Speeding up an old PC (and a maybe your Mac too)

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

In the old days there used to be a lot you could do to speed up a slowing and painful PC.

While it may still seem like there's a lot that can be done, things aren't nearly as bad out-of-the-box as they used to be.

So tweaking things for improved speed has reduced in apparent effectiveness. {Like any of us ever turned off the Turbo button.}

Obviously the good news being that the baseline of "horrible" has improved to our advantage.

As always, there's a risk that you over do it or break something accidentally.

It can be quite hard to understand the ramifications of "uninstalling" all the things you may feel like you need to and turning off those things you've never heard of.

By and large you SHOULDN'T trust any performance tuning tool you may stumble across, be served as an ad' or otherwise come by.

Most of these simply serve as back-doors for crap...at best...if you are lucky.

If you aren't lucky you probably just invited a tonne of viruses onto your computer.

But before you tweak anything you should make sure your backups are good and then create yourself a System Restore Point in case things go bad and you need to roll back to where you were:


System restore won't get you everything back so if you are new to this, or planning on a revolution, I suggest you make notes along the way.

You should move in a step-wise fashion i.e. change and test one thing at a time. This can be time consuming but if you don't know what you are doing then it is the safest way to only break one thing at a time and therefore have a chance of undoing it more easily.

The things that can be done is a moving feast and quite dependent on just what you've done with and to your PC since you acquired it.

So I won't try to re-invent the wheel here. But...

...Here's a pretty good overview of the things you can do fairly easily on a Windows 10 PC to tweak it for speed:


None of these things are big ticket items like upgrading RAM or your hard disk to an SSD (Solid State Drive).

They are all things you can do within the context of what you already have without spending any more money.

Here's a similar article about how to speed up your Mac. Big ticket items are mentioned here because often "speeding up a Mac" requires major effort:


But, in the end, there's only so much you can do before it is time to just move on and get a new machine.

Knowing when to do that is a whole other art-form.


Have fun.


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