9 Tips & Tools to Make Your Computer Run Faster

A few months ago, my PC took over 10 minutes to start up. Now it just takes about a minute. Want to know how I did it? Here’s how:

1. Upgrade Your RAM

Yeah, the most obvious tip but people hardly upgrade it. RAM these days is very cheap, especially if you buy it through Amazon or eBay. When I checked Amazon, the price of 1 GB RAM was around $20-$30.

2. Get Rid of Unneeded Software

Most PCs come shipped with unneeded software. Uninstall all of them. I’m sure there are better alternatives to those software. For example, my PC came shipped from hp with lots of bloatware such as HP Image Zone, Norton AntiVirus 2004, Record Now! CD & DVD Burning software etc. I uninstalled all of them and replaced them with better software like Picasa and Nero.

3. Keep Only One Browser

This is part of the getting rid of unneeded applications but I decided to separate it because so many people have 3, or even 4 browsers installed on their computer. I used to do this; I used to have Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. Now I only have Mozilla Firefox. Yes, I even removed Internet Explorer!

Now you might be wondering how do I update Windows without Internet Explorer, right? Here’s how I do it, and you can too: To update Windows from within Firefox, just download the IE Tab add-on. Using that plugin, you can access IE only sites like Windows Update with ease.

4. Get an All-in-One Solution for Your IM Needs

I’m guessing that most of you have at least 2 IM clients installed. Uninstall all of them. Instead, get Digsby. Digsby is an All-in-One solution for your social media and IM needs.

5. Limit the Programs that Start Automatically

The programs that load automatically after your Windows starts can severely cripple the load time. To reduce the number of programs that start auto-load, download Revo Uninstaller. Disable the autoloading of applications carefully though. The rule of thumb is that if you don’t know what the app does, don’t disable it.

6. Delay the Startup of Your Remaining Autoloading Programs

Even after you’ve disabled the autoloading of most programs, there still is room to improve. The thing is that when your PC starts up, all your startup apps are fighting to run at the same time, which creates a bottleneck. To mitigate this effect, you can delay the launch of each of your startup program by a few seconds or minutes. Startup Delayer is an awesome app that does this.

7. Tweak Windows’s Display & Animation Settings

Right-click on “My Computer” > Go to the “Advanced” tab and click on “Settings” under “Performance”. Now uncheck the checkbox next to “Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing”. Disabling them won’t make your PC behave quicker per se but it will fasten the minimizing and maximizing of windows.

8. Disable Desktop Shortcuts

Shortcuts on your desktop are a waste. Not only do they increase your computer startup time, they also are an inefficient way to open stuff. There are more efficient ways to access applications, such through the Start Menu, the Quick Launch menu, or through software such as Launchy. To hide desktop shortcuts, right-click on your desktop, go to “Arrange Icons by” and uncheck “Show Desktop Icons” by clicking on it.

9. Check for Malware, Spyware, Viruses Regularly

The most important tip I can give you is to 1) have a firewall, 2) have an anti-spyware app, 3) have an anti-virus app, and 4) Regularly scan for viruses, spyware etc. If there’s a virus or some spyware slowing down your computer then none of the above tips can help you. You’ll first have to disinfect your PC. I use Ad-Aware 2008 as my anti-spyware app and Norton Internet Security 2009 as my firewall and anti-virus app.

If you follow the nine tips that I wrote above, I can guarantee that your PC will run 2x or even 3x faster.

PS: You can use Boot Timer to measure how much time your PC takes to startup fully.

You can catch Ruchir Chawdhry at TechVivo.com where he blogs about gadgets, software, online tools, windows tips & tricks and other such things that’ll increase your productivity. If you have some tips to share, write a guest article and promote your site.


  1. benjamin says:

    “Keep Only One Browser”

    IE isn’t my favorite but I still need to keep it since some sites work with IE only.

  2. GoingLikeSixty says:

    Do I need to keep all those Java updates? each taking 100+ mb?

