Remove all unnecessary programs.
Go to Start>Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs. Scan the list for programs that you don't use anymore and remove. Be careful not to remove Windows Components.
Delete your "temp files" AND cookies once a week. (Disk Cleanup)
Go to My Computer and right-click on the C:\ drive. Choose Properties, then Disk Cleanup. Check the boxes of the files you wish to delete.
Run defrag every three months.
Go to My Computer, right-click on the C:\ drive and choose Properties. Choose Tools, then Defrag.
Run full HD scan every 6 months.
Go to My Computer and right-click on the C:\ drive and choose Properties. Choose Tools, then Check Disk. Check both boxes. It will do the full scan and fix HD erros on the next bootup.
Stop unnecessary services.
Windows runs a bunch of "services" in the background that may not be necessary for you. Go to Start>Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Services and stop the following services. Alerter, Clipbook, Distributed Link Tracking, Error Reporting Service, HID Input Service, Remote Registry, Telnet and Telephony (if you are not running Skype or something like that).
Check your error log once per month.
Clues to bigger problems may be found in the error logs. Go to Start>Control Panel>Administrator Tools>Event Viewer and look at the logs. Sort by 'Type' and look for anything with a Red Error label. Make note of these errors and either search them or call a technician.
Minimize the configuration on your virus scanner.
Many virus scanning programs are setup by default to protect everything. You can probably turn some scanning off, like the firewall if you are using the Windows firewall. You can also turn off email scanning if you email provider is scanning mail.
Turn off network and folder autosearching.
This little tip can improve the performance of Windows Explorer. Open My Computer and then choose Tools>Folder Options from the menu. Then choose the View tab and uncheck "Automatically search for network folders and printers"
Reduce the amount of programs auto-staring on bootup.
If you have a ton of icons showing up in the bottom right of your start bar, you can reduce those and speed up boot time. Be careful with this setting! Go Start>Run then type msconfig. Go to the Startup Tab and uncheck the boxes that show Applications that you know you don't need to auto-start.
Clean the registry.
Cleaning the registry and make vast improvements on your bootup and processing speed. However, the only way to safely accomplish this is with a cleaner program. We recommend RegCure.