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Monday, September 30, 2013

8 tips to speed up your PC

Over time, any computer tends to slow down a bit or get bogged down with unwanted files. Here is how you can use free apps to restore much of the lost storage & performance

Find and remove duplicates

You may advertently end up copying the same files to different locations on the computer. This leads to clogging of precious hard drive space. Both Windows and MAC users can use the free Easy Duplicate Finder ( — a lightweight and feature-rich program that does the job fast. 

It lets you search various drives (including external storage such as flash drives and portable HDD) and generates reports of each scan. For photographers who want to find and remove duplicate photographs, a free program called Duplicate Photo Cleaner ( finds duplicates even if they were resized or edited. 

Remove temporary files

Temporary files usually refer to browser files or those that get leftover when you install new applications. Ideally, they should be removed automatically by the respective program, but it doesn't always happen. 

As more and more temporary files clog up your computer, they eat up hard drive space and slow it down. Get the free CCleaner ( which is available for both Windows and Mac. It makes short work of cleaning up your system's temporary files. Mac users can also use OnyX ( which offers advanced cleaning options. 

Remove unwanted shortcuts

Most of us like having shortcuts to often used programs and files — this saves time and improves productivity. However, too many shortcuts can build up over time and make your desktop a mess. 

Several programs also automatically place a shortcut on the desktop during installation. Windows XP comes with a desktop cleanup wizard that scans your desktop for unused icons and removes them. Windows Vista, 7 and 8 users can use Bad Shortcut Killer to remove unwanted shortcuts from the desktop and start menu. 

Defrag to speed things

Up defragmentation organises the contents of your hard drive in a way which minimizes the time taken by the drive to access the stored files. The robust Defraggler ( is a great tool that offers the option to defrag the entire hard drive or just specific folder. It displays a drive map that shows how the space of your hard drive is utilised. 

Mac users usually do not need to defrag their drives because the OS automatically defrags files that are less than 20MB in size. (Note that if your computer uses flash-based storage, there is no need to defragment it) 

Make it boot faster

As you install more programs, you might notice that your PC takes longer to boot up. This happens because many applications and services automatically initialise during the boot process. Soluto ( is a free Windows utility that analyses your PC's boot up time and removes unnecessary startup programs. 

It even lets you individually select the programs you want to remove from startup. MAC users can do the same by going to System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items and removing applications that you do not want to open automatically when you log in. 

Sort out the registry

Unknown to many, but one of the main causes of a slow Windows PC is a corrupted registry. The Windows registry configures and handles every hardware and software operation on your computer and tends to get corrupted by obsolete/invalid entries. Get the free Registry Repair from glarysoft .com/registry-repair. 

It scans your system registry for a number of common issues and fixes them instantly. It also makes a backup of any registry change so that if your system becomes unstable, it can be restored back to its original state. 

All-in-one solution

If you need a single solution to take care of everything, try TuneUp Utilities ( The software will set you back 2,900 but is well worth the price. Once you create a profile of your usage, it recommends various steps to improve performance. All the tools you need to scan and fix issues with your system are built in. 

You can also improve your PC's boot up and shutdown time, delete files safely as well as uninstall programs. The 'one click' system maintenance mode is particularly useful — it scans various areas of your PC and fixes everything in the background without disturbing you. 

Ask for help

If you're not too confident of meddling with advanced settings, ask a a tech-savvy friend for remote assistance. LogMeIn, TeamViewer & CrossLoop are some free tools available using which a remote user can easily log into and take over control of your PC (with your permission, of course). 

Problems can be identified and fixed remotely by your friend and all you need is the software & a reliable broadband connection on both ends.

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