Top 8 Programs That Can Make Your Computer Run Faster

1332225362 d321019fab   Top 8 Programs That Can Make Your Computer Run FasterIt’s a common problem among computer users: after a few months, our computers become weighed down by programs and all sorts of other junk, and inevitably become sluggish. For the less tech-savvy users, this may induce thoughts like “Why is my computer so terrible?” or “I guess I could always upgrade this… what-cha-ma-callit RAM thing”.

Regular maintenance is usually required to keep a computer optimized and running at its best. Here are four programs that will make your computer faster, and four trade-offs to help make the best use out of the amount of RAM that’s installed on your computer.

MSConfig

For those who despair endlessly that their computer lags too much at start up yet don’t know how to go about fixing that, taking a look through MSConfig would be the place to start. Msconfig can by accessed by hitting Windows-R, which brings up the “Run” dialog, and typing in “msconfig”. Under the “Start Up” tab, there is a list of programs and executables that are launched when the computer starts up.

msconfig   Top 8 Programs That Can Make Your Computer Run Faster


Having a lot of programs that start up when the computer boots is one of the main reasons that boot times are so long, for most PC users. Thus, the remedy would be to go through the entire list and uncheck anything that is unnecessary to have on boot up. If there are any entries you are not sure about, be sure to check them thoroughly on the internet before messing with them, as unchecking the wrong entries could potentially mess up the functionality of some of your programs.

CCleaner

CCleaner stands for “Crap Cleaner” and that is exactly what the program is great for. Over time, temporary files bog down your system, and take up unnecessary space in your harddrive. Thus, it is good PC maintenance practice to go through your computer once every while, and delete all the temp files.

ccleaner   Top 8 Programs That Can Make Your Computer Run Faster

It is incredibly simple: just navigate to the Cleaner tab in CCleaner, check everything you want to clean up (it would be best to leave the “Advanced” section alone, unless you know what those entries refer to), and then clean Analyze. You’ll then see an overview of what CCleaner is about to clean up and delete, and how much space CCleaner will free up for you. To permanently erase the temp files off your computer, simply click “Run Cleaner,” and all those temp files will be history.

Temp files aren’t the only junk files cluttering up your computer, however. Broken registry keys also pose a huge problem when it comes to useless files clogging up your system. Fortunately, CCleaner also has the ability to keep your registry clean.

ccleanre3   Top 8 Programs That Can Make Your Computer Run Faster

To do this, use the “Registry” tab in Ccleaner. Once again, select all the entries you want CCleaner to prune, and let it do its thing. The only difference between this type of maintenance and clearing temp files is that if you accidentally delete a key that is still being used by your system, your computer can begin to function strangely. With that said, you should back up your registry settings before you give CCleaner the go ahead to torch everything. When you click “Fix Selected Issues” to delete the faulty registry entries, CCleaner will prompt you to back up your registry, and you should always click ‘yes’.

CCleaner was also discussed by Stefan in his article How To Uninstall Applications Efficiently And Remove Obsolete Files.

Revo Uninstaller

Revo Uninstaller is like the on-steroids version of your own Add and Remove Programs option in the Control Panel, but it also scans your computer for any files that the default uninstaller doesn’t catch, and deletes them. Revo’s layout is pretty much exactly the same as the Add and Remove Programs dialog, so it should be simple to navigate.

revo   Top 8 Programs That Can Make Your Computer Run Faster

Revo also has a panel that lists all of the clean up tools that are provided with Windows systems. This menu can be accessed by clicking the Tools icon, and then the Windows Tools tab on the left.

For a more in-depth review of Revo Uninstaller, check out Jimmy’s article Revo Uninstaller Will Hunt Down Your Bloatware.

Defraggler

So once you’ve cleared all of the unnecessary files from your computer, there are now a bunch of holes where the data for those files used to be. While this may seem like no big deal to most people, having random gaps of empty space can also slow down your computer, because the rest of your files are still splintered into many different pieces, and the newly generated empty space isn’t being used efficiently. The more pieces a file is split to, the longer it takes the computer to access that file, so it makes sense to put all these pieces back together, once space has been cleared up to store whole files.

defraggler   Top 8 Programs That Can Make Your Computer Run Faster

Defraggler is one of the best free defragmentation tools on the market. The visual representation of the space on the computer as pieces of files are being reunited is extremely enlightening, because most people don’t realize the extent of file splintering on their systems.

But cleaning up your computer isn’t the only thing you can do to optimize how fast your computer runs. Believe it or not, the programs you choose to perform daily actions such as chatting, or opening PDFs, can also affect your computer’s running speed.

