My computer is slow - what can I do to speed it up?

38 replies
My desktop computer was purchased in 2006, and it uses Windows XP. Recently, I've noticed that it takes a long time to load various websites. I've read that I should use a registry cleaner. What kind do you recommend? Please only recommend if you have used it. Thanks for your help.
#computer #slow #speed
  • Profile picture of the author NeverStop
    I recommend CCleaner - PC Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download

    I use it when my pc starts to huff and puff.

    Also, check to make sure you have plenty of free disk space and remove any unnecessary files.

    You might need to defragment your hard drive as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author DWaters
    I use the free cleaner from iObit dot com on my personal computer. They also have a dfreag tool that I use. I have a company computer that has CC cleaner on it. Removing any excess files or applications can make a big difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author AgentHomes
    If you have the original XP disks, then the best thing to do would be to backup your hard drive then reinstall your entire operating system.

    Mind you your probably better off upgrading a 2006 system to a cheap new one.
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    • Profile picture of the author BloggingPro
      Originally Posted by AgentHomes View Post

      If you have the original XP disks, then the best thing to do would be to backup your hard drive then reinstall your entire operating system.

      Mind you your probably better off upgrading a 2006 system to a cheap new one.
      I agree with this. Simply back up all of your important files and then re-install windows. Start with a clean slate, and your 2006 machines will boot up just as fast as it did when you bought it.

      That said, if you are looking to get a new machine, and already have XP discs, you can easily shop on newegg for components to build a new machine.

      My current machines was built for just $250, and I kept my old hard drive to boot! If you are worried about building your own computer, try and find a local guy who will do it for $25, or as I always request, a case of beer!

      BP
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  • Profile picture of the author Kim Phoenix
    Thanks for the tips. I will look into these right away. I also have two kids that use this computer. One kid is always downloading trial software, etc. I think we sometimes forget to remove those programs afterwards. That is why I don't allow them to use my laptop.
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  • Profile picture of the author GlobalTrader
    I wholeheartedly endorse CCleaner - I run it almost 2-3 times a week - way too much crap accumulates.

    Recently my almost 5 year old PC was still running slow even after using both cleaners within CCleaner so I downloaded the free trial version of Malwarebytes software. It gives you 7 or 10 days and even though I have Norton 360 on my PC it found 2 trojans that had slipped through within the past month. I am thinking about purchasing a license for it now but am also thinking of upgrading to a new PC so I have not made up my mind.

    Here is a non-affiliate link to Malwarebytes website - if your children are downloading a lot of stuff then it is quite possible you may have picked up a bad bit of software along the way - (I would suggest doing the FULL scan - it will take several hours depending upon the size of your harddrive but better to be safe - you can continue to work on the PC while it is running) -

    Malwarebytes : Free anti-malware download
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  • Profile picture of the author WFs
    CCleaner is definitely the way to go. Also download Malware Bytes to scan for virusus/malware.
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  • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
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    Hi Kim,

    Reformatting your hard drive requires re-installation of our programs. Before you do that, why don't you try these helpful tips first?


    If those 6 steps aren't enough, try any or all of these 99 steps.


    Reformatting the hard drive isn't the 'first aid' to a sick computer.


    Originally Posted by Kim Phoenix View Post

    My desktop computer was purchased in 2006, and it uses Windows XP. Recently, I've noticed that it takes a long time to load various websites. I've read that I should use a registry cleaner. What kind do you recommend? Please only recommend if you have used it. Thanks for your help.
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  • Profile picture of the author gary lee
    I don't want to sound like a jerk but jeese, get a new computer. A worker in any field needs a good set of tools to perform his job and the computer is one of the most important tools to anybody wanting to make money on the internet. I know that staples always has cheap deals and not only will you get a new computer but I have a feeling you will like windows 7 a lot better than xp. Good luck with your new tool.
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  • Profile picture of the author mojojuju
    If I were you I would download more ram. (not an affiliate link)
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    • Profile picture of the author MP80
      Originally Posted by mojojuju View Post

      If I were you I would download more ram. (not an affiliate link)
      LOL, I was thinking 'What the..?', before I saw this:

      This whole website is a joke hope it made you laugh
      Anyway, to address your OP:

      The short answer is to buy a new computer (faster microprocessor, more RAM, sleeker operating system.) The biggest problem with running an older operating system like XP is that it cannot be secured properly. Patches are provided for problems with the software (when you download updates) until it becomes impractical, and is surpassed by a newer, improved (and more secure) version. Like most things, computers and software evolve everyday.

