Most of the steps in this article will tell you to remove the software crud which has built up on your older computer over the last several years. You can skip doing that if you take a single more drastic step: reinstall Windows.
Reinstalling Windows is quite easy but it will wipe out all of the data you have stored on the computer. (That’s kind of the point: to make a fresh start.) So before you even think seriously about reinstalling, make sure you have a rock solid, proven backup of all your data. (And two backups are better than one.)
Speed Up Your Computer By Removing Old Programs
Most computers build up a layer of cruft over the years as you install programs, use them for a few weeks or months, and then move on to something else. That’s ok—your computer is meant to be used—but leaving old programs on your computer can slow you down.
The problem is that many programs today install helper applications which start automatically when your computer boots. Some of these programs actually can help you, such as a taskbar app for managing your wifi connection, but many of them just waste your computer’s resources by sitting in the background doing nothing useful for you.
If you want to get rid of these wasteful apps, all you need to do is go to the Add And Remove Programs wizard or Programs and features and remove any program you no longer use. This should remove any related startup apps which you no longer need, speeding up your computer.
Dealing With Other Startup Apps
Of course, there are still plenty of programs you still use, and many of them also have applications which start in the background when your computer boots. Again, some of these apps are useful, but others don’t help you. You can speed up your computer further by installing a free startup manager to disable any apps which you no longer need.
Most startup managers won’t remove disabled apps, so you can experiment with disabling as many apps as possible to get the most speed out of your older computer. Then, if you discover you really do want a particular app to start up automatically, you can easily re-enable it.
Upgrading Your Hardware
There are two hardware changes you can easily make to an older computer which can speed it up: more RAM and a Solid-State Drive (SSD). Computer memory (RAM) is pretty cheap these days and relatively easy to install yourself, but you need to be careful and buy the right type. I suggest you use an online memory-buying wizard.
An SSD can significantly speed up how long it takes your computer to boot and load programs, but it won’t usually help speed up websites or email, so don’t buy one unless you spend a lot of time waiting for stuff to load from your disk drive. With the right adapter, an SSD will help speed up practically any computer, no matter how old.
Sitting Back & Relaxing
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Source: Yahoo Small Business