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Four Tips to Make Your PC Faster Than Ever

Out with the old, in with the… Speed! Clearing your PC of unwanted programs, temporary files, and other buildup is no longer a daunting task with our helpful guide.

What do aging movie actors and PCs have in common? They can both be returned to their youth through clever engineering.

Of course (and more seriously) it’s good to know when to retire or get a new computer. But before you give up on that aging PC just yet, we wanted to give you eight software-based solutions to make your hardware a star again.

Tip #1: Clean Out Your Hard Drive

A major cause of system slowdown is data that is no longer being used, such as old downloads and files. This includes programs that run background processes when you start your computer — even if you don’t need them. You can edit your start-up programs using tools built into Windows 7 and remove unused files manually, but programs are available that quickly and easily clean your hard drive.

The following programs can optimize your system and speed things up:

  • Glary Utilities: This free program cleans out temporary files, edits start programs and streamlines your system for optimum performance. It not only cleans and defragments your drive, but it also seeks orphan programs and files and tries to re-link them or delete them, if they can’t be linked to anything on your computer.
  • CCleaner: This free program is smaller than Glary, so it’s popular with users who have very full hard drives and systems. It doesn’t contain a defragmenting program.
  • Defraggler: A free, stand-alone defragmentation program by Piriform, CCLeaner’s manufacturer.
  • Mydefrag: A free and fast defragger that includes several ways to optimize your disk’s performance.
  • Iolo System Mechanic: This is a commercial, dedicated diagnostic and repair program that automatically identifies and fixes problems that slow your computer down.
  • Staples PC Tune Up +: We’d be remiss if we didn’t offer up our own expertise on this issue within our own article. Staples EasyTech offers a PC Tune-Up + service in a variety of locations, including in our stores, in your home or office, or even online.

Tip #2: Defragment Your Hard Drive

Once your system is clean, you should defragment your hard drive to get optimal performance. Hard drives store data, but the data eventually gets spread out all over the drive. When this happens, you will notice a performance slowdown as your hard drive searches to piece the data together. A defragmentation program moves all the data for each program to a single location, so your hard disk’s read and write speeds are quicker.

Windows 7 contains a Disk Defragmenter (located in System Tools), but third-party software provides more versatility, speed and deeper cleaning.

Remember this? Staples PC Tune Up + service is a multifaceted one that also performs disk defragmentation. The service will clean out your unnecessary files, defragment your hard drive, perform a virus scan to detect spyware and malware, and check all your start-up programs to be sure your PC is operating at its peak level. As we mentioned earlier, Staples PC Tune Up + can be run at your home, office or remotely over the Internet.

Tip #3: Get Rid of Viruses

If you want to keep your computer in peak condition, be sure it doesn’t pick up a virus. Norton 360 is a general-purpose utility program that provides robust antivirus protection, tunes up your PC and performs basic defragmenting, cloud-based backups and other maintenance tasks. If you are already infected, Norton eliminates the virus, too.

Tip #4: Use Windows 7 ReadyBoost

Windows 7 ReadyBoost enables your software to use the empty space on a flash drive or card to increase your speed. You turn this feature on or off when you plug in a drive and the Autoplay dialog appears. Choose Speed up my System in General Options, and then choose the ReadyBoost tab in Properties.

Like a good Hollywood plastic surgeon, you can revive your PC and have a few more “hits” before it’s time to retire your computer for good.

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