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1. Defragment your computer hard
disk using free tools like
2. You should also defragment
your Windows pagefile and
3. Clean up hard drive disk space
being taken up by temporary files,
the recycle bin, hibernation and
more. You can also use a tool like
TreeSize to determine what is
taking up space on your hard
4. Load up Windows faster by using
Startup Delayer, a free program
that will speed up the boot time of
Windows by delaying the startup
of programs.
5. Speaking of startup programs,
many of them are useless and can
be turned off. Use the MSCONFIG
utility to disable startup programs.
6. By default, the size of the paging
file is controlled by Windows, which
can cause defragmentation. Also,
the paging file should be on a
different hard drive or partition
than the boot partition. Read here
on the rules for best paging file
7. In Windows XP and Vista, the
Windows Search indexing service is
turned on for all local hard drives.
Turning off indexing is a simple
way to increase performance.
8. If you don’t care about all the
fancy visual effects in Windows,
you can turn them off by going to
Performance Options.
9. You can optimize the Windows
boot time using a free program
called Bootvis from Microsoft.
10. Clean your registry by
removing broken shortcuts, missing
shared DLLs, invalid paths, invalid
installer references and more. Read
about the 10 best and free registry
11. One of the main reasons why
PC’s are slow is because of
spyware. There are many
programs to remove spyware
including Ad-Aware, Giant
Antispyware, SUPERAntiSpyware,
and more.
12. If you have a deeper spyware
infection that is very hard to
remove, you can use HijackThis to
remove spyware.
13. Remove unwanted pre-
installed software (aka junk
software) from your new PC using
PC Decrapifier.
14. Disable unnecessary Windows
services, settings, and programs
that slow down your computer.
15. Tweak Windows XP and tweak
Windows Vista settings using free
16. Disable UAC (User Account
Control) in Windows Vista
17. Tweak your mouse settings so
that you can copy and paste
faster, scroll faster, navigate
quickly while browsing and more.
Read here to learn how to tweak
your mouse.
18. Delete temporary and unused
files on your computer using a free
program like CCleaner. It can also
fix issues with your registry.
19. Delete your Internet browsing
history, temporary Internet files,
cookies to free up disk space.
20. Clean out the Windows prefetch
folder to improve performance.
21. Disable the XP boot logo to
speed up Windows boot time.
22. Reduce the number of fonts
that your computer has to load up
on startup.
23. Force Windows to unload DLLs
from memory to free up RAM.
24. Run DOS programs in separate
memory spaces for better
25. Turn off system restore only if
you regularly backup your
Windows machine using third party
26. Move or change the location of
your My Documents folder so that
it is on a separate partition or hard
27. Turn off default disk
performance monitors on Windows
XP to increase performance.
28. Speed up boot time by
disabling unused ports on your
Windows machine.
29. Use Process Lasso to speed up
your computer by allowing it to
make sure that no one process can
completely overtake the CPU.
30. Make icons appear faster while
browsing in My Computer by
disabling search for network files
and printers.
31. Speed up browsing of pictures
and videos in Windows Vista by
disabling the Vista thumbnails
32. Edit the right-click context
menu in Windows XP and Vista and
remove unnecessary items to
increase display speed.
33. Use the Windows Performance
Toolkit and the trace logs to speed
up Windows boot time.
34. Speed up your Internet
browsing by using an external DNS
server such as OpenDNS.
35. Improve Vista performance by
using ReadyBoost, a new feature
whereby Vista can use the free
space on your USB drive as a
caching mechanism.
36. If you have a slow Internet
connection, you can browse web
pages faster using a service called
Finch, which converts it into simple
37. Use Vista Services Optimizer to
disable unnecessary services in
Vista safely.
38. Also, check out my list of web
accelerators, which are programs
that try to prefetch and cache the
sites you are going to visit.
39. Speed up Mozilla Firefox by
tweaking the configuration settings
and by installing an add-on called
40. Learn how to build your own
computer with the fastest parts
and best hardware.
41. Use a program called TeraCopy
to speed up file copying in
Windows XP and Vista.
42. Disable automatic Last Access
Timestamp to speed up Windows
43. Speed up the Start Menu in
Vista by h*cking the
MenuShowDelay key in the
44. Increase the FileSystem
memory cache in Vista to utilize a
system with a large amount of
45. Install more RAM if you are
running XP with less than 512 MB
or Vista with less than 1 GB of RAM.
46. Shut down XP faster by
reducing the wait time to kill hung
47. Make sure that you have
selected “Adjust for best
performance” on the Performance
tab in System Properties.
48. If you are reinstalling Windows,
make sure that you partition your
hard drives correctly to maximize
49. Use Altiris software
virtualization to install all of your
programs into a virtual layer that
does not affect the registry or
system files.
50. Create and install virtual
machines for free and install junk
program, games, etc into the
virtual machines instead of the
host operating system. Check out
Sun openxVM.
51. Do not clear your paging file
during shutdown unless it is needed
for security purposes. Clearing the
paging file slows down shutdown.
52. If your XP or Vista computer is
not using NFTS, make sure you
convert your FAT disk to the NTFS
file system.
53. Update all of your drivers in
Windows, including chipset and
motherboard drivers to their latest
54. Every once in a while run the
built-in Windows Disk Cleanup
55. Enable DMA mode in Windows
XP for IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers in
Device Manager.
56. Remove unnecessary or old
programs from the Add/Remove
dialog of the Control Panel.
