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How To Make Computer Faster

Tip 1: Scan and Remove Malicious Software

If you don't already have and use an antivirus utility on your computer, then download, install, and run ClamWin, a Free Antivirus Remover for the Windows® operating system. It is also recommended that you download, install, and run Spybot-Search & Destroy, a Free Spyware Remover program for your PC, to get rid of any spyware on your Windows® operating system computer.

Tip 2: Install Software Patch Updates Regularly

The makers of software regularly provide software updates to patch security holes and other defects in their software. Make sure your computer has all the latest software patches installed from the manufacturers website. Click here to find the latest Microsoft Windows® operating system updates.

Tip 3: Backup Important Files, Folders, and Applications

Before you undertake any of the following tips, back-up any important files, folders, and applications from your computer. Find out how much free space there is on your hard disk drive. To do this, double click on the icon "My Computer" on the computer desktop. This will show your computer’s hard drive usually named "Local Disk (C:)". Right click on this icon and select the "Properties" sub-menu. A pie chart will show you how much hard disk space is used and how much hard disk space is free. Make a note of this so you can make a comparison of the free space after your computer system has been cleaned of all unwanted and unnecessary files, folders, and applications.

Tip 4: Review and Delete Old Files, Folders, and e-mails

Right click on the "Start" button at the lower left of your computer screen and select "Explore" to view a list of all your computer drives, folders and files. Review all the folders and files on your computer and identify those that can be archived off your computer and archive them. Identify the folders and files that can be deleted permanently and use the "delete" key to put them into the "Recycle Bin". After you have reviewed all the folders and files, double click on the "Recycle Bin" and select the sub-menu "Select All" under the "Edit" menu to select all the items you want to delete. Press the "delete" key to permanently empty the "Recycle Bin". Also review and delete any e-mails that you have read or archive them off your computer.

Tip 5: Delete duplicate files

Clone Remover is a simple and convenient program that looks for duplicate files. This duplicate file finder can search the folders on your computer for duplicates; it will also find duplicate files in .zip and .rar archives. Clone Remover has a rich functionality as it can: Find duplicate files the program finds files that have identical contents independent of the file name; Find duplicate mp3 files the program searches for duplicate files by mp3 tags; Find duplicate photos the program finds duplicate image files (for example, two files that have the same picture, but different resolution). Clone Remover can also find files with similar name or zero size files. You can delete the discovered duplicates, send them to the Recycle Bin or copy them to a separate folder. Download duplicate file finder.

Tip 6: Delete Old Operting System Temporary Files

The Windows® operating system stores temporary files created by applications in the "Temp" directory. This directory can get filled up with a large number of temporary files over time if it isn’t regularly cleaned out. Temporary files over a few weeks old will most likely not be used again and they can be deleted safely from the "Temp" directory. To do this, double click on the icon "My Computer" on the computer desktop. This will show your computer’s hard drive usually named "Local Disk (C:)". Double click on the "Local Disk (C:)" icon and then double click on the directory named "Windows". Find the directory named "Temp" and double click on it. Select the "Details" sub-menu under the "View" menu to view the details for each file. Click the "Type" tab to sort the file types and delete any file with a TMP extension that is older than a fews weeks.

Tip 7: Review Your Startup Programs

Just about every new piece of software will install itself into your computers’ start-up tray unless you explicitly tell the installer not to do so when prompted. The more programs that you have in the start-up group, the longer it takes for your computer to load up all those programs into the computers’ random access memory (RAM). All programs need sufficient RAM to run properly. If the programs in the start-up group are loaded but not being used, then there is less RAM for the program that you want to use. The application you want to use may respond sluggishly and slowly as it competes for more RAM with the other programs already loaded up. Closing down the applications that you are not using should release more RAM for the application you want to use, however some software may not do this properly and your computer may stop responding altogether.

To find out which programs are running in your start-up tray, click on the "Start" button at the lower left of your computer screen. Then choose "Run" and enter "msconfig" and click the "OK" button. Click on the "Startup" tab to see a list of applications in your start-up tray. If you are unsure about what they do, then leave them checked. Only uncheck the applications you do not want to load when your computer starts up. You will also need to restart your computer for any changes to take effect and your computer should start up much quicker.

Tip 8: Uninstall Old Unused Software

If you no longer use any application, you can uninstall it. To do this click on the "Start" icon at the bottom left of the computer screen and then click on the "Control Panel". Double click on the icon "Add/Remove Programs" and you will see a list of all the currently installed programs. Select the program you want to uninstall, and click the "Remove" button. Some files are shared across several programs so if you get a message that asks you if you want to remove them, click the "No" button to be on the safe side.

Tip 9: Clear Your Web Browser’s Cache

Web sites usually have a large number of web pages and hundreds of images that get stored locally onto your computer when you visit different web sites. While you surf the web, your web browser caches web pages from the different web sites that you visit so that a revisited web site loads up faster into your web browser. However, cached web pages are not removed automatically if you no longer visit a web site. Each browser allows you to clear (remove) the files stored in the cache folder and it is good practice to regularly do this. For Microsoft® Internet Explorer web browsers, to clear out the cache, select the sub-menu "Internet Options" under the "Tools" menu. Select the "General" tab and click the "Delete Files…" button under "Temporary Internet Files" section.

Tip 10: Run Disk Defragmenter

The Windows® XP operating system comes with a system tool called a "Disk Defragmenter". It is used to rearrange files stored on your computer hard disk into one continuous sequence instead of being arranged and stored in different places on the hard disk. Your computer hard disk will be optimised to function at its best if all the information is stored in an ordered way. Unfortunately, programs do not always place items in the optimal places on your hard drive, and when you create, update, or delete files or programs, your hard drive gets fragmented. To get all the information ordered again, you can defragment your hard disk by running the Disk Defragmenter system tool. To do this click on the "Start" icon at the bottom left of the computer screen and then click on "All Programs", "Accessories", "System Tools", and select "Disk Defragmenter".

Tip 11: Run Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup is a Windows® XP operating system tool that lets you clean out and purge those useless hard disk files that accumulate over time. The most common areas purged by the Disk Cleanup tool include: temporary operating system files, temporary Internet files, temporary program files, downloaded program files, Recycle Bin files, and Setup log files. To run Disk Cleanup click on the "Start" icon at the bottom left of the computer screen and then click on "All Programs", "Accessories", "System Tools", and select "Disk Cleanup".

Apply these system tweaks and tips regularly to your computer to keep your computer performing at its peak. Refer to our xp system tweaks section for more information on tweaking the Windows® XP operating system.