Are Your Computers Slow? 10 Tips To A Cleaner & Faster Computer

tide.pngAll computers at some point or another get slower and slower. As you install more programs, that take up more hard disk space, your computer slows down. Throughout the day as you open and close programs, you computer will begin to slow down. Throw in caches from your web site and an abundance of email and gaming – your computer just might one day be faster off, than off.
iolo, makers of System Mechanic shared some interesting facts with me:

  • The average American adult has 1,800 digital files, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, making searching them quite a task.
  • Executives waste six weeks each year looking for lost items and information, according to a study published in the Wall Street Journal, adding up for huge corporate operating losses.
  • Americans waste nine million hours per day searching for misplaced items. On average, people spend a year of our lives looking for lost items, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers. Imagine the things you could do if cleaning up your computer saved some of those hours!
  • In 2007 alone more than 40 million computers were dumped, up from 20 million in 1998. On average, each computer lasted only 30 months, that short life span often attributed to the need for larger hard drive. Save yourself the money and the environment the damage by freeing up space on your old hard drive.
  • One of the most often-cited PC frustrations is a computer that runs slow – speed up your machine by cleaning it out.

What can you do to have a “cleaner” computer, running faster?

  1. Delete unused, old or duplicate files, emails, email addresses, bookmarks and favorites. With System Mechanic’s “Remove Junk Files”, “Remove Internet Debris” or “Find Duplicate Files” tools, you can recover a lot of lost space – and a lot of time wasted while looking for files on a cluttered hard drive.
  2. Organize your files. Make sure to use a logical file naming system and put them into folders that make sense and are easy to remember and access.
  3. Defragment your hard drive. While it won’t categorize your files (you have to do that manually, see #2 above), defragmentation will speed up your access to them, again saving you valuable time. System Mechanic’s “Defragment Hard Drive” tool defragments even your Windows system files, providing noticeable speed improvements.
  4. Back up your files and programs at least every month. Imagine all the time wasted if your files are lost. Back up regularly to a separate device like a portable hard drive or set up an automatic online back-up service.
  5. Uninstall programs that you no longer need or use. To make sure they are completely uninstalled and do not leave any residual clutter, use System Mechanic’s “Remove Installed Programs” to uninstall even the most stubborn components.
  6. Once you’ve uninstalled unused program, make sure to clean out your registry as well. Invalid or out-of-date registry settings can slow down your computer’s boot time. Use System Mechanic’s “Repair Registry Problems” and “Defragment and Compact Registry” to save valuable minutes off your boot time.
  7. Further improve your computer’s start-up time by removing unnecessary start-up items. Many programs lodge themselves in start-up without your knowledge. Remove them using System Mechanic’s “Optimize Windows Startup” tool.
  8. Once you’ve organized all your files into folders, make sure all the shortcuts are still accurate. Use “Repair Broken Shortcuts” to get all your shortcuts in order.
  9. For an ultimate clean out, try iolo’s DriveScrubber (a stand-alone utility for permanently wiping data from hard drives, offered also as part of System Mechanic Professional). DriveScrubber can securely wipe out all your hard drive data or you can use a more selective approach, removing only your personal files and leaving the programs intact. Definitely opt for this clean out option if you are planning on donating your computer to make sure your personal information is not recoverable.
  10. For a complete PC clean out on Clean Out Your Computer Day, don’t forget your PC’s outside. Clean the screen, dust the keyboard, clean the mouse. After all, your computer deserves some pampering too.
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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook