It's almost 2016, and you are probably thinking that you should have gotten a new PC for Christmas instead of that gym membership that you're never going to use.
Fear not, we'll throw some tools your way to make that old Windows PC feel like new again.
First, let's open some default Windows programs.
1. Upgrade to Windows 10
On the face of it, yes, this could slow your computer down if its very old. However, you will have the latest and most up to date operating system, which usually means the most support, security, and sparkling eye candy.
2. Dump Old Software
Open up the old Control Panel, go into Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features.
Now, sort your software by date by clicking the "Installed On" column header. Scroll to the earliest dates, and look at all the old junk you have going back 3, 4, and 5 years old.
Take your time, this will be time intensive, and uninstall anything you don't use anymore. You kept every single program that came installed on your PC when you bought it, didn't you? Junk it, and you'll start seeing great performance increases as your PC takes less time to boot and has fewer programs running in the background.
3. Disk Cleanup
Head on over to Piriform and get CCleaner. You don't need to do all of the advanced options, but having it clear up caches, temporary files, and the like, will make the software you decided to keep purr like a kitten.
4. Replace Virus Scanner
Get rid of that nasty old virus scanner you still have installed. You can either just allow windows to use its default Windows Defender or, if you are paranoid, go grab a free copy of AVG. Don't go turning on every neat looking option. Just let it do scans while you are asleep, and you'll be just fine.
5. Spice Up Browsing
While you can use any browser, we'll cover some Google Chrome goodies to speed up your browsing. Likely, you can find most of these tools for other browsers as well.
First, go through your old extensions at chrome://extensions/ and delete everything that you don't want or don't use at least once per week. Turn off what you can't delete.
Second, get the Facebook Flat extension. After installing, go to Facebook and watch the pages load faster than Superman can change his clothes. It's fast, it's simple and clean, and it's free!
Third, get the uBlock Origin extension. In the settings, turn on all the third party filters. Now, go to a website with really horrible ads, like TMZ.com and you'll be amazed to not find any ads! You'll see the little counter on the uBlock Origin start rocketing up to over 80 blocked elements. Of course, you still have to endure TMZ.com, which is nearly as bad.
uBlock Origin doesn't just clean up pages, but your browser actually will run faster with it, than with nothing at all installed, unlike most other ad blockers.
Fourth, get the LastPass extension, and completely change how you do website security. Allow LastPass to save and automatically input passwords for you. After a few weeks or a month, run their free security audit, and use it to make your passwords much stronger on every site you use. Don't worry, LastPass is free on the PC, and for a small fee of $1/mo, you can have it do the same on your mobile device!
6. All Done!
You've just cleaned out the cobwebs on that old PC of yours, sped up the system with a shiny new interface and supercharged your browsing experience.