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Easy Ways to Speed Up a Slow Windows PC

Find Resource-Hungry Programs
Your PC is running slow because something is using up those resources. If it’s suddenly running slower, a runaway process might be using 99% of your CPU resources, for example. Or, an application might be experiencing a memory leak and using a large amount of memory, causing your PC to swap to disk. Alternately, an application might be using the disk a lot, causing other applications to slow down when they need to load data from or save it to the disk.

Close System Tray Programs
Many applications tend to run in the system tray, or notification area. These applications often launch at startup and stay running in the background but remain hidden behind the up arrow icon at the bottom-right corner of your screen. Click the up arrow icon near the system tray, right-click any applications you don’t need running in the background, and close them to free up resources.

Disable Startup Programs

Better yet, prevent those applications from launching at startup to save memory and CPU cycles, as well as speed up the login process. Go task manager or press Ctrl+Shift+Escape to launch it. Click over to the Startup tab and disable startup applications you don’t need. Windows will helpfully tell you which applications slow down your startup process the most.

Reduce Graphics/Animation
Windows uses quite a few animations, and those animations can make your PC seem a bit slower. For example, Windows can minimize and maximize windows instantly if you disable the associated animations.

Lighten Your Web Browser
There’s a good chance you use your web browser a lot, so your web browser may just be a bit slow. It’s a good idea to use as few browser extensions, or add-ons, as possible — those slow down your web browser and cause it to use more memory.

Free Up Disk Space
If your hard drive is almost completely full, your computer may run noticeably slower. You want to leave your computer some room to work on your hard drive. Follow our guide to freeing up space on your Windows PC to free up room. You don’t need any third-party software — just running the Disk Cleanup tool included in Windows can help quite a bit.

Defragment Your Hard Disk
Defragmenting your hard disk actually shouldn’t be necessary on modern versions of Windows. It’ll automatically defragment mechanical hard drives in the background. Solid-state drives don’t really need traditional defragmentation, although modern versions of Windows will “optimize” them — and that’s fine.

Uninstall Programs You Don’t Use
Open the Control Panel, find the list of installed programs, and uninstall programs you don’t use and don’t need from your PC. This can help speed your PC up, as those programs might include background processes, autostart entries, system services, context menu entries, and other things that can slow down your PC. It’ll also save room on your hard drive and improve system security — for example, you definitely shouldn’t have Java installed if you’re not using it.