Cleaning your computer system for increased performance

web6Many people find that after long term use of their computer, the performance begins to decline to a crawl. In most cases this is due to people neglecting their PC’s health and failing to routinely perform some simple housekeeping on their computer. Luckily it’s never too late to fix, and even easier to prevent future slowdowns. The steps below are simple and can be done by anyone.

Cleaning unused files

One of the main causes for decreased system performance is the build-up of old files that are no longer needed. They sit in the background taking up hard drive space and system RAM when they have no use. Cleaning them out can be done with a program or manually. Doing this manually is more accurate but using a program is easier.

To manually remove them follow these easy steps:

1

Navigate to your system control panel through the start menu.

2

Select “Programs and Features”.

3

A list of all programs installed on your system is displayed. Uninstall the programs you no longer use.

4

Once you have finished that, empty your systems recycle bin. This is located on your desktop.

Disabling unnecessary start up items

When you turn your computer on, your system loads programs in the background in the event that we may need them later. This is sometimes convenient, but in most cases it simply hogs resources and causes a slower system. To alleviate this, you are able to use System Configuration to disable the programs you won’t be using.

Here are the steps for Windows Vista/Windows 7:

1

Click start and in the search box type “msconfig” and press enter.

2

At the top, click the ‘startup’ tab.

3

Here you will find the list of programs that run in the background upon system start up. Uncheck the boxes next to the programs you don’t use often.

4

Click apply and then OK.

Here are the steps for Windows XP:

1

Click start and click the button on the right labelled run.

2

Type ‘msconfig” and click run.

3

At the top, click the startup tab.

4

Here you will find the list of programs that run in the background upon system start up. Uncheck the boxes next to the programs you don’t use often.

5

Click apply and then OK.

Clearing up system RAM

System RAM (random access memory) is the memory that your computer uses to store important data and information about the programs currently running. It does this because it’s much faster for the processor to collect data from RAM than to collect it from the hard drive. This allows the program to respond much faster. However, most programs stay open in your RAM long after you close them, leading to slower response times in everything else you do.

The steps to fix this are very simple and quick:

1

Open task manager by pressing and holding the 3 keys control + alt + delete. Click start task manager.

2

Click the processes tab at the top. Here is a list of all the programs currently in your system RAM.

3

Carefully end the process of programs you recognize but are no longer using. If you are unsure what a program is, leave it be. It may be a system process that’s vital to system stability. Use Google if you need to learn more about some of the processes listed here.

That’s it! These can be performed regularly or when you notice your system start to slow down again. To some people these steps may not improve speed very much, but for most people it should speed your system back up to normal. The worst case scenario is that it doesn’t help.