There are times when the windows system takes a great deal of time to run to the maximum potential and we become frustrated with that. The hopes of getting the our job done becomes so time consuming and often misses the time limits. The system is not giving a good performance even though the processor speed is better. It is essential that we put our systems in full potential to meet the system requirements. These are some tips on how to improve the system performance to increase the efficiency of the Windows Operating System.
I) How to Improve Startup Times and Speed:
When Windows starts up, it loads a number of programs that were already installed in your computer which causes a huge performance decrease. Some of these programs can be seen in your System Tray (seen next to the clock). These are tiny programs that are taking your computers memory and processing power. Many of them you may not need during startup and the list continues to increase as we install more and more programs. The disadvantage is that the computer runs very slow as these programs consume more processing power and memory and delays windows startup. You can improve your computer's startup times by decreasing the number of programs that startup. This will be done be disabling certain programs from running as windows starts up. Do these simple steps to improve the startup time.
How to do:
In Windows XP:
1. Click on Start -> choose Run
2. In the dialog box that appears type "msconfig" and click OK. (This will bring up System Configuration Utility.)
3. In the System Configuration Utility, click the tab called Startup.
4. Now you can uncheck any programs that you do not want running at Windows XP startup.
5. Once you are done unchecking programs, Click Ok. You will be prompted to restart your computer at this point.
In Windows Vista:
1. Open up msconfig (use Vista Start Menu's Instant Search feature: just press the Windows key and type 'System' and the hit return).
2. Click the Startup tab.
3. Now you can uncheck any programs that you do not want running at Windows Vista startup and hit OK. Do restart if necessary.
After you reboot, you see a window that says the configuration utility was edited which means there was a change made to the msconfig. Check not to show that in the future by the check box at the bottom. Now notice the difference in speed when you startup your computer.
2) Disk Cleanup:
Performing a disk cleanup regularly is a good idea. Whenever you surf the internet, open attachments, delete files, and work with programs and files, your computer saves a record of your activity. Many of these files are harmless and individually are very small. But if you spend a lot of time on your computer, they will take up enough space to slow your computer down a bit. Disk Cleanup is a Windows utility that helps keep unused and unwanted files from taking up extra storage space on your computer.
How to do:
To perform a disc cleanup, click on the Start button on the bottom left of your computer screen, then Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disc Cleanup. A small dialog box will pop up allowing you to select the files to delete (most files are OK to delete, but if you are unsure, it is best not to select the file). Then click OK, and the unused files will be removed. Depending on how much you use your computer, you can perform a disk cleanup every few weeks to keep your computer running smoothly.
Alternatively you can also empty the Temp Directory and remove the Temporary Internet files
a) Emptying the Temp Directory:
After a while during working, the temp directory fills up with hundreds of temp files that gets collected when Windows starts up and when programs launch. This slows down the speed of the system and the programs running. If you don’t have any programs opened or nothing is minimized in the status bar, then you shouldn’t have any temp files in your temp directory. If you do have them, then delete them.
How to do:
To delete Temp files, make sure no programs are open:
a. In Windows 95, 98 or Me, go to C:Windows..Temp and delete everything inside the Temp folder.
b. In Windows 2000 or XP, first make sure that you can see hidden folders. Then double click My Computer, click on the Tools and then on Folder Options. Click on the View tab. Scroll down and click on Show Hidden Files and Folders. Click Ok. Now you can go to the C:Documents and Settings..Administrator or User..Local Settings..Temp folder. Delete everything inside the Temp folder.
b) Remove the Temporary Internet Files regularly:
When you browse the internet a lot of temporary internet files gets stored in the internet folder along with the cookies.
How to do:
To remove Temporary Internet Files, go to your Control Panel and double-click the Internet Options icon. Choose the button Delete Cookies and Delete Files. This will clear all of your Temporary Internet Files.
3) Checking hard disks for any problems:
While you install and uninstall programs, some file system damage might occur. It is possible to repair and fix file system errors by scanning the system.
