If you spend a lot of time on your computer, chances are you’ve been frustrated a time or two by slow download speeds. If you work with YouTube often, or any other video site, that frustration has probably been more frequent. The internet gives you access to millions of videos, from short cute shots of funny pets to full-length high quality movies. But even with a fast internet connection, you can still experience slow download speeds. There are some free ways to determine your download speed and see what you need to do to improve it, but for big changes, chances are you’ll have to pay to upgrade your service. But before you break open your wallet, consider a few ways to troubleshoot slow video download speeds.

First off, explore the free available tweak programs. You can find several options online that, once downloaded, will explore the settings on your web browser and your computer and tweak them to optimal speed. They’ll change whatever settings need to be adjusted to speed up your downloading. Check out speedguide.net for a great free option. But make sure you either get a recommendation or check through the reviews, and always download programs from trusted sources. Once you download it, install the application and run it on your computer. The process should be automatic from there.

Next, go through your computer and clean out any excess, unnecessary files. If you’re hard drive has less than a gigabyte of free space that alone could be slowing your download. If you can’t get rid of much, consider buying an external hard drive and moving some of that storage off your computer. Take a look at your control panel and see if there are programs on your hard drive that you don’t use, and get ride of anything that’s wasting space. Once you’ve removed all you think you can, take a look at your hard drive and make sure you’ve freed up enough space to speed up your download time. You should also get rid of any temporary files. These files back up on your internet explorer, slowing everything down. You should periodically get rid of these, and if you don’t, that could be leading to slower download time.

Instead of using your web browser when downloading, consider finding a download manager. Browsers are great for surfing the web, but aren’t always efficient at downloading. Hunt around for a manager, and that program will effectively download all of your video files. There are also download accelerator programs that come with management technology. If you install one of those, it will look at your internet settings and find ways to speed up your download time. Again, make sure that any program you download is coming from a trusted source.

If none of this works, you may need to test your internet connection’s download speed. Do a quick search, and you’ll find websites that offer free speed tests. All you do is click on the test, based on your geographical location, and it will tell you what the general interent speed is there, as well as your computer’s actual speed. If it finds that your computer is much slower than the average download time in your area, you may need some outside assistance. You could use a YouTube converter to shrink the size of videos, but your best bet will be to reach out to your internet provider and see if you can get some sort of better service.