Like all modern machines, computers need regular maintenance. When performed on a continual basis, PC maintenance enhances a computer’s performance and ultimately its user’s performance. Unlike many other machines, however, computer maintenance is not as complicated as it may seem.
To prevent your computer from running slow and experiencing slow boot-up and program loads, there are several simple activities you can perform. Here are three of the top ways you can prevent your PC from slowing down:
1) Anti-virus & Spyware scanning
It is pretty much inevitable that over time, from internet use and file downloading, that your computer will obtain some sort of virus or spyware program that has ill intentions for your machine. There is a wide selection of tools available, but you need not spend any of your hard-earned cash to get the protection you need. Try AVG Free Anti-Virus or Avast! Free Antivirus to perform regular virus scans on your PC.
To keep your machine free of spyware, Malware Bytes and Spybot Search & Destroy offer amazing applications that you can manually run as often as necessary to make sure nobody has their eye on your private data.
Over the course of the life of your computer, many programs are installed and uninstalled; files and photos are downloaded and deleted. All of these files take up space on your computer system’s hard drive, and as they are removed they make space for future files.
As you can imagine, this constant flow of file storage on your drive causes many of the remaining files and newly added files to become fragmented, or non-contiguous. Defragmentation is a process that reduces the amount of fragmentation by physically organizing the contents of your hard drive to store files in a contiguous region or in the smallest possible number of regions (fragments).
If your computer is running a Windows operating system, you have a built-in Disk Defragmenter that can be accessed through your System Tools (Start > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter for most versions of Windows). Of course, you can always use a 3rd-party defrag tool, in which case, Auslogics’ Disk Defrag is a fast, free alternative.
The longer you have your computer, the more programs you install. Whether you like to play graphics-intense games or you’re a free-app hoarder, the programs you install take up a lot of resources on your computer. In addition to taking up hard drive space, computer applications create registry entries, temporary files, and more.
If you have a lot of programs installed on your system that you no longer use (or have the need for), chances are you can experience a significant performance boost by simply uninstalling these old programs… the correct way.
Instead of just deleting a program’s folder or removing it from the start menu, use the Add/Remove Programs features of Windows in your Control Panel (Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs). This will help you not only free up space, but also make sure that any hidden files or registry entries for a program are also deleted.