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A reader wrote to me complaining that his PC was becoming slower, and was it the Internet connection or the computer itself? The most likely reason is the PC. Over time, computers get clogged up with temporary files and residue that visiting websites can bring. This gradually slows down the PC and as a result the performance can become sluggish.

It is always a good idea to do basic housekeeping chores on your PC to maintain its performance. An essential tool is “Disk Cleanup” that can be found in the systems tools options from the start menu. This tool goes through your PC and can identify temporary files that are installed which can be effectively deleted. Depending on how long it has been since the tool has run, the process might take anything from a few minutes to an hour. This should be run on a weekly basis. Another tool that should be used is “Disk Defragmenter”. This tool will check the integrity of the hard disk and will also alert you as to whether the “Disk Defragmenter” should be run. If it is the case, it will advise you run the tool and will reorganise the hard disk in a more effective manner.
Spyware software has been mentioned in a previous article, however it is worth reiterating that effective spyware software should also be installed on your PC, as the accumulation of spyware can also degrade the performance of your PC. with the Computers digital Spain page
Installing with the Computers digital Spain page

When you install programs you should always install them into the “programs” folder on the PC using ADD/Remove programs in the Control Panel. Software usually defaults to this folder when an initial installation is performed and it is best practice to accept this. Likewise when downloading files from the internet, the operating system will suggest a default download location and again it is best to accept this. Keeping particular operations in the same area of the hard disk keeps things tidy. Keeping the desktop relatively clutter free can help too. Whilst it is useful keeping your files on the desktop for easy access, it can become overcrowded and ultimately affect the performance of your PC. Shortcuts and small files are fine to be stored on the desktop, but larger files should really be stored in designated folders.
Computers digital Spain page

Other factors that may compromise the performance of your PC is the amount of free hard disk space available. Ideally you should have plenty of free hard disk space available and this can always be achieved by backing up data on to another media. Also consider the amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) you have. As new programs and websites become more power hungry it may be that you need to add some more RAM. Today this is relatively inexpensive and a simple operation. A quick discussion with your local PC shop should be able to solve this. Running a lot of programs at the same time can also compromise the speed of your PC, so the more RAM you have, the better.

Reformatting
Computers digital Spain page

Lastly, and not to be undertaken lightly as it is probably the most time consuming action that you can take, is to reformat the PC. If you have the manufacturer’s recovery disk this can be used to put the PC back to the original factory settings. All data will be lost however, the process will format the hard disk and allow you to start afresh. This should only be done if you are confident in what you are doing and all your data is backed up.

Good housekeeping and sensible storage of data should keep your PC running smoothly.


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