      I use windows7 and IE9, and they are far superior, and faster, than any previous windows software. Especially Internet Explorer, which used to be really cumbersome, even just one or two versions ago.

      If you are determined to keep XP though, along with the computer that you already have, I would:

      1) Run CCleaner regularly.

      2) Defrag your HardDrive? (I have never experienced this as being necessary since the 'bad old days', but it can't hurt.)

      3) Check your motherboard to see if it can take more RAM. If so, this will definitely speed up your system.

      4) Check your internet speed, and perhaps upgrade your plan.

      5) Run your antivirus in safe mode, and make sure that your PC is clean. I only use, and highly recommend, Norton 360, but Kapersky is also highly rated, and Malwarebytes goes without saying.

      6) Make sure your operating system, and all of your software is legitimate, and has the latest updates. Once again, Norton should be used to check every file before you install it, and it will tell you if it is dodgy or not (it also checks for how widely it is used throughout the community.)

      If your kids are downloading software all of the time, get it at CNET if you can, so you always know what you are getting. Also, be careful to tick/untick all the right boxes when you install, because some programs are bundled with unnecessary add-ons. (They can be really sneaky at doing this!)

      7) Possibly re-install your operating system.. but, remember, you will then need to re-download all of your security patches/updates. I have experienced problems with this before; it doesn't always go smoothly because the older versions aren't well-supported.

      8) Using the startup feature on CCleaner, disable any unwanted programs that start automatically when you boot your computer. Then disable any unwanted internet explorer add-ons, and scheduled tasks, in the same way. This will speed up your computer start-up time, and your connection when you go on the net, because all of your programs won't be trying to start/access the net at the same time!

      You may need to disable some add-ons, such as 'adobe shockwave flash object', via your 'manage add-ons' menu in Internet Explorer (TOOLS->Manage Add-Ons.) This will stop most videos (and annoying ads) from starting/downloading automatically, and speed up your internet connection.

      CCleaner can also be used to securely shred documents and files, safely (/completely) uninstall programs, and clean your registry, so I can't recommend it highly enough.
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    • Profile picture of the author MNext
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      Originally Posted by mojojuju View Post

      If I were you I would download more ram. (not an affiliate link)
      MY download is in process, and ti looks really good, Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author koreancowboy
    Get a Mac.

    I'm blown away at how many mainstream IMers use (old) PCs. You may not realise this, but every time your computer lags/slow to boot up/crashes, that's less time that you have to spend on building your IM business, and more frustration in your life.

    Low on funds? No sweat, get a pre-owned one on eBay. Heck, you can even get a Mac mini and keep your monitor! Although I would strongly recommend the wired keyboard and Magic Trackpad.

    I can recommend this because that's what I have! More specifically:

    11" MacBook Air
    22" Hanns-G Monitor (for dual monitoring...also recommend this)
    Mac mini (2008)
    21.5" iMac

    I do have a couple of PC laptops, but I use one to play games on Steam, and the other one...is just because.

