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  • Writer's pictureRightek

Is Your Computer Slow? Five Cheap Tips to Speed Up Your PC

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Is your computer feeling sluggish? Lets change that.

A keyboard mouse and desktop computer with a clear panel showing the inside of the computer.

The number one question people have with their computer is why is my computer so slow? There are a lot of reasons it is slowing down, ranging from age of the PC and demanding new software, to viruses, to hard drive space.

We are going to explore five of the cheapest possible ways to gain back some speed.

1. Ditch Your Old Hard Drive For a Super Fast SSD (Solid State Drive)

Close-up of a hard drive spindle disk.

Older mechanical hard drives just can't stand up to the speed and reliability of flash-based SSD storage. You can think of your old hard drive as an engine in a car. It has moving parts that wear out over time and eventually fail, which is why it is always good practice to keep your files backed up. A standard old-style mechanical disk drive has an average read speed of 100MB/S for a 7200 RPM model.

The newer style Solid State Hard Drives no longer use any moving parts, which help them last considerably longer. Another big advantage (and the point of this post) is the speed of an SSD in comparison to a mechanical drive. The average SSD has a read speed of 500MB/S, which is roughly five times faster than a mechanical hard drive. As far as price is concerned, you can get this upgrade for as little as 30 bucks.

2. Upgrade Your RAM

Close-up shot of a stick of RAM

When people think of PC upgrades, they tend to think of RAM. But why is RAM so important? RAM (Random Access Memory) allows your programs to store and quickly access data while they are in use. When you have a larger cache of RAM, you have more storage for the apps you are using.

If you have ever loaded up a browser and started opening multiple tabs, you may have noticed your computer slowing down. Chances are you RAM resources are being eaten up by all those tabs. It may be time for an upgrade. Today 4GB of RAM would is considered the MINIMUM amount you should have with your PC. If you're looking to just up your overall experience, we recommend at least 8GB of RAM. Do you run heavy applications such as Photoshop or editing software? Are you a gamer? You may even want to consider 16GB.

These days you can get 8GB of RAM for as little as $40. $40 to up your productivity and ease the stress of a slow computer is money well spent.

3. Check Your Computer For Updates

The back of a womans head as she watches a blank white screen monitor.

One of the easiest ways to gain back a little bit of speed is simple, and best of all, free! It is time to update your software and drivers.

This can be an easily overlooked step in gaining back some speed lost over time. But it is one of the easiest ways to reclaim that lost performance. When you upgrade your software, you are often getting a more optimized version of the program that you were running previously. That is important since it can often utilize less resources in your system. The same goes for video card drivers, chipset drivers etc. Those drivers tell your devices like your video card how to perform in harmony with your PC. So if you are behind on those updates, it is time to catch up and reclaim some of that lost speed.

4. Uninstall Unused Software

A progress bar showing the text "uninstalling"

Most people over time tend to accumulate an abundance of programs, junk files, and temporary files that they just don't use. All those installed programs can have a huge effect on how your system performs.

Having a million unused programs installed on your system can slow down your system in a number of ways. You may have startup programs that make you wait longer while your system loads, or have a bunch of stuff running in the background of your system. All those resources are being sucked up from the applications and unnecessary files that can use them. By deleting all the unwanted applications and removing your temporary files, you free up space on your hard drive and reclaim those resources.

If you ever open your activity monitor and notice that your internet browser is using a lot of resources, it may be time to take a look at your browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla's Firefox. Check your browser for unwanted files and such as toolbars or unwanted search bars. Clear out your browser cache, and temporary internet files, and get rid of the extra toolbars to reclaim some internet browser speed.

Antivirus programs are also widely unnecessary these days since Windows comes with a great built-in tool Windows Defender has made huge strides to help protect your PC against malware and malicious programs just as good, if not better than the subscription model third-party programs. All for free.

5. Limit Your Startup Applications

An animated computer monitor with a loading screen.

Do you never turn your system off because it takes forever to load back up? Maybe it is time to check out your startup tab and reclaim some processing power on start-up. There is a good possibility you have a bunch of unnecessary programs loading at startup that can seriously affect your boot times.

A nice and easy way to gain back a little bit of speed is to check the programs running at startup. With Windows 10 and up, the easiest way to do this is to go to Settings > Apps > Startup and select the programs you no longer want starting along with Windows. Windows will even give you a rundown of the impact those apps may have on your system's hardware. And best of all, it is easy and free!

In Summary

When it comes to the world of computers, there are a lot of options with upgrades. These are a few of the cheapest possible ways to squeeze a little more life out of your system. From SSD Hard Drives to freeing up your systems resources by uninstalling unwanted applications, there are many ways to tackle a sluggish PC.

If you have tried everything and just haven't been able to get some speed back to your system, it may be time to talk to a professional about your options.

Do you have any tips that you use to squeeze out some extra performance on your slow computer? We would love to hear them!


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