Help, my computer is running slow!

You're sitting at your desk and your computer is painfully slow. Perhaps you were browsing the internet and your computer froze. Or maybe you had just finished a long day's work - and you really want to go home - but the computer wouldn't turn off. Or perhaps, more embarrassingly, you were on the phone with a customer when your computer decided not to cooperate.

Never fear, Super-Fast-Computer-Tips are here!

1. Reboot – Before you try anything else, shutdown and restart your computer. Wait about 30 seconds and then turn it back on. This always seems to help.

2. Defrag Your Hard Drive – Think of it like tidying up a bookshelf. This process reorganizes your data on your hard drive to optimize the way it retrieves your information. Go Start > Programs > Accessories > System tools and then click on DEFRAG.

3. Disk Clean-up: This tool is right below the defrag button and it does a similar (but slightly different) action.

4. Delete Internet Cache & Cookies – If you use internet explore than select Tools > Internet Options and review your browsing history. Different versions require different steps, so do a quick Google search to find out more.

5. Check for Spyware & Viruses – There are free resources online. My favorite for Spyware is called SpyBot Search and Destroy. For virus checking, I use AVG Antivirus.

6. Disable Virus Checker – Depending on what you use your computer for, this may or may not be for you. **Follow this tip at your own risk** but it will certainly speed up your computer. I personally disable the auto-check feature but I still use a virus checker to do a “sweep” of my system every other week. I also check suspicious files before I open them. If you work from home and your kids share the same computer, I would NOT suggestion disabling your virus checker.

7. MSCONFIG – Microsoft System Configuration Utility can ensure your computer boots faster and crashes less. In particular, it will show you if unnecessary programs are running in the background.  The “how to” steps are different for depending on the version of Windows you are operating. Again I’d suggest doing a quick Google search to find out more.

8. Delete Old Files / Uninstall Old Programs – If you don’t use it or don’t need it anymore than delete it. To remove programs you’ll have to go to the Control Panel and click on "Add or Remove Programs."

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