Best Program Trade-Offs

This section discusses several alternative applications that perform more efficiently and provides your computer with the speed boost that it needs. Especially on slower computers, the difference is quite noticeable. Try it them out for yourselves!

1. Pidgin vs. AIM

If you don’t mind the spartan interface, Pidgin is a great multi-protocol IM client with a light footprint. Unfortunately it doesn’t natively support video chat, but it does have a plug-in for Skype (although you’ll need to have Skype running to use it).

2. Firefox or Chrome vs Internet Explorer

I recommend this switch not just based off memory footprint, but also because both Firefox and Chrome trump IE when it comes to customization and start-up times.

3. Foxit Reader vs Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader is notorious for its slow load times, especially when it comes to huge documents. Being a student, I regularly load 500+ page PDFs (the digital versions of my textbooks), so having to wait ages for them to load would be severely detrimental to my productivity. Foxit Reader, however, is so snappy that a 500+ page PDF loads almost instantly, and the browser integration is much smoother and faster than that of Adobe Reader. Once again, the interface is a bit more spartan, but Foxit definitely packs more features, and is a very worthy switch.

Click here for Guy’s article on more light alternatives to Adobe Reader.

4. [NO LONGER WORKS] VLC Player vs Windows Media Player

VLC is like the Pidgin of media players in that it supports a multitude of different video formats, and has a quick loading interface. Another great, recently implemented feature of VLC is that it can now be skinned to fit in with your windows theme!

5. Foobar2000 vs iTunes

The great thing about Foobar is that it is so customizable: everything from the layout of the interface to the plug-ins to extend the program’s capabilities can be tweaked. Many people worry that without iTunes, they wont’ be able to sync their iPod or iPhone, but Foobar actually has a plug-in to support iPod syncing.

Today, I’ve covered eight of the best programs for de-crapping your computer and maximizing your available RAM. Hopefully you’ve found a few of these programs to your liking, and decide to trade out your slow, sluggish apps for something a bit more snappy. Here they are again:

CCleanerDownload
Revo UninstallerDownload
DefragglerDownload
PidginDownload
FirefoxDownload
ChromeDownload
Foxit ReaderDownload
VLC Player[NO LONGER WORKS] Download
Foobar2000Download

Try out our suggestions, and let us know if they help speed up your computer a bit. If you have your own favorite programs for speeding up your computer, let us know in the comments!

Image credit: cod_gabriel

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

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142 Comments -

Chris

Firefox 3.5 has the smallest memory usage of just about any modern browser.

dotnetperls.com/chrome-memory

Alek Davis

I wonder why this test did not cover IE (not that I’m an IE fan, but still).

MUOFan

I agree with anything written in this article. I use Firefox, Foxit and VLC, and it’s much better than any similar program.

VLC and Foxit are new one for me though. I used to use Windows XP + Windows Media Player and Adobe Reader Lite before i started using Windows 7. I must admit that VLC and Foxit are lots faster than Windows Media Player.

Noah

For most Windows users, it isn’t the start up programs – it’s the mix of programs and malware they have. Suggesting msconfig to beginners is a very bad move on your half. They’ll try and turn off the kernel (seen it happen), or other things.

Angelina

Although you do have a great point (it is possible to disable some pretttty important stuff… although for the MOST part I’d say anything that you KNOW is unnecessary, for example, Itunes, can be disabled, and malware is definitely a part of the problem, for many users) I’ve seen my fair share of bogged down computers, and having way too many programs running at once is DEFINITELY a problem. Most users aren’t even aware of how to disable start up problems, and when someone has Yahoo, MSN, AIM, AND Skype Messengers, Antivirus, a whole bunch of unnecessary, manufacturer installed add ons (Sidebar? or, for example, EEEPc makes a quicklaunch bar that is all too unnecessary), a whole bunch of the user’s OWN unnecessary add ons, itunes, windows media player, and other junk starting up all at once, booting up and running the computer is a very very painful experience. That’s why, when I’m performing speed optimizations and clean ups on people’s computers, the first thing I usually tackle is start ups. Of course, that’s not a universal solution, but it’s one thing to look at when trying to speed up a computer.

Victor Vasconcelos

Oh, I’ll disagree. If they keep to the “startup” page they can’t do any harm. If they actually go to other pages do some harm, they’ll learn a lot with it.

Noah

Yes, start-ups solve a little bit of the problem – but if you turn off the un-needed services run by Windows to begin with, you can have a great system. I got my Vista to run on as low as 400MB, while still being stable and secure. The common users also tend to have non-sense like quicktime or java running at start up. These aren’t needed at all.

