If you want to squeeze as much performance out of your PC as possible, then you’ll want to follow these 4 advanced tips. If you’re reading this article, then we assume that you already know how to scan your system regularly with an antivirus program, defragment your hard drive, and perform all of the other basic tasks that help speed up your PC. This guide is for more advanced users.

4) Use msconfig

Every Windows PC has an application called msconfig. To access this application, open a ‘Run’ command box from the Start menu and type in msconfig, or open the ‘Search’ bar in Windows 7, type in msconfig, and press enter. This will open a useful menu that displays all of the applications that load when your computer starts up. Click on the Startup tab to see exactly which programs your computer is loading. Whether your PC is old or new, you will probably be surprised at the number of useless applications under this menu.

For example, many laptops come with free programs pre-installed on the PC. Sometimes these programs are useful, but most of the time they’re not. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of uninstalling a program, simply uncheck the box next to the program’s name on this menu.

By unchecking several programs from this menu, you should be able to free up a significant amount of system resources and decrease your startup time by at least several seconds. This is why the msconfig application is such a useful and powerful tool. And, it’s free.

3) Use an SSD

You may have heard about Solid State Drives (SSDs) on tech websites lately. What are they? Basically, SSDs are a faster way to store and access information. Instead of using components like a needle and disk to store information, SSDs contain absolutely no moving parts (hence the name ‘solid state’). This makes them faster and more reliable than a traditional hard drive.

As of now, SSDs are far more expensive than a normal hard drive. An SSD as small as 64GB costs around $100, but with that much space, you should be able to fit your operating system as well as some frequently accessed programs and games. If you can find room in your budget for an SSD, your computer will reward you with significantly faster response times for whatever programs you chose to install on the SSD.

2) Clean your registry

One of the most overlooked ways to speed up your PC is to clean out your Windows Registry. Most tech experts agree that the registry is one of the most important parts of any PC, and optimizing it on a regular basis can ensure faster, smoother performance.

In addition, a good registry cleaner can remove many of the common error problems that PC users experience. Random error messages are not only annoying, but they can also suggest a serious fault within your registry, and investing in a registry cleaner today can have a sizable impact on your PC’s performance.

1) Upgrade components

There are only so many software upgrades you can make to your PC. If you’ve already downloaded antivirus software, a disk defragmenter, and a registry cleaner, then you may have reached the limit of your computer’s performance with the hardware that is currently installed. To speed up your computer any further, you’re going to need better hardware.

But what kind of upgrades should you make? Well, the easiest and most cost-effective hardware to upgrade is usually your RAM: you can add 8GB for around $50, which should be more than enough to improve the performance of your favorite programs and applications.

If you play a lot of PC games, then you may also want to upgrade your video card. This upgrade can be expensive if you want to buy the newest, top-of-the-line card. However, if you’re looking for a mid-range or lower-end card, then you should be able to find some good bargain deals.

Other components, like your CPU, power supply, or even your motherboard, can be slightly more difficult to replace. When you replace your motherboard, for example, you’re basically getting a new PC. Unless you have some experience in taking apart and repairing computers, you may want to leave these component upgrades to the experts.