'll also need to optimize your settings, especially your video settings.

And we don't stop there:

You can also disable a lot of routine background tasks for an instant performance boost. Things like automatic cloud syncing are huge resource hogs.

But what if that doesn't work?

Well, don't fret yet, because we know how to speed up your computer with some more tricks.

You can add more RAM. As we said, RAM is cheap and easy to install.

Speaking of RAM, did you know you can help your computer startup faster with a boot SSD card?

Adding cards to your hard drive configuration takes a bit of work, and you'll definitely want to know what you're doing.

COMPUTER PRO TIP:

Uninstall manufacturer "crapware" (programs your PC manufacturer installed) and watch your computer go faster!

Here's more good news:

Adding cards is easy to learn, and saves you hundreds of dollars in repair fees.

That's because just like when you take your car to the garage, most of the cost is in the labor.

preach brother preach giphy

The parts themselves are affordable.

You were probably wondering:

"But what about all that spyware and those rogue programs you told me about?"

Well, you'll need to invest in a decent anti-virus program, or at least update Windows Defender if you're using the newest build of Windows 10. Then a good scan will take care of that for you.

Once you know how to speed up your computer

Boom!

Everything is flying like new again.

​Disable startup programs

First, start by disabling all the startup programs. Leave the anti-virus and kill everything else.

It's easy to do.

  • 1
    Open your task manager (right-click on the taskbar, and it will show up as an option).
  • 2
    Choose "Startup" from the tabs along the top. You'll see a big list of programs.

Here are the programs you want to keep running at startup:

  • Audio manager
  • Firewall
  • Anti-virus
  • Graphics card

Disable everything else.

​Clean out the junk

Next, let's clean up that hard drive disk. You probably have so many years worth of files, programs, pics, videos, music, and games stored there that you don't even know where to start.

Don't worry. Here's what you need to do:

disk cleanup in windows 10

Type "Disk Cleanup" into the start box. When the tool opens, you'll be offered a choice of locations to clean.

Here's what you want to check off:

  • Downloaded Program Files
  • Temporary Internet Files
  • Recycle Bin
  • Temporary Files
  • Thumbnails
  • Error reports

Click "OK" and let Windows work its magic.

Also, clear the cache

Clearing the cache will speed things up.

The cache is this:

It's where your computer stores information about programs you use frequently to help them load faster.

It uses a bit of RAM for each program, which means that after a few years, you're dealing with a lot of RAM getting stored in the cache.

Clean that sucker out.

​Defrag your hard drive

The next step in learning how to speed up your computer is the defrag. You'll love how easy this is.

There's a dark side:

It can take a long time to do.

If you haven't defragmented your hard drive in years, you'll want to leave your computer running all night and probably while you're at work, as well.

Here's why:

Every program on your computer gets stored as a series of files. Many of these files are extremely small blocks of information. When they all work together, you get a running program.

But you know what else?

After lots of use and many files getting added, all those little blocks of information get scrambled.

The poor programs become fragmented.

So, when you go to launch a program, it takes longer to start because your system scrambles trying to find all the missing files.

That includes your operating system.

When you defrag your hard drive, it goes through every little block of information and reassembles them into full, complete files again.

First, the good news:

Windows 7, 8, and 10 automatically defrag the hard drive for you, once per week.

Now the bad news:

Sometimes it misses a defrag, or maybe you're running an older version of Windows.

(P.S. Stop doing that.)

To defrag the disk manually:

  • Open the "Disk Optimization Tool"
  • Select the disk you want to defrag (most likely your C: drive)
  • Click "Analyze," then wait for it to take a look at the disk. After a few minutes, it will tell you how much is fragmented in a percentage.
  • Click "Optimize" and leave it alone for a while.

​Optimize settings

Next, you want to optimize some settings to help games, and other graphics-intensive programs run smoother.

The tricky thing is:

There's no hard-and-fast rule to do this.

You see, every program uses different settings. Thankfully you can access the "settings" menu in all of them.

One option you'll see is "Video settings."

If you're running a game that is laggy or takes forever to load, reduce the video settings to the lowest possible options. You'll immediately notice faster gameplay.

You can do this for many video players, too.

cat driving giphy

via GIPHY​​​

Smooth.

​Add more RAM

Sound familiar?

We mentioned that as one sure-fire way how to speed up your computer. That's like adding a second frontal lobe to your brain. Suddenly you can concentrate so much better, and multitasking is a breeze!

But there's a catch:

You need to know how to install RAM cards to your motherboard. For most people, this is no more difficult than putting slices of bread into the toaster.

So let's get down to it.

How to add more RAM

First, check how much RAM your computer can support. Press Win plus Pause to open your system information window. Look for either 32-bit or 64-bit. If you have:

  • 32-bit: you can support a total of 4 GB of RAM (ouch)
  • 64-bit: you can support up to 128 GB of RAM (yay!)

Next, figure out what types of RAM your motherboard supports.

Today computers use mainly DDR3 RAM, but older computers may need DDR2 RAM. If that's the case, forget it. A new computer is cheaper.(P.S. Stop doing that.)

To find out which type of RAM is compatible with your motherboard, use a free tool like CPU-Z. It's a program that you can install, and it will scan your system to tell you all sorts of information about your hardware, including what type of RAM to use.

But that's not all:

You'll also need to determine the clock speed of the RAM, measured in megahertz (MHz). CPU-Z will give you that information, but you'll need to multiply whatever it tells you by two.

That's because you'll be adding a second set of memory.

Then buy some RAM.

Hopefully, you're running a 64-bit computer, in which case we recommend 16 GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM. You get a trusted name and some great overclocking, which means it can go faster than the MHz limits imposed by your motherboard.

Cool!

​Hunt down viruses

Do you want to have a virus-free computer with no adware or rogue programs hogging valuable RAM?

Here's how:

Get a good anti-virus program and hunt down all that adware.

We recommend Norton Antivirus because it is one of the most trusted names in computer security. Norton started off back in 1991 just as computers were really coming of age, so they've seen it all.

But wait, there's more:

Once you've got the viruses contained, you want to make sure you don't get any more.

If you're running Windows 10, then you have Windows Defender built right in. So long as you keep it updated, this may be enough.

  • It's free
  • Lightweight
  • And it's optimized to work with the total operating system because it's built by Microsoft.

Over at Make Tech Easier, they put Windows Defender through some tests and compared it to the big names.

The result?

Windows Defender held its own. That means if you have Windows 10, and you keep Windows Defender updated and running in the background, it will stop most attacks.

​Restart frequently

Lastly, the easiest method of how to speed up your computer is to restart it. That's right. Turn it off at night, and turn it back on in the morning.

And the reason is simple:

You see, many updates roll out automatically in the background. That's by design, so as not to bother us with millions of requests to update things.

But your computer requires a restart once the updates are installed. So, restart it once every day or two, and those updates will all start working.

Also, restarting resets the hard drive and clears out the RAM.

So, do that -- a lot.

COMPUTER FACTS !

Switzerland, the USA, Sweden, and Canada have the most computers per capita in the world.

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Your Computer: A Lean Mean Machine

As it turns out, when you know how to speed up your computer, everything gets so much easier.

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Image via Pexels

Suddenly you can play games again.

You're no longer terrified of starting the computer up because it will finally boot really fast.

Best of all, there are no more malicious programs spying on you, waiting for the moment to send all your personal info to hackers.

It's so easy, so go out there and do it.

Do you know any tricks to speed up your computer? Have you tried any of these? Share your successes in the comments below!

Featured Image: CC0 via Pexels

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