It’s inevitable. Over time, as you use your computer, you will gradually notice a decrease in performance. Especially if you never perform any sort of maintenance.
It’s a lot like your car. The more you drive it, the more maintenance you will have to perform. You get oil changes every 3000 miles, replace filters, replace and rotate tires, and many other things. If you don’t regularly perform this maintenance, your car’s performance will degrade to the point where you can no longer drive it.
Similarly, if you don’t perform regular maintenance on your computer, its performance will degrade to the point where it seems unusable. Although an old computer will never perform like a newer (read bigger & faster) computer, you can help your computer stay as “young & healthy” as possible.
The good news is that computer maintenance is much simpler than car maintenance. It does not require an expensive visit to the repair shop. Even if you’re not a computer expert, these three tips are simple, and don’t require a lot of computer experience.
Here are 3 easy ways to speed up your slow computer.
1) Using Disk Cleanup
Performing a disk cleanup regularly is a MUST. Every time you use your computer, whether you are reading email, surfing the web, or installing software, your computer saves a record of your activity. Many of these files are harmless, and may seem very small in size individually, but if you spend a lot of time on your computer, before long you’ll take up large amount of hard drive space. This alone can be enough to start slowing your computer down.
Disk Cleanup is a Windows utility that helps keep unused and unwanted files from taking up extra storage space on your computer. It’s sort of like the spring cleaning we do around the house every year to keep things looking tidy. Put simply, it removes files that may have once been useful or used but now are just taking up extra room that could be used for more useful programs and files.
How to use Disk Cleanup:
- Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools, then select “Disk Cleanup.”
- Wait a moment as Disk Cleanup calculates how much space it can clean up. When the program loads, it will display a list of file types that you can clean.
- Scroll through the list of file types and click the checkbox next to those you wish to remove. Disk Cleanup will inform you of how much space you can gain from each selection, and will show you the total amount of disk space you stand to gain back.
- Click OK when you are done making your selection. The unused files you selected will now be removed.
If you’ve never done a disk cleanup on your computer, now is a good time to get started. Then, depending on how much you use your computer, you can perform a disk cleanup every few weeks to keep your computer running smoothly!
2) Defragmenting Your Computer
Defragmenting is your computer’s way of putting files back where they belong. When related files are stored on your hard drive in a continuous sequence, your computer runs more efficiently. Over time, as you install\uninstall software, add files, and delete files, everything gets out of order on the hard drive. Thus, we must defragment to restore order.
You don’t need to hire a computer expert to defragment your computer. It’s a fairly simple task to do. You just need to plan ahead, because if you have a lot of “stuff” on your computer, it could take a while.
And it’s best not to use your computer while defragmenting.
How to use Disk Defragmenter
- Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools, then select “Disk Defragmenter.”
- Select your primary hard drive from the list of drives shown. Windows will only show drives that can be defragmented.
- Click Analyze disk. To best determine if your drive actually needs to be defragmented, Windows must analyze it first. It make take a few minutes to complete the analysis.
- Click Defragment disk if the analysis determines that you drive should be defragmented. Be sure all programs are closed before you start. It’s also best NOT to use your PC during this process. Depending of the size of your drive, it make take a while for defragmenting to finish.
Keep in mind that the actual wording is slightly different depending on the operating system you use (Windows 95, 98, XP, Vista, 7) so you might need to refer to your computer’s help file.
Defragmenting your computer periodically will help to keep it running smoothly!
3) Removing Spyware & Adware
If you’ve ever had spyware or adware on your computer, you know how frustrating it can be – strange things happening, your homepage changing, popup windows sprouting up all the time, and more. It’s enough to make you pull your hair out! But, how can you remove spyware and adware?
Most spyware and adware programs “sneak” their way onto your computer, which makes prevention easier said than done. Especially if you spend a lot of time surfing the web and downloading new programs and files.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to remove these unwanted files from your computer with the help of spyware and adware removal software. Two easy-to-use and free adware/spyware removal options are:
Unfortunately, spyware and adware continue to be such a problem because most of these programs make money for the people creating and spreading them. All we can do is try to avoid them as much as possible, and to remove them when they do find their way onto our computers. Keeping spyware and adware off of your computer will help it run more quickly and efficiently.
If you follow these 3 simple steps, you should notice a definite improvement in the speed and performance of your computer. Just remember that in order to maintain that improvement, you must continue to maintain your computer.
Fortunately, if you don’t have the time (or memory) to continue the necessary upkeep of your computer, we provide a no-cost solution. Our Free Computer Maintenance software will automatically peform 3 essentials computer maintenance tasks for you on a scheduled basis.
This includes Disk Cleanup, Disk Defragmenting, and CHKDSK. Do the first 2 sound familiar? Our software eliminates the need for you to perform these tasks on your own, and thereby helps keep your computer performing well over time. Try finding maintenance like that for your car!