It is an accepted fact that Windows Computers tend to get a bit slow after a few months of use. The PC that felt responsive when it was new starts taking extra seconds to perform basic tasks. It boots up, but it's a couple of frustrating moments before you can start working, Folders can be accessed but only after a slight lag, and Programs do launch, but lethargically.
Hardware isn't responsible for all this, the problem lies in the Operating System. As you use Windows more and more, installing and uninstalling software, it starts collecting junk. And this garbage if not cleaned up, starts bothering your Computers performance. The solution is to clean up your PC from time to time with some nifty tools that go deep into Windows and flush its nooks and crannies.
1. Get a CLEANER
When it comes to basic PC cleaning, few software can match up to CCleaner (or Crap Cleaner). By default, it checks for temporary internet files (if not cleaned for months, these can take gigabytes of disk space), temporary files, cookies etc. But if you want to scrub your PC totally clean, you can use its advanced options. Run CCleaner every month or so.
2. Keep an eye on Windows Registry
Registry is a sort of index that helps the OS organize and access software information. Unfortunately, Windows is pretty lax at maintaining this index. The result of which is, even if you uninstall a program, its registry entries might still remain. So we recommend to run the 'Registry Cleaner' built into CCleaner every six months or so to help your PC clearing away junk entries.
3. Boot Fast
A 'crowded' boot process is another reason why your PC might feel slow. Most software, when installed, are set to run when the computer boots. But in many cases, you don't need these programs or processes to start as soon as you log on to your computer.
One way to deal with this problem is to uncheck the 'run at startup' or 'run at boot' option when installing a new program (unless it is anti-virus software). The other way is to periodically check which services start during boot and disable the ones that you don't need.
- You can do it through the tools provided in CCleaner or by typing "msconfig" in Search under the Windows 7/Vista Start menu (in Windows XP, the command can be executed through "Run" Prompt).
- Once MSConfig opens, go to its Startup tab and disable services you don't need.
4. Get an Uninstaller
During the process of installing a program, its installer performs many tasks - Copying files to a folder, creating file associations and registry entries (to tell Windows that a new program has been installed). Ideally, uninstalling should reverse these changes. But most software leaves residue even after they have been uninstalled.
The solution to this problem is to get an App like Zsoft Uninstaller. After Installing any program simply run Zsoft. The tool prepares a report of the changes made to the system by newly installed program. Later, when you want to uninstall the software, click on the application from there.
5. Defragment Hard Drive
When you store data on your computer, the information is broken down into smaller pieces and is written into "sectors" on your hard drive. These sectors might not be written in continuous blocks, thus leading to your files being fragmented. Now if a file's fragments are spread across your hard disk, your PC might take longer to fetch it for you. The solution here is defragmentation.
- The inbuilt application in Windows called Disk Defragmenter (Start > Accessories > System Tools) will suffice for most users.
- But, if you need something better and faster, you can use UltraDefrag.
We hope this information helps you to tackle with those unexpected slow functioning of your computer. And if you have any more nice tips, do let us know through your comments.