How to speed up your PC without using 3rd party software

If you are using Microsoft Windows and it has been over a month since installation, chances are that you have started noticing the drop in overall performance of your system. This is a natural issue for a system running Windows and can be fixed by following these simple steps.


1. Free up disk space: Windows create useless logs and temporary files while installing and removing software. Moreover,your browser stores a cache of websites visited by you for quicker access later on. You can use the inbuilt utility called Disk Cleaner to remove these temporary files.
Disk Cleaner can be used to safely:
  1. Remove temporary Internet files
  2. Remove downloaded program files(Microsoft Active X controls and Java applets)
  3. Empty the Recycle Bin
  4. Remove Windows temporary files such as error reports
  5. Remove Optional Windows components that you do not use
  6. Remove installed programs that you no longer use
  7. Remove unused restore points and shadow copies from System Restore

To use Disk Cleanup
Window 7 and Windows 8 users
1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, then click Disk Cleanup. If several drives are available, you might be prompted to specify which drive you want to clean.
2. When Disk Cleanup has calculated how much space you can free, in the Disk Cleanup for dialog box, scroll through the content of the Files to delete list.
3. Clear the check boxes for files that you don't want to delete, and then click OK.
4. For more options, such as cleaning up System Restore and Shadow copy files, under Description, click Clean up system files, then click the More Options tab.
5. When prompted to confirm that you want to delete the specified files, click Yes.

For Windows XP users
1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup. If several drives are available, you might be prompted to specify which drive you want to clean.
2. In the Disk Cleanup for dialog box, scroll through the content of the Files to delete list.
3. Choose the files that you want to delete.
4. Clear the check boxes for files that you don't want to delete, and then click OK.
5. When prompted to confirm that you want to delete the specified files, click Yes.

2. Rearrange data on your hard drive
Windows stores files randomly on the hard disk in pieces. These files divided in pieces are called fragmented files. When files are fragmented, the computer must search the hard disk when the file is opened to piece it back together. The response time can be significantly longer. Disk fragmentation slows the overall performance of your system. 

Disk Defragmenter is a Windows utility that consolidates fragmented files and folders on your computer's hard disk so that each occupies a single space on the disk. With your files stored neatly end-to-end, without fragmentation, reading and writing to the disk speeds up. 


It is optimal to run Disk Defragmenter once a month, however it is recommended to run Disk Defragmenter when: You add a large number of files.
Your free disk space totals 15 percent or less.
You install new programs or a new version of Windows.

To use Disk Defragmenter: 


Windows 7 and Windows 8 users
1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.
2. Click Analyze disk to start the Disk Defragmenter.
3. In the Disk Defragmenter dialog box, click the drives that you want to defragment, and then click the Analyze button. After the disk is analyzed, a dialog box appears, letting you know whether you should defragment the analyzed drives.It is always recommended to analyze a volume to estimate how much time will defragmentation take.
4. To defragment the selected drive or drives, click the Defragment disk button. In the Current status area, under the Progress column, you can monitor the process as it happens. After the defragmentation is complete, Disk Defragmenter displays the results.
5. To display detailed information about the defragmented disk or partition, click View Report.
6. To close the View Report dialog box, click Close.
7. You can also schedule the Disk Defragmenter to run automatically, and your computer might be set up this way by default. Under Schedule, it reads Scheduled defragmentation is turned on, then displays the time of day and frequency of defragmentation. If you want to turn off automatic defragmentation or change the time or frequency, click the Configure schedule (or Turn on Schedule, if it is not currently configured to run automatically). Then change the settings, then click OK.
8. To close the Disk Defragmenter utility, click the Close button on the title bar of the window. 


Windows XP Users:
1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.

2. Click Analyze disk to start the Disk Defragmenter.
3. In the Disk Defragmenter dialog box, click the drives that you want to defragment, and then click the Analyze button. After the disk is analyzed, a dialog box appears, letting you know whether you should defragment the analyzed drives.It is always recommended to analyze a volume to estimate how much time will defragmentation take.

4. To defragment the selected drive or drives, click the Defragment button.
5. After the defragmentation is complete, Disk Defragmenter displays the results.
6. To display detailed information about the defragmented disk or partition, click View Report.
7. To close the View Report dialog box, click Close.
8. To close the Disk Defragmenter utility, click the Close button on the title bar of the window. 


3. Detect and repair disk errors
As you use your hard drive, it can develop bad sectors. Bad sectors slow down hard disk performance and sometimes make data writing (such as file saving) difficult, or even impossible. The Error Checking utility scans the hard drive for bad sectors, and scans for file system errors to see whether certain files or folders are misplaced. 


You should run this utility once a week to help prevent data loss if you are an active PC user. 


Run the Error Checking utility:
1. Close all open files.
2. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
3. In the My Computer window, right-click the hard disk you want to search for bad sectors, and then click Properties.
4. In the Properties dialog box, click the Tools tab.
5. Click the Check Now button.
6. In the Check Disk dialog box (called Error-checking in Windows 7), select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box, and then click Start.
7. If bad sectors are found, choose to fix them. 


4. Protect your computer against spyware
A spyware is a program which collects your private data and sends it to its programmer without asking for permission. From the Web sites you visit to usernames and passwords, spyware can put you and your confidential information at risk. In addition to privacy concerns, spyware can hamper your computer's performance. To combat spyware, you might want to consider using Microsoft Security Essentials available as a free download. 


5. Readyboost If you're using Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can use ReadyBoost to speed up your system. A new concept in adding memory to a system, it allows you to use non-volatile flash memory—like a USB flash drive or a memory card—to improve performance without having to add additional memory.
Windows XP users can increase the size of their Virtual Memory to obtain similar results.To increase the size of your Virtual Memory: 


1. Click Start
2. Right Click on My Computer and select Properties.
3. Click on Advanced Tab,under the performance section, click on Settings.
4. Click on Advanced Tab in the dialog box that appears.
5. Under the Virtual Memory Section, select a drive and click on Change.
6. Enter the Initial and Maximum size and then click on Set.
7. Click OK, OK and OK again. Restart the PC to apply changes.