If you’ve noticed you computer seemingly slower than normal, there can be several reasons why. For the purposes of this article, we are going to assume that you run regular backups and have verified that newly installed applications are not the cause.
A good place to start when looking is to purge out your temporary files. Your OS (operating system) routinely runs indexing of files for doing searches; if there are many files in your temporary files directory, your system will slow down. This is a process run from the control panel of your PC.
The same can be said of your Download directory and your System Restore Folders. You can make use of the Disk Cleanup Utility that can be found in System Tools of the Accessories directory. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools to find the Disk Cleanup Utility.
Following the theme of getting rid of the old: uninstall old programs that are no longer in use. Some of these programs still have DDL files and services that load when you start up a computer. If you aren’t using the software, this is a good time to uninstall it. Application removal can be found through the Add or Remove Programs Control Panel.
We can also look at optimizing the hard drive to speed things up. With long use, a computer’s hard drive fragments. Over time this fragmentation of the files can slow a computer down. Fragmentation is natural but must be maintained regularly. This process may take along time to complete.
Be sure to give yourself enough time for the process to run. If the utility determines that there is higher than 10% or 15%, the process should be run. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools to find the Disk Defragmenter Utility.
Other hardware improvements are to add more RAM to the machine or add a new video card. Video cards often make use of the RAM installed on the computer. High end Video Cards will have their own RAM that will enhance the performance of the computer.
Other avenues of thought toward increasing the speed of your computer: Run Operating System Upgrades. It is possible that an OS upgrade identifies a problem that gives your system enhanced performance. Some upgrades provide new drivers and DLLs that will help your system. Also look at upgrading web based software. Adobe Flash and Shockwave are always in a state of change.
It has happened before that a previous upgrade has cause slow downs in computer systems. A new version of Flash can often help your system. Another application that always has to perform upgrades is Java. Due to its platform independent programming, there are always enhancements to better the Java environment.
Microsoft’s Silver Lining is also in that same category, and it should be updated regularly.