Sunday, January 31, 2016

How To Make Your Old Computer Fast Again

Anyone with a computer always has a problem with their PC slowing down over time.. In this blog, I will be talking about what it takes to speed up your PC. So let's start!

                                                Why Does a Computer Slow Down?

When you first purchase/receive a new computer, it is running at its optimal speed. However, that PC doesn't stay that fast for too long, but why? Two things, physical or software problems. Meaning, your computer could be slowing down due to a build up of dust on your vents or it could be a problem in the software such as a virus or a build up of junk files that your computer stores over time, but doesn't always delete automatically. There are other reasons that it could be becoming slow, but we will be talking about the most common reasons today. Either way, you will almost always be able to speed it up and very easily.

                                                       Cleaning Up The Software

The software is the part of the computer that can almost always be repaired without needing to wipe your computer and start clean. If you are running on a Windows operating system, it will be much easier for you to do this. Windows provides pre-installed programs on all of their machines to assist in this process, Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter being two of the most popular. The disk cleanup cleans out all of your old, unused, built-up files that your operating system is no longer using. I highly recommended starting with the disk cleanup first, you will understand why soon.
        So go to your Windows button and search for disk cleanup on your PC. As it opens, it will search for all files that can be cleaned out from your computer to make space for other stuff. After the loading bar is finished, under the "Files to Delete", check off all of the boxes in the list. You won't need to worry about losing any important info in this section. After you have checked them, click on "Clean up system files". In this section, go ahead and check off all of the boxes again, except for one box, "Previous Windows Installations". Leave this one alone. Your previous windows installations are any old operating system backups on your PC. If you know FOR SURE that you will not be reverting back to an older operating system, then go ahead and remove it. (Hint: this is not your current windows backup. It is a copy of your previous operating system if you upgraded for example from Windows 7 to Windows 10)  To remove your selected files, just click OK at the bottom left. You're all done with Disk Cleanup.
         Now go to the Windows search and find Disk Deframenter. This program doesn't delete any files, but rather moves them around. It rearranges the files in a way that allows Windows to access them quicker and easier, so for example, it might move around a file from a program, so now that program will start quicker or run a little smoother.(It does not move any personal files so you do not need to worry about not being able to find your files after) If you are unsure of what the deframenter looks like, take a look at the picture of the colorful blocks below. That is the icon that you will see when you search for it. When you have opened it, hold Ctrl on your keyboard while selecting each drive that is listed in the panel. Just hold down the key and click on each one listed. You should see all of them highlighted. Go ahead and click on optimize drives and it will do it's thing.

You have successfully cleaned out your operating system! Doing this allows your computer to use its storage, memory, and central processor to it's highest potential. Your computer will be running noticeably quicker now, but is there more you can do speedup/maintain your computer? Of course! Let's remove all of that wonderful dust that has built up over time and could be clogging up an important part to your computer! Let's go!

                                                              Cleaning Out The Dust

        Before you start, remember to completely shutdown your computer. If you have a laptop, shut down your computer and remove the battery from the rear and if you have a desktop, remove all of the cables from the back of the computer. If you are uncomfortable doing this as you may not remember where each goes, just pull out the power cable from the back to prevent it from turning on during the cleaning. The power cable is usually the thickest cable and it is always plugged into a port that appears distant from the rest. You may also see a fan or a switch next to it. This is all part of the power supply to the whole computer, so if you see those, you are in the right place. After you have done so, look at your manual to determine how your computer opens up. If you do not have it, don't worry. Almost every computer opens up the same. If you have a newer desktop computer, one of the side panels will come off, usually held on by one or two screws. If it is older, there may a little trick to opening them up, possibly a release button. If you have a laptop, it will most likely open from the underside. So go ahead and flip it over. You will likely see a bunch of screws holding down one large panel, possibly multiple separate panels. Go ahead and remove the panel(s) Now that you have opened up your PC, you can see if your computer has a large dust buildup. The best way to remove the dust is by using a high powered vacuum. Go ahead and remove as much as you possibly can from the vents, fans, PC components, motherboard, etc. (Be aware that if you have any loose parts inside your computer, you risk vacuuming them up. So please, tip you computer a little bit and listen for any loose parts. There should not be anything that is loose, but if there happens to be a stray cable that is not connected to anything on either ends, go ahead and take it out before you start) If you have trouble removing some dust, try reversing the vacuum and attempt to blow it out instead. (Do not blow into any external ports on your computer. This may cause the dust to stick deeper inside, causing connection issues for any future devices you may plug into it) It may also be wise to do this outside as it might fill the air with dust. After you have done all of this, you're done! Your computer will most likely be noticeably quieter and faster.

        You have successfully maintained your PC! It should be running like a charm now. But what if you have a virus? Could it be slowing down your computer? Check out my next blog to read all about how to remove it and prevent them in the future.


  1. This was very informative! I will try this on my computer

  2. Thanks sawyer for the tips, my moms employee always complains about her pc being slow, hopefully this will help

  3. yea, i really appreciate this information because my computer is super slow. thanks bro!

    1. Especially if you have an older Windows computer, it is always good to give it a good cleaning as well as clearing off any viruses you may have. Over time, Windows builds up quite a lot of junk that slows you computer down in ways that you couldn't imagine. You may also consider the possibility of an antivirus on your PC. My most recent post is all about how to know if you have a virus and how to remove them. Some of my recommended free antiviruses provide a free clean up tool as well as virus protection, so I would definitely recommend you give one a shot and let me know how your performance differs if you decide to try it out.