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5 ways to speed up your PC
By following a few simple guidelines, you can maintain your
computer and keep it running smoothly. This article
discusses how to use the tools available in Windows 7, Vista,
and XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) to more efficiently maintain your
computer and safeguard your privacy when you're online.
1. Free up disk space
The Disk Cleanup tool helps you free up space on your hard
disk to improve the performance of your computer. The tool
identifies files that you can safely delete, and then enables
you to choose whether you want to delete some or all of the
Use Disk Cleanup to:
Remove temporary Internet files.
Remove downloaded program files (such as Microsoft ActiveX
controls and Java applets).
Empty the Recycle Bin.
Remove Windows temporary files such as error reports.
Remove optional Windows components that you don't use.
Remove installed programs that you no longer use.
Remove unused restore points and shadow copies from
Tip: Typically, temporary Internet files take the most amount
of space because the browser caches each page you visit for
faster access later.
Use Disk Cleanup
2. Speed up access to data
Disk fragmentation slows the overall performance of your
system. When files are fragmented, the computer must
search the hard disk when the file is opened to piece it back
together. The response time can be significantly longer.
Disk Defragmenter is a Windows utility that consolidates
fragmented files and folders on your computer's hard disk so
that each occupies a single space on the disk. With your files
stored neatly end-to-end, without fragmentation, reading and
writing to the disk speeds up.
When to run Disk Defragmenter
In addition to running Disk Defragmenter at regular intervals—
monthly is optimal—there are other times you should run it
too, such as when:
You add a large number of files.
Your free disk space totals 15 percent or less.
You install new programs or a new version of Windows.
Use Disk Defragmenter
3. Detect and repair disk errors
In addition to running Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter to
optimize the performance of your computer, you can check
the integrity of the files stored on your hard disk by running
the Error Checking utility.
As you use your hard drive, it can develop bad sectors. Bad
sectors slow down hard disk performance and sometimes
make data writing (such as file saving) difficult, or even
impossible. The Error Checking utility scans the hard drive for
bad sectors, and scans for file system errors to see whether
certain files or folders are misplaced.
If you use your computer daily, you should run this utility
once a week to help prevent data loss.
Run the Error Checking utility:
4. Protect your computer against spyware
Spyware collects personal information without letting you
know and without asking for permission. From the Web sites
you visit to usernames and passwords, spyware can put you
and your confidential information at risk. In addition to privacy
concerns, spyware can hamper your computer's performance.
To combat spyware, you might want to consider using
Microsoft Windows Defender, which is included in Windows 7
and Windows Vista, and is available as a free download for
Microsoft XP SP2. Alternatively, there are other free anti-
spyware software programs available.
5. Learn all about ReadyBoost
If you're using Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you can use
ReadyBoost to speed up your system. A new concept in
adding memory to a system, it allows you to use non-volatile
flash memory—like a USB flash drive or a memory card—to
improve performance without having to add additional memory.
Learn more about ReadyBoost in Windows 7.
Learn more about ReadyBoost in Vista.