Speed Up Your Computer Tips

I found this page on the Microsoft web site. They have five quick tips for speeding up your computer. The handiest are the Disk Cleanup and Defragmenting features.

Both of these tools can be found by clicking Start >> Programs >> Accessories >> System Tools.

If you and your household spend a lot of time on the Internet browsing, I recommend running disk cleanup once every week or two. The more often you do run disk cleanup, the less time it will take to complete.

Disk cleanup eliminates “temporary files”. These temp files are junk files that the computer accumulates as part of its normal operations. You need not work about losing anything that you saved. Anything you save isn’t considered a temporary file, no matter how long you intend on keeping it. Think of temp files as being scratch pads that the computer allows to pile up inside the hard drive.

Disk defragmenting can be run once every month or two.  It’s also handy if you save and download large files such a videos and music.  As with disk cleanup, the more you run it, the less time it takes to complete. In most cases, if you use the Analyze feature before the Defragment feature, it will let you know if the hard disk needs to be “defragged” or not.

Not familiar with the term defragmenting?

When your computer saves files it tries to save them near the center or the start of the disk so they can be accessed faster. In many cases the computer will chop the file into pieces and scatter the pieces wherever they fit. Your computer may run slower when it needs to access these files later becuase the computer must search for and reassemble the pieces.

When you defragment the hard drive, the computer reassembles all the files and rearranges them so the files are stored whole instead of in fragments. Also, it will put important programs near the start/center of the disk so they load fast.

Post Comments or Questions with the link below. Keep up-to-date with Skylarking: By Email or RSS Newsfeed or on Twitter. You can also send questions with my email form. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.


  1. Bill says:

    Hi Rob,
    Thanks for visiting mybloglog and i got your message,
    I am allways looking at ways to improve Windows Vista but i find myself constantly frustrated with Vista especially with the updates including service pack 1 which i have yet to load.
    I sometimes wish i could go back to XP which was less complicated, the trouble with Vista is that it is just to big, they realy need to cut back and put more effeort into shrinking their OS.
    Regards, Bill

  2. Hi, Bill,
    You’re welcome on the visit. I’ll have to look over the rest of your blogs in the near future. You’re a busy man.
    Regarding XP and Vista. If you have an OEM Edition of Vista Business or Ultimate (that’s an installation that came with a new computer) then you can downgrade to XP Professional at no extra charge. You can read more about it at Computer World.
    Perhaps it will apply to you.
    As for the Vista SP1. I have heard a few people find SP1 to clear up a lot of problems they experienced. Just get the follow-up critical updates.
    Thanks for posting a comment, Bill.

  3. Thanks for explaining these tools in such detail. I do the disk clean up and defragmentation once a month, (which reminds me, I have to do that–it’s September already!) but maybe I should do the disk clean up more often since we do a lot of browsing now with my blogging. Maybe that will help speed things up.

  4. You’re welcome, Karen. Sometimes I do a lot of web browsing, in which case I might run disk cleanup several times a week.

    Depending how tech savvy you are, you might also try these tips from Ed Bott for automating disk cleanup.

    I also recommend running Lavasoft’s Adware once a month, too. PC Tools Spyware Doctor is also excellent, but it can seriously slow down an older computer.

    Thanks for commenting. I see you’re an active blogger. You’ve got a lot of interesting links and features such as that Entrecard spinner and guest book. I’ll see you soon!

  5. towr says:

    I haven’t tried disk cleanup yet in my current laptop since I purchased this one and half years ago. I have almost forgot that there is such thing. I will clean this laptop before I go to work.

  6. I think disk cleanup and general computer maintenance is very important for laptops. Particularly if you run on batteries for any length of time. Just make sure you plug in the laptop when running disk cleanup because hard drive activity puts a big drain on the battery.

    Disk cleanup doesn’t put a drain on the battery for laptops with one of the new solid state drives (like the Dell Latitude E4200) since they have no moving parts in the drive.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. How’d you come to call your blog, The Walking Tower? Is it a favorite place of yours?

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