47 Ways To Speed Up Your PC for Free! (Part 3)

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General Tweaks

Here's a selection of tweaks that can be used to give your PC or your PC usage a little boost. Several of these tweaks combined may add up to a noticeable difference.

13.  Disable index searching

Windows' own search function can be very useful, but it comes at the cost of performance, as it includes an indexing service that scans through files and folders in order to speed searches up.

Disabling Windows’ index searching can speed up Explorer

Now, if you use the search a lot, this can be useful, but if you don't, it's a speed-sapping feature you don't need to put up with, so you may as well disable it. To do so, go to Start > Run, type 'services. msc' and press Enter. Browse through the list until you find Windows Search. Double-click it and in the new window, change the Startup type to Disabled, then click the 'Stop' button below. Click 'Apply' and reboot. The indexing service will now be stopped.

14.  Replace Windows' search

Although Windows' built-in searching tool is decent enough and has been improved over the years, it's also not the best option. Many choose to use other options, which not only grant better searches, but also speed up the process.

One of the most popular options is the free program, Everything ( This is a fast, third-party search tool that can replace Windows' own function, and it uses minimal resources. If you do a lot of searching, this is a great applications to try.

Everything is a free search tool that’s both faster and more efficient than Windows’ own

Everything is a free search tool that’s both faster and more efficient than Windows’ own

15.  Disable USB checks

Booting with a USB device connected can sometimes cause the system to spend time initializing these devices. Some BIOS versions feature an option called USB Mass Storage Delay, which can be changed in order to speed up boot times. Go into your BIOS, locate this option and set it to a shorter duration. Of course, you won't want to do this if you actually boot from any USB devices.

16.  Change performance options

Windows features a host of visual effects, and although these can make your desktop look good, they can also slow down your PC. Luckily, these can be trimmed a bit.

If you're using Windows 8, go to Search and type 'effects' and select 'Settings' in the right-hand panel. Click 'Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows' and you'll see the list of options you can alter, including the ability to disable animations, fades and other visual effects.

You can also find similar settings in previous versions of Windows. For example, in Windows 7, go to Control Panel and type 'Performance Information and Tools' in the search box. Click the result and then 'Adjust Visual Effects'.

17.  Disable HDD acoustic mode

There are some breeds of BIOS that feature an 'acoustic' mode. This will attempt to make your hard disk run more quietly. This may sound like a nice feature, but hard disks are hardly fog horns, and the setting can actually affect your system performance.

Therefore, you may want to disable it. To do so, check your BIOS for the acoustic mode setting and disable it. Easy.

18.  ReadyBoost

Windows Vista and later has access to a feature called ReadyBoost. This feature allows users to use connected USB drives as extra cache memory, thus increasing performance. To do this, simply right-click a connected device and select Properties. You'll see a ReadyBoost tab, where you can set up the feature, if the device is compatible.

19.  Optimize the BIOS

You can tweak your BIOS settings to speed up the boot process of a PC quite a lot. Enter the BIOS and ensure that your memory check is not running (it's useful, but you don't need it all the time). Change your boot device order so that your hard disk is first; this will bypass other devices. If you need to boot from CD, you can always change it later or simply press a key instead of having the BIOS check the drive.

If your BIOS has a special quick boot option, enable it. This will disable optional checks which, as long as your system is healthy, are not needed and only slow things down.

20.  Optimize RAM

Although upgrading or adding more RAM would cost money, you can tweak your existing RAM to get a bit more speed. As with overclocking, though, this can be risky, so take it slowly, step by step.

To do this, enter the BIOS and locate your system's memory timings. These are often set to system managed, but can be manually altered. Once set to manual, locate the CAS latency settings and reduce it by one. Test the system and then repeat. If your system becomes unstable, dial it back.

Optimize RAM

Optimize RAM

21.  Give GMA a boost

Intel's built-in Graphics Media Accelerator is found in many systems and, being an on-board option, it's not entirely great. However, although you can't perform miracles, you can give the hardware a bit of a boost, as its usually under-clocked by default.

Visit and download the GMABooster tool. This can then be used to give your GMA hardware a bit of a kick.

22.  Dual-boot time saver

If, like many PC users, you run more than one OS on your PC, you'll likely have a boot menu. Also, like many people, you may also mostly use the first entry, which if left unattended will wait while the menu timer ticks down.

Reduce boot menu waiting time to speed up unattended boots

Reduce boot menu waiting time to speed up unattended boots

If this is the case and you'd like to make the system boot into the default faster, right-click 'My Computer/Computer' and select 'Properties'. Go to Advanced System Settings and then Advanced. Click the 'Settings' button under Startup and Recovery and you'll be able to change the time the OS list will appear for.

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