5 Tips to Speed Up an Old PC

You might have an older personal computer that you still like using. Even if your PC is still in good working order, there's a decent chance that it could be running slower than it did when you first got it - especially if you've had it awhile.

For example, you might notice that it takes your computer longer to open files. Furthermore, you might find that your Internet browser seems slow and unresponsive. Luckily, there are some hacks that can increase the speed and responsiveness of an older PC.

1. Delete Old Files and Optimize the Hard Drive

When a hard drive is nearly full, it will dramatically slow down the speed of a computer. That's because the more files that are on a hard disk, the more time it will take to search those files and select the one that you want to open. Therefore, you can often speed up your PC by deleting old files you no longer need. Furthermore, you can also optimize the performance of your computer's hard drive by performing a disk defragmentation. Here are the steps to perform a disk defrag on a Windows-based PC: 

  • Click on the search bar.
  • Type "File Explorer" in the search bar.
  • Select the 'File Explorer' program.
  • Righ-click on the hard drive and select 'Properties.'
  • Select 'Optimize' under the 'Optimize and Defragment Drive.'

Depending on how long its been since the last hard drive defragmentation, it could take a few hours.

2. Speed Up the Start Up

If your computer seems like it takes a long time to fully load after powering it on, you might have too many programs trying to start up - which slows down your PC. Therefore, you should disable non-essential programs from starting up when you turn on your computer. Just type 'startup' in the search bar and click on the option called, 'Startup Apps.' Then browse through your programs, find all non-essential apps, and make sure they are turned off at startup. If you are unsure whether an app is essential or not, look it up online.

3. Download a Faster Internet Browser

A slow and clunky internet browser will often make your computer feel very unresponsive and sluggish. Therefore, you should be browsing the Internet with a faster browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

4. Use Leaner, Faster Software

Commercial software is usually bloated and slower - which slows down the speed of your computer. Therefore, in addition to using a faster internet browser, you should replace slower programs with faster ones. For example, open-source software apps are typically leaner, faster, and more responsive. Furthermore, it's free and usually very well tested by the programmers who help create it. You can search online for open-source software programs to replace any commercial programs that could be slowing down your PC.

5. Scan Your PC for Viruses and Spyware to Remove

Finally, viruses and spyware can do a number on a computer. Even if they don't cause your PC to crash, they can still substantially slow down its speed and performance. If your computer has internet security software - which it should - make sure the software is up-to-date. Then, perform a full system scan to see if any viruses or spyware could be slowing down your machine. In fact, you should be scanning your device for harmful malware each day.

In short, if you want to speed up the performance of an older computer, make sure that you aren't storing too many files on the hard drive. Furthermore, you should run a disk defragmentation on the hard drive. Make sure you turn off any unnecessary programs to speed up the start up process. If your internet browser seems sluggish, replace it with a faster one. Also, try using as much open-source software as you can since it's usually faster than commercial software. Lastly, scan your PC for any viruses and malware that could be slowing it down.