Slow PC? Read this for guidance.

Does your Windows system run slow and sluggish? Do programs take ages to open and it’s just not fun? What to do? Move back to Windows XP? Upgrade to Windows 8? Do you need to buy a new PC? More Memory?

Fear not! You can fix your slow Windows system. This web page is a community service that provides a few recommendations to help you fix your Windows problems and make your Windows PC run properly.
Step 1: Scan for Viruses and other Malware from your PC using a free Anti-Virus/Spyware program
One of the most reliable and popular virus checkers is the free AVG; it does not slow down your PC. Uninstall any other AntiVirus software first, then download and install the latest AVG version. Make sure you enable automatic updating.
Step 2: Remove any “Garbage” on your computer: two free Windows Clean-up programs

Delete unnecessary files: Go to Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools and run “Disk Cleanup”, check all boxes but not “Compress Files”, unless you want to increase your disk space. After a while you will get a list of the files to be deleted; click “OK”.
Move older files into an archive using either an external USB drive or a cloud storage provider.
Delete unnecessary programs: Go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel and run “Add or Remove Programs”. Carefully remove any programs you don’t want on your PC. Leave all Windows programs and patches alone.

Step 3: Fix “wear & tear” on your computer

Check and fix your hard disk: Go to Start -> Run…, then type in “cmd” (without quotes), then type in “chkdsk” (again, without quotes). The PC will either run the disk check immediately or when the PC is next rebooted.
Fix registry problems (and delete more unnecessary files) with the free CCleaner utility. Download, install (unclicking the Yahoo Toolbar option) and run both CCleaner functions: “Cleaner” and “Registry”. The “Registry” option will search for problem entries in the registry – mostly broken links. Scan first, then Fix. The program will ask if you want to save a backup before fixing – choose “yes” so you’ll be able to put things back the way they were if necessary.
Defragment your hard disk: Go to Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools and run “Disk Defragmenter”. To efficiently defragment your hard drive you need to have a minimum of 15% free disk space, but 25% or more is better. The first time you run this, it can take several hours to complete. Re-run until no more fragmented files are reported.

Step 4: Optimize Windows 7 settings for faster operation

Unnecessary programs running on your PC can decrease performance. You can see some of these programs as small icons in the System Tray next to the clock, the volume control and – for laptops – the battery meter. These additional and mostly unneeded programs use up your memory and processing power. You don’t need CD burning, video settings, printer management, instant messaging and similar programs to run continuously. Rather than these program starting automatically when you boot up your PC, start the programs when you need them – your PC will run faster and respond quicker. To stop unnecessary programs from starting at boot-up: Go to Start -> Run…, then type in “msconfig” (without quotes), click “GO” then go to the “Startup” tab. All the programs you see listed are not part of standard Windows 7. Your goal is to remove as many of the programs as possible. Un-check any program listed that you don’t need and re-boot. If you are missing an add-on function that is important to you, just go back and re-enable the program. After you reboot, you will see a message saying the configuration utility was edited – mark the check box at the bottom and continue.
Choose simpler and faster display style: Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Performance -> Settings -> Visual Effects -> Adjust for best performance
Fix page-file size: Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Performance -> Settings -> Advanced -> Virtual Memory -> Change -> Custom Size and set the Initial Size and Maximum size to 1500.

Step 5: Set up an automatic maintenance schedule

Update and run the Virus/Malware checker as described in Step 1
Delete unnecessary files as described in Step 2 (You can also check if some unwanted programs have been installed…)
Defrag Registry and hard disk as described in Step 3

Windows performance continually deteriorates with use and time, so the above must be run regularly. We recommend at least weekly.

Enjoy your tuned-up system. Happy computing!! Check back frequently for more computing tips.

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