Steps to Fix a Slow Computer

Many things can cause your computer to slow down; simply using your PC means downloading new programs and files, which all affect the functioning of your computer. To fix a sluggish Windows PC, try the following ten steps:

CREATE A RESTORE POINT. Creating a restore point before you embark on a mission to tune up your PC. This means that if the changes you have made on your computer result in further complications (which you can no longer fix yourself), you can always go back to the point of departure and not lose any vital data. To do this, you will need to open the Start menu (bottom left) and go to Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. The computer will ask you to pick an option for the System Restore Point, after which you click Next. Fill in a name for the restore point and click Create.


CREATE MORE SPACE. Low memory or disk space might be one of the main things slowing down your computer. Delete all pictures, music, and video files you no longer need, or move them to a flash drive. Also, uninstall programs you do not use. To uninstall programs, you can either choose the program in Start > All Programs and see if there is an uninstaller or go to Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs (XP) or Programs and Features (7). Be sure only to remove programs you are sure you do not need. CLEAN DISK. You can also clean your hard disks to free space from redundant files. Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup to do this on Windows. You might be asked to specify which drive you wish to clean. The tool will suggest a list of files to delete, but be careful not to select files you want to keep. If you are not sure about a file, do not remove it.


REPAIR DISK ERRORS. Apart from cleaning your disk, it would help if you repaired errors on it, too. To fix disk errors on Windows, first, close all open files, then click Start > (My) Computer > right-click on the hard disk you want to repair > choose Properties > Tools > Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors (XP), or Check Now (7).
DEFRAG. You will also find an option for Defragmentation in the same dialog box. Defragreduces the amount of fragmentation in file systems, therefore increasing the speed of your computer. DISABLE STARTUP ITEMS. Some programs start running automatically as soon as you turn your computer on. To prevent these programs from running in the background and thus slowing down your computer, go to Start > Run, type MSConfig in the dialog box that appears, and click Enter. Click the Startup tab and uncheck the programs you do not need to run on startup.

REMOVE VIRUSES AND MALWARE. Viruses and malware might interfere with your computer, so ensure you have an up-to-date antivirus program, preferably an anti-spyware program. When picking the antivirus and spyware programs, find a program that will light your computer’s resources. Some antivirus programs can be counter-effective and slow your computer down. Double-check that your firewall is also turned on: Start > Control Panel > Windows Firewall. UPDATES. Automating Windows Update on your computer will help protect your PC, and you will not need to worry about installing the updates manually regularly. However, if your computer is old and slow, automatic updates might hurt your computer’s performance. Go to Start > Control Panel > Security Center > Automatic Update to turn updates on an XP on or off. On Windows 7: Start > All Programs > Windows Update. CHECK YOUR MODEM. Sometimes, we ignore the obvious. If you use a wireless connection on your computer and your Internet is slow, check that your modem is not covered with obstructing items and that there is enough air around it. If your computer and modem are dusty, blow them clean or use a duster or a dry cloth.

CLEAN WINDOWS REGISTRY. If the above tips do not improve your PC’s performance, you might face a cluttered Windows registry. To correct this problem, you will need to install a registry cleaner. You can download one for free, but the choice for the cleaner needs to be made carefully. Cleaning the registry is delicate, and a careless cleanup may lead to a destroyed Windows. Therefore, if you undertake a registry cleanup on your own, you should back up your registry on top of creating a restore point. You can find free backup programs by simply searching the Internet. Good maintenance of your computer can make it last significantly longer. If you do not have the time to tune up your PC independently, then hiring an expert can be a worthy investment. In some cases, though, getting a new computer altogether is the most viable solution.


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