57. Use a program click memtest86
or Prime95 to check for bad
memory on your PC.
58. Determine your BIOS version
and check the manufactures
website to see if you need to
update your BIOS.
59. Every once in a while, clean
your mouse, keyboard and
computer fans of dust and other
60. Replace a slow hard drive with
a faster 7200 RPM drive, SATA
drive, or SAS drive.
61. Changing from Master/Slave to
Cable Select on your hard drive
configuration can significantly
decrease your boot time.
62. Perform a virus scan on your
computer regularly. If you don’t
want to install virus protection, use
some of the free online virus
63. Remove extra toolbars from
your Windows taskbar and from
your Internet browser.
64. Disable the Windows Vista
Sidebar if you’re not really using it
for anything important. All those
gadgets take up memory and
processing power.
65. If you have a SATA drive and
you’re running Windows Vista, you
can speed up your PC by enabling
the advanced write caching
66. Learn how to use keyboard
shortcuts for Windows, Microsoft
Word, Outlook, or create your own
keyboard shortcuts.
67. Turn off the Aero visual effects
in Windows Vista to increase
computer performance.
68. If you are technically savvy
and don’t mind taking a few risks,
you can try to overclock your
69. Speed up the Send To menu in
Explorer by typing “sendto” in the
Run dialog box and deleting
unnecessary items.
70. Make sure to download all the
latest Windows Updates, Service
Packs, and hot fixes as they
“normally” help your computer
work better.
71. Make sure that there are no
bad sectors or other errors on your
hard drive by using the ScanDisk
orchkdsk utility.
72. If you are not using some of
the hardware on your computer,
i.e. floppy drive, CD-ROM drive, USB
ports, IR ports, Firewire, etc, then
go into your BIOS and disable them
so that they do not use any power
and do not have to be loaded
during boot up.
73. If you have never used the
Recent Documents feature in
Windows, then disable it
completely as a long list can affect
PC performance.
74. One basic tweak that can help
in performance is to disable error
reporting in Windows XP
75. If you don’t care about a pretty
interface, you should use the
Windows Classic theme under
Display Properties.
76. Disable short filenames if you
are using NTFS by running the
following command: fsutil behavior
set disable8dot3 1. It will speed up
the file creation process.
77. If you have lots of files in a
single folder, it can slow down
Explorer. It’s best to create multiple
folders and spread out the files
between the folders.
78. If you have files that are
generally large, you might want to
consider increasing the cluster size
on NTFS to 16K or even 32K
instead of 4K. This will help speed
up opening of files.
79. If you have more than one
disk in your PC, you can increase
performance by moving your
paging file to the second drive and
formatting the volume using FAT32
instead of NTFS.
80. Turn off unnecessary features
in Vista by going to Control Panel,
choosing Uninstall a program, and
then clicking on Turn Windows
features on and off. You can turn
off Remote Differential
Compression, Tablet PC
components, DFS replication
service, Windows Fax&Scan,
Windows Meeting Space, and lots
81. Install a free or commercial
anti-virus program to help protect
against viruses, etc. Make sure to
use an anti-virus program that
does not hog up all of your
computer resources.
82. Completely uninstall programs
and applications using a program
like Revo Uninstaller. It will get rid
of remnants left behind by normal
83. If you know what you are
doing, you can install several hard
drives into your machine and set
them up in RAID 0, RAID 5, or other
RAID configurations.
84. If you are using USB 1.0 ports,
upgrade to 2.0. If you have a
Firewire port, try to use that
instead of a USB port since Firewire
is faster than USB right now.
85. Remove the drivers for all old
devices that may be hidden in
Device Manager that you no longer
86. A more extreme option is to
choose a faster operating system.
If you find Vista to be slow, go with
Windows XP. Switching to Mac or
Linux is also an option.
87. One of the easiest ways to
speed up your PC is to simply
reformat it. Of course, you want to
backup your data, but it is the best
way to get your computer back to
peak performance.
88. Speed up Internet browsing in
IE by increasing the number of
max connections per server in the
89. If you use uTorrent to
download torrents, you can
increase the download speeds by
tweaking the settings.
90. If you have a desktop
background, make sure it’s a small
and simple bitmap image rather
than a fancy picture off the
Internet. The best is to find a really
small texture and to tile it.
91. For the Virtual Memory setting
in Windows (right-click on My
Computer, Properties, Advanced,
Performance Settings, Advanced,
Virtual Memory), make sure the
MIN and MAX are both the same
92. If you search on Google a lot or
Wikipedia, you can do it much
faster on Vista by adding them to
the Vista Start Menu Instant Search
93. If you have a custom built
computer or a PC that was
previously used, make sure to
check the BIOS for optimal settings
such as enabled CPU caches,
correctly set IDE/SATA data
transfer modes, memory timings,
etc. You can also enable Fast/Quick
boot if you have that option.
94. If you have a SCSI drive, make
sure the write cache is enabled.
You can do so by opening the
properties of the SCSI drive in
95. If you have a machine with an
older network card, make sure to
enable the onboard processor for
the network card, which will offload
tasks from the CPU.
96. If you are using Windows Vista,
you can disable the Welcome
Center splash screen that always
pops up.
97. If you already have anti-
spyware software installed, turn off
Windows Defender protection.
98. If you are running a 32-bit
version of Windows and have 4GB
of RAM or more, you can force
Windows to see and use all of the
RAM by enabling PAE.
99. Buy a new computer
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