How to Speed Up Slow PC for Free

Every time you use the computer it is always the same story. Your historical technological companion is slow, and you often find yourself complaining in front of the monitor because of its excessive slowness.

How do you say? The topic is of interest to you because you would like to understand how to speed up the slow PC for free. Would you like to get your computer back on track in the blink of an eye, cleaning it from top to bottom to free up space, improve its stability and performance?

Changing some Windows parameters

If you are willing to speed up the slow PC for free, I recommend you first change some Windows parameters. More precisely, you might want to consider turning off the animations and graphic effects that are used in the OS interface. These elements, in fact, require the use of performance that on long-standing PCs could cause considerable slowdowns.

To perform the operation in question, if you are using Windows 11, click on the Start button (the one with  the flag) that you find  on the taskbar and  select  the Settings link  from  the Start menu that  opens, then click on the word System in the left sidebar of the window shown and that  Advanced system settings on the right.

If you are using an older version of Windows, look for and select the Control Panel shortcut in the  Start menu, click  on the System and Security item in the opened window and  / or select the word  System (depending on the  type of display set) and then, from the items on the left of the window, press on the item Advanced System Settings.

At this point, regardless of the version of Windows used, in the new window shown, select the Advanced tab and click on the Settings button that you find in the Performance section.

From the list of items that are shown to you, uncheck the Show thumbnails instead of icons, show window shadows, Save taskbar thumbnails, and Bevel screen character corners. After that, click on the Apply and Ok keys. I also recommend that you try turning off the other items and see the impact on your PC’s performance.

Also consider not to apply changes to the themes or interface of the operating system, since often the third-party tools that allow you to perform this kind of operations could slow down the performance of the computer, especially if it is dated.

You will also have to check that the indexing system of your PC is active and, if so, on which elements of your PC it goes to act. Indexing is the feature that allows you to search through the appropriate function of Windows and identify any corresponding items. If you have indexed all the items, folders, and partitions on your PC, this may slow down your PC’s performance.

I therefore suggest you check which items you need to index. To do this, on Windows 10 and Windows 11, type indexing options in the Start menu and select the relevant suggestion.

In the window that appears on the desktop, click the Edit button. Then put a check mark on the elements you want to index and remove it from the superfluous ones. When you are done, click the Ok and Close buttons.

Disabling programs that are running automatically.

The slowdown to your PC can also result from the many software that run automatically when Windows starts. In this case, I suggest you proceed by going to disable the programs in automatic execution, precisely, about which you are sure that they are of no use to you when you turn on the computer.

To do this, all you need to do is use a built-in Windows function. To use it, open the Task Manager through the key combination CTRL+Shift+Esc or CTRL+Shift+Esc.

In the window that now appears on the desktop, select the Start tab and disable all on-screen services that according to your needs are useless, right-clicking on each of them and choosing the disabled item from the menu that appears.

I recommend, however, not to disable all those programs and processes useful for the regular operation of the computer and the security of the same (e.g. antivirus). If you have doubts about the nature of a process, do a Google search.

Installing lightweight applications and software

If you want to speed up your slow PC for free, consider installing lightweight applications and software. In fact, if your computer does not have the necessary resources, it may have serious difficulties opening a “heavy” software. In this case, I recommend relying on applications and software that perform the same functions but require fewer resources.

A prime example is antivirus. A computer without antivirus could be a danger to your personal data, as well as to your privacy. My advice is to install antivirus that requires very few resources or to rely on Windows Defender, which is pre-installed and available for free on Windows operating systems.

If you still want to install a third-party antivirus, rely on those that have few but effective features, such as Bitdefender.

In addition to antivirus, many other programs of daily use can be “heavy” for your PC not very performing. For example, the  browser, such as Chrome, may not be the best choice. In that case, you could perhaps rely on Microsoft Edge, which is an equally valid solution.

Just to give you some other examples, if you use a software for viewing mail, you could direct yourself to the simple Web view, which only requires the use of your browser.

