“Why is my PC so slow?”
It is almost inevitable that at some point, your once speedy PC, will lose its’ oomph and become more of a hindrance than a help. There are many reasons why this happens, from an overload of redundant software to the existence of SpyWare on your PC.
Few things in life are more frustrating than a slow PC, so we have put together an essential action list of the top 5 things you need to do to keep your PC at peak performance.
1. Get rid of any SpyWare on your PC
SpyWare is exactly what the name suggests – software which is surreptitiously downloaded to your PC and then monitors your internet activities, potentially exposing not only your browsing activities, but also your passwords and other details. As well as posing a huge security risk, SpyWare can also significantly slow down the speed of your PC. If you have noticed a quite sudden drop in your PC’s performance, then SpyWare may be the culprit.
To prevent against SpyWare and other unwanted downloads, you should download Microsoft security essentials here.
2. Housekeeping: Clean up your files!
You should go through all your program files and use the add/remove programs feature to get rid of any software you don’t use, many of these will be free trials that you don’t use any more but they can take up a lot of space. If you are not sure what a program is – don’t delete it. You can use the Disk Cleanup Tool (see point 4. below) to remove unwanted programs.
You may also be one of those people who stores files ‘temporarily’ on your desktop before getting around to filing them somewhere. File them or delete them.
Every time you start Windows, the operating memory is used for all files that are stored on the Desktop. If you have a lot of files here you are using up your operating memory and unnecessarily slowing your PC. You should store all your files in folders, and if you need to, you can create shortcuts to them on the desktop – these shortcuts have very little negative impact on your PC’s speed.
3. Avoid ‘auto-starting’ files
Many speed issues are caused by PC’s loading a number of software programs on startup. There may be some programs such as Skype that you would like to auto-start when you boot up your PC, but for most programs it is unnecessary.
To disable the auto-start option in a program, or just check if it is enabled, you can do to Start > startup folder or view the options under the ‘tools’ menu within the program itself.
4. Free up some disk space
Your system stores many files indefinitely unless you choose to delete them. Many of these files, such as those in the recycle bin, are completely unnecessary. There are also downloaded program files and temporary internet files which, when deleted, can clear up a lot of space.
To remove these files you should use the Disk Cleanup tool as this tool will identify the relevant files for you and give you the option of deleting some or all of them.
The Disk Cleanup tool helps you to free up space on your hard disk to improve the performance of your computer. The tool identifies files that you can safely delete and then enables you to choose whether you want to delete some or all of the identified files.
Removing the temporary internet files usually has the greatest impact as these files are cached copies of webpages you have visited and are likely to be numerous.
To use the Disk Cleanup Tool, select All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup
5. Speed up data access
Another very useful Windows Utility is Disk Defragmenter which consolidates fragmented files and folders on your PC, storing each file and its components in one place. When files are fragmented, the system must search the hard-drive for elements of a file each time that file is opened. This can slow your PC down significantly.
You should run disk defragmenter on a weekly basis and as well as when you install new programs, add a large number of new files or when your free disk space drops below 15%.
To use the Disk Defragmenter Tool go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.
Fortunately there are some great software tools which can do all of this work for you. Tools like SpeedyPC Pro can save a lot of time and effort. It’s not free but they offer a free scan to identify the main issues slowing down your PC. A very useful tool which can breathe new life into a sluggish PC!