The fact that PCs get slower over time is a frustrating though often unavoidable part of computer life. Claims of massive speed boosts from using special programs are practically always fabrications, but there is some overlooked general maintenance that can keep PCs operating better for longer. The following methods won’t likely make your PC hit new records, but for a less frustrating experience all around, they’re worth a try.

Setting a Bar

Before getting started, we’d recommend completing a few general tests to find a baseline of your PC’s performance. A good idea here can be to take your PC through regular use scenarios, and test how it responds. If you play online casino games, for example, browsing comparison websites like ToppCasinoBonus should give you some performance indications. Measure how well your PC copes with browsing the different sites and gameplay of both the high-graphics games and the lower-demanding, classic ones as objectively as possible to gain insight. On top of this, simply recording your PC’s start-up time can also provide a valuable metric.

Organizing Storage

If you have mechanical storage drives as most older computers do, then we need to address the complexities these create. Over time, the data on these drives can be stored non-optimally, spread all over the disk instead of close sequential spacings. This will lead to a delay in read-times, and provide significant performance degradation.

Speed up Older PC Hardware
Defrag” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by TeraByte on Flickr – Someone rules in this place..

To combat this, you’ll first need to ensure you have at least 15% of the drive free. If you don’t, then consider deleting old and unused files or moving data to external storage. After reaching this milestone, download and install any of these free defragmentation programs from Guru99. If you’ve never run a defrag before, you’re probably going to want to leave the system on overnight, as it can take a while to complete, and using the system while defrags are in progress can be annoyingly slow.

Cleaning Start-up

With defragmentation complete, you next need to consider how many running processes are in your computer’s background. To take a look at this, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Escape. From the start-up tab, you should see the different programs that launch with your PC. If you’re unsure about what any of these are, Google them for clarification, otherwise, remove the unwanted options from startup, and delete the host program if it’s no longer necessary. You can also use the steps listed at ItStillWorks for older Windows OSs.

Updating Drivers

The final step on our journey to an easier user experience is to update any drivers that might have become outdated over the years. This can be done individually if you know what you have installed or through the types of programs listed at sites like Lifewire for a more streamlined process. Remember to uninstall this program after use, as these programs tend to load at startup otherwise.

Speed up Older PC Hardware 02
Compressed air cleaning of old computers” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by driver Photographer

With these simple steps completed, it’s time to test your system’s performance against its older self. Depending on how your system grew over time, these three simple steps could have drastic effects. At the very least, this level of maintenance can help keep a PC healthier for longer. For users looking to go the extra mile, you might also consider cleaning out a dusty case with a can of compressed air, but for everyone else, you should be ready to jump back into the action.

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