If you need to open a PDF file, you might think about not installing Adobe Reader, but using the Windows internal viewer, which Microsoft Edge has.

In general, my advice is to prefer integrated solutions and, in the eventuality, to use lightweight software, to the detriment of those considered “heavy” and that take so long to execute.

Check your PC for malware infections.

If your computer is slow, this is because there’s malware inside it that slows down performance. Just as an example, even a PC of the latest generation will be slowed down, if it has been infected with a cryptocurrency miner. Considering this, I invite you to conduct a check for malware infections in your PC.

To perform the operation in question, you just need to perform a virus scan. Always prefer a full scan, to the detriment of quick ones, which can only analyze some sectors of your PC, ignoring others.

Also remember to check that you have the latest update of your antivirus software and its database. Scanning a computer with an outdated version of an antivirus is risky: the antivirus would not be able to do its full job and malware could remain undisturbed in your PC.

If you use the security program pre-installed on  Windows, namely Windows Defender, to install its updates you just need to access the Windows settings as I indicated  in the initial chapter, select the Windows Update item in the  window shown, then the Check for updates and wait for antivirus definition updates to be installed automatically if available.

To perform a security scan, instead, select the Privacy and security item of the initial Windows settings window and, later, go to the Virus and threat protection section and click on the words Start quick analysis. Then wait for the antivirus to complete the procedure.

If you want to perform a more in-depth analysis of the system, click on the Analysis Options item, select the option you consider most appropriate from the list and click on the Start analysis button.

Defragmenting and cleaning your hard disk.

A procedure that allows you to speed up your PC is also performing defragmentation and cleaning the hard disk. This procedure should be conducted only on hard disks and consists of moving the current location of the data from one point to another on the disk, to speed up access to this data.

To better understand this procedure, imagine your hard drive as a large library. On each shelf you will put your books, according to an order you set. This will make it easy to locate a specific book when you need it. However, if the books on the shelves are stored in bulk, you will surely need more time to locate a book.

Defragmentation is therefore the tool that allows you to make order inside your hard disk, so that the data in it is accessible more quickly.

You can use the internal Windows utility to defragment. So, click on the Windows Start button, type the term defragment, and optimize drive, select the relevant suggestion and, from the window that is shown to you, click on the Change settings button. Then put the check mark in the Run according to a schedule box and select the frequency from the drop-down menu below. Then click the Ok button.

You can also do this manually, selecting one of the drives shown on the screen from the Disk Defragmentation System Utility window. You will then have to click on the Analyze button and, when finished, click on Optimize.

I advise you not to defragment on SSD drives  as these, due to their structure, do not require this procedure to be carried out.

Another tip I can give you to speed up a slow PC is to free up space on your hard disk. You can do this by uninstalling all unnecessary programs and freeing up space from your PC.

Windows Recovery

Sometimes it can happen that, despite all the advice I gave you in the previous paragraphs, your computer continues to be slow. In that case, then, I recommend that you perform a Windows recovery that, in general, could solve the problems that plague your PC.

Hardware Replacement

If, finally, despite all the solutions given and even after a Windows reset, your PC continues to be slow, then you may be facing a problem of a “physical” nature. Considering this, you may want to consider replacing the hardware.

The reason for the slowness is given by the fact that your PC has little RAM memory or has an old hard disk that is too slow. In the latter case, you could then consider installing an SSD: this is able to improve the performance of your PC.

Other solutions to speed up slow PC for free.

In addition to the indications I have already provided, to speed up the free slow PC you can also consider implementing the following indications. I hope they can help you.

  • Operating System Update – Microsoft makes updates available frequently for its operating systems. Very often, these helps improve the overall performance of your computer, so you should install them.
  • Removing junk files — removing so-called “junk files” does not automatically make your PC faster, but it can help improve the performance of some applications (where cache files may be corrupted). To do this, simply use a special utility integrated into the system.