No matter how fast your PC is upon its initial purchase, it will inevitably slow down. While it is natural for a computers speed to decrease with the passage of time, they are often affected by spyware, viruses, or unused programs that can cause a fast computer to become bogged down quickly. The best defense against these unwanted programs is to keep your computer clean and updated on a regular basis. Doing so is easy, takes very little time and can be completed by following these recommendations.
The Basic Steps
Running the disc cleanup program will eliminate stray cookies or temporary internet files from the internet cache. These can accumulate whenever a user works on the internet. Most of these types of files are designed to allow for a quicker load time on frequented internet sites, but have the downside of slowing down your computer. Deleting them will have no affect on future web browsing.
Another step in clearing your PC would be to remove unused programs or optional Windows components. Most computer owners have several different types of software on their computers that either came with their PC upon purchase or were added along the line but have gone unused as time has gone on. These programs can be easily removed by going to the control panel under the start menu. Click on the Add/Remove icon and you will find a list of programs. From there, the user can remove whichever program they no longer need, thus freeing up space from too much clutter.
A third option is to defragment your computer. While a computer runs, programs shift from their original position on your hard drive, causing them to slow (which in turn allows for the system to run sluggishly). Defragmenting your computer is a system wide scan that finds these broken files and puts them in their rightful place. It is recommended that a user defrags their computer at least once a month.
Clearing and Preventing Spyware and Viruses
One of the biggest reasons for a computer to slow down is the accumulation of spyware, adware, malware or viruses. Often these types of undesired files are picked up through illegal downloading or visiting sites that have questionable content. Of course, once they are on your computer, it becomes something of a hassle to eliminate them.
For starters, the easiest way to prevent unwanted malware on your PC is to keep Windows updated. Microsoft is constantly updating their software to combat the latest file issues so it is best for a user to enable Windows to update automatically. Doing so will ensure that your computer stays as safe as possible.
If your computer does become infected by spyware, there are numerous ways to bring it back to speed. There are several anti-spyware programs on the internet, but the best ones to use are Ad Aware and Super Anti-Spyware. While it is not essential to download multiple spyware destroying programs, having two does not hurt. Often times one program will find spyware files that others will have missed.
An anti-virus program is perhaps the most important component to keeping your PC clean and running smoothly. Running a computer without an anti-virus program in this day and age is on par with driving a car while blindfolded. There are numerous programs on the market, with the best being MacAfee or Norton. Most anti-virus programs cost money, but some of them are included with certain cable/internet providers.
Tips For Keeping Your PC Running Smoothly
• All types of spyware (whether it be spyware, malware or adware) and viruses must be stopped immediately. To allow them to fester in your computer will ultimately lead to problems that a simple virus or adware scan may not be able to help.
• Make sure to properly store and manage your hard drive and personal files. To mishandle them can lead to damage and could cause issues with your PC.
• If you think it is valuable, then back it up. Too often PC users lose their data due to not properly backing up their files. In the current PC market, it is so simple to save data through flash drives or internet file saving services, there is little to no excuse for not having your information backed up.
In today’s world of the internet and faster machines, it is imperative to keep your computer running smoothly and quickly. Falling behind or not paying attention can result in serious harm to your computer. Stay ahead of the game and follow the aforementioned steps and your computer will give you years of great performance.