Angelina

That’s definitely true, particularly if you get rid of indexing and most of the visual effects. However, I’m of the opinion that the average user shouldn’t be messing around with Services, unless know EXACTLY what they’re doing (and most people tend to just disable things without really thinking about the repercussions)

chris

msconfig hold some system files, better before doing any tweak on msconfig read more info about the program that are on the list, in that case you’ll know what to unchecked and what should stay “check”,DON’T dare to unchecked if you doesn’t know it’s function.

ciastek

Firefox and small memory footprint? LOL!

RougeCrown

LOL. sire, i think YOU are the one who should be loled at. Firefox triumphs everyone when it comes to memory usage. If your firefox is bloated, cut down your porn surfing.

Cheers.

Josh

Wha? Are we talking about the same browser here? :’) Firefox is well known to be a resource hog. There is no denying this. It is a simple fact.

Also, high memory usage due to porn surfing only happens to Internet Explorer.

AriesWarlock

Like RogueCrown said, the new version of Firefox trumps the other browsers according to tests.

Angelina

its true that firefox does have memory leaks, but the latest build has been much more efficient. Also, if you just close it every once in a while and restart it,it shouldn’t suck up too much memory at all :]

Realist11

THAT’s a great solution, close the browser all the time to make up for its crappy memory management. Firefox 3.5 so far has been a memory disaster, IE8 is actually (surprisingly) doing better at the moment.

RougeCrown

I said already, if your firefox is a memory hogs, check your add-ons.

Some add-ons suck up a lot of resources, like Down-Them-All, even the RSS live feed.

Cut down on these add-ons, and you will see the improvements.

Anonymous

You made me laugh. IE which has shown itself to be slow, insecure, and far from standards compliant? You Microsoft fan boys are that thick?

Alek Davis

I’m not a fan of IE (mostly use FF), but to say that “Firefox [...] trump[s] IE when it comes to [...] start-up times” is a bit silly. Start-up time is my major complaint about FF.

RougeCrown

IE starts with Windows, so obviously it starts faster. But well, just let the ol’ fox warm up for some seconds and it will run like a charm.

Or try chrome. I’m just too used to my Fox to even consider using it. Tried it and was impressed with its start up speed though.

Alek Davis

IE does not start with Windows; it’s a stand-alone process that starts exactly the same way FF does. And FF takes several minutes (not seconds) to start on my machine (I use a handful of add-ons, but not that many, and I recreated my profile/defraged the drive/etc, which helped initially, but after some use it went back to the slo-o-o-ow start-up). I tried Chrome a few months ago and I did not like it (it was fast and clean, but several things did not work well for me).

ray

unfortunately I’d have to agree…love ff but it takes about 5 mins to start up on my pc. Explorer isn’t an option. Chrome is the lightest and has fastest startup but is by far the buggiest. I’ve settled with the horribly slow ff.

hudz

Isn’t it IE is prefetch on windows startup?
“/Prefetch:1″

WiseGuy1020

Loved FF 3.5 till I tried Chrome. Fast but spartan, if I want to sacrifice capabilities for speed I’ll go with epiphany-webkit. Installed Opera 10 and I am never going back.

Victor Vasconcelos

True, most new tests using IE8 show Microsoft’s browser has better startup times than Firefox, even without extensions. Chrome, while faster, has even less extensibility than IE itself (although their developers wouldn’t like you to think so)

I still use Firefox, basically because I can handle the ridiculous memory waste and startup times only to keep my extensions :3

Alek Davis

Exactly!

AriesWarlock

Good article. I’d change Defraggler for Auslogic Disk Defrag.

Why I don’t like foobar:

Does foobar2000 sound better than other players?

No. Most of “sound quality differences” people “hear” are placebo effect (at least with real music), as actual differences in produced sound data are below their noise floor (1 or 2 last bits in 16bit samples). foobar2000 has sound processing features such as software resampling or 24bit output on new high-end soundcards, but most of the other mainstream players are capable of doing the same by now.

Why AIM? I am using Digsby right now and it’s great, facebook, myspace, twitter, and other messengers from a single application.

I’d also throw in Advance System Care 3, its Memory Optimizer tool is very handy.

Jon

I don’t understand your reasoning for disliking foobar2000. Because its audio is no better than other players?

libeco

I never use Crap Cleaner. I used to use all kinds of registry cleaners and boosters, but they just don’t do any good. I’ll delete my temp. files every once in a while, but I leave the registry untouched. WHat really makes a PC faster is formatting it at least twice a year.

I do use Revo uninstaller and Defraggler, both great apps.

As for web browsers, I use Maxthon for surfing and firefox for web development because of its plugins, but fast? No way, it’s an incredibly slow browser, which is not as customizable as Maxthon.

Next to VLC I would also nominate Media Player Classic, although I must say I’m impressed with Windows 7’s Windows Media Player when it comes to clear image and speed.