    Get a Mac. Get more done. Make more money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nosense
    Had the same problem once, it turned out to be the anti Virus software that had a big update, that didn't work will with that old os.
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  • Profile picture of the author kateigennie
    You can install TuneUp utility , it will automatically fix your issue or you can do it manually fix or clean up you system with the help of One Click maintenance Utility inbuilt in TuneUp.
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    • Profile picture of the author DJL
      I run CCleaner at the end of every day. It typically deletes half a gigabyte of temporary files!
      I also highly recommend iolo System Mechanic Pro for antivirus and antimalware protection. It also has utilities for defragging and other maintenance chores. A single license allows you to install it on every computer you own.
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      • Profile picture of the author cashp0wer
        I use CCleaner once per week. I also run Malwarebytes once per week. A computer this old could have many problems. Do you have virus protection? Do you check for spyware regularly? Do you clean out your files (CCleaner) - I've been in IT for most of my career. You don't say how much memory you have. Adding more memory could help. I would stay away from registry cleaners if you don't know what you are doing. If it was my computer and I had the setup disc that came with it I would make sure I had everything backed up and completely reformat the hard drive. This will fix any problem you are having and you can start over.
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        • Profile picture of the author Joey Evans
          In this order:

          1. Use malware remover (for kids stuff)
          2. Re-format to clean everything up.
          3. 1Gb of RAM extra (needed to support internet these days)
          4. New computer (yey!)
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          • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
            I have used Malwarebytes and liked the program. It was recommend to me by Microsoft after a Trojan horse was downloaded on my computer.

            Here are some other tips that help

            If you have pictures taking up a lot of space. See if you can put them on a Memory stick or Burn them to a CD. Removing images will free up a lot of space.

            Also consider adding new memory to the computer. In the past at work we have added memory to each computer and they run faster afterwords.

            Remove the trial downloads your children are installing that can tie up space. Also remove any games they no longer play, both downloads and games slow up computers.
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  • Profile picture of the author chiefman
    Buy a Mac.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cpawhiz
    A Big Mac maybe but leave the rotten apple out of this, Just go down to Foot Locker and get a pair of Air Jordans, did a lot for my computer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Manoko
    As far as I know, most of the problems come from the hard drive.
    Try defragmenting it, but before doing that make sure that nothing useless is installed.
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  • Profile picture of the author KeithSneed
    I would say most people will update computers every 3 years or so. Personally, after getting used to Windows 7, I'd hate to go back to XP, but that's just me.

    Anyway, if that's not an option you can do as others have suggested with defragmenting software. What I did to my old computer (eventually had to upgrade when the battery was set to explode...) was wipe the entire thing. I saved everything on a 500GB external drive, then did a full format of the drive. It was running on Vista, so I did a clean install of Windows 7 to upgrade it. It was a huge improvement since I had Vista 32 bit to start with and upgraded to Windows 64 bit. The 32 bit limited me to use only 2GB of my 4GB of RAM. I instantly noticed the difference.

    All that to say, if you have the money, a computer upgrade would be ideal. If you don't, try defragmenting, or format your drive and start fresh. (You'll want to make sure you have your backup discs)

    If you're in the market, I found the laptop I just bought this March on Amazon for around $350. It's not too heavy, 6 hours of battery life, and even powerful enough for some decent video games. (ASUS A53Z-EH61)
    If you'd rather get a desktop, you can build (or have built) a very nice desktop for $200-$300.

    Hope this helps, and good luck!
    Keith
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  • Profile picture of the author therichb
    Defragmentation, regular cleanup of cookies, Temp files, proper shut down & startup, regular scan of system with a licenses AntiVirus helps a lot in saving any problems coming in your way.

    I do more better about choosing a license & then going to verified links only, which keeps me away from bad cookies & trojan attacks...
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
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    My computer is slow - what can I do to speed it up?
    I stuck rocket boosters on the back of mine and then painted flames on the side. Now it's blazing. Literally.
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  • Profile picture of the author superkelv
    Simple answer, that always works for me is just delete your history.

