Clear Clutter to Speed Up a Slow Computer

You may be losing speed and performance
March 2009
by Robin Wark

As the weather starts to turn, many people are starting to think about spring cleaning. While you are spending time making sure everything inside your house sparkles, don't forget to take a look at your computer clutter too.

Your PC's performance is greatly diminished when it is chockfull of unneeded files, cluttered registry entries, and spyware infections. To scrub clean a dingy computer, you might want to consider the following.

  • Cleaning up your desktop. Having many shortcuts on your desktop as well as such features as high-resolution wallpaper and animated cursors can slow down your system. You might wish to limit the number of shortcuts and to simplify your desktop features.
  • Spyware can hurt you in many ways. Some kinds of this malicious malware can try to steal your banking information and passwords, while others try to track where you are going online. Its cousin adware can frustrate you with pop-up ads and direct your browser to advertising you don't want. As well, spyware can eat up valuable memory space and cause browser and computer instability. An effective anti-spyware program will thoroughly scan your computer for spyware and then remove it. Some software offers both virus and spyware protection.
  • Your PC is amazing at storing all kinds of data. However, just like your filing cabinet, it can only hold so much. Your web browser, instant messaging programs and third-party applications such as Adobe Acrobat and Flash Player create various files and use caches that can take up memory space. Cleaning these up manually can be hard to do and very time consuming. A fast privacy controls product can securely delete unwanted files easily and protect your privacy as well as helping improve PC performance.
  • Your Windows registry is a key part of your PC as it records the relationship between hardware, memory space and addressing. It includes such information as settings for software, hardware devices, users and preferences. When programs are uninstalled, they often leave items behind in the registry. This can cause the registry to become unwieldy in size. This can result in instability and a decrease in performance.
  • Fixing registry problems yourself is not recommended as it can be very tricky. A registry cleaner can be a very useful tool since it can automatically find out which registry keys you don't need and remove them.
  • Managing your startup items. When lots of software programs are opening at startup it can slow down your computer. You might wish to limit the number of programs doing this. You can do this manually from within each program or use special software, including some registry cleaners, to manage your startup items.

Your computer is great at storing information. However, when it collects too much, performance can be hampered. By taking some time to do regular cleaning, you can keep your PC performing great.

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