Does your pc feel like it is dying? Does it feel slow and sluggish? This guide will walk you through 3 different topics that can help speed your pc up significantly. The 3 topics we will cover are your start up processes, your software drivers, and your anti-virus software. These topics are not required or connected with each other, so feel free to explore the guide at your own speed. This guide certainly does not need to be done all in one sitting, but you can definitely do so.
As always with tech related stuff, your computer is different from our computer which is different from your friend’s computer. We included plenty of pictures, but some stuff just is not the same. We apologize in advance. In addition to this, modifying your computer does carry some risk. Don’t worry, the very first section will cover restore points, which are used to back-up your PC. We highly recommend you do not skip this section.
In this guide, we also have several spots where we recommend certain software. These are safe, secure, and free software that many people use. Some have paid options, but in this guide, we will not go near those. If there is a paid option, feel free to ignore it. In addition, we are not sponsored or paid by any of the software companies here. We are simply recommending what we feel is best.
We are not responsible for any computer or software damages to your PC.
Step 1: Create and Use a Restore Point
When indicated in this guide, it is highly recommended to create a restore point. A restore point is a snapshot in a specific moment for your pc that lets you return to it should something have gone wrong. A majority of issues involved with PC’s can be solved by going back to a restore point, and it is important to have one. Below will be the steps for accessing, creating, and using a restore point.
1) Open the control panel by going to your explorer bar and typing in “control panel”.
2) In this menu, there are multiple display options. You can change the icons to look like the first picture by going to the top right and selecting “Large Icons”. (first picture)
3) While your Recovery Icon may be in a different location, this one in the picture is in the 2nd row and 7th down from the top for reference. Click the Recovery button.
4) A new window (second picture) should pop up. Click the configure option.
5) The System protection option may be turned off by default. This is ok, as several vendors may have done this so they can use their own software. Go ahead and make sure “Turn on system protection” is checked.
6) Below that, you will see a section labeled Disk Space Usage. Depending on your drive size and availability, we recommend you keep this option at 5-10%. Click ok once these settings are enabled.
7) You should be back in the window shown above step 5. Click the “Create” button. Follow the on screen directions and you have successfully created a restore point!
Using a Restore Point
Restore points are used to get your computer back to a state it was working in or where you had something vital but lost it. Do not use restore point if you have current work or saved files that are newly created and you need the files. The restore point may not keep them. We recommend you upload them to a cloud based server (such as google docs) or email them to yourself.
1) Follow number 1-3 in the previous portion to regain the System Restore Window.
2) Instead of clicking configure or create, click “System Restore”.
3) You can choose the point you just created, or if you wish, use the automatic (if enabled) point most recently made. (see third picture)
4) If you had automatic System Restore enabled, you will see a recommended restore. If not, the newest restore point you created is selectable by clicking “choose a different restore point”.
5) A new window will pop up, letting you select the restore points. Depending on how far you wish to go back (based on calendar date), you can check the “show more restore points” box in the bottom left of the window.
6) Select your restore point you wish to use. Hit the blue highlighted next button.
7) Before continuing, know that hitting finish will both reset your computer and bring it back to the state it was in at the creating of the restore point. Any data you had or are currently working on may be gone! Do not continue with this step if it is not necessary.
8) Hit finish and follow any on screen prompts that come up.
Step 2: Clean Up Your Starting Processes
Unfortunately, there are some issues that makes this step harder for some users than others. First off, every pc is different. The software one person has on their computer is not necessarily on another’s computer. Secondly, one person may need a piece of software while another may never use it, thus just clogging their pc.
The first thing you should do before doing any steps further is to create a restore point, done in an earlier step. Make sure to label it correctly. I recommend the description for your Restore Point being “Before deleting bloatware in Windows Guide.”
Secondly, some software you may not know or have even heard of. That’s okay. Some software is useful, some not so much. In the case where you run into unknown software names, you should either Google the software name to check if it is vital, or ignore the software. If something goes wrong, don’t panic. Simply use the restore points covered in the previous step.
1) Create a Restore Point.
2) You need to hold two keys on your keyboard. First, press the windows key and keep it pressed down. This key is between the alt key and the ctrl key in the bottom left of a standard keyboard. While holding down that button, press the x key. A new window will appear. (see first picture)
3) From this window, mouse over and click the Task Manager.
4) Yours may look smaller (see second picture). If so, click the more details button.
5) Click the Startup tab in the top. (see third picture)
6) Your Task Manager programs will very likely be different than ours. We highly recommend you Google any unknown software or ignore them. Don’t worry, we aren’t deleting anything right now. We are just changing what software loads with your computer.
After determining what software you wish to start up with your computer, right click each software you DO NOT wish to start up with your computer and click disable. Once again, if you are unfamiliar with the software or are not comfortable disabling it, Google the software or ignore it. (see fourth picture)
Software to keep:
-Graphics software (Nvidea, AMD)
-Anti-virus software (Norton, Malwarebytes, Kaspersky, etc.)
