Don't you hate it when your computer begins to run very slow? I mean, when it takes a long, long time just for your cursor to become active, or when it takes 90 seconds to open up a Microsoft Word document. Besides making sure your computer doesn't have any viruses (for which I recommend using Ad Aware SE Personal Edition, which is free and is also what Google recommends), there are a variety of other reasons that will slow down a PC.
Of course, what I'm talking about is slowing down beyond what a normal person is willing to accept. I have a $2500 laptop and it was ridiculous for Internet Explorer or Outlook to bring the system to a crawl. If none of these work, you may want to try to get professional help. I'm not an expert, but Id did note that these fixes helped fix my XP machine. Some of these tips from a very skilled computer support person where I work.
Here's what I recommend:
- Empty your trash. To do this, right-click on the Recycle Bin on your desktop and then choose Empty Recycle Bin.
- Clean out your cookies and temporary internet files. The easiest way to do this is with Clean Up! It's free.
- Tell Internet Explorer not to store so many Temporary Internet Files. Go into Tools > Internet Options and you should be in the General tab. In the Temporary Internet Files section (in the middle), click on Settings. At the bottom, you'll see a section entitled "Amount of disk space to use". If it's set very high (500 megabytes or higher), I recommend resetting this to 250 megabytes. (Mine was originally set to over 1 gig so it's no wonder why having an extra gig of temporary files on my PC was bogging things down.)
- Tell Internet Explorer to delete all temporary internet files each time it closes. To do this, go to Tools > Internet Options and then click on the Advanced tab. Scroll to near the bottom under the Security area. Here, look for "Empty Temporary Internet Files when browser is closed". Put a checkbox next to this. Then click Apply and OK.
- Remove unnecessary files from the System Tray, which are the programs that automatically load into memory upon startup. You won't be deleting these files, just preventing them from loading into memory at startup. But please be careful and only remove those that you're sure you don't need. To do this, go to Start and click on Run. In the text box, type in "msconfig" (without the quotes). Then go to the Startup tab and uncheck what you want to uncheck. After you are done, hit Apply then OK. I removed things such as iTunesHelper and various programs that load into memory that I don't need to have there (now they won't load into memory until I manually open the programs).
- Assuming you may still have some slowdowns, use Task Manager to help speed up your programs. This was a golden fix for me. Open up Task Manager by hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL at the same time followed by selecting Task Manager in the window that pops up. Click on Processes. There will likely be so many that you'll want to sort by "Mem Usage" (click on "Mem Usage" and then click on it again to sort by memory required in descending order). To set a priority, right-click on the program of interest, then go to Set Priority, then set an appropriate priority (I recommend "high"). From time to time, my Internet Explorer or Outlook turns to a crawl. This is the method I use to fix that.
- Control the number of icons on your desktop. If you have 40 icons on your desktop, then your PC has to refresh 40 icons every time any part of the desktop is showing. This can slow things down. For those icons that don't need to be on the desktop, create a folder (right-click on desktop then choose New > Folder). Then open the folder and move some of the icons to this folder.
- If you use Google Web Accelerator and web pages are loading much slower than normal, turn off Google Web Accelerator. Sometimes I think Google's servers are working slowly. Either that, or something with their local software gets in a funk and becomes useless and a hindrance.
- If you don't need them, make sure IIS and SQL Server are turned off. This probably only applies to advanced users who at one point turned these off. One way to try to turn them off is to go to Start > Run > type in "msconfig" > click on Services tab and then turn them off here. If this doesn't work, consult Google or your manual on how to proceed.
- If all else fails, get yourself an Apple/Mac computer or anything that doesn't run on a Windows operating system. I know this is extreme, but I like to take my jabs at Microsoft when I can. I've had many hundreds of headaches over the past 20 years that I can attribute to Microsoft. Apparently, Mac users are happy with their machines and these things never happen to them. Given so many people hate Microsoft and alternates are becoming more prevalent, I wouldn't be surprised to see their market share begin to shrink. At the very least, I don't think many (if any) of PC's sold in places like China or India will have Microsoft on them. Anyway, blame Microsoft.