If you have a Windows-based machine, you may have noticed a decline in your computer’s performance since you bought it. It may freeze up suddenly, or it just could be acting a bit sluggish. Instead of buying a new system, you should first try whatever you can to preserve your current one. Here are 7 lightning quick fixes to improve your computer’s performance.
Solution #1: Run anti-virus software: Computer viruses are especially frustrating because in most cases they are made by someone with nothing better to do than to try to hurt your computer. Viruses can slow performance or even wipe out precious data. Avoid this fate at all costs by buying a good anti-virus software solution and running it all of the time. To find one, do a Web search and compare options.
Solution #2: Run a defragment routine: Okay, this sounds esoteric and technical but it is actually bone simple to do. All this means is that you are arranging the data on your hard drive more efficiently. Do a search on your operating system for defragment and follow the prompts. This fix is free but can take an hour or more to run, so plan accordingly.
Solution #3: Clean up your hard drive: Here is another super-easy and free fix and involves ridding yourself of unneeded files on your hard drive. A less cluttered hard drive usually results in better performance. Do a search for disk cleanup and follow the prompts.
Solution #4: Clean your registry: Your computer has something called a registry that stores important information about the users and applications that access your computer. As time goes by, registries become rife with errors. To find one, run a Web search for a registry cleaner. Most of them cost about $30, but they work great and are well worth the investment.
Solution #5: Run anti-spyware software: Like a computer virus, spyware is also a pretty nasty little monster. It sits on your computer and watches your every move, sometimes even sending information about your activity to other computers. Not a pretty picture, and it can slow down your performance as well. To disable your spyware (you likely have many), find any of a number of the excellent for-pay or free anti-spyware programs available on the Internet. I suggest running at least two. There is no harm in this and you will definitely find and fix more problems than if you just use one.
Solution #6: Buy more memory: Computer memory, or RAM, is like a temporary workspace that your computer uses for almost everything it does. If the workspace gets cluttered or full, the ability for your computer to take on additional work is hampered. With most applications these days requiring more and more memory, getting an additional 1GB or so of RAM is a very good investment and a great alternative to the cost of upgrading your machine.
Solution #7: Clean your hard drive more thoroughly:Your hard drive is the core of your machine, shuttling data back and forth between permanent storage and working memory (RAM). To keep it in tip-top shape, run a third-party hard drive cleaning application. CCleaner is great and is available for free on the Internet. There are other good products available as well. Running this should take about 5 minutes and your computer’s performance should show measurable improvement afterward.