I have used foxit for about a year before I switched back to Adobe reader, somehow it seems like Adobe Reader isn’t as slow as it used to. And the ad in foxit was annoying.

One more tip for notebook users: remove the apps that come installed with a pre-installed notebook, it will make a huge difference!

Angelina

The problem with formatting it twice a year is , with users who legitly buy software there couldbe problems with reusing software keys, and having “multiple computers” registered with the same key. Also, if you likehaving tons of programs installed, it is a HUGEEEE hassle reinstalling all those programs.

I completely agree with you on deleting preinstalled apps, though. There’s a great utility called PC Decrapifier

Dan

What you do is format, install everything you will need and then ghost the whole thing (aka backing up the current disk state // whatever its called now) That way 6 months down the road you just reinstall from that and now you have a fresh system with everything set up the way you left it.

Damocles

Backup:
cat /dev/sda1 | gzip > sda1_backup.gz

Restore:
gunzip sda1_backup.gz > /dev/sda1

If you use a Linux Live CD and have another partition (or server you can connect to) to dump the compressed disk. Completely free solution.

Steve Ollis

I’d agree with most of this. I’d add a couple of suggestions tho.

Defrag – I personally use and recommend MyDefrag (mydefrag.com/). It has built in configurations for standard defragmentation runs (Monthly, Weekly, Daily, Free Space, USB drives), and also comes with a screen saver option to allow your computer to automatically start defragging when you’re not using it.

One other tool, although not free but IS inexpensive, is eBoostr (eboostr.com/). For as little as USD$19, you can use a USB key or SD/MMC card as additional caching memory for your PC. Of course, you do lose the use of a USB port, but the performance improvement more than makes up for this.

Elvin

I think IE launches faster than Firefox and at the same time with Chrome. I use all 3 but mostly Chrome with plugins.
VLC beats all in terms of media playing.
And Pdgin is mostly a good linux player.
Using an uninstaller is a good thing but it is also risky. Same as CCleaner.

BTW. Formatting twice a year? Huh..I wish i had so much time..:)

Trevor

One utility I did not see mention is HijackThis.
free.antivirus.com/hijackthis/
Its EXTREMELY effective when used properly.

bruno

HJT is not for system optimizing (and not for noobs). It´s a malware cleaning tool and a rather old one.

bruno

If you want a clean uninstall use ZSoft Uninstaller. It scans file system a registry before and after install and computes difference. A rather brute force way but definitely effective.

Neil Smith

Get a Mac!

Lisa

There’s always one in the crowd. In this case, he’s right!

Andrew Lim

If you’re a Windows user considering switching to a Mac, please note that:

– Unless you dual boot or maintain 2 machines, your PC gaming days are practically over.
– Try to take a screenshot. It’s not as obvious as hitting Prt Scr.
– The Mac GUI is radically different. You can only resize your windows from the bottom right and close your window from the top left. Windows allow you to resize from any corner and close from either top left or top right.
– Forget about folder thumbnails. Mac doesn’t support them.

All these annoyances I learned first hand after I switched to a Mac at work. IMHO, Ubuntu and Windows are still better.

Erik

Literally every point you make is wrong here, and some of them are actually the inverse of the truth — for example, Mac screenshots are much better; you can take selections, save them to memory, or save them to a distinct PNG file with transparency enabled. The most egregious point you made however is the folder thumbnails; one of the features in Leopard was a thumbnail of literally everything in your computer, called “Quicklook”.

Andrew Lim

I stand by my points.

Mac screen shots may be “better”, but they’re not intuitive to take! Can you tell me the easiest way to screen capture the entire screen? I recall it’s some funky keystroke. CTRL+3 or something like that.

To use QuickLook you have to select the file first. And it previews it at full size. What I want is Windows folder thumbnails. It’s convenient for to see what subfolders contain, without clicking on them.

Michael Schwager

I’m a 26-year UNIX veteran (not 26 years old, but I’ve been using it since 4.1BSD on a Vax 11/780). Off an and since the first Mac I have been using Macs in that time. My main computer at home is a MacBook Pro, my wife has a MacBook Pro; I also have a dual-boot PC (WinXP/Fedora 10) and a Solaris 10 box.

