Many people wonder why their computer seems to get slower and slower as time passes. Just like a car, a computer needs routine maintenance to continue running properly. Here are several steps to get your system back in order.
Check Your Hard Drive for free space
If you are running out of storage space, your computer will definitely slow down. You can simply double click My Computer, right click your hard drive, and select properties to view your used space and free space. If you are running low on space, now is time to delete any old programs you no longer need.
Uninstall Old Programs
Click your start button, then head to Control Panel- Add/Remove Programs. Here you will see a list of programs that are installed on your machine. Read through list and uninstall any programs you no longer need. If you aren't sure what something is, it is best to leave it for now. You can use an internet search engine to find out about it later.
Clean Out your Web Browser's Cache
Many people fail to realize their browser usually keeps a record of sites that they visit daily. You may want to get rid of this for several reasons. For purpose of this article, we want to get rid of all temporary files, history and cookies. You need to know beforehand that a full clean-up may get rid of some of your saved usernames for specific sites. Internet Explorer users should click, Tools, Internet Options, and General Tab(Default). Here you can delete your cookies, delete your temporary files, and clear your history.
Scan your computer for Spyware and Adware
This is by far most common problem I encounter. If you constantly get pop-up windows from sites you have never visited, you may be infected. Spyware and Adware are programs installed on your computer that track sites you visit and send you unsolicited ads related to your frequently visited sites. You should download two programs to remove these programs; Spybot Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware. You can find both of these programs by visiting www.download.com and searching for their names. After downloading and installing programs, make sure you run them. You may be surprised by what is installed on your computer without your consent.