3 quick tips to soup up your older Windows PC

| January 28, 2013 | 0 Comments


In these times of austerity, we’re all feeling the pinch. If we take a long hard look at ways to tighten our belts, keeping big purchases to a minimum, and otherwise save money your eye may fall on the old family (or business!) computer. If your PC is a few years old, you might find that it’s started to slow down a lot – perhaps it’s time for a spring clean! Here are three quick tips to speed up your PC from Damian McMillan at Jaytag Computer.

Remove unneeded and junk software

Most of us install programs as we go along – one piece of software to read PDF files, another to edit a photograph etc. We also install software for printers, cameras and mobile phones. Keeping these installed when they aren’t in use can slow down your PC, and take up hard drive space. Here is how to remove them:

  1. Click start, and click into Control Panel
  2. Find the Uninstall a program option in the Programs and Features section
  3. The Uninstall or Change a Program window will appear
  4. On newer versions of Windows (Windows Vista and newer) there is a useful column – Installed On. Clicking this column lets you see which software is oldest, and might not be needed any more.
  5. Go through the list, and remove any software you think you won’t need. Prime candidates are software for old mobile phones or printers. You can also remove any games, or perhaps toolbars and browser plugins.
  6. Once you are happy all of the unneeded software is removed, restart your computer and enjoy the extra hard drive space and small boost of speed.

Get rid of unwanted startup programs

Microsoft Windows has a hidden utility that you can use to stop programs running when your computer boots up. You can access it like this:

  1. Click on the start button and typing msconfig.
  2. The program will open, and you will see a list of hidden system services and programs.
  3. Look at the ‘Startup‘ tab. This shows all of the pieces of software that start when your computer does.
  4. Untick the boxes of the unneeded programs, and they will be stopped from starting.
  5. When you are done, click OK, restart your computer.

A word of caution – be careful which programs you choose (we’d recommend disabling them one at a time) as some programs update themselves using startup programs, and some printers use startup software to allow extra functions, like ‘one-touch scanning’.

You can always run msconfig again and enable the unticked program if you find that you’ve turned off one too many.

Turn of Visual Effects

Not everyone needs a fancy looking desktop, and turning off visual effects like animated windows and smooth scrolling can slow an older PC down quite a lot. You can turn off the visual effects like this:

  1. Click start, and click into Control Panel
  2. Find the System control panel in the System and Security section
  3. The System options window will appear
  4. In this window, click Advanced System Settings
  5. Click into the Advanced tab
  6. In the Performance section, click Settings
  7. The Performance Options window will appear.
  8. In the Visual Effects tab, disable the features that you do not need – or to turn off all the visual effects, click Adjust for best performance
  9. Then, click OK, and close the System and Control panel windows

Of course, not everyone has time (or the inclination!) to go through these steps – this is where Jaytag Computer can help. Damian and his team help local businesses and home workers with their IT problems, big and small. If you are pulling your hair out over a slow PC, perhaps it’s time to give them a call on their free helpline – 0800 7879 258.

They’re open every day from 8am to 8pm. For more information, visit www.jaytag.co.uk.

Damian McMillan – a local biography

Damian McMillan is an SE19 local – he grew up in Beckenham, Penge (with many years in Maple Road) and Anerley, finally settling in Upper Norwood. He’s worked with local people in need of computer help since 2001 – he knows his way around Church Road and Gipsy Hill! Since 2007, Damian has been Director of Jaytag Computer, a local business with their main office in Tulse Hill. Working closely with local companies like Gales the estate agents, and Roseberys the Auctioneers, he and his team keep your IT systems working without the cost of a big-city-firm support contract. So if you need computer support in Crystal Palace give them a call!

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Category: Sci Tech

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