Speeding Up a Slow Computer

By: Olly Fallon

Whether you're a home user or you use your computer for business purposes, a slow running system can be quite annoying. It doesn't take long for a once fast computer to seemingly slow to a halt.

Older computers are expected to be a little slower, unless you've done a lot of upgrading they just aren't equipped to keep up with todays standards. But, even a brand new computer can become slow after even a few months of use.

A computer can become slower due to hardware problems, but many times the problem occurs simply because there's to many processes running at the same time. Often when you install a program it will by default set itself to start as soon as you start your computer.

There are probably processes running in the background that you're not aware of and they're consuming your computers resources. Anytime you install any program carefully watch the selection screens, sometimes you will be offered the option of either automatically starting the program or manually starting it.

If the choice isn't offered then you will need to go into the preferences tab in the program itself and customize the options. Aside from your operating system the only programs that should run each time you start your computer are your anti-virus, firewall and anit-spyware programs that you have.

Another major cause of a slow computer is a crowded or fragmented hard drive. Your operating system needs a little "elbow room" to properly perform, at least 10% of your hard drive space should be left free for paging operations.

Even during normal use files become separated and stored in different places on your hard drive. But, moving, deleting files. installing or uninstalling programs leave fragments of files behind. Performing the defrag option on your computer will rejoin these files and help optimize the performance and speed of your hard drive.

Regularly clearing your cache files and cookies can provide faster internet browsing. The cache files consist of temporary files that are stored each time you visit a web site. These eventually take up much of the memory of your computer and will cause it to run slower.

Integrating a pop-up blocker into your browser will also speed up the amount of time it takes pages to load. Some sites are full of pop-up's that eat up CPU usage to load. There are several free pop-up blockers available and many browsers will offer plug-ins that will block pop-ups.

Most of the things that will slow your computer down actually occur over a gradual period of time and are sometimes not real noticeable. But, if your computer ran fine yesterday and is dragging today, the most likely cause is a virus, spyware or trojan.

Never run your computer without a anti-virus and firewall and make sure to do perform regular updates. The best way to keep your anti-virus updated is to set it to do automatic updates, that way you won't have to remember to do the updates! Having an outdated anti-virus program is almost as bad as not having one at all, any new threats since the last update will not be detected.

Just as your hard drive becomes covered with files that are no longer needed, your registry also contains left over files from things such as uninstalled programs that can decrease the speed of your computer.

Finding and using a registry cleaner will remove these file fragments and speed up your computer. However, the registry contains everything that windows needs to run and one deleted file can prevent your operating system from working at all!

Before you download and install any registry cleaner do some research, there are many places online that offer individual reviews of programs. After running the registry cleaner, always look through the list of files to be deleted.

Sometimes files are included that are necessary to the operating system or programs that you use on a regular basis. If you're unsure whether or not to delete a particular file, do a internet search and see what the file is for.

If you've taken all the steps needed to increase your computers speed and it's still running slow, then the problem is probably with the hard ware. Either something is experiencing problems or just needs to be updated!

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