All that said, I think that Andrew is basically right. Moving from PC to Mac is… different… not better, in a GUI sort of way. I like some of the GUI shortcuts on the PC and I miss them. I use a PC at work and I like they way it does some things- don’t like the way the Mac does those things. …Now, THAT said, I still think the Windows platform as a whole is inferior. It’s true that you have to clean the damn thing out after a while because it gets old and crufty. I’ve never had a PC last longer than a year-and-a-half without a rebuild. :-( I’m used to a year and a half of *uptime*, for petessakes. Now THAT is a computer!
-Mike

Romeo

Mike your comments are not relative to the blog…simply google “Mac FanBoy Forum” and you’ll see much more relevant places to post your comments.

tony

wubi-installer.org/ runs in the ntfs partition and only takes 8 gigs of space, an easy way to upgrade to linux without wiping out your machine, if nothing else it provides a good alternative way to boot and run a check that all the hardware is working fine

Noah

Or Linux, the free and better OS.

rofl

i can’t stop laughing i have all these programs like cleaner and vlc and good old msconfig heh i guess i can’t speed up my comp with this article lolz

rolf2

me too; I was hoping to discover something new to tweak a bit more performance out of my old Dell LapTop. I have all of these and can I just say that the this article is excellent; I have discovered each of these over a number of years and they’re terrific. VLC rocks; CCleaner is great – excellent for when you change jobs and you want to clear out personal data on your work devices; and I agree – clear out your startup files – amazing how much crap will be in there after a couple of years!

Angelina

I think the main point is really – you can’t speed up your computer unless you take stuff that’s bloating it down off it. If you run ccleaner, run virus and malware scans, delete your temp files, and defrag on a scheduled basis, your PC shouldn’t get too bloated down. Switch out slow loading apps with ones that eat up less ram. Turn down visual effects on your GUI. If you really can’t get it to speed up and you have less than a gig (or even, two, depending on the ram consumption of the programs you’re running), then consider upgrading your Ram. If you know what you’re doing, you can go into Services.msc and block certain unnecessary services from auto starting (but that’s more advanced than the average user can handle without screwing up something major, which is why I left it out of the article).

yeah. Hope that helps :]

Keith

Excellent list of recommendations, although I have to agree with rofl (above) that the title is a little misleading. Some of them may not necessarily speed up the computer.

However, I have to admit some of the recommended programs are used by me and that they have shown to be better than some other compatible ones.

Angelina

The programs do keep your computer in good shape, though, which is a crucial part of retaining your computer’s speed, no? ^__^ The main concept is, if you can continue maintaining your computer, then theres no reason it should be slowing down significantly at all :D

tony

great stuff, I would replace opera (chrome or safari) for web browser, Firefox is awesome with no script for secure browsing, I would also throw in one more free utility the search everything app available from download.com it replace the sad windows search that takes forever with an instant search, check it out!

Roger Wehbe

You could of course just run Ubuntu instead.. you don’t have to worry about any of the programs above.. and it starts up months from now the same way it starts today.

RougeCrown

How i wish ppl dont start “JUST USE LINUX/MAC/WATEVER OS”

this is an article about WINDOWS, ppl. GET A LIFE.

Anonymous

To those who care, another great disk defragger is Auslogic’s Disk Defrag.

matzahboy

For Revo Uninstaller, be very wary of the deepest uninstall (the most thorough that takes the longest). I once screwed up my computer by using the deep uninstall for Office 2007.

Terence Boylen

Fox-it is not a good alternative to Acrobat. There is a large variety of PDF types and beyond a somple text document no other reader works well. Try submitting PDF forms of opening PDF folios!

Angelina

I think for the average users that deal mostly with PDFs, Foxit is adequate. Of course, if you need much more functionality out of your Reader, then you might have to trade speed for features.

katnip

I see you recommend ccleaner, but recently I was advised to use Glary Utilities as a better alternative. What is your opinion on the differences between these programs?

pceasies

Firefox leaks memory like a sieve. I leave it running all the time (which is sucks at flash and always crashes at night when I leave Facebook flash games going). Also, after opening and closing 20 tabs without closing Firefox, Firefox decides it’s OK to take 1GB of RAM and every time I view a page with flash and let the browser idle, it’s ok to use 20-30% CPU usage, idling. This is a 6GB with an AMD Athlon 64 +4200 x2 so it should not be raping my computer’s resources like it always seems to want to. Funny how Chrome never has this problem although there are only a couple addons =(

Angelina

HAha maybe the solution would be to play Facebook games in Chrome, and use Firefox for normal browsing? ^__^

xeno

Thanks for sharing…Defraggler is what I am looking for…

Freelance Lens

I agree with the above comment. Firefox is becoming a hell for power users. I would suggest Chrome or less known Opera.

Chrom

Chrome makes Firefox look like IE.

Joe

http://www.sysinternals.com is a Microsoft site that has several extremely useful tools crafted by the windows developers themselves. Two of them that are very handy are AUTORUNS.EXE and PROCEXP.EXE

AUTORUNS is a much expanded version of MSCONFIG, and PROCEXP is a souped-up version of TaskManager.

