Most people always wonder why their computer seems to be running slow. They forget, that like a car, a computer also needs maintenance. There are certain steps you can take, to ensure a faster running and more efficient computer operation. This article assumes you are running Microsoft Windows.
- Update your Operating System regularly to ensure that the operating system is updated with the latest security patches. To check whether you have the latest update, click on the Start Menu - Programs and select the Windows Update icon.
- Know what is running on your computer as this will increase your ability to identify potential harmful processes. Call up the Windows Task Manager (press CTRL+ALT+DEL) and familiarize yourself with the processes running at any point in time. Use the Chameleon Startup Manager tool to check which programs are starting at the boot time. Some common tools (Acrobat Reader, HP printer driver, Java scheduler) have a nasty habit to "call home" and check for updates. You can uncheck those programs. If a program is not immediately required upon Windows start, you can specify a delayed startup (we recommend several minutes) or upon what program this program should be started.
- Install firewall software or use the Windows firewall. To activate your Windows Firewall click on your control panel and select Windows Firewall. Switch the firewall on by ticking the "On" radio button.
- Do a complete maintenance on your computer, at least once a month. This includes a Disk Defragmenter. Click on start->accessories->system tools->disk cleanup->disk defragramenter.
- Have an updated anti-virus software running on your system. Make sure that the anti-virus software is updated frequently (sometimes even daily if need be) with fixes to the actual engine and to the database files that contain the latest cures against new viruses, worms and Trojans. Use spywares detection tools (Spybot, AdAware) once in a while, since not all spywares are detected by anti-virus softwares.
- Find and download free Spyware, and virus protectors on the internet.
- Most of the virus protectors come with maintenance programs that has a setting for you to have maintenance scheduled automatically.
- If you delete files often, then do the maintenance program, after deleting. Defrag fills the empty spaces left by deletions, that cause the computer to drag or work slowly.
- By not maintaining and cleaning your computer, you will get error messages, slow running, and will not be as efficient. Get into the habit of running System Cleanup often.