Resources > Windows 7 Tips > Solve your PC’s speed problems

Solve your PC’s speed problems

I’ve installed some new programs and now my computer is very slow.

One option would be to uninstall each program to see which, if any, is responsible for the loss of performance. However, it may be better to use System Restore to wind back to a point before the installation of any of these applications before re-installing them one at a time. Click Start, point to All Programs followed by Accessories and then click System Restore.

Is there a cheap and easy way to make my Windows 7 PC faster?

Watch our video on increasing the speed of your Windows 7 PC.

At the same time every day, my PC’s hard disk becomes busy and the computer slows down.

This is most likely your anti-virus program launching a scheduled daily scan. Explore the application’s settings and change the schedule scan to run at a time when you’re not likely to be using the PC.

When I’m using my computer, Windows seems to slow down the longer I use it.

There are many possible causes for this. It could be a hardware fault, or it might be that a program is ‘leaking’ memory – accidentally filling up the available memory thanks to an error. Press Control, Shift and Escape together, then check the Processes tab to see if any programs that aren’t doing much are using huge amounts of memory.

Accessing files and loading programs in XP seems to take longer than it used to.

If you have been using the computer for some time the files that you need may have become fragmented – meaning they have been split up into parts across the hard disk. To rearrange them, click Start, point to All Programs followed by Accessories and System Tools, then click Disk Defragmenter. Run this tool to defragment the hard disk.

My PC used to be fast then, all of a sudden, it began slowing down for periods of time.

As with the question above, this could be caused by your anti-virus program: check to see if a scan is running. If it’s not, though, it could be that some malicious software has become installed and is misbehaving in the background. Scan your computer thoroughly using your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs.

I share a lot of photos but my emails seem to take a lot longer to send than it takes to receive similar ones from friends.

This is caused by a quirk of how modern broadband connections work: it’s always much quicker to download a file of a given size than to upload it. If you’re sharing many photos, though, we recommend using an online service such as Flickr rather than email, as large emails don’t always get through.

I recently changed my PC’s Bios password. Now the computer seems slower.

You may have accidentally changed the processor speed in the Bios. Restart the PC and press Del or F2 to enter the Bios. Look for a section headed CPU or Processor – this is where the speed is set. You’ll need to either set the ‘clock speed’ and ‘multiplier’ settings correctly to the ones for your processor – look these up online, never guess them – or use the ‘load optimised defaults’ option if one is provided.

The more programs I launch, the slower my PC becomes. But I need to use them all at once.

Your computer needs more memory. Fortunately this isn’t usually expensive or difficult: take a look at our video guide showing how to add memory to desktop computers or for laptop computers.

I’m concerned that certain startup programs are slowing down my PC but can’t tell which ones I need and which I don’t when using the System Configuration utility.

Microsoft Autoruns for Windows is a free tool for identifying non-Microsoft programs. It’s effectively a souped-up version of the System Configuration utility and provides lots of other easy-to-use tools for tweaking system performance.

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