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How do I speed up my computer?

This has to be the most commonly asked question on the internet. Let's jump right in.

1. Do you have enough disk space? Click on My Computer, and then click on your main hard drive, usually C. You should have several GB's of space that is free. If not, this will slow things down very badly. Use window's disk clean up tool for starters, and make sure that you have emptied and removed:
Remove Temporary Internet files (This file can become huge when not cleared regularly)
Remove downloaded program files (such Game Files, Browser Files. You installed these once and left them on your desktop)
Empty the Recycle Bin. (Simple enough, to skip the recycle bin when deleting files, hold down the shift key while deleting)
Remove Windows temporary files
Remove optional Windows programs that you don't use
Remove installed programs that you no longer use (You used it once, and that was in 1997, time to get rid of it!)

These can be removed easily using microsoft's disk clean up tool available by right clicking on your C Drive in My computer and clicking Disk Cleanup.

*If you use disk clean up, DO NOT check the box for compress old files. That does not really free up any disk space, and can actually slow your computer down.

2. Adware and viruses slow everything down. Make sure you are protected. If you are running windows XP, make sure you have SP2 installed, as well as all of the latest security patches available through Windows Update. Windows is a very vulnerable platform when not patched and mainted. Make sure you have some antivirus and adware software and scan regularly. Not only do I recommend turning on automatic updates, I also highly recommend additional third party software to fill the gaps between where OS Companies care and can get to security threats.

3. Disk Defragmentation. It helps to run this occasionally. If you get real into it, you can set this up to run automatically at night so it doesn't bother you while you are trying to use the computer. A good thorough regular defrag will increase access times to files, and make the overall performance of your machine that much better.

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