I work on computers a lot and so many people have problems with computers being slow. There are various reasons for this. Most people do not know that just like a car, a computer needs maintenance to stay running at top conditions. There are some things that you should do when you first get a computer and on an ongoing basis to help prevent problems down the road.
If you buy a name brand desktop or laptop computer, chances are there is a lot of software that runs at start up, or at least installed on your machine that you do not need and actually are hindering and not helping. Some examples are additional software for a built in camera, trial versions of paid antivirus and firewall software, toolbars (whether it is on your desktop or in your preferred internet browser) and other miscellaneous programs. You do not have to delete the software in case you intend to use it; just change the settings in these programs where they do not automatically run at startup, although I do recommend uninstalling the antivirus, spyware, and firewall software trial programs that are installed.
The next thing you need to do is install full versions of various security software programs. This includes antivirus, anti-spyware, and firewall (if you do not have a router or do not know how to configure or do not feel comfortable using a routers built in firewall) software. You also need to keep this software up to date, which most of these programs will update themselves automatically. Of the slow computers I have worked on, I would have to say about 50-70 percent of the problems were due to a virus or spyware.
Another thing that needs to be done is regular maintenance. The cookies and temporary internet files (some browsers call this cache) needs to be cleaned out on a regular basis. Also, taking the time to go through your hard drive and getting rid of files you no longer need can do wonders. Also another maintenance item is defragmenting your hard drive. Windows comes with a defragmenting program or there are several others that you can download if you wish. And then you need to use some program that can check your hard drive for errors. There are tools that you can use that can schedule your computer to do these things automatically.
Also, when you go to install programs sometimes, some programs automatically run at start up. Usually this is something that is not a necessity. In most cases, you will see an icon in the system tray. In Windows systems, this is an area at the bottom right corner of your screen by the clock. With most programs, you can go in the settings and change this. For ones that cannot, you can go into the registry and manually delete it from the various run folders. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can get a friend to do this for you that is good with computers and/or download a program like Starter by Codestuff that makes making these changes a lot easier.
If you follow these tips, you are on your way to keeping your computer running at its peak for a long time.