Speed up your PC (Part 1)

Over time computers are used to store a significant amount or have additional programs running, and that bright new shiny PC doesn’t seem to be as fast as when it was first run. This is normal, but it is possible to return the performance of the computer almost back to its original with a few simple steps.

The more you use your PC, the more programs you use and the more services you’re running. Closing a program doesn’t always close the service. That’s why restarting fixes so many problems; it clears out the memory.

In this series of articles we’ll be looking at some simple steps to get the computer running better again.

Time to Declutter

Don’t wait on spring before clearing out, do it now, and do it often. A clean machine is a fast machine. That means your best option is to remove all the old files you created years ago, and have never looked at since. It also means uninstalling all the programs you don’t use, all these free programs once thought to be useful but never used, or the like trial software, limited-edition versions, and anything else that is never going to used.

Remove Data Files

Open the Documents, Pictures, Music and Video folders in turn and see what is really needed on the computer. Now consider 2 options:

  1. Delete any unwanted items from these folders
  2. Any items not needed, but should be kept, consider:
    • Moving them to another drive (for example and external USB hard drive)
    • Burning onto a CD or DVD
    • Storing in the cloud (internet storage)

Remember once moving files to another media check that they have been deleted from the computer drive.

Uninstall program software:

  • Click the Start button and then click Control Panel.     
  • From the control panel options select the “Programs and Features” option (in Windows Vista and Windows 7)
    Uninstalling a program in Control Panel
  • Click on the program to be removed from the computer system.
  • Select the option Uninstall from the options at the top of the listing     
  • The program will now be removed.

Cleaning Up

There are also other files that are less accessible, such as temporary files and system files no longer needed. These can be removed by a Windows system utility program. It is good practice to make a habit of cleaning the hard disk to remove temporary files, emptying the Recycle Bin, and getting rid of system files that are no longer needed.

  • From the Start menu open the Accessories folder, then the System Tools Folder and click on the “Disk Cleanup” item.        
    Alternatively, type Disk Cleanup in the search box, and then click Disk Cleanup in the list of results.

  • Select the drive the utility runs on (normally c:) and click OK       

  • After the utility runs, ere will be an indication of how much disk space can be freed up.

  • Select the files to be cleaned and Click OK. and then click Delete Files to start the process.

    Deleting files with Disk Cleanup

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