How to Fix a Slow Computer

 Since "slow computer" is purely a subjective term, lets define it:

"A slow computer is one that takes a long time to perform an action, once that action was started by the user - you, in this case."

For example, after clicking on the browser icon, there may be a wait of several seconds (an eternity in computer years) before your browser of choice finally begins to appear. All this even before you get on the internet. When the computer was new, such actions took place in the blink of an eye.

In extreme cases, your computer will experience crashes and errors that have the potential of causing you to lose valuable work and other information (like that family tree you've been working on).

So, how does a nice, normal computer become a slow computer? Everyday activities will do it. I'm talking about things like:

  • installing and uninstalling software
  • changing your display settings
  • adjusting the audio levels
  • changing the size of your browser's window

All these activities (and others) create registry entries, and over time, that registry can and will become corrupt, causing you to experience a slow computer. Internet browsing and regular computer use can, in less than one month, cause your computer to become a slow computer.

Malware is another cause of slow computers. Malware (a general term for adware, virii, and spyware) will clog your computer like oil clogs pores. Not only does it slow the computer, malware also poses a significant security risk because your private information, such as passwords, is at risk for as long as malware is present on your computer.

A third major cause of slow computers are any large unwanted files, unused applications or other items that are taking up valuable space on your computer. Got any applications that you've installed buy only used once? Still have all those trial versions of software that came with the computer (aka "crapware")? Delete them.

The first step in fixing a slow computer is to disinfect it. You can't cook in a dirty kitchen. Download a good anti-virus/anti-malware application, install it, then run a scan and let it detect all the nasties residing on your computer.

The second step in fixing a slow computer is to remove all those unused applications that are just lying around taking up space. You can do that by going to Add or Remove Programs (XP) and removing the programs that you no longer need.

The third step in cleaning a slow computer is to repair the registry. My favorite app for that is CCleaner. There are others, but for ease of use, it's my favorite. CCleaner will also clean out your temp files and other unused files that will cause your computer to slow down.

Performing just a few steps will return your computer to its former, youthful glory.

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