When you first get a new computer it runs so fast. It boots up in what seems like mere seconds, programs open quickly, and everything goes smoothly. Then, over time, things start to slow down and get weird. Programs will take longer to open, and the boot speed of your computer gradually increases to monstrous proportions. Why does this happen? And what can you do to prevent it?
In my experience, not that many people know how to really run a PC so that it doesn’t get gummed up. The reason that 90% of computers slow down is because there’s just too much junk on them: extra software, files, and more. The rest of the slow computers probably have a malware program or a virus.
There are some good habits you can get into for the New Year to keep your new (or cleaned up) computer from getting bogged down again.
Hands Off That Download Link
Stop downloading software that you don’t need. Don’t download cheap games, screensavers, torrent programs, and other junk. This software can be unreliable and poorly programmed so that they suck up memory and many of the precious resources of your computer. They can also introduce adware and spyware onto your computer without your knowledge. So stop downloading games from Download.com and remove the stuff that you have downloaded but never use.
Install As Few Programs As Possible
This is related to not downloading lots of stuff. The less you have on your computer, the better it will perform. Try to become a “less is more” computer person, and resist adding toolbars and addons to your browser, downloading “destop” applications for websites, and other similar things. Keep in mind the more you add, the slower your computer will become.
Keep Your Files Organized
Make your New Year’s resolution this year to keep your files organized. Put all downloads into the downloads folder and delete them when you no longer need them (such as .exe files for legitimate software, don’t forget our first tip). Those big .exe install files can take up a lot of room, and they aren’t necessary after you’ve installed the software. So go back and delete them.
Keep your photos/music/documents organized, and then back them up when necessary. Keeping things organized means that you can get rid of stuff that you no longer need more easily.
Don’t Overload Your Hard Drive
Many experts state that you should only ever fill up the hard drive that Windows is installed on half way. That means a 500 GB drive should only get filled to 250GB. But that’s in an ideal world, and many of us can’t quite stick to that all the time. However, you should not fill your hard drive to the brim and leave it like that. If you only have 100 MB left on your hard drive, for example, Windows has no room for virtual memory and has no room to budge. Some extra space on your hard drive will go a long way in keeping your computer spritely.
Update Those Drivers
If you can, update the drivers for your hardware. This can really make things much faster sometimes, especially in the cases of video cards and network cards and wireless adapters. Sometimes upgrading the driver for a network card or wireless adapter could boost your network connection speed considerably, making the internet go faster.
Get Rid Of Malware / Spyware / Viruses
This is obvious, but ensure that you’re running a good antivirus software tool, and run a scan with a malware removal tool every now and then. Spyhunter 4 (check out our review) is a great one for malware, and I personally recommend Norton 360 for antivirus protection.
What habits do you have that help you keep your computer in tip top shape?