Why Is My Computer Slow?
Paul Watson, PC Technician Saturday, October 17th 2009
Speeding Up A Slow Computer
If you’re not into the “hit-or-miss” approach to computer troubleshooting, you’ll need to gather a bit of information about your computer before you can determine the most likely cause for your computer’s slow performance. First, find out how much memory you have installed on your computer and how much available hard disk space you have. You can find out about your installed memory in the Control Panel under the General tab.
If you’re running with the bare minimum recommended memory for your version of Windows, you’ve taken a big step toward diagnosing your problem. The minimum memory recommendations do a major disservice to most computer users. The minimum memory recommendations indicate how much memory you need to run the operating system. They don’t take into account the additional memory you’ll need to run your applications. Without having the right amount of memory for both your applications and your operating system, your computer will struggle. The more complicated your applications are, the more your computer will wrestle with the lack of memory. If you do have the minimum recommended amount of memory installed, consider upgrading your installed memory. You may not need to max out your memory, but in this case “more” is definitely better.
If your memory is in good shape, consider doing some basic housekeeping. This includes defragmenting the hard disk, removing old files and uninstalling programs you don’t use or want. It also includes taking a good look at the programs that install automatically and disabling this. As a rule, you’re better off opening only the applications you intend to use each time you run your computer. Don’t let a lot of open programs accumulate. Close applications after you’ve finished using them, and if you’re in the habit of leaving your computer on, periodically restart your computer to clear out the memory.
Finally, consider using a registry cleaner to remove bits of abandoned code that has been written into your memory and has no way to get out. These code fragments are “orphans” from programs that have been removed or uninstalled improperly. You’ll be surprised at the difference a clean registry can make!
Photo Credit: FotoDawg, via Flickr