-When in doubt, google if necessary!
Step 3: Update Your Drivers
Drivers are very important pieces of software for your PC.
Imagine trying to go to the grocery store in your car. You need to drive or have a driver to make your car move. Drivers are similar in the way that they make your hardware work. Something needs to operate your hardware, and it is important that the drivers be the best they can be.
1) Create a restore point.
2) Head to http://www.iobit.com/en/driver-booster.php. (Note: This software does have paid options, but they are 100% NOT NECCESARY).
3) Click the download button. It will redirect you to a site called cnet. Click the Green download now button. Save the file and run the driver_booster_setup.exe.
In this setup, make sure to uncheck “Advanced SystemCare”. Shown in the first picture, it will give you a gift option. Make sure to head to the button left of the screen and click “Give up my gift”.
The software should be installed after this step. Click Run Driver Booster, or go to your desktop, search Driver Booster, and run the program.
4) In your driver booster window, you should see several drivers. (check second picture) You can go ahead and click Update Now in the top right, which will update all your drivers to current version ones.
Please note that depending on how many drivers need updating, what drivers need updating, and your internet connection, you may need to wait a fair bit of time to update all your drivers. Let the driver booster download and install the drivers. Please note that updating drivers may slow or temporarily disable certain functions of your computer. This is normal.
Step 4: Anti-viral and Anti-Malware Installation
Windows has a built in anti-virus software, named Windows Defender, and while it is decent, it is sometimes not enough. There are large debates onto what software should users install on their computer, and no one answer is really correct. A consensus among power users of PCs is that certain anti-viruses, such as Norton Anti-Virus are largely ineffective, while others, such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, are generally strong enough and light enough to get the job done. In this guide, our recommended anti-viral software is going to be Malwarebytes.
1) Download Malwarebytes. You can do this at https://www.malwarebytes.org/downloads/. The first option – the free option – is more than enough for most users. Click download. It will redirect you to another page. Click the blue “download free version” under the “For Home” tab. The mbam-setup.exe will start downloading.
2) Click Run on the exe. Follow the on screen prompts. Once installed, click the Scan Now button (shown in the first picture).
3) Let the software work. Depending on the size of your pc, if it detects threats, and other factors, it may take up to a half hour. Follow any on screen prompts once the scan is done.
Step 5: The Advanced Tricks (Only for Expert Users!)
Caution: We recommend that only users who are proficient with configuring operating system settings make these changes.
If you are not comfortable changing system files, SKIP THIS STEP.
The above 3 topics are very good starter topics, but are not all encompassing of how to speed up your PC. There are still many great ways to change your PC to being quicker. Below are a list of quick and more technical fixes. These are all safe to use, but do require a bit more technical expertise, especially if something does go wrong. Do not use these instructions if you are not comfortable changing system settings or do not know how to.
Topic I) Speeding up (possibly) your internet
Sometimes, depending on your ISP (internet service provider), it is beneficial to change your DNS. Often times, some DNS provided by ISPs may not be optimal to use. While there are a lot of free ones to use that are great, we will be covering Google DNS. Please note that this is a general guide, and may not follow what your system has/uses.
1) Go to the control panel. Click on Network and Sharing Center. On the left, click change adapter settings.
2) Depending on if you are using wifi or Ethernet, choose your adapter. Right click the adapter and click properties.
3) Under the networking tab, select the internet Protocol Version 4. Click properties.
4) Write down your current DNS server on a piece of paper or a word document you will not lose. Under the second section, change preferred DNS server to 188.8.131.52. Change the secondary to 184.108.40.206. Click ok.
Topic B) Speeding up startups in faster computers.
In Windows 10, the designers at Microsoft added many features to make everything faster. One of these features is in the startup. The designers added a feature that made PCs start quicker, but not load all the applications before you were able to use the computer. This causes a delay on higher end computers at the start up if you wish to use applications. To change this option we will be disabling this delay.
1) Press windows key + r.
2) Type in regedit. Hit enter.
3) Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > software > Microsoft > Windows > Current Version > Explorer. From here, find Serialize. If you cannot, right click explorer > go to new > hit key. Name it Serialize.
4) Under this key, right click the white space on the far right, hit new, then hit DWORD. Create a new value named StartupDelayInMSec. Set the value to 0.
Step 6: All Done!
In this guide, we covered just a couple ways to speed up your pc. There are many more, both on the pc and outside, that can speed it up as it slows down over time. Making sure your software is updated, your drivers are up-to-date, and your pc is virus free are the biggest ways to prevent a major slowdown. Other things, like physically cleaning your pc of dust with an aero spray can and giving your pc a good air flow while it is powered on will also help boost your pc’s performance. While we would love to give you more ways to help increase your Window’s performance, this guide is getting fairly big as it is. Thank you all for giving this a read, and we hope you have a fast and swift computer.