My laptop is less than two years old, and according to ‘Moore’s law‘ a new one would be half the price with twice the capacity should I by a new one. I don’t need a new one, but it is time for some E-housekeeping.
- Remove unwanted programs
- Switch off unwanted Windows components such as Gadgets and Indexing
- Limit the number of programs that start when Windows does
- Clean up your hard disk, and defrag
- Tidy up Windows
- Get an easy memory boost
- Update and switch to faster programs and versions
Programs can slow down your PC by clogging up its hard disk and by running tasks in the background. I found three trial antivirus programs as well as ‘Kapersky’, my antivirus of choice, and a whole load of other stuff, do I need safari, firefox, internet explorer, when I use Google Crome? There is a heap of stuff, I no longer use, so here goes.
1 Remove Programs
In Windows 7 and Vista, click Start >; Control Panel >;Uninstall a program. In Windows XP, click Start>; Control Panel >; Add or Remove Programs.
In all cases, you will see a list of applications that are installed. Click on a program you want to remove, then click the Uninstall or Remove button.
2 Turn off the desktop Gadgets:
Gadgets running in the background, on your desktop at all times, sap power, so it’s worth turning them all off if you need an urgent speed boost.
How to do it:
Windows 7 and Vista allow you to have small always-on applets known as
In Windows 7, hover your mouse pointer over the top right corner of each Gadget and click the white X to close it.
In Windows Vista, right-click in the Sidebar area and select Properties. Take the tick out of the box next to where it says ‘Start Sidebar when Windows starts’, then click OK.
Now right-click on the Sidebar again and select Close Sidebar.
3 Limit the number of programs that start when Windows does
Many applications you install will configure themselves to run whenever you start Windows. In the case of your antivirus or security software, this is a good thing. On my laptop, MSN Microsoft messenger turns on at start up, more often than not I turn it off so as not to be disturbed. Let’s see what else I can turn off.
How to do it:
One way to do this is to check your Notification Area (bottom right of the Taskbar). There will be a series of little icons here (and clicking on the arrow will display more).
Hover over any you don’t recognise to find out what they are. If you don’t need them to launch at startup, then right-click and choose the options or preferences setting, if offered.
There should be an option to disable auto start, run on startup or similar
4 Clean up the hard drive
Start > (My) Computer and then right-click on your system drive (usually the C: drive) and select Properties.
Under the General tab, click on the Disk Cleanup button.
If prompted, select the ‘all users’ option. Windows will calculate how much space can be freed up and will eventually present you with a list.
It’s safe to tick all of the items here, though you can uncheck any you’d prefer not to delete. Click OK, then Delete Files (or Yes in XP)
Start > AllPrograms > Accessories > System tools.
Windows 7 and Vista should run the tool on an automatic schedule, but you can also run a manual defragmentation yourself.
In Windows 7 and XP, highlight the drive you want to defragment from the list (usually the C: drive), then click theDefragment disk/Defragment now button.
In Windows Vista, click, select your drive from the list (usually C:) and click OK.
5 Tidy up desktop
Most of us dump loads of files and shortcuts on our desktop until it becomes cluttered with dozens of icons.
File the documents, and archive anything more than six months old. Either delete shortcuts you don’t use, or stick them into a file called my icons, your computer only needs to open them when you use the file.
6 Easy Memory boost
The graphical effects that make Windows look pretty can also drain resources and slow down your machine. Disabling them might make your desktop look a little drab, but can give you a big speed boost.
7 Keep your software uptodate
The speed with which you are able to browse web pages is largely down to how fast your broadband connection is. But it’s possible to make a significant speed increase by switching to a faster web browser.
If you’re still using an older version of Internet Explorer to view web pages, for example, then you will almost certainly notice a big difference by upgrading to the latest version, Internet Explorer 9 (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/products/ie/home) And by switching to Firefox (www.mozilla.com/firefox) or Google Chrome (www.google.com/chrome) instead, you might get even more of a speed boost when browsing.
They’re all free, so why not try them out to see which one is best – and fastest – for you?