How to do:
a. For Windows 95, 98, or Me, double-click My Computer. Right-click the C-drive and click on Properties. Click on the Tools tab and choose to check the computer for problems. If you choose to do a thorough scan, this will do the hardware check for physical disk damage or sector damage. Choose to fix any errors it finds.
b. For Windows 2000 and XP, double-click My Computer. Right-click the C-drive and click Properties. Click on the Tools tab and choose Check Now, to check the computer for problems. You will then have two check boxes. The first option is for the file check, automatically fix file system errors. The second option is for the hardware check, scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. Check either one, or both and click start, and reboot. This may take some time, but let it run.
4) Tweak up your System:
You can do a few of the performance tweaks if you have Windows XP. Everything is turned on by default in Windows XP. It is streamlined for appearance rather than for performance. You can turn off a few of the unnecessary features and Windows will still work just fine, and maybe a little faster.
How to do:
For this, right-click on My Computer and click on Properties. Click on the Advanced tab. Under the Performance section, click on the Settings button. On the Visual Effects tab, you will see a list of check boxes. By default, these are all on. You really don’t need any of them for Windows to run. Go through the check boxes one by one, and determine which ones you can and can’t live without.
5) Turn off Active Desktop:
Active Desktop turns your desktop into a web page, and allows you to have things like a real-time calendar, and up-to-the-minute weather or stocks. These are nice, but it really slows down your computer. Even if you do not use Active Desktop for anything, just having it active can cause a performance decrease. So turn it off.
How to do:
In Windows XP, right-click on the desktop and in the pop-up menu, choose Properties. On the Desktop tab, choose Customize Desktop. Then on the Web tab make sure that there are no websites chosen here. If there are not any, then Active Desktop is not on, then Cancel and go back to the desktop.
6) Install and run a good AntiVirus program:
Computer viruses spread fast throughout the world by installed programs and files, inserting removable disc drives, and via the internet that can take over your system, slows the system and also crash it. To keep viruses out of your system, use a good AntiVirus program. There are good AntiVirus programs available online. One of my favorites is Avast. It is not only a really good AntiVirus program, but it is also free! You need to register for a yearly subscription.
How to do:
Install Antivirus Software: If you don’t have any AntiVirus software on your computer, get Avast AntiVirus now by downloading from www.filehippo.com.
7) Get rid of Adware and Spyware:
Most of the computers have Adware and Spyware in them while installing programs, downloading unauthorized softwares or files, or visiting unfamilier websites. How frustrating it can be - when strange things are happening, your homepage is changing, inappropriate popups, unfamiliar icons... etc. If your computer has been taking you to websites that you don’t want to go to, or if you get pop-ups when you aren’t even on the Internet, or if your computer has been running extremely slowly lately for no reason, you probably have Spyware. A lot of the computer users have them and don’t even know that they have it or know how to get rid of it.
How to do:
Install AntiSpyware programs: AdAware SE and SpyBot are the most used. These two programs are highly recommended by computer authorities and work very well together. They compliment each other and catch Spyware that the other misses, but together, do a very good job. Download them from www.filehippo.com.
8) Defragment the hard drives:
Another way to improve the performance of your computer is to defragment your hard drive. Basically, defragmenting is putting files back where they belong. With the files in the proper order, your computer will run more efficiently. It's simple to do but it could take a while and it is best not to use your computer while defragmenting.
Periodically defragmenting your computer will keep it running smoothly! To efficiently defragment a hard drive there must be 25% of free space. You can still do defragmentation with only 15% free space, but it takes quite a bit longer. If you can, delete any unnecessary files before defragmenting your drives.
How to do:
To defragment your hard drives (in any Windows operating system), double-click on My Computer. Right-click on the c-drive and click on Properties. Click on the Tools tab and choose the button, Defragment Now...
9) Uninstalling Old & Unused Programs
Uninstall old and unused programs will help speed up your computer. It is better be careful while uninstalling because while uninstalling, you get a message for confirmation on deleting files with association. In that case it is best to keep those files that are used by some other programs and not delete them as those programs may no longer work without the associated files.
How to do:
To uninstall unused programs from your computer, first click on the Start button on the bottom left, then Programs, go to the name of the program and select Uninstall. If there is no uninstall option, then click go to the Start button, then Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs and uninstal the program that you wish.
Again, if you are unsure whether or not to remove a program, it is better to leave it.
If you follow these instructions, you should find your computer working faster right away.