Protecting over 200 million PCs, Macs, & Mobiles – more than any other antivirus

September 4th, 2013

How to keep your Windows system running like new

speed computer

The top active members in one of our largest and most active communities, the AVAST forum, are called evangelists. These evangelists are technically skilled people who love to help and guide our users, free or paid, through the technology and security jungle. They try to keep things simple for all levels and in this blog, they want to share with you how to keep your Windows system running like new indefinitely. Isn’t it a dream of all of us? Let’s go!

A clean machine is a fast machine

  • Keep your computer clean and vents unobstructed: If it overheats the performance decreases. If you haven’t looked at the bottom of your computer since you took it out of the box, chances are that the vents are filled with dust bunnies. Turn off your computer and carefully use your vacuum cleaner attachment to suck the dust out.
  • Clean your disk of temporary files and defragment to help with your computer performance. We suggest CCleaner for both file and Windows Registry cleaning. It’s safe and removes registry entries left behind after simple uninstallation of programs. Windows has a built-in defragmenter and there are many other free ones on the internet.
  • RAM (memory) is cheap nowadays and worth every cent you pay for the memory sticks, especially if you use memory-intensive programs like Photoshop or a video editor. Before you try to give your machine a faster, smoother ride, you need to know your hardware limits.

Multi-tasking slows you (and your machine) down

  • Keep in mind that you do not need to multi-task all the time or, in other words, do not run many programs at the same time. For multi-tasking,  split your work between your smartphone or tablet, for instance, listen to music, browse or read mail on your tablet while you work on an your laptop.
  • Be critical about what programs you allow to start with Windows and allow only Microsoft-based services, security-based programs, and your essential ones. Disable startup items like iTunes, Skype, game managers, etc. It takes seconds to start a program when you need it, so don’t add the load to every boot. If you want a free tool to manage the startup, I personally suggest MSConfig or Startup Delayer (the later has both free and paid versions).
  • For a specific job, you don’t always need the most feature-rich, newest program. Install only essential programs, and choose the faster one for the job. There are many online tools that can help you without cluttering up your computer. Each time you install a new program, go for the custom installation and uncheck all the modules/features you don’t need. Go slowly and don’t be a happy clicker. Important! Don’t go seeking tweaks or ‘snake-oil’ tools to speed up your system; they could have the reverse effect.
  • Remember, it’s dangerous to disable the antivirus protection while gaming or when installing programs. You need to find a consistent light impact solution. If you want to see how fast AVAST is, take a look at this independent review from AV-Comparatives. Set AVAST for Silent/Game mode to avoid interrupting your game.
  • Last tip: Uninstall old programs not in use. It won’t hurt.

Keep everything updated for a zippy, fast experience

  • Keep your Windows and programs fully updated. Besides security updates, many of them focus on performance and stability. You should not be frightened of the popup message to update. You don’t need to know anything about Adobe, Flash, Java, whatever… just let AVAST do the job for you with the avast! Software Updater feature. Also don’t forget to get rid of toolbars in your browsers: avast! Browser Cleanup is available in all AVAST versions and as a standalone program.

If all of this seems complicated to you, AVAST has AccessAnywhere technology. With this feature, you can ask a friend or your family IT specialist to do technical housekeeping for you – even remotely.

Special thanks to our avast! forum evangelists who have massively participated and contributed to these tips: MikeBCda, Iroc9555, Charyb, Jeffce, Bob3160, YLAP, DavidR, Omid Farhang, Polonus, Essexboy, Schmidthouse, Para-Noid, Donovan, Mchain, Dwarden and Asyn. If you ever have a question, please log on to the avast! forum and ask. Our forum evangelists are happy to assist you.

Other security tips you may interested in:

Top 7 tips when traveling with your computer
Security tips from AVAST Forum Evangelists
PC Backup Tips: What, Where, When, and How

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