    You could also delete your temporary files cookies etc, but most anti-virus software has this option when you run a full scan.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kim Phoenix
      Hey, thanks for all the responses. I did have more RAM added to it not that long ago. I actually only use this PC desktop computer as my secondary computer, so fortunately, I don't waste too much time on it. I just noticed that it was running slowly lately, so I'm going to look into the ideas you all mentioned. My main "tool" (as someone mentioned above) is my laptop, which runs Windows 7. I also agree that it's better than XP. I prefer the laptop as I don't have to be stuck in one location to work all the time. I would definitely like to go the Mac way, possibly when my laptop needs replacement. Thanks again!
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  • Profile picture of the author stratocaster
    You can follow some suggestion to speed up your Win-XP PC on How to Dramatically Speed up Windows XP: 15 steps - wikiHow
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  • Profile picture of the author yukyo
    I have a two year old Dell Latitude E6410 laptop. For the past couple of months, the battery has begun to seriously deteriorate in performance... If the laptop is switched off with full power, by the time I boot, only 5 minutes is now available before it turns off...
    Hence, I am looking at replacing the battery,like: scontobatteria.com/dell-latitude-e6410.html The following are my doubts The laptop was purchased in the US. Will there be any difficulty getting replacement battery here?
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  • Profile picture of the author fixie
    I usually just re-install windows every 6 months and keep all handy programs on external hard drive for later easier installation. Don't go for the newest, go for the best. I still use xp for all my needs.
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  • Profile picture of the author michaelbay123
    It has something to do with RAM modules.However, there another option you can do temporarily.Open up task manager and kill the unwanted program that consumed a lot of memory.
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  • Profile picture of the author centurion81
    CCleaner is a must, plus there is free version that's updated all the time.

    Depending on your OS you may want to defrag regularly too.

    Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author Xneaker
    I suggest you to add more RAM. Double your ram and feel the difference . Also, I use this on my computer: CCleaner, malwarebytes, system mechanics. Hope this help
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  • Profile picture of the author faisalmaximus
    I personally depend on Ccleaner & Glary Utilities.
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  • Profile picture of the author Auggie Tsai
    Make it a habit to back up your important files and plan on formatting your computer at least once a year or, don't let the kids use the computer. I have a workstation at home for everyone to use but I keep a laptop for myself. Because I have kids, too, I know junk gets loaded on the workstation so I just plan on wiping it out annually.
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    • Profile picture of the author Thrasher66099
      For anyone that isn't aware it's good practice to reformat (backup your data and reinstall your operating system) every 6 months. If you are very good at other computer maintenance (bidaily hd defragging, registry cleaner, adware remover, nightly virus scans) then you can switch that amount of time to 1 year, but you should absolutely reinstall every year.

      Every time you install something on your computer it gets stored somewhere in memory. Eventually you'll uninstall things. When this happens the next time you install something it will start to store data in the first open position it can find. This means part of the files could be saved where that old app was deleted and part could be stored in some other open spot. This is called disk fragmentation. No matter how much defragging you do you're going to continually see worse and worse performance from your computer until you completely wipe it and start out fresh.

      Also don't get a mac. They are a waste of money. They still aren't supported by many mainstream apps out there or the apps are very buggy when run on a mac. They are also hugely overpriced. My current office has a mac because we make video games and needed a mac to port our current game to iphone and ipad. The mac cost us $3200 and to get a pc with the same specs cost us just under $900....

      Apple is a ripoff because they purposely create their machines in a proprietary way so no one else can interface with their hardware and they can charge you whatever they want once they hook you. Also if you've ever heard of that "Macs don't get viruses" myth disregard it. Macs absolutely can get viruses and it's no harder to make a mac virus than a pc virus. The only reason there are more PC viruses is that most people use PCs. If I'm going to spend my time making a malicious piece of software for the masses would I make it for the operating system used by 90% of all users or the one used by 8%? Hmmmm... toughy.

      Last but not least make sure you have a quality antivirus. AVG, Avast!, or Avira, pretty much anything else is garbage and all 3 of those have a free version which is more than adequate for normal computer use.
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      • Profile picture of the author koreancowboy
        Originally Posted by Thrasher66099 View Post

        For anyone that isn't aware it's good practice to reformat (backup your data and reinstall your operating system) every 6 months. If you are very good at other computer maintenance (bidaily hd defragging, registry cleaner, adware remover, nightly virus scans) then you can switch that amount of time to 1 year, but you should absolutely reinstall every year.

