5 quick ways to speed up your computer

Deborah Salmi 24 Nov 2022

Your computer's performance can be affected by lots of things — find out how to get your PC up to speed.

When you turn on your computer in the morning, do you have enough time to brew a cup of coffee while it starts up? Is your PC so tired that you can take a walk around the block waiting for a program to open?

If your machine is sluggish and tired, there are a handful of things you can do to give it a digital caffeine boost.

1. Free up space on your hard drive

If you get messages that your hard drive is 90% full, then it’s time to do some serious cleaning. You can reclaim some space by emptying the trash, moving video, audio, and image files to the cloud, or deleting stuff you don’t use anymore, but that seldom makes a big difference unless you are adept at searching the bowels of our machine for unwanted computer files.

Every time you write an email, modify an image, or edit a document, files are fragmented and re-distributed on the hard disk. What's more, each time you install or delete a program, your computer gets cluttered with miscellaneous, incomplete files. Leftover code remains, which can eventually cause the system to get sluggish, wasting system resources.

Avast Cleanup scans your system to identify unwanted or obsolete files and programs that can be removed or disabled so that your computer runs in an optimal state.

2. Clean your browser

We all love free stuff, but not everything is as trustworthy as Avast Free Antivirus. When you download free software, it often comes with hidden add-ons or other PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) that slow your computer down or contain harmful code which can damage your computer. Some free toolbars infect your PC, steal personal data, hijack your browser, or install software you do not need or want.

Avast Browser Cleanup is a feature in all Avast products which identifies poorly rated add-ons for Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox and allows you to disable or remove them simply and easily.

3. Upgrade your computer or memory

Older computers don’t have the memory capacity to run some of the latest software. Windows 10, for example, is pretty intensive with the visual effects, but it can make older machines sluggish. Experts suggest a minimum of 1GB of memory (RAM) for 32-bit system and 2GB for a 64-bit system. 

4. Check out programs running in the background

Applications and programs running in the background can slow your computer down. For example, if you listen to music, an audio program runs in the background taking up resources. Go to your Task Manager to see which programs are running, and if you are not using something, then you can quit the process.     

5. Patch out-of-date software

Drivers, programs, and operating systems that are out-of-date or unpatched can have vulnerabilities, bugs, and incompatibilities that drag you down, so make sure to install the recommended patches and updates.

Software Updater is a tool in Avast Antivirus which helps keep widely used third-party software up-to-date to eliminate potential security risks.

A reliable security solution that won't slow you down

One program that shouldn't slow you down is your security program. Antivirus is one of the programs that runs deep within the system in order to protect you continuously against malware threats. If your security product takes up too many system resources, you could get annoyed and disable it, which is definitely not good.

AV-Comparatives published their Performance Test Report recently, and Avast One was at the top of the list compared to 19 other solutions. Since performance is one of Avast’s pillars, we take pride in the fact that our products will not slow you down – and one of the most respected testing agencies around has confirmed that with their test.

It’s worth noting that Microsoft Defender, which comes free with Windows 10 installations, came in last with the highest system impact compared to other antivirus products. We recommend that Windows 10 users install Avast Free Antivirus which provides significantly stronger protection with negligible system impact than Windows Defender.

Updated on November 15, 2022, with new updates and information.

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