Optimize your computer for Peak Performance:
Computer performance problems are rarely about big things. The obvious exceptions to this are Virus and Spyware Infections or Hardware problems. Assuming your computer is clean of these issues, performance is usually a combination of small things. There are things you can do to keep your computer running at optimal performance levels.
The following tips can help improve your computer's performance and help make your computer run faster. The examples in this article are for Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. However, these procedures work for all versions of the Windows operating system, with some slight variations from version to version. These tasks use utilities provided within Windows and other third party tools, you can run them free of charge and as often as you’d like to help you achieve the best system performance and to help improve computer speed.
Note: This article does not address or recommend tinkering with the registry files. Such activities can be detrimental to your computer and should only be attempted by properly trained professionals.
Your computer can pick up and store temporary files when you're looking at webpages and even when you're working on files in programs, such as Microsoft Word. Over time, these files slow your computer's performance. You can use the Windows Disk Cleanup tool to rid your computer of these unneeded files and to help your PC run faster.
Whenever a program crashes or you experience a power outage, your computer may create errors on its hard disk (sometimes referred to as a hard drive). Over time, the errors can result in a slow PC. Fortunately, the Windows operating system includes several PC tools, including a Check Disk program, to identify and clean any errors on your computer and to help keep it running smoothly. Note: You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps. If you aren't logged on as an administrator, you can only change settings that apply to your user account.
Excessive fragmentation can cause significant performance problems. If the drive has not been defragmented in some time, it will make your computer sluggish and will also mean that when you do defragment, it will take a long time. Defragmenting on a regular basis (once every month or so for most users will help keep your computer running at peak and will keep the defragmentation process down to a reasonable time. Windows includes a Disk Defragmenter program to piece all your files back together again and to make them available to open more quickly.
A computer virus is a small software program that spreads from one computer to another computer and that interferes with computer operation. A computer virus may corrupt or delete data on a computer, use an e-mail program to spread the virus to other computers, or even delete everything on the hard disk. Computer viruses can be hidden in pirated software or in other files or programs that you may download. If you suspect or confirm that your computer is infected with a computer virus, obtain the current antivirus software.
Many programs are designed to start up with your computer, even though there is no reason why they need to or should. This takes potentially valuable time to start your computer as well as using up memory unnecessarily. There is really very little that needs to start up when you turn on your computer. Obviously all the Windows Operating system-related items, firewall and anti-virus programs has to be enabled in Startup, but that should be about it most of the time. However if you prefer to have Third Party Applications to load on Startup, you can enable them and disable the ones which you don't want to start when you turn the computer on.
Very few programs clean up themselves efficiently when you uninstall a program and thus there are remnants of programs you have uninstalled lying around your computer. You can run a Removal Tool of the product (if available) or It is a good idea to locate and remove these files manually. Uninstallers frequently don't remove every trace of a program, so after you have uninstalled something you must then clean up the remaining files. Nearly all programs put one or more entries on the Start menu to enable you to run them and there may be just a single item or a folder that contains menu items and possibly sub folders and more menu items. You may find that one or more items are not removed and are still on the Start menu. This is common if you have changed the Start menu and have moved menu items around to organise them. Right click anything you don't want on the Start menu and select Delete to remove it. This moves it to the Recycle Bin.
Every time you browse the internet, you are storing information on your computer, on your hard drive. There are good reasons for this, but over time it impedes your computer by eating up potentially significant hard drive space and defragmenting your hard drive
Typically these items are stored in the Temporary Internet Files folder. Storing these files in your cache can make browsing the Web faster because it usually takes your computer less time to display a Web page when it can call up some of the page's elements or even the entire page from your local Temporary Internet Files folder.