How to fix a slow computer

This website turns 19 years old this year! And almost since the beginning, many of the articles I write focus on how to keep your computer running well. Today, in our local users group, I presented how to fix a slow computer. Read the highlights in this article.

Any article on fixing a slow computer would be incomplete if it didn’t talk about prevention. Learning about your computer is paramount to preventing problems. Following are articles I recommend that all computer users familiarize themselves with to prevent problems:

If you have not taken the time to educate yourself in the proper use of your computer or got caught “not thinking”, then the following tips will help you get up and running again. They outline the exact steps, techniques, and tools I use every single day to help bring customer’s computer back from the depths of computer hell.

  1. Make sure all data files are safely backed up (see above).
  2. Attempt System Restore (see above)
  3. Use MSCONFIG to disable all startup programs
  4. Run CCleaner  (and here) to get rid of computer sawdust and help the security software to run quicker
  5. Uninstall any unwanted programs (any and ALL toolbars, or other programs you know “accidentally” got installed)
  6. Install and run MalwareBytes

These steps alone will often times bring you to complete recovery and thus a faster computer, but when I encounter a particularly nasty situation, I may need to employ a more detailed approach that I outlined in this article. And when a job looks particularly dire, instead of trying to clean a computer that may not be cleanable (or take longer than an hour or so to clean completely), I choose to format the hard drive and set the computer back to its factory condition and essentially start over with a fresh install of Windows. Doing a complete factory recovery and then update all the Windows updates and restoring data requires a great deal of time (takes me almost 3 hours), but yields a super clean and fast computer.

Use these tips I outlined above to keep your computer running clean or cleanup a dirty computer, and also be sure to read the following tips that build on the skills and tips mentioned above and in the links I inserted into the article.












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