Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

How to optimise your Windows PC for free

Here's how to use Windows utilities and a few free programs to improve your PC's performance

Article comments

Here are a few practical tips for improving your computer's performance by using stock Windows utilities and a few programs you can download for free. Though the associated articles assume that you're running the latest version of Windows 7, many of them work just as well on older copies of Windows 7, Windows Vista, and even Windows XP. None of the optimisation tips and tricks in this guide cost anything, so feel free to run them as often as you'd like to ensure that your computer runs lean and mean for as long as possible.

Of course the first step in optimising your PC's performance is to figure out which programs are running and how heavily they're taxing your hardware at any given moment. Thankfully, Windows 7 comes with a slew of free utilities that you can use to pinpoint performance bottlenecks and uncover weak points like outdated driver software or missing Windows security patches. Uninstall unwanted programs and download the latest versions of your device drivers from the manufacturer's website to ensure that your hardware will deliver peak performance.

You should also keep an eye on your Windows Resource Monitor to confirm that your PC is running only the programs you need. You can temporarily shut down unwanted programs by using the free Windows Task Manager, but consult this detailed guide on how to use Task Manager to avoid accidentally shutting down system-critical programs. It's always a good idea to delete unwanted programs to maximize space, but many useful programs that you rarely use automatically start system-hogging processes, potentially bogging down your PC's performance. To minimize this problem, take advantage of free Windows utilities like MSConfig to disable Windows startup programs that you don't use every day.

Last, keep track of how efficiently your PC sends and receives data online. With the advent of broadband data caps, monitoring the amount of bandwidth your PC uses is more important than ever. You can find lots of great free utilities to help you stay on top of how much data you're exchanging, and we explain how to monitor your bandwidth using one of our favourites tools, BitMeter OS. BitMeter OS runs silently in the background while you surf the web, gathering detailed records on how much information you upload and download, without paying attention to the content. Use it alongside the other free utilities mentioned here to wrangle peak performance from your PC.


Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments




Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *