Don’t you love the way a new computer flies through applications and programs? It seems to do a task as soon as you click the mouse. But computers don’t run at that speed forever. Like people, the older they get and the more wear and tear they receive, the slower they get. Even computers that are clean from viruses and spyware can slow down. Pretty soon even the simplest of programs takes longer to run. Eventually, you end up asking the same question everyone else does: how do I make my computer run faster?
There are lots of things that can slow your computer down. The good news is that you don’t need to go out and buy a brand new computer. There are some procedures and maintenance that you can do to help your computer run faster.
Do You Have Enough RAM
Quite often we are operating without enough RAM. RAM (or Random Access Memory) is the computer’s temporary memory that stores data that must be accessed quickly such as open files or running programs. If the computer that you are using now is more than a year old, chances are it doesn’t have enough RAM for all of the current programs. When a computer does not have enough RAM, then it must use part of its hard disk as temporary storage which keeps your computer from running faster. Some older computers with only 128 megabytes of RAM which have had their operating systems upgraded to Windows XP will run slower because XP has a minimum requirement of 128 RAM but actually needs 256 megabytes to run at a decent speed.
If your computer does not have enough memory, you can take your PC to a computer repair service and have them install additional RAM into it. Even if your computer has other problems causing it to slow down, the extra RAM would still keep your computer compatible with current programs.
Have You Caught A Virus
There are a lot of dangerous programs floating around the Internet and if you are not careful, your computer can fall victim to one of them. Dangerous programs include things like computer viruses and spyware. Viruses can cause any number of problems with your system such as corrupted files, or compromised FAT (file allocationt tables) in both an internal and external hard drive. Keeping your computer virus free is a godo way to make your computer run faster. Spyware is another type of program that can be used to gain access to your files, passwords, create pop-ups on your screen, and even track your usage on the Internet. Both types of hazardous programs can cause enough problems to slow down your computer’s performance.
The best measure you can take to protect your computer from these threats is an up-to-date security program such as Norton or MacAfee. These programs include anti-virus and anti-spyware software that detects infectious programs and either blocks them or quarantines them for deletion. I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your virus protection updated. There are literally hundreds of new virus threats created every month so you want to make sure you are well protected.
How Many Default Programs Are Running
What you may not know is that your computer probably has several default programs that run automatically, especially at start up. Many of these programs are not necessary but are included in your computer’s software package. Think of it like buying a car that has a cigarette lighter but you don’t smoke. Any computer that comes from the factory has these types of settings and changing or disabling some of those programs may help your computer run faster. Otherwise, they take up valuable RAM that you really need elsewhere. You can go through your program list and see what you do need and don’t need. This can be tricky because you don’t want to delete the wrong program so you might want a professional taking a look at it.
Performing Computer Maintenance
Performing computer maintenance is something you should do once in a while. A compuer is a machine and like every machine, if you don’t maintain it, it breaks down on you. Think of this. Every time you add or delete a file, you leave behind traces of those files. It is kind of like moving a piece of furniture and finding all this loose stuff underneath. It affects your computer’s hard drive and the more files you move around, the more fragmented the disk can get. The best way to solve this problem is to defragment the hard drive. This is a simple routine maintenance that you can run on your computer that takes about a half an hour and will leave your computer running more efficiently.
Some other types of maintenance you can try is to clean out the clutter from the Internet. Every page you visit is stored in your temporary cache which takes up space. Clean out your temporary files, delete cookies and history, and delete any unnecessary downloads. You can also go through your old emails in both the Inbox and Sent and delete anything that you no longer need. Once all of that is done, empty your recycle bin. Even if it is in the bin, it still takes up space.
And If It Is Still Slow…
If you try all of the above methods and your computer still runs slow, you may have a registry problem. Your computer’s registry is the location of files and programs that your computer needs to run smoothly and quickly. If your registry is bad, then you can try using a registry clean-up program to fix the problem or take the PC to a service center and let them look at it. You can also use an external hard drive to lessen the data processing load of your internal hard drive.