Fix Your Slow Windows Computer – Computer Article

You were excited the day you received your new computer, everything ran like greased lightning, and you gave no second thought to how quickly your computer was able to complete any and all tasks. A few months later, you’re drumming your fingers on your desk waiting five minutes for your PC to just start up, and almost three minutes for your email to come up.Almost anyone who has owned a computer has encountered the frustrating problem of the gradually slowing computer. Think of a computer like a car, with your car you have regularly scheduled maintenance every 3,000 & 80,000 miles; your computer doesn’t travel miles, but wears down as you “transport data”, there is no hard and fast rule or measurement for how much data your computer has gone through. However if you haven’t been getting your regular check-up, ‘clearing your browser cache’, ‘cleaning background processes’, or ‘de-fragment your hard drive’, you’ll find your computer slowing down considerably.I’ll explain some of the terms above:Clearing your browser cache
Every time you visit a web page, you collect and organize the data on the web page. Little bits of images, video, text, and elements. You’ve been collecting this stuff since you first started browsing on that computer, and unless you changed your settings, still have pieces of first website however many months ago. Don’t fret though, your internet browser is supposed to hold on to some of these items; it saves you the trouble of having to re-download the entire page, with all of the images, every time you visit. These settings are meant to speed up your browsing performance for all the sites you frequently visit, but because your computer can’t know which page or information you’ll return to, it just holds onto all of it. Like a hoarder, keeping every receipt, every magazine article, and tucking it away in a big filing cabinet. When you might need some of the files, your computer goes to the big filing cabinet (which can take a long time, depending on how full your cache is) to see which receipt or article is still relevant, so you don’t have to re-download it. “clearing the browser cache” just starts the filing system like new again.Cleaning background processes
On the bottom of your windows screen you have your taskbar, when you run a program it’s listed on your taskbar. Every task that you start is linked to a “process”, and all of these processes run in the background. If you’re using Internet Explorer your computer is running a process named: “IEXPLORE.EXE”. If you’re using Microsoft Word then you’re running “WORD.EXE”. As you install and uninstall other programs, other processes will start running in the background. Most of them just sit quietly waiting for things to happen, waiting for you to plug in your MP3 player, or get online to check your email for you. These little actions all start out as acceptable and convenient, but cross a line when you have twenty or thirty all fighting to launch in the first fifteen seconds you’ve logged in. Software tools can help by listing everything that starts up with your computer, allowing you to keep certain features from starting automatically, or uninstalling those programs you didn’t realize were still starting up each morning.De-fragment your hard drive
Your hard drive is pretty straight forward: picture a big office filing cabinet, every file you keep, or work with is kept inside. When your computer is new, and your hard drive has lots of empty space, it can put files pretty much wherever it likes. As your computer takes up more and more of the free space, your PC eventually starts stuffing files wherever it can find enough space. Even breaking up larger files into different zones. The longer it takes your computer to find a file, the longer it’ll take to start it up. Most hard drives are magnetic spinning plates, with an reader arm and “needle”. In order to get to your files, it physically moves the arm to reach a certain point on the magnetic plates. If your files are out of order, then the arm has to move around in order to get to everything. De-fragmenting your hard drive is your computer’s way of reorganizing files to group them for faster file retrieval.With these terms under your belt, you should be much better equipped to work on preventing and reversing your PC’s slow performance.