How to tune-up your own computer for free
Speed up a computer or laptop for good
Assuming your computer does not have a virus or malware, there are a few ways you can tune-up your computer, you can pay money or you can let me tell you how to do it for free. If you pay someone to do it, you will only need their help again in the future. All these paid websites that clam they can remotely speed up your computer by accessing it through the internet will only make things worse, however, there are some good free software programs you can download. I will talk about this software through out this page.
The best way to keep a computer tuned up and running fast is to manually configure it your self. Installing maintenance software will use up system resources and in a lot of cases slow things down even more. The configuration instructions I am going to give are going to be mostly for Windows XP, Vista and 7. They can be used with 8 and 8.1, however, there will be a few more steps to go through.
The fist step I like to do is go into "add remove programs" and uninstall anything I am not using. You can not uninstall Windows or your personal data from here, so don't worry. Try not to delete any drives, but if you do they can easily be reinstalled. Be aggressive uninstall all the junk, if something says Windows in it, leave it along unless you think it is malicious software. Tool bars are good to get rid of, along with games, the weather channel and coupon or advertising gadgets. There are many ways to get into "add remove programs" I like to click the start button and then "control panel" and then I will see the "add remove programs" icon. Turn off and restart your computer once you are done with this step (reboot).
Step two is to turn off all back ground software or services, the only thing that should be running in the the back ground is anti-virus software. Click the start button and in the search box type [ msconfig ] with out the syntax "[ ]" brackets, this stands for "Microsoft configuration", now look for the "start up" tab, click it and deselect all the box's except for anti-virus software. If a box appears that says "you do not have permission to perform this operation" just click ok and it will go away, do not close the Window by clicking the upper right side X button. Click ok to everything and then reboot, select do not show me this message again if asked. If something does not work right after the reboot you can go back and turn that item back on, this is unlikely.
Step three is going to be cleaning up the system files and defragging the hard drive. Windows XP does not defrag automatically, Windows vista, 7 and 8 will defrag automatically once a week by default. Its a good idea to manually defrag the hard drive after you have made major changes to it. This process can take up to a few hours and should only be done when you are not using the computer, do not turn off the computer when you are defragging it. To use disk defragmenter click [ start ] + [ All programs ] + [ accessories ] + [ system tools ] and then open [ Disk Defragmenter ], follow the simple directions and that is it.
Once this is done its time to clean up the mess, this will delete all the cookies and temporary internet files along with cleaning unnecessary system files we are no longer using, this will also help optimize the system registry. Click [ start ] + [ All Programs ] + [ accessories ] and then [ clean up ]. Run the tool and select all the box's, it won't hurt. Then let the thing run, it may take an hour or less. Do not use or turn off the computer well it is running the clean up.
If the computer is still not running right proceed to step four.
Step four checking the file system and hard drive for errors and automatically repairing them. Click [ start ] + [ computer ] and select or highlight the [ C ] drive buy clicking on it once, do not open it. Now that it is highlighted right click on the [ C ] drive icon and go to [ properties ], open [ properties ] and click on the [ tools ] tap. You should see an option for [ error checking ], click check now and do not select the two box's. We want to run this test with out selecting these box's to see if there are any problems, if there are problems this test may fix them, if it does not fix them and tells you that there is a problem you will have to rerun the test and select the box's and reboot the computer in order for the test to start running. I do not recommended selecting the box's and running the test unless you are sure your data is securely backed up on an external drive. If there is a problem and you use this test to try to fix it the computer may become unusable until the operating system is reinstalled or the hard drive is replaced. If you are seeing a "bad sectors" message this usually means the hard drive needs to be replaced, but not always, some times a complete reformat of the drive and reinstallation of the operating system will correct the errors on the hard drive.
That is it for the manual tune-up, as you can see Windows was simply meant to be maintained by the owner and not some third party program or website. Windows 8 is nice because people no longer need third party anti-virus or malware protection. Windows Defender automatically takes care of everything.
Using free third party tune-up maintenance software, if the above directions did not help speed up your computer we have a few options. We can reinstall Windows, which I would recommended or we can try using third party maintenance software. One of the biggest problems people have is getting tricked into downloading counterfeit malicious software. Always download software from the company that is responsible for making it. A lot of the good download sites have been taken over by bad people and sites that used to be good for downloading stuff are now trouble.
System Mechanic by iolo is good stuff, they have a free version, a paid version and a 30 day trial version. Their free version is the only one I like, the paid one is to intrusive and takes over the computer which I think slows it down and causes more problems. They try to trick people into using the 30 day trial when they want to install the free version. This can be avoided by taking your time and reading the fine print when installing the software. Do a custom installation when installing the software to assure you get the true free version. This is their free software download http://www.iolo.com/promo/smfree/ link.
CCleaner by Piriform is a less intrusive program compared to System Mechanic, with out as many features and does not run in the back ground, it is good for optimizing the system registry and cleaning junk files if you do not want to manually do it yourself. I would not recommend letting anything tamper with the system registry other then these two programs. This is the free software download link for http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download CCleaner.
Remember you can always consult with me if you have any questions, I am always available should you want me to optimize or tune-up your computer. I have been doing this everyday for over the last 14 years, computers run twice as fast as they did then when they were brand new after I am done working on them.