Do you have a Windows XP PC that seems to be particularly sluggish, takes forever to startup and/or constantly freezes on you?
This used to happen to me quite a bit. My internet browsed at the pace of a baby snail. And to open a single program- even a basic small one- it took several minutes, occasionally more than five.
After constantly having to figure out how to fix my computers or actually, rather, after consulting with several techie geek friends who have been more than patient over the years with my silly computer dilemmas, I have managed to pick up a few very standard tricks that when performed regularly, can really help with the overall performance of your Windows XP PC.
Let it be noted I do not claim to be a computer expert, nor am I trying to sell these tips as wild, top-secrets-uncovered, advanced only techniques. In fact it is just the opposite. The pointers I am about to suggest, as I’ve come to learn, are very standard initial first step problem solving techniques to use when first trying to revive a nearly comatose computer. Nearly every PC expert, regardless of their level of expertise would likely attempt some of these virtually risk-free maintenance tasks before delving in deeper to solve an issue. Also, while yes, many of these tips most PC users are well aware of, I also acknowledge there are some of you, who similar to myself until about a year ago, may not be familiar with these simple free tools to speeding up your PC.
So I thought I’d share with you some of these tips to making your Microsoft Windows XP PC run a bit faster, or at the very least, make it overall happier and clean it up or for lack of a better term, de-clog the damn thing.
The following techniques can help your PC run faster if you utilize them regularly with your Windows XP operating system:
Note: Backup your important data, all of it, windows installation components (see Help and Support Center for help) before attempting any of these procedures. The ones I’ve listed are essentially not risky if done correctly but don’t take a chance out of laziness. Back your stuff up to a disc or external hard drive.
Click on your start menu and go into your computer’s Control Panel. Click on the Add or Remove Programs Icon. A list will come up displaying the major program applications you have installed on your computer.
Some of them may surprise you. The manufacturers often design their PCs to contain certain programs right from the moment you first boot up your new computer. Of course most of these optional programs cost money to use, which is the whole point of tricking you into thinking they are on there for a reason. But really, many of them can be uninstalled. It is possible if you have never gone into this section of your computer to uninstall programs you may very well still have some of these applications I mention from your time of product purchase.
Of course you should make sure you do not want or use the program currently before uninstalling it. Things like Vongo, though, various internet connection services such as AOL or MSN that you may not care to use, as well as Microsoft Office Suite Trial Version are good examples of items many PC users remove.
A really good determinant of how valuable each of these items on your list of “currently installed programs” are is to view each items details individually by clicking once to highlight. Once clicked, you will see the description expand to give you further information on the item usage such as the last date it was used as well as the amount of space it takes up on your hard drive. Obviously the larger the size, the more space you free up thus allowing for a faster computer performance and more memory.
Once you’ve determined a program unnecessary you can click on the remove button aside its description or otherwise, while item is highlighted click on the uninstall button at the top of the control panel/add or remove programs window. Once again, make sure you either will never need the item again or alternatively if you decide you want it again at some point in the future it is available and accessible online for free (which many of the standard startup programs are).
**Clean out and remove temporary files:
Follow these steps. Select Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Disk Cleanup. A box will come up asking you which drive you’d like to clean. Select C Drive and press Okay.
You will see a progress bar window that indicates “windows is calculating how much space you will be able to free on C Drive. Once that progression is completed, then up will come another window detailing all the many temporary files you can opt to get rid of in order to, as was indicated, free up space on your hard drive, hopefully speed up your pc a little more and overall just give your Windows XP PC an important maintenance tune up.
Some of the categorical options, which you can either leave checked to remove or unchecked to do the obvious opposite include temporary internet files and offline web pages, which more or less are just webpage information that your computer stores in its memory in the case you might want to look at it while not signed on and it might also, though I’m not certain, allow those pages to load faster in your browser when visited. Either way, decide if you need them or not. All of these to check or not check options give you a description of what each entails to help you make a better decision on the removal.
**Empty the Recycle Bin:
Unless you have your computer set up to permanently remove deleted files from your computer they will not be officially trashed. Most computers have the default setting to put all deleted items in the Recycling Bin in lieu of junking them altogether forever. The recycle bin is actually great for your own safer than sorry precautions (and mine as well, let me assure you) but can really put a load on the computer’s disk space if not cleaned out regularly.
To officially delete the items you wish to remove permanently, open the recycle bin on your desktop and click on empty recycle bin under the Recycle Bin Tasks section to the left. If you are confident that nothing in this folder is desired, you can skip a step and right click the icon on your desktop to select empty recycle bin from the drop down menu.
**Finally, Install an Anti-Spyware Removal Program:
This is a debatable topic, but in my personal experience these applications which help scout out, delete and depending on the program, may also prevent malicious spyware, advertising cookies and things of the like have been very effective in improving the performance and speed of my Windows XP PC.
There are a few brand name Anti-Spyware Tools that seem to be most respected by the internet using community. Two of them, both of which can be downloaded free are:
Spybot Search and Destroy
Both of these programs work in a similar way but it might be worth researching them a bit further before selecting the one that is right for your needs. I’ve also heard of some people employing both of them for extra detection.