PROCEXP even has an option to even hook in to ctrl-alt-delete that brings up TaskManager.

Teri Greene

Alek Davis – Minutes? Firefox really shouldn’t be taking even one minute to start, if you don’t have lots of extensions. I’d suggest the freeware SpeedyFox. It defrags the SQL database Firefox uses and thus speeds up the start. This could easily be your fix; I’ve seen it work in similar situations.

One of the biggest timesavers I know is Everything, the freeware file search. Unlike waiting forever for Windows Find, Everything finds files literally instantly. Often before you finish typing the name. The extra advantage is that not using Windows Find means you get to turn off Windows file indexing.

cupcake

Decent list, Definitely go with Foxit over Adobe.
But I prefer Media Player Classic with the codec packs over VLC.
And MediaMonkey over foobar. Much nicer audio manager.

Chrome is definitely quick to start and use, but it cant compare with the customization FF can handle, makes it unusable if you’re used to FF.

I’d also suggest YXplorer or Xplorer2 over the built in Windows Explorer. Tabbed views, highlighting, customization, etc etc.

CrAsian

I definitely agree with Media Player Classic over VLC.

Specifically, I use CCCP which also installs MPC.

cccp-project.net/

Then, I normally also install QuickTime alternative.

Generally, MPC+CCCP seemed to take less resources than VLC for my computer. Though, I’ll admit it was awhile ago since I tested it.

Laemo

Just a quick point about Defraggler. NEVER use it on an external hard disk. I have used it twice with catastrophic results. My HDD nearly died the first time, and the second time it died for good. I have lost faith in using Defraggler since that unfortunate incident.

sax0nNZ

Opera

Travis

Auslogics Speedboost is better than CC Cleaner, Revo and Defraggler, because it does all 3 within the same piece of software and it’s faster. It’s not free – but it’s easily worth it’s money. Duplicate file finder, memory defrag, regular degrag, Force your PC and CPU to use it’s L2 cache, the list goes on and on. auslogics.com/en/software/boost-speed

Sprachreisen

Used defraggler for some time but found it funny that even though files that I don’t access anymore (e.g. retired outlook file) were identified as fragmented by the next run two weeks or a month later. Made me change again …

How to Speak japanese

where do i find msconfig on my HD? when entering the filename it says that it cannot locate the file.
Or .. .where is it hidden on the installation CD of XP-Pro?

Thanks for your help. Its much appreciated.
Yamato

Angelina

It should be in C:\Windows\System32, but as for where it is in the installation CD, I unfortunately have no idea :[ Sorry!

Bob

Try clicking Start, then Run then type msconfig

Tim

I always find it funny that all tools for fixing issues are not required by Linux because it sorts that stuff out automatically. Also most of the replacement applications like Firefox and Pidgin are the defaults on Linux. What you are really saying is to move over to linux :-P

Misterangry

Mmm, having problems with simple addition it seems. You title the piece “Top 8 programs that can make your computer run faster” then list only five and pad the rest of the article with alternatives to installed programs.

This is really lame and I therefore bury it.

bakasan

thanks for sharing all these. i personally tried foxit and thought it is a good software. it even offers pdf editing, but is limited to editing text and making annotations. wondering if there is a way to get a full version (obviously the foc way).

Helper

It’s not recommended according to Microsoft to use MSConfig to disable startup items.

The program that Microsoft recommends to use for disabling startup programs is Autoruns available here:
Microsoft | Autoruns

Helper

Last link did not work for some reason.

Autoruns —->
technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

uer

VLC sucks

Josh

Agreed. I really dislike VLC as well. I only use it in cases of emergency. In most other cases I use SMPlayer. MPlayer rocks.
Oh, and Mediaplayer Classic is very good too! Just combine that with FFDShow and you’re set. Both applications are much better than VLC.

Andrea

Great stuff… thanks for the info!

Josh

Hmm interesting. I actually switched back from Foxit to Adobe’s reader. Adobe feels more polished to me. I’m a student as well, so I open up huge PDFs too. Still, Reader loads up in a blink of an eye.

Might be my Core i5 though.

Oaken

Running XP Home with only 512mb ram, and my machine is as fast/faster as friends with 2Gb ram.

CCleaner is a must, and it helps to add further programs to the cleaning process (winapp2.ini), via the Piriform forum download/s. Getting rid of countless restore points (tools > system restore) can free up a good deal of space if you are often adding/removing programs, etc.

CleanMem (pcwintech.com/cleanmem) is a tiny little app which runs as a scheduled task, wiping down memory leaks, as opposed to most optimizers which seem to use as much resource as they claim to liberate.

