Computer processing speed gradually slows down as you use it, this could be as a result of certain factors. In this writeup, I will be sharing some useful tips to improve the speed of your computer.


Basic computer clean up

What slows down our computers are startup items and programs running in the background. The first thing we are going to do is clean up some unused files.


Delete programs you never use:

Sometimes, PCs manufacturers add programs you never ask for or need. If you decide you don’t want them, keeping the software on your computer might slow it down by using some part of your random access memory (RAM), disk space, processor capacity and even using your computer power.

On Windows Operating System, you can delete your unused programs by going to settings and then click on apps

Shortcut: click on Windows symbol and type “add or remove programs” to choose it.


Clean up startup programs:

One reason your PC may feel sluggish is that you may have too many programs running in the background. Programs that you may never use, or only rarely use. Stop them from running, and your PC will run more smoothly.

You can do this by running “Task manager” or use shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Esc. By doing this, you should see a list of programs and services that are currently running on your computer. Some of these programs do actually run even without you starting it yourself, although some of these programs are necessary to run to make your system perform. You should identify the programs you have installed and not currently using. This is to be disabled on startup.

Be careful that you are not stopping a task that is essential for your computer's smooth running. Search the name of the program on Google search to be sure. Also, focus on programs that use more memory or CPU time than normal, windows will highlight these with red color on the Task manager.


Clean out your hard disk

Microsoft Windows integrates a program that can take care of junk on your hard drive. This program is called Disk Cleanup. It is a utility designed to free up disk space on your computer’s hard drive. What it does is search and analyze the hard drive for files that are no longer of any use, and removes the unnecessary files. They are a number of different files that Disk Cleanup targets when performing the initial disk analysis:

  • Old files that can be compressed
  • Temporary Internet files
  • Temporary Windows files
  • Downloaded program files
  • Files in the Recycle Bin
  • Unused applications or optional windows components
  • Setup log files
  • Caches / Offline web pages


computer performance


Clean inside of your computer

The inside of a computer is an area that often gets neglected. Although taking the case off and checking out the components can be a bit technical but trust me, it is worth it. Dust and fluff gradually build up inside your computer over time which can make you think that your computer fan is not working effectively. Here are the steps to do this

  • Remove the computer case
  • Blow away the dust and fluff from the inside of the computer using a soft blower
  • Sweep from the inside towards the outside as you brush
  • Hold the fans still while you sweep through them to ensure they’re well cleaned
  • Blow excess dust of any heatsinks and chips
  • Brush away any remaining dust
  • Replace the case once you’ve finished

Note: this process is a bit technical. If you don't think you can do it, refer to an engineer


Windows Memory Diagnostic

Windows Memory Diagnostic (WMD) is a very good free memory text program developed by Microsoft. Windows Memory Diagnostic is a comprehensive memory test that will locate obscure memory hardware problems.

During this process of diagnostics, your computer will basically test your RAM. But to truly determine if your RAM and the hard drive are working properly you should take this following steps:

  1. Go to the command prompt.
  2. Type “WMC” and click enter
  3. Type “disk drive get status” and click enter

If you get an “ok” status, it means that your disk drive is performing excellently

Another way to check your hard disk is:

  1. Go to the command prompt
  2. Type “CHKDSK E: /F”

This will search for any errors on your hard drive and try to repair them.

Lastly, you can perform your Windows Memory Diagnostic. You do this by easily following these steps:

  1. Click on the Windows symbol on your keyboard and
  2. Type “Windows Memory Diagnostic”

Note that these will prompt you to restart immediately or restart later. Either of which your system will boot into Windows Memory Diagnostic interface and startup checking, and then tell you if anything comes up.


Reformat and Reinstall

This is probably the last thing you want to do if the above tips have failed. This process will remove all of your installed programs and be as fresh as you just bought it. The con is that you need to reinstall your favorite programs again. Before you commence this process, you might want to back up all your files.


Upgrade your RAM

If the amount of random access memory (RAM) your computer needs to run is more than what you have installed, then you have a situation where your operating system does what is called "memory swapping", which means that some of your memory will reside on the hard disk. Since the hard disk is much slower than RAM, this will result in a slowdown of your computer. The solution to this is to upgrade your RAM. Upgrading RAM requires some technical knowledge and is best done by a trained person.


Replace your hard disk drive (HDD)

Sometimes a failing hard drive would be the cause of slow operation of your computer, especially if your memory capacity is limited. This is because some of the memory is swapped to the hard drive and the failing hard drive is very slow to read and write. In this case, the best option is to replace the hard disk drive with a new one.

There is nothing better you can do to make your computer faster than buying new or upgrading your computer components. Of course, this is assuming that the rest of your computer is adequate. But once you do this, there’s no going back. Loading of programs, the boot up of your computer and everything else is faster. Replacing your HDD with a solid state drive (SSD) is the most beautiful choice you can make. An SSD loads your programs three times faster than an HHD.



Femi is a Mobile developer with over 4 years of experience. Femi held the Android developer team lead at kodehauz. Femi is a tech enthusiast which emphasizes his commitment to building mobile apps focused on connecting people, businesses, and communities in Africa. Femi received a B.Tech from Federal University Technology, Akure in 2017, and is an Alumnus of Udacity Nanodegree.