How to Make your Computer Faster, Part 1

The two top reasons for computer repair these days is viruses, and a slow computer. It seems to be natural almost that a computer gets slower as it gets older. But lets analyze that notion for a moment: Computers are machines with very few moving parts. It isn’t as if the processor starts getting slower with age, or that the memory shrinks as time goes by! What generally happens is that we start asking more of the computer now than we did when it was new and the computer can’t keep up with the new workload. When somebody asks me to make their computer faster, there are a few basic things that I go through. Time and again I hear “Wow, my computer is so much faster!” or “It hasn’t been that fast since I bought it!”

Really, it isn’t very hard. Lets take a look at a few things we can correct that will help a computer to be faster.

1) Junk (this encompasses a lot of things!)
2) Viruses
3) Genuine applications
4) Hardware failure

Number 1: Junk

This is a pretty big subject, but I’m going to keep it short and sweet. If you don’t need something on your computer every day, and it is running anyway, it’s junk. That’s not to say that the software itself is useless, but if you don’t use it regularly then why is it running constantly? You don’t tow a heavy trailer with your truck all the time, do you? No, you use it for its purpose and then park it. But imagine hauling it full time. Your truck would get poor mileage, be sluggish and handle badly. Does this mean you need to throw away the trailer? No, it means you need to leave it at home when you’re not using it. And that’s the number one principal to making a computer faster: Disable (but not uninstall) programs that don’t need to be running all the time.

Then, there’s the real junk. The curb feelers and fuzzy dice that make your computer slow. They are programs that you installed and didn’t even realize it. Maybe you installed a free game that installed 2 or 3 other things at the same time (which is very common). A word to the wise: Don’t search the Internet using the word “free”. It’s synonymous with “here’s my computer, load it up with junk addons!” That’s not a good way to keep Windows fast.

So there are two aspects. First, we need to disable programs that are harmless but don’t need to run full time and then uninstall the garbage software. But wait, there’s more. There’s actually a third aspect: Temporary files. Have you ever had a desk that was cluttered with old stuff? You have to sort through stuff you don’t need to find the stuff you do need. That is shockingly easy to do. In our next installment, we’re going to cover which free program you should use, and how to use it to make Windows faster.

Continue to the Next Installment: Part 1.5: Cleaning the junk

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