In honor of the upcoming release of Windows 8, we’ve decided to release a list of some of the best free strategies when it comes to improving PC speed and performance. If you want to optimize your computer and squeeze as much speed as possible out of your existing hardware (without spending a dime!), then these tips will help.

8) Uninstall old programs

You’ve probably installed dozens of programs on your computer over the years. Sure, you might use some of these programs on a regular basis. But you may have forgotten about other programs. Software takes up a significant amount of space on your computer, and removing old software can help improve PC performance while freeing up space on your hard drive.

To uninstall old programs, go to your Start menu and find the Control Panel. Click on the link to ‘Uninstall a program’. Or, if you’re using Windows XP, click on ‘Add/Remove Programs’. Then, go through the list and remove any programs that you no longer use on a regular basis. Depending on how many programs you uninstall, this can cause a minor to significant boost to performance.

7) Remove malware, viruses, and spyware

Today’s viruses come in all shapes and sizes. Viruses that monitor what you’re doing on your computer are called spyware, while viruses that are disguised as software tend to be called malware. In any case, removing malware from your computer is a very effective way to speed up its performance while making your information more secure.

The toughest part about this step is finding the right anti-malware program. You can try using PC Cleaner Pro. Or, you can depend on built-in Windows antivirus software like Windows Defender. There are also plenty of free and premium antivirus solutions that can be downloaded from the internet. Most antivirus software is built the same way, so it doesn’t necessarily matter which program you choose.

6) Defragment your hard drives

Windows 7 will automatically defragment your hard drive (or hard drives). However, some users have disabled automatic defragmentation. Or, you might be using an operating system older than Windows 7, in which case you’ll have to run a defragmentation process manually. It never hurts to defragment your hard drive, as it moves common files closer together in order to speed up PC access times.

To use the default Windows defragmentation tool, go to your Start Menu > All Programs  > Accessories > System Tools and then choose Disk Defragmenter. Choose the hard drive you want to defragment (most likely C:/) and then let the tool go to work. If you haven’t defragmented your hard drive lately, this step can take quite a bit of time. Since you shouldn’t access your hard drive during defragmentation, it’s a good idea to do this at night.

5) Use CCleaner to eliminate temporary files from your computer

If you’re looking for a free and easy way to remove junk files from your system, then check out CCleaner. CCleaner focuses on deleting temporary internet files and other data from your system, and it’s so easy to use that there is no excuse not to use it.

Download CCleaner here and then get ready to free up several gigabytes from your computer’s hard drive. However, CCleaner will remove online passwords and login information by default, so if you’re someone who forgets passwords for their favorite sites, then you might not want to use CCleaner. If you do run CCleaner, you’ll find that it removes temporary internet files and other information that you will never use again – but is nevertheless stored on your hard drive.

4) Clean the outside of your computer

Up to this point, all of the speed up PC free tips have involved altering files on your computer itself. However, a fast PC is fast on both the inside and the outside. For that reason, you’ll want to dust out the inside of your computer case using a canister of compressed air or even a basic anti-static cloth.

Dust build-up around your computer’s fans can impede its ability to cool down when experiencing a heavy performance load. That means slower performance when you need your computer most. Focus your cleaning efforts on exhaust fans and be sure to do this in a well-ventilated location. Canisters of compressed air can be purchased from any hardware store – like Best Buy – for under $10.

3) Clean your registry

The Windows Registry is one of the most important parts of the PC. Unfortunately, few users even know about the registry – and fewer still know how to effectively clean the registry. But cleaning the registry can result in noticeable speed boosts and error repairs in virtually every program.

In order to clean the registry, simply download PC Cleaner Pro. PC Cleaner Pro includes a free trial of registry cleaning software that will search deep within the registry for any errors or areas that could be optimized. Best of all – no technical expertise is required in order to clean the registry using PC Cleaner Pro.

2) Remove unnecessary programs from the startup queue using msconfig

A simple application called msconfig can help reduce your computer’s startup time by a noticeable number of seconds. The good news is that every Windows computer has msconfig installed by default. To access msconfig, just type msconfig into a Run command. Or, open your Windows search bar, type in msconfig, then click on the first result that pops up.

Once you’ve opened msconfig, click on the Startup tab. From here, you can see all of the applications and programs that currently load as your computer boots. Over time, programs will automatically add themselves to this list, which is why you may have noticed your PC slow down as it gets older. In any case, you can remove programs from the startup queue by simply deselecting them from this menu. Then, click ‘Apply’. It’s that easy.

1) Download your free trial of PC Cleaner Pro

We stand 100% behind PC Cleaner Pro when it comes to optimizing the speed and performance of a computer. If you don’t already know, PC Cleaner Pro is a powerful software program used by tech professionals around the world. Thanks to PC Cleaner Pro, computer users around the world have been able to breathe new life into old PCs while removing malware and making their systems more secure.

Scanning your computer with PC Cleaner Pro is free and easy. Even if you barely know how to check your email, you’ll be able to easily use PC Cleaner Pro. Download your free trial here and then check to see what kinds of errors (if any) PC Cleaner Pro finds on your PC. You have nothing to lose and powerful computer performance to gain!

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