What makes your computer run slowly?

Malware is a huge problem these days. It’s not quite surprising to hear recommendations to run anti-virus/anti-spyware scan when someone complains of a slow computer. But the malware is not the only reason that causes slow performance; it’s not even the number one reason of this common problem. What makes your computer to freeze and halt and how can you fix it?

* Unnecessary temporary files. Do you really need to keep that “backup of backup of backup of report.doc’? Many programs create temporary files, but not all of them are deleted after they are no longer in use. A few files won’t jam your computer, but when the numbers grow bigger, the problem becomes noticeable. Taking regular care of temporary files can make a difference in computer’s performance.
Temporary files also include those created by web browsers. Browser literally downloads every website you visit. Collecting files from visited pages was invented to make the pages load faster. However, nowadays this feature often causes the opposite effect. The temporary internet files must be cleaned out every time now and then; otherwise they make browser halt.

* Ignoring Disk Defragmenter tool. When drive controller needs to save the file on disk, it looks for a free space. Imagine that hard drive is a chest of drawers. If the file doesn’t fit into single drawer, it is divided into several fragments and those are put into different drawers. When you try to open the file, it takes more time for drive controller to find all the pieces and it takes more time to save the file again. Hard Drive defragmentation puts things in order; therefore it should be performed once every month or two.

The tasks mentioned above require regular attention; however there are other causes of slow performance too. Taking care of the following issues has positive effect on computer’s speed.

* Setting many programs to run on start up is not a bad idea; however, it has influence on machine’s performance. It takes more time for a computer to boot up; and those programs constantly uses computer’s resources. Many programs has a default setting to load automatically when Windows starts; this way you may have plenty of them running without your consent. Make sure that only software you really need runs at startup. Most people are not aware of the fact that they have email client, security tools, mp3 player, downloads manager, personal organizer, instant messengers and other programs running in a background all the time.

* Windows operating system needs some free disk space on Hard Drive in advance. If it can’t find the necessary space, it isn’t able to handle tasks and this causes a slow down. It’s optimal to have 15-20% of Hard Disk empty. If the reason is overburden disk, start cleaning it up by deleting unnecessary programs and reducing number of System Restore points.