Isn’t it great when you get a new computer, everything is shiny, clean and most of all the computer starts up so much faster than your old one. All your programs work so well you just love it. You look forward to using your computer again.
As time goes by… you begin to notice small subtle changes, things like:
- The computer takes longer to start
- Programs take longer to load
- The Internet becomes very slow
- Hardware such as keyboards and other devices begin to act strangely
Does this mean the time of being happy with my computer is over?
This type of experience can be very unsettling and frustrating for many computer users because as far as you know you have not done anything different with your computer or to your computer in several months which may cause this. You may find yourself at a loss not knowing what to do, but you know that you want your computer to work as fast and smoothly as it did before. As this continues to happen you may even begin to think you’re imagining things when you thought your computer was much faster.
I have good news for you! you are not imagining things and there is a way to get your computer running the way it was when it was new. By doing these four simple steps you will be able to optimize and maintain the great performance of your computer.
- Keep your files organized by using folders.
Having related file’s grouped together in folders is more efficient for the computer to manage and work with. This is also a benefit for you as it will be easier for you to locate your files, and there will be established locations to save the files when you need to make changes or updates.
- Perform a disk cleanup.
A disk clean up is very similar to cleaning out a closet and removing unwanted items and clothing you no longer wear to free up space.
In this case the cleanup will look at the material on your computer and check for unnecessary items including your recycled bin, temporary Internet files and many others. When the computer is finished examining your system you’ll see a list of what it found in different categories.
Each of these categories will have a checkbox beside it, be sure to select each checkbox to free up the most amount of space. It is safe to remove any item on this list because disk cleanup will not remove any important system files or any of your user files which you have created.
Once you have selected all the checkboxes go ahead and click okay and wait for the process to complete. I recommend you run disk cleanup on a monthly basis. Disk cleanup can be found by going to start, all programs, accessories, system tools, disk cleanup.
- Perform a disk defragmentation.
Fragmentation simply means items become out of order. As you use your computer you are adding files as you create them, deleting files when you no longer need them.
All of this creates blank spaces on your hard drive as well as moves things around and they then become out of order, once fragmentation occurs the hard drive has to work harder to find your files and it takes longer because of the blank space to clean your files due to the previously deleted items that were in that space.
Disk defragmenter is the program which the computer uses to put things back in the proper order. One of the things the program does is move all the empty space to the end of the hard drive.
Disk defragmenter is located in the system tools along with disk cleanup. I would recommend running the disk defragmenter on a monthly basis as well, particularly after having run the disk cleanup. The defragmenter may take several hours to complete the task depending on the size of your hard drive so I suggest running it at night when you are not going to be using your computer.
- The final step is be sure to always shut down your computer properly rather than just turning off the power.
When you do not shut down properly the computer does not get a chance to complete all the tasks required during the shutdown process.
When processors are not fully completed the computer remembers where it left off and the next time the computer is started any unfinished processes are completed before the normal start up procedure takes place. Start up time will be significantly longer.
Individuals complaining of a sluggish personal computer who have implemented these four steps have noticed a marked increase in computer speed and performance. Several of these individuals were considering buying a new computer, but by using these procedures they were able to avoid the cost of a new computer.
Happy computing now and in the future.