  3. uking says:

    do you want to face a desktop as a gray wild hill but a gorgeous palace

  4. computer software says:

    As Benjamin said, for some it’s quite impossible to keep only one browser since there are so many sites optimized for one perticular browser.

    • Computer freak says:

      Well, you can also keep 2 browsers such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
      Does not need too much browsers as it might take up some space.

  5. Ruchir Chawdhry says:

    @above people:

    There’s a firefox add-on (IE Tab) that can display web pages using IE rendering. I think you didn’t read the whole post.

  6. Rajasekaran says:

    Thanks for the tips.For the IM need there is all in one plugin available Firefox which is Meebo.

  7. James says:

    Keep one browser? I’m an Opera user and we have no IE Tab and wouldn’t use Firefox ever again, so I’ll keep IE I think. And as for your choice of all in one instant messengers, I see it goes well with your choice of browser. Both resourse hogs and bloatware. I’m suprised you didn’t metion stardock as an application launcher. That would really fit the bill. lol

  8. James says:

    And while I’m here if you want a browser that renders in the 3 main browser engines, I’d suggest your one browser you keep is Lunscape.

  9. mms says:

    You know…to each person they have their own preference. And your computer speed is dependent upon what applications use the most ram and how fast of a processor you have to process of of the information. You are actually installing more programs. Launchy is a waste of a product and getting your applications from the desktop is no faster than using launchy or the quick launch in your toolbar.

    Also if you want to change your startup programs or services then just go to Start>run>msconfig and do it there rather than installing more software to do what may seem as the easier way.

    That way you don’t have to install a startup delay or the revo uninstaller for startup programs. Windows has everything you need to fix that, But using it right is what it depends on.

  10. Colin Jensen says:

    One other tip: Make sure you keep on top of all your history and temporary internet files.

    There is a great program out there called CCleaner.
    It is 100% free and does a great job! Deletes applications history such as windows media player, firefox, recent opened documents etc.

    For information on how to install this application visit my article here(includes screenshots): https://www.privilegedsoftware.com/

    Colin Jensen

  11. Matt says:

    Try out www.pcsurgeon.synthesite.com its was only $9.99 and came with
    Anti Virus, Spyware and a hard disk defragger. Also came with a
    tutorial that included tips and tricks to keep your computer fast,
    healthy and up to date. I was pretty impressed. This is all you really
    need to clean your computer of any viruses and spyware and keep it
    protected and running like its brand new.

  12. Computer freak~ says:

    Well the best is to
    1. Upgrade Your RAM
    At least 1GB~2GB of RAM

    2. Get Rid of Unneeded Software
    Some may take up alot of space and crash your computer.

    3. Check for Malware, Spyware, Viruses Regularly.Viruses will make your computer work slower or make the program not responding.I Suggest you try AVG if your computer does not hav any Anti-Virus software.@http://free.avg.com/

    4. Most important-Update your Anti-Virus software and on Firewalls,try to make your internet security high so that it could block those websites that hav some viruses.

  13. Phaoloo says:

    Cool tips. More here: defrag your disk, turn off unnecessary system services :D

  14. remote desktop software says:

    Isn’t RAM useful for other reasons as well? RAM will also improve the pixelation/ graphics and bring images into sharper focus. Thanks for the advice on deleting the autoinstall programs that were on my computer when I got it. I always knew those things were useless.

  15. Alex says:

    If you use Vista or Windows 7, you don’t even need IE Tab to update as Windows Update in those OS’s is a Control Panel app.

  16. Ian says:

    Install linux, Ubuntu a good one and that is that.

  17. Anthony says:

    Most of this list doesn’t matter anymore, since most computers are now shipping with with quad-core CPUs and 4GB RAM and dedicated GPUs, etc.. I would say the only 2 things that are important would be having ONE anti-virus/anti-spyware, and keeping Windows updated as needed.

  18. Kayman63 says:

    I definitely need to get rid of some of my programs I no longer use. I also use Krojam Cleaner to keep my system running smoothly.

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