Digsby is the superior IM client in my experience, with an average footprint, although be sure to opt out of all the crapware during the installation process. PLUS disable the default “Support Digsby” found in the help menu, otherwise Digsby will use your processor when idle and access the Internet.

Defragging the hard drive is another key factor in keeping your PC running well. Personally though I didn’t like Defraggler as it used a great deal of CPU, and have kept with the Windows tool since.

I wouldn’t be without ‘Revo’ and VLC at all.

zac philix

Have you tried installing Digsby with NOD32 already installed in your computer?

Amit Kumar

CCleaner, Mozilla Firefox, VLC Player, Adobe Reader Lite, MSN, Windows Default Disk Defragmenter!!!

daddy

MSN?? I hope you are kidding lol.

daddy my as

@ daddy u look like ****head, msn fan here.

John

Good stuff; however…

CCleaner is all you need because CCleaner can remove startup items like MSConfig and uninstall programs right from CCleaner under the tools menu. I would use Revo Uninstaller if I was worried about space, but with cheap hard drives a couple of megabytes is nothing now a days.

Bob

Lame article. If someone wants their computer to run faster, why would they be running Windows? And why wouldn’t you just suggest they run Linux? I recommend Debian, but you should recommend your favorite distro.

Romeo

Lame comment Bob…the lady took the time to offer tome tips to the novice pc users.

zac philix

bored? i’m, too is a Linux user but i am not bored. i bought UBUNTU training and i am very glad to make my Linux OS (copy cut) hahaha

PC Repair Joe

Great advice. I dont know how many times I have to tell people the very same things. Glad I’m not the only one.

ele

Crap Cleaner is definitely a good one. However sometimes this stuff isn’t enough and a good old fresh os install is the way to go.

Dams Junior

Amazing point outs. Not to hate IE, but with its excessive blockages of even genuinely known addons, makes FF the smart one to operate with. :)

Adderly

Pues Si, Esta Bastante Bien, Todo Es Cierto, Pero Te Falto Uno Muy Importante, Que Es Tune Up Ut., Por Que Si A mejora De Rendimiento Nos Referimos, Tune Up Es Lo Mejor Que Hay, Ya Que Tiene Todo Lo Que Hacen Esos Programas Y Mucho Mas.

Lo De Foxit 100% De Acuerdo.
Lo De VLC Contro WMP, Pues Estoy 50% Ya Qye Voy Con VLC Por La Cantidad De Formatos Que Te Permite Reproducir Sin Dificultad Ni Codecs Adicionales, Pero Tambien Voy Con El Media Player Ya Que Es Una Completa Biblioteca Musical, Y Me Obsesiona Tener Toda Mi Musica Organizada, Los Albunes Completos Con Sus Portadas Y Todo Lo Demas.

Pero El Post Esta Muy Bueno.

jclemens

MMMMMmmm… si puede que le halla faltado en Tune Up Ut. pero es porque parece que solo se estan mencionando freeware o openSource y el Tune Up Ut. es de paga

Robomaster

Great article! I use many of these programs and love ‘em. Keep it up!

uma mahesh varma

nice post which helped lot to know about more things ….

Andy

You of course mean Digsby instead of Pidgin, but that’s forgivable since you haven’t heard of Digsby yet. Now you have, so go get it.

Angelina

I actually have used Digsby before, but i’m not a HUGE fan. I use Astra myself, but for users that are wary about Ram consumption, I would definitely recommend Pidgin, because it is much more lightweight than either Digsby OR Astra.

Bob

Gee, has anyone used Trillian? I have been using it for over four years now. More customizable than all others, pro supports good video, and works great!

ted

I never tried foobar2000 but I’ve been happy and will stick with aimp2. aimp2.us/

felisha

I love this article and I will share it with friends…my computer is slow!…I wont do what is suggested myself but I will have a friend who is computer savvy do it for me! Thanks again!

st1xnst0nes

how about everybody just get a mac?

Mike O.

I have researched speed issues myself, and generally agree with your recommendations, with one caveat. Many users identify slowness with web interaction. What is slow, in most cases, comes down to their wireless connection. The best fix I’ve found for that is to use a USB connector that can be moved around the room for better reception. Beyond that, you can get a USB extendor. In my case that gives me 18 ft of USB cord to play with in placing my receiver wherever I want (currently outside a window). I use Hawking for USB wireless, with the USB extension, and “slow” is not a problem anymore.

ralph

or you could just buy a mac and avoid having to worry about any of this.

Andreas yo

Lol poor windows users, still need to defragment the file system? This is so last century

manu

hello k-meleon browser :P

Ben l Awesome Wallpapers

Great list! I use all of them:)

tim7423

Not every computer is a windows machine.

