This article focuses on boot time, but I think fixing a slow computer is a more critical need for most users. Here are my top three tips for speeding up a slow computer.
Increasing the amount of RAM is always a good fix for slow computers and probably my number one suggestion. Make sure you don't overpay for the RAM or the installation. Memory will usually be much more expensive from the PCs' manufacturer - crucial.com is a good alternative I've had success with. If you're technically inclined, there are lots of installation resources available online (especially YouTube).
If the poor computer performance is a recent symptom, it's time to check for viruses and malware - often the cause of a slow computer. Periodically checking and pruning which applications launch at startup (I usually use MSCONFIG) is a great way to limit them amount of RAM consumed by often unnecessary applications.
Here's Gordon's list:
#10 Tweak your BIOS
#9 Clean out programs that launch at startup
#8 Delay Windows services that run at startup
#7 Change your boot menu's timeout values
#6 Disable unused hardware
#5 Keep your antivirus running and up to date
#4 Remove fonts you don't need
#3 Upgrade your RAM
#2 Give your computer a static IP
#1 Install a solid state drive
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