5 Tips For Computer Users:
1. Clean up disk errors: Whenever your computer is abruptly shut down or a program suddenly crashes, errors are written to your hard drive. Eventually, these can slow down your computer. Fortunately, Windows comes with a free tool to scan for and fix these disk errors.
Click on the Start Menu, and then on My Computer. Right click on the hard drive or petition that you want to check for errors on (its usually the C drive) and click on Properties. Click on the Tools tab, and then on Check Now. Make sure all of the boxes are checked and then click on Start. This can take as long as an hour, depending upon disk size and number of errors.
2. Remove temporary files: When you browse the Internet and use programs, temporary files are created on your hard drive. These take up disk space and can slow down your computer. To remove these files, simply do the following:
Click on the Start Menu, and then on My Computer. Right click on the hard drive or petition that you want to check for errors on (its usually the C drive) and click on Properties. Now, click on Disk Cleanup. Check all of the boxes and click OK.
3. Defragment your hard drive: I'm not going to try to confuse you with all of the technical jargon explaining why you need to defragment your hard drive, but let me tell you: on a Windows PC, it is essential that you frequently defragment. I would suggest at least once a month. Windows comes with a free utility to defragment your disk.
Click on the Start Menu, and then on My Computer. Right click on the hard drive or petition that you want to check for errors on (its usually the C drive) and click on Properties. Click on the Tools tab, and then on Defragment Now. Select your disk volume to defragment (probably C), and then click Analyze. The tool should tell you whether or not to defragment after it analyzes your disk. If it tells you to, click Defragment Now. This process can take a very long time, depending upon the size and fragmentation of your disk.
It can take many hours, so I would recommend running it at night when you go to sleep or when you're about to leave for work and aren't going to need to use your computer.
4. Optimize Internet Explorer: Internet Explorer is not a very well written program, and consequentially it can run quite slowly. Here are two options that you can tweak to speed it up:
From Internet Explorer, click Tools from the menu bar and then Internet Options. In the History section, set the number of days to keep history for to 1. Having a large history can slow down the program. Now, click on the Advanced tab. Under Security, check the "Do not save encrypted pages to disk" box.
5. Automate Windows Update: Microsoft frequently releases patches and fixes to close security holes in Windows. These are very important for your computer, so its best to set Windows to download them automatically if it isn't already.
Click on the Start Menu and then Control Panel. Click on Automated Updates and make sure that "Automated Updates" is checked. Click OK.
Those are 5 of the best tips to ensure that your computer runs as quickly and smoothly as possible. Often, a computer has other problems that these simple tips won't address. I have written a slightly more comprehensive (but still very easy to read) guide that addresses the issues of spyware and the Windows registry. These are 2 problems that occur on every single Windows computer to some extent, and that you will definitely want to address. Discover how to fix a slow computer in easy steps, and get your computer running like it is new.
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