Computer speed tips

This document outlines several tried‑and‑true methods to speed up and maintain the performance of your computer.

Document 1012  ¦  Last updated:  09/28/2017 RR2

To keep your computer quick, you should reboot regularly, stay current on updates, clean your PC often, and configure your security software to work with the programs you use.

If you're experiencing slowness, try the following:

Clear your temp folder  |  Configure your antivirus  |  Configure your firewall
Run Disk Cleanup  |  Scan for spyware  |  Additional speed tips

Clear your temp folder

The temp folder contains files that are only needed on a temporary basis.  Windows doesn't always delete these files after their job is done, resulting in wasted drive space. To delete unused files in your temp directory, choose a tab below.

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run box.

  2. In the Open: field, type (or copy and paste) %tsa6% and click OK.

  3. Once the TSA opens, click the Additional Tools tab.  Then, double‑click 1. Clear temp directory from the column on the right.
  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run box.

  2. In the Open: field, type (or copy and paste) tsa and click OK.

  3. Once the TSA opens, select WinTOTAL Utilites, click Next, and then double‑click 12. Clear temp dir from the column on the right.

Configure your antivirus

The exact process for configuring your antivirus software depends on which antivirus you use.  Ultimately, all you need to do is exclude a la mode program directories from "on‑access" scans.  These scans are perfect when you receive files from unknown parties or locations, but when you scan a known file (like those within TOTAL) every time you access it, it can considerably slow down your PC.  We've compiled the a la mode program directories you need to whitelist in one document — click here to view it.

Contact your antivirus software manufacturer if you need further assistance.

Configure your firewall

Firewalls can be even more intrusive than antivirus when not properly configured.  After all, they're intended to examine each and every transaction that takes place on your computer.  To avoid interference, we recommend configuring your firewall to "trust" TOTAL.

The exact process for configuring your firewall depends on the type of firewall that you use.  Go to support document 2500 to view a complete list of a la mode program directories, and contact your software manufacturer if you need exact directions.

Run Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup removes the files that Windows no longer needs.  Since these files can accumulate over time, slowness and errors are likely if you don't regularly clean your hard drive.  To run it:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run box.

  2. In the Open: field, type (or copy and paste) c:\windows\SYSTEM32\cleanmgr.exe and click OK.


  3. Windows locates the files that it can clean up via some quick calculations.  When the Disk Cleanup window loads, check the Temporary Files box.
  4. If you regularly use CertMail, Vault, or your XSite, you might also check the Temporary Internet Files box to clean out Internet Explorer's file cache.  This can help speed up the performance of those applications on your computer as well.

  5. Click OK and then click Yes to confirm you want to clean up these files.
  6. Windows immediately empties your Temporary Files, freeing up space and reducing clutter.

Scan for spyware

Every week we hear from someone that has been infected by spyware.  Your computer may have contracted a series of malware programs as you've been browsing the Internet.  a la mode doesn't officially recommend any particular brand of antivirus or antimalware, but there are a number of commonly‑used scanning tools available for free on the Internet.

In addition, many paid security suites now come bundled with anti‑spyware utilities.  One word of advice:  more is not better when it comes to antivirus and antimalware.  The more programs you run, the more likely you are to accidentally eliminate a legitimate file on your computer.  Limit yourself to one or two programs at most.

Additional speed tips

Note that some of the following items may require the assistance of a local technician.

Reboot your PC.
It's a good idea to reboot your PC once a day.
Reboot your modem and router.
If your network is slow, rebooting your router and modem can help.
Check your total RAM usage.
If you're running low on available RAM, try the following:
  • Eliminate unnecessary startup items
  • Eliminate unnecessary application services
  • Add RAM to your computer (view our minimum system requirements here)
Check your CPU usage.
If any one application is consistently hogging your CPU's processing power, you may need to disable or remove it.

Related Links