Speed Week: How to speed-up your PC

Getting more velocity from your Windows-based machine.

Does your laptop take an age to start up, are you always having to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to get things going again? Here's a few ways you can end the misery.

More Speed Week features:
How to speed up your iPhone | How to make Android faster | How to speed up your PC | How to speed up your Mac | How to speed up your web browser

1) Protect yourself
Nothing is quite as good at slowing your PC's processor to a crawl quite like some vicious spyware lurking on your hard-drive, while also trying to steal your private information. Nice, huh? Make sure you have decent virus protection software to guard against this. For a quick free check you can use the PC Safety Scan from Windows Live One Care.

2) Disk Cleanup
So you've deleted masses of video, music and photos from your hard-drive, yet you're still struggling for space, trying to figure out where the rest of the clutter is coming from. Windows can cure these ills with a handy disk cleanup tool which rids your hard-drive of memory-hungry temporary internet and programme files. Go to All Programmes > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleaup and just watch those precious GBs come back to you

3) Defrag that hard-drive
When your files are spread across a host of different folders all over your computer, it takes your hard-drive longer to locate everything. The Disk Degragmenter tool in Windows will arrange everything in neat and tidy folders for you and speed up your computer's performance. Access it through All Programmes > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Degragmenter

4) ReadyBoost
External hard-drives and USB flash-drives aren't only useful for freeing up space on your PC hard-drive, but also as a means of speeding it up through Windows ReadyBoost. The functionality uses the external drive memory to cache temporary files, rather than using the built-in memory. This can result in 80-100-times fast disk read speeds.

5) Get Windows 7
If none of this really makes much of a difference, you might want to consider upgrading your operating system to Windows 7, Microsoft's fastest and best OS yet.