PC Fix Tip: Computer Running Slow? How To Fix A Slow PC For Free

by Rod Dunne on March 15, 2010

in Articles, Performance

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The following monthly checklist of activities has helped maintain the performance of the three PCs that I use over the past few years. I have found that running these computer repair and maintenance tasks any time my computer is slow has lengthened the useful life of these machines (one has been running since 1998). All of these activities require no extra cost.

  • Ensure you have at least 10% free disk space on each of your drives. Anything less and Windows performance deteriorates to the point that the computer freezes.
  • Remove any software applications that you use infrequently. Always uninstall software from the Control Panel. You should be quite callous about removing applications to free up as much space as possible (space that can be used for virtual memory).
  • Shut down seldom used software. This is one of the simpler slow computer solutions as having several browsers/files open will cache a lot of data in virtual memory that will slow down the primary applications you wish to use.
  • Close down services you are not using. This is different from closing applications that you see on your task bar. Open the MS Task Manager on the Processes tab and close down any programs’s you don’t require. Only close programs that are familiar to you.
  • Do a full PC reboot. When you reboot computer fully, it clears out RAM and Virtual Memory of any slots that have not been freed up by applications (this can be due to faults in the tools). It is not an elegant way to fix slow computer problems but is a useful workaround until the threading/memory handling is improved by the software.
  • Get all the latest operating system and device driver updates from Windows Update. These updates fix bugs and security loopholes but some also fix performance issues.
  • Use a registry and file clean up tool such as Windows own Disk Cleanup application or CCleaner to remove cached files and data on your PC that is no longer being used.
  • Run a defragmentation too across all your drives. Some options include Regtool or Microsoft’s own defragmentation tool. Some computer users should defragment drives more often if they are repeatedly installing and uninstalling a lot of software or if using applications that generates hundreds of big files (for example, audio/visual applications).

Related posts: Why Is My Computer Running Slow?

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