100 Ways To Speed Up Windows (Part 1)

11/28/2012 5:12:04 PM

Your time is precious. that's why we hate to see windows consume more of it than necessary whether your OS has become increasingly slow, or you just spend too much time doing simple tasks, the following 100 tips and tricks will give your productivity a welcome kick in the pants.

1.    Trim your start-up

One of the biggest causes of a PC slowing down over time is too many programs competing to start when the machine boots. For PC users, every step is plagued by people peddling their wares, regardless of the impact on the user experience, from manufacturers preloading Trialware and bloated software to legitimate software makers who honestly believe their program should open as soon as your computer starts. The result is chaos and can slow your PC to a crawl, but fortunately, it's easy to trim things back.

In Windows 7 you can use Windows Defender to help stay on top of programs. Just go to the St art menu, type msconfig, and open the console. At the top you'll see a tab called Startup. Click it and you'll see all the programs that are scheduled to start when Windows does.

Description: In Windows 7 you can use Windows Defender to help stay on top of programs

In Windows 7 you can use Windows Defender to help stay on top of programs

A lot of these are services for your PC, and eliminating them from startup doesn't always mean smoother running. For example, many PCs will have the HD Audio software startup automatically, which is pretty essential. However, as you scroll down the list, you'll start to see regular offenders.

If you've been suffering a slow boot, you'll know which programs are the most bloated, so uncheck these before pressing Apply. If you don't recognize a program, or its location doesn't show it to be in the Program Files, we recommend you just ignore it altogether.

2.    Lean up your hard drive

Over time your PC will become clogged with unwanted files, and this will cause it to get slower. Just like a race car that's full of unwanted junk, clearing out the rubbish will make a huge difference.

The first thing you can do is go to Start > Accessories > System Tools and go to Disk Cleanup. This checks your PC for unwanted temporary files, which are left behind after programs are installed, as well as your Recycle Bin and other common clutter bugs. It will give an estimate of how much waste you can eliminate. Just click OK to begin the cleanup.

Description: CCleaner

If your PC is really full, you might need a more powerful clutter cutter. CCleaner is a heavy-duty software uninstaller that goes a lot deeper than the system tools. It's available (for free!) at Install the program and enable the option to smartly detect cookies to keep. When the program opens, click the Analyze button to see how much clutter is present you might be in for a surprise.

When you're ready, just click Run Cleaner and watch as CCleaner trims the fat from your computer, leaving it leaner and faster. Run the program every month and your PC will be less susceptible to slowing down over time. There are other free programs that can declutter your system. We've listed five that we like on page 28. They can make a real difference in the speed of your PC.

3.    Streamline your pc

PCs take a lot of abuse, and folks who like to try new software will often leave lots of unwanted applications on their PCs. Removing these is a quick, easy fix that will speed up your PC.

To begin, click Start > Control Panel, then select Uninstall a Program. If you have Windows Vista or Windows 7, then right-click the Name column header, click More, and choose the details you’d like to see about each program. We recommend checking the Name, Size, Installed On, and Last Used On boxes.

Now choose to sort by Date Last Used, and you'll see your applications sorted by when they were last run.

If you have programs that haven't been used in months, then try getting rid of them, or switching to a free download that can be installed when and where you need it. Many programs are now available in the cloud. This means that there's next to no footprint on your PC, and the bulk of storage is contained online. There are cloud versions of Photoshop, Office Word, Excel, and OneNote, which offer stripped-down functionality.

You can also click "Turn Windows features on or off" or “Add/ Remove Windows Computers" to remove Windows applets you're not using, but this generally has less effect. If you never run an applet then it won't slow you down and turning a feature off won't free up much, if any, disk space, either.

4.    Save time with AutoHotkey

Install autohotkey

AutoHotKey (free, is a powerful tool for automating repetitive tasks. Download and install it, then right-click your Desktop or inside any folder and select New > AutoHotKey script. Right-click the resulting .ahk file to edit it. Hope you like plaintext!

Description: autohotkey

Read the Manual

AutoHotKey lets you create keyboard shortcuts, text expansion snippets, and macros, but it has a steep learning curve fortunately a robust tutorial takes you from #space::run (which sets Win + Space to launch in a browser window] to complex conditionals and macro recording.

Get Ambituos

AutoHotKey's scripting language is powerful you can use text expansion to save you typing time, or do something as complex as using one button to screen cap, import to Photoshop, crop, and save. It may take a while to script, but the results will save you lots of time. Check out Maximum PC's 2010 How To for more!

Description: Select which icons and notifications appear on the taskbar

5.    Manage your services

Services are programs designed to work silently in the background on behalf of both Windows and some third-party applications. They're loaded before the Welcome screen appears and run regardless of which user is logged on.

Services cover a wide range of uses and, depending on your computer, not all will be needed. For example, the Windows Update service is essential because it monitors and downloads updates for Windows, but the Bluetooth Support service is only relevant if you have a Bluetooth adaptor installed in your PC.

Having these services running can be a real drain on your PC's performance, but with some nifty tools you can get them under control. One such tool is SMART (bit.Ly/dosSJj), which takes a lot of the risk out of canceling services by telling you which ones are safe to stop.

6.    Take control of your system tray

Perhaps you've wondered about that odd assortment of icons that lives at the far right of your taskbar, in the area commonly known as the system tray or notification area. It's a visual cue of what programs are running in the background, with the notifications letting you know about changes or updates to a program. You can take full control of the system tray so that it contains the information that's most useful to you, thus increasing your efficiency.

To customize the system tray, right-click the taskbar, select Properties, and then click the Customize button in the middle of the screen. Now, for each program decide how and when you want the icon and notifications to be displayed. You can also rearrange which icons appear on the taskbar itself and which ones are only visible when you click the system tray arrow. Just drag and drop to your liking.

7.    Enable preview pane

You can save a lot of time by enabling the preview pane in Windows Explorer. It lets you see the contents of any file without having to actually open the file. Open Windows Explorer (explorer.exe), select Organize, and then Layout. Select Preview pane from the menu. Now, when you click on any file in Explorer you will instantly see its contents in the preview area to the right. You can adjust the size of the preview area by dragging its left-hand border.

Top 10
3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2) - Discharge Smart, Use Smart
3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1) - Charge Smart
OPEL MERIVA : Making a grand entrance
FORD MONDEO 2.0 ECOBOOST : Modern Mondeo
BMW 650i COUPE : Sexy retooling of BMW's 6-series
BMW 120d; M135i - Finely tuned
PHP Tutorials : Storing Images in MySQL with PHP (part 2) - Creating the HTML, Inserting the Image into MySQL
PHP Tutorials : Storing Images in MySQL with PHP (part 1) - Why store binary files in MySQL using PHP?
Java Tutorials : Nested For Loop (part 2) - Program to create a Two-Dimensional Array
Java Tutorials : Nested For Loop (part 1)
- First look: Apple Watch

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 1)

- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 2)

- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 3)
Popular Tags
Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Biztalk Exchange Server Microsoft LynC Server Microsoft Dynamic Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Indesign Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe After Effects Adobe Photoshop Adobe Fireworks Adobe Flash Catalyst Corel Painter X CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 QuarkXPress 8 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 BlackBerry Android Ipad Iphone iOS