        Every time you install something on your computer it gets stored somewhere in memory. Eventually you'll uninstall things. When this happens the next time you install something it will start to store data in the first open position it can find. This means part of the files could be saved where that old app was deleted and part could be stored in some other open spot. This is called disk fragmentation. No matter how much defragging you do you're going to continually see worse and worse performance from your computer until you completely wipe it and start out fresh.

        Also don't get a mac. They are a waste of money. They still aren't supported by many mainstream apps out there or the apps are very buggy when run on a mac. They are also hugely overpriced. My current office has a mac because we make video games and needed a mac to port our current game to iphone and ipad. The mac cost us $3200 and to get a pc with the same specs cost us just under $900....

        Apple is a ripoff because they purposely create their machines in a proprietary way so no one else can interface with their hardware and they can charge you whatever they want once they hook you. Also if you've ever heard of that "Macs don't get viruses" myth disregard it. Macs absolutely can get viruses and it's no harder to make a mac virus than a pc virus. The only reason there are more PC viruses is that most people use PCs. If I'm going to spend my time making a malicious piece of software for the masses would I make it for the operating system used by 90% of all users or the one used by 8%? Hmmmm... toughy.

        Last but not least make sure you have a quality antivirus. AVG, Avast!, or Avira, pretty much anything else is garbage and all 3 of those have a free version which is more than adequate for normal computer use.
        How is it that my Mac mini and MacBook Air has performed flawlessly over the past four plus years, and yet every PC has failed on me (including three in a six month period)? Also, how is it that I can get twice as much done on my MBA, than I can with the Toshiba Satelitte laptop sitting right next to it?

        Simple...it's more intuitive. I don't have to sit there and hunt down printer drivers from third party websites, just on the off-chance that the printer will work. All I have to do is plug it in...same goes with my camera, external hard drive, etc.

        You're sitting there saying that Macs are a ripoff because they charge more for their products...yeah, I'll pay more for a product that works better than for one that has proven to let me down. Any IMer would agree with me on that. Also, no one cares about species except for geeks and gamers, and they are the minority in the grand scheme of things. All people want is something easy to use, and Macs will trump PCs every time.

        One last thing...how much is a new PC worth in three years? I can resell my MBA for 60% of the cost that I can then turn around and apply that towards the cost of a new one...
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        • Profile picture of the author Thrasher66099
          Originally Posted by koreancowboy View Post

          How is it that my Mac mini and MacBook Air has performed flawlessly over the past four plus years, and yet every PC has failed on me (including three in a six month period)? Also, how is it that I can get twice as much done on my MBA, than I can with the Toshiba Satelitte laptop sitting right next to it?

          Simple...it's more intuitive. I don't have to sit there and hunt down printer drivers from third party websites, just on the off-chance that the printer will work. All I have to do is plug it in...same goes with my camera, external hard drive, etc.

          You're sitting there saying that Macs are a ripoff because they charge more for their products...yeah, I'll pay more for a product that works better than for one that has proven to let me down. Any IMer would agree with me on that. Also, no one cares about species except for geeks and gamers, and they are the minority in the grand scheme of things. All people want is something easy to use, and Macs will trump PCs every time.

          One last thing...how much is a new PC worth in three years? I can resell my MBA for 60% of the cost that I can then turn around and apply that towards the cost of a new one...
          Well first and foremost if you want something that's nice and intuitive you should probably use some flavor of linux. There are many different versions that are just as if not more intuitive than a mac. Also while your macbook may keep 60% of it's value over the next 3 years I can buy 3-4 different PCs with better specs for the same price as your single which will easily resell at 30% of original value in 3 years so I'd say that's a moot point as well.

          Also if you had 3 machines fail on you then you might want to look at what you're doing on those machines or look at the manufacturers you've been using. I have multiple machines which I've had since the early 2000's that still run fine.

          People buy macs because their marketing is fantastic. I get it. The issue is the mac does NOTHING that a PC can't do equally as well for less money.
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