9 Tips to Improve Computer Performance

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A slow computer can be incredibly frustrating and the reliance of computers for our daily business activities either ensures that we are productive or unable to keep up with the demands of our daily business expectations.

We need and expect our computers to perform as fast as they did from day one, so here are some tips to improve your computers performance.

1. Keep your Operating System and Software Updated

Regular patching of your computer operating system and software ensures that any bugs, specifically are resolved. These patches often improve security and performance in general. It is always advisable to enable automatic updates and patching of software where possible.

2. Disable Startup Programs

Not all programs are created equal, some are heavier than others. On Windows 10/11 computers under task manager, you can manage which programs are starting up by default. We recommend disabling as many programs as possible to reduce the impact of several heavy utilization applications consuming precious resources as possible and only starting them when needed. Some of these apps include Drobox, iCloud, OneDrive, Anydesk, TeamViewer, Google Drive, iTunes Helper, Zoom, Teams, Adobe Reader, Chrome, Edge.

Where possible disable as many startup programs to improve boot up times on your computer, by default, Chrome and Edge run in the background, disabling these can improve general computer performance as well as startup performance.

3. Defragmentation of Disk

On traditional disk drives, disk defragmentation is a strong maintenance requirement and should be carried out weekly; When disks become heavily fragmented, the time taken to find data on disk increases. Fragmentation moves data to logical locations on the disk for quicker responsiveness.

On SSD Drives, a retrim helps to improve disk performance and should also be completed at least monthly. The Trim helps to determine what data is no longer in use and helps improve lifespan of the drive.

4. Free Space Management

Maintenance tasks should include keeping disk storage above a threshold of at least 20-30% free space on a disk, when drives drop to low disk space, they tend to drop in performance and may cause issues preventing updates and changes to be written to disks.

We recommend running a disk cleanup and always budgeting for future storage requirements when using a drive. In general, we budget for a 30-40% increase in storage space over a 1–3-year period and ensure that disks can maintain that.

To further manage free space, we recommend running a disk cleanup (Built-in tool on Windows computers) that will allow you to run and clean temp files and resource clogging space that can be removed safely.

5. Hardware Upgrade

Sometimes computers are just slow because of older and lower performance processors or lower amounts of RAM. A big component of slow performance is using spindle Hard Drives on Windows 10 and Windows 11 computers. The quickest way to improve a computers sluggish performance is to upgrade to a Solid-State Hard Drive.

The Read/Write speeds of a Spindle Hard Drive compared to a Solid-State Hard Drive is night and day. Where possible, always use a SSD drive on a computer to improve performance response times.

A handy trick is to look for SSD drives that have a minimum of 3-year warranty and are from reputable manufacturers that allow you to install a toolbox to monitor the disk’s health. For info on a reputable brand, contact our sales team.

The next tip is to check how much memory is installed on your computer. For most standard computing applications today, we recommend a minimum of 8GB Memory; Before upgrading always check that your computer is a 64-bit operating system to allow more memory to work otherwise you will be limited to 4GB Memory.

Several computers today will work on 16GB and 32GB of Memory. Check on the hardware limitations before wasting money on hardware that you can’t use.

6. Anti-Malware Protection

Malware, viruses, trojans and the like are notorious for causing performance problems and slowing down a computer. Always look for signs of a compromise with performance degradation from one day to the next as well as web browser home page changes.

We recommend the use and installation of business grade products like Eset and Sophos for protection – Out of the box, these products may not be optimized for performance, so a good understanding of configuration would be required – Our team of engineers can help you to configure and setup for your environment.

7. Enable Hardware Acceleration

Many applications and web browsers offer hardware acceleration, which offloads certain tasks to your computer’s hardware, such as the GPU (graphics processing unit).

Enabling hardware acceleration can improve performance in graphic-intensive applications like video editing software or gaming. Check the settings of your software or browser to see if hardware acceleration is available and enable it if possible.

8. Remove Unnecessary Programs

Over time, we install applications that are required but then forgotten about. The use of the applications many times run in the background and consume precious resources and space. By regularly reviewing and removing installed applications, it allows cleanups and good general maintenance of your device.

9. Never upgrade between Windows Versions

Upgrading from Windows 7 to 10 in place may sound easier and faster than completing a new installation, but it is sure to cause problems 9/10. When upgrading, always complete a re-install of the computer after a full backup to ensure that incompatible applications or corruption does not get pulled through.


By following these tips and tricks, you should see an improvement of performance on your computer in general and while we recommend and follow these tips ourselves, always be careful and be sure to keep backups of all your data (Tested and confirmed working of course).

The information provided in this document is to be used at the users own risk and Ativo ICT accept no liability for any event that may occur as a result of the advice provided. We recommend consulting a professional for safely improving your computer performance.