Cleaning Up to Improve a Computer's Performance

Oct 17 11:32 2014 Jake Bollingston Print This Article

  hard drive clutter, hard drive pieces, drive clutter

The usual reaction to a computer that has begun to perform poorly is that it might be time to buy a new one with higher specifications like faster processor and more RAM. In reality,Guest Posting this might not always be the case.

If you have been seeing more of that hourglass icon lately, noticing that files and applications are taking a lot more time to load, and booting up has suddenly become such a slow, long process, these are signs that your system has probably accumulated a lot of temporary files, unnecessary registry entries, and old unused data files. You need to do some clean up to get your computer back to top shape.

Update the antivirus and perform a complete scan

Viruses and malwares have advanced with technology and they can now hide more cleverly and do more damage. One of the common effects of these malicious files is slowing the computer because of the additional files stored in your hard drive and the extra, unwanted processes running in the background.

But an antivirus is only as effective as the latest virus signature updates. To get the most out of these tools, you should keep them regularly updated. You should run a complete scan of the system at least once a week. Complete scans can be done automatically be scheduling it at a time when you are not normally using it.

Free up space on the hard drive

This is the perhaps the most basic and simple way to improve a computer's overall performance and it's a wonder why everybody with a Windows computer is not doing it. There are a few tools to you can use to free up disk space and each one is already built-in to Windows so you don't need to purchase from a third party, unless you need more advanced features.

The Recycle Bin is where deleted files are stored in case you may have a need to restore them. If not properly monitored, these files can accumulate over time, occupying a large part of your hard drive. Empty it regularly by right clicking and selecting 'Empty Recycle Bin'. Do this once a week to reduce hard drive clutter.

You can also do a permanent deletion if you are sure that you will never need the file again. This can be done by pressing and holder the Shift button then pressing the Delete button. You will then be asked if you want to delete the file permanently. Click Yes and the file does not go the Recycle Bin but is removed permanently from the hard drive.

The Disk Cleanup tool from Windows is a powerful tool that can help you scan for and delete unused and old files in your computer. This can be accessed from the "Accessories -> System Tools". The tool lists the drives you have from which you can select one that you want cleaned. The Disk Cleanup detects temporary files, cached files, old files, among others. You can choose which ones to delete permanently.

Uninstall unused applications

Programs and applications that you have downloaded and installed can accumulate after some time and lead to hard drive clutter and reduced overall performance. You may need to uninstall or remove applications or games that you are not using anymore or those that are obsolete or have become redundant.

To uninstall unwanted applications, click "Start Menu -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features (or Uninstall a program)". Select an application you want removed and click Uninstall.

Do a regular defrag of the hard drive

Pieces of a file can be saved to multiple locations across the physical surface of a hard disk if contiguous free spaces can't be found during the writing process. When this happens to a lot of files, heavy fragmentation can occur and this will slow down access to those files.

You should defrag your hard drives regularly to prevent file fragmentations from happening. The default defrag tool from Windows copies all the pieces of a file and then saves them in a contiguous or solid block in the hard drive. This makes access to the files faster.

Increase your RAM

Windows applications, especially those that do not require heavy graphics processing, are heavily dependent on RAM. The OS makes up for it by using a page or swap file that is saved on the hard drive, and therefore much slower. Increasing the physical RAM reduces the need for the swap file so the overall performance of your computer is improved.

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Jake Bollingston
Jake Bollingston


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