“Top 8 Programs That Can Make Your WONDOWS Computer Run Faster”

LMx

Well the only software I need to make my PC faster its Ubuntu ;)

Quano

jajajajajaja, software to make windows faster…. jajajajajajajajaj, , , this software is unneeded with …. fedora, ubuntu, etc, , etc

dtc

why defraggler, i already have a defragmenter.

i have lebron james in fantasy woot!

Jennifer Abej

Good article… I have downloaded some of this Softwares N it works…

Dean

Sorry, but i woundnt touch any of them with a 1000ft barge-pole.

90% of what i need and use is included with Windows. Why spend time and effort downloading something u already have.

Use the time to learn to use what you have properly..

virus cyrus

Not, top 8 programs that can make your wimdows computer run faster, but, The top 8 PROGRAMS that can make YOUR COMPUTER run FASTER.

najt

You want lightweight IM ?? Ditch Pidgin for Miranda. It’s not that user-friendly but at least ten times faster than Pidgin on my Win system. And it doesn’t get bugged every second release…

t

or buy a mac

Jeremy

Actually, (theflamingbanker.blogspot.com/2009/08/pidgin-260-its-about-time.html) Pidgin does support video chat. (I’ve used it, and it’s not as good as Skype or Empathy, but it’s getting there.)

zac philix

ASC is better than CCleaner

Indrek

My suggestion would be to ditch Windows and replace it with Linux (Ubuntu for instance). It makes even older and slower computers work like new.

Or if you have some extra money laying around buy a Mac.

Nabil

run faster, tuneup firefox ;DD

nawoa

I would recommend using a very clean codec pack in conjunction with Media Player Classic over VLC or WMP 99 times out of 100.

VLC will play almost anything but it does it often in a very hackish way, and it virtually always wrecks subtitles.

Instead try the CCCP codec pack, it includes Media Player Classic. It will still open virtually any video file, but it does it in a much more compatible, customizable way.

Also get QTLite to avoid needing to have Quicktime (and all its included goodies…) on your system.

Robert Plant

I find deleting my system32 folder speeds my machine way up.

kissmo

Delete temp files, avoid installing unnecessary softwares,delete other startup programs This may help you a bit..

Contrarian

I wonder sometimes why all you guys keep writing the same article over and over. There is absolutely nothing new here.

linuxfan

Those programs can not make your computer run faster but they can make your windows os.

george

you all should get a mac and use safari.

XD

foobar sucks

FOOBAR SUCKS! the only good thing about it is the customizable shortcuts

Scott

I’d like to add Mozilla Songbird to this list as a replacement for iTunes as well.

Priya

I have seen Chrome taking up lots of memory and hanging on my system lately.

firefox resent releases keep crashing my firefox but fortunately it recovers on restart.

Still both are much better then IE in any case.

Amit Kumar

Yeah, CPU usage.

Human Bagel

I prefer myDefrag to defraggler, although both programs are fantastic.

I also use PC Decrapifier, just because its so easy to use and so fast at eliminating bloatware.

There are a few memory managers that help too, during periods of prolonged use.

fdt

@ linuxfak ROFL, its you? [url]http://devin.dynalias.com/images/TheOSs.jpg[/url]
get a life!!!!!

Mike

wow ! this is exactly what my computer needed right now. I also like perfect uninstaller as an uninstaller and bs player for a window media trade off. please note that the free version of bs player installs with a spyware toolbar, so make sure to un-check that option.

noname

Another good defragging tool is SmartDefrag. It defrags whenever the system is idle.

GekiDan

From my point of view, Auslogics Disk Defrag is very much better than Defragler since I have experience lots of lags on Defragler. And Ausogics Dis Defrag is even faster.

Anonymous

There’s a difference between making your computer faster and making Windows faster. Windows is NOT your computer, thanks.

Also note that a good way to make a PC faster is to just get rid of Windows and install a better operating system (Windows is far from the best.).

Tony

I use Firefox, it works far better than MSIE. I also use Auslogics Disc Defrag which works very well, and Glary Utilities for getting rid of temporary files and cleaning up other parts of the system. Both of these are excellent freebies.

1fastbullet

I have an old Dell Dimension 3000 (WinXP) that came with a lot of AOL and Roxio crap pre-installed. Unfortunately, far too much of it remains on the machine, in the Registry. CCleaner doesn’t touch it and Revo can’t see it. Ultimately, the only recourse I’ve found is manually un-installing more and more as it is found.
The machine, now that much of the Dell and other garbage has been removed, outruns a number of Vista machines I’ve come across, but maybe that should come as no surprise…

XxMasterxX

my dad has a computer and he has Firefox and he dosent know how to unistall stuff and he dosent care