Essentially, a computer slows down because of an increased demand on resources. Over time we add: music, games, pictures, MOVIES!; and these begin to use up the finite resources of the computer. Before long, there are too many processes running, too little Memory and Disk Space available. Or, you have need of a Registry Cleaner, dust removal, or Spyware/Malware Removal... all of which can make your computer slow.
In some cases, there is one or two problems that slow a computer down. [especially, Spyware/Malware] In other cases, however, many things contribute to degraded performance. Below, is a collection of the most common causes and solutions to speed up your PC.
The following steps are ordered for efficiency and 'popularity'. But, if you suspect you have Malware, jump to Spyware/Malware Removal to see my recommended Security Suite.
1. 'Bookmark' DeBog.com so that you (and your friends) can find your way back between steps, and every few months to maintain your PC speed.
2. Backup Save ALL your Documents, pictures, term papers, music, financial data, email, bookmarks, etc. You should always have and maintain backups.
“Every year, 43 percent of computer users lose irreplaceable data.” - PC Magazine
Backup Important Data (Dailly)
3. Dust in the machine. After hundreds of hours of sifting through household air, the computer accumulates dust in the fans and heat-sink. This problem especially affects laptops.
If your fans are clogged with dust, nothing else will speed up your PC.
Blow away the dust! (Every Few Months)
4. Low Memory. Having enough memory can make the difference in speed. Eg., Windows XP runs very well with 2Gig or more, and well enough for most people with 1G, but a PC runs slower with less. Vista needs more. Adding memory can be the least expensive and yet one of the most significant ways to speed up computer.
Little else can be done for a system that has too little RAM.
“More memory: It's the quickest, easiest, cheapest upgrade.” -PC MAGAZINE
5. Priority Updates. Make sure Windows is up-to-date: Our first line of defense against threats. We recommend using automatic updates.
Windows Update (Monthly)
6. Spies are watching. Spyware is a small program which records information about your internet activity and relays it back to thieves. Spyware will impede PC performance. A decrease in performance could indicate a malware infection.
“If your PC is slower than normal ..., you may have spyware.” - MICROSOFT
“Malware is the #1 cause of Slow Computer Syndrome.”
7. Registry repair. Your registry is like a directory of all the programs you have on your system. This too can become disorganized and cause your hardware to run slowly. Speed up PC with a registry cleaner.
“Cleaning out unnecessary Registry keys can boost performance.” - MICROSOFT
Clean and repair Registry (Yearly)
8. Unused Programs. Programs you do not use or do not need, require space on your hard drives, and in memory - making computer run slow, and possibly delay startup and shutdown.
Remove Unused Programs (Every Few Months)
9. Wasted space. Remove temporary and unnecessary files from your hard drive. Freeing up operating space can speed up your PC.
Run Disk Cleanup (Every Few Months)
10. File fragmentation. Over time, the data on your hard drive get broken into pieces, making them harder to retrieve and update. Result: Everything take longer to retrieve and save.
Run Disk Defragmenter (Every Few Months)
11. Disk Errors. Your PC spends much time reading and writing data to the hard drives. Low performance can be caused by badly arranged or erroneous data on your hard disk.
Run Check Disk (Every Few Months)
12. System Recovery. If your laptop or desktop seems beyond all help, but is only a few years old, you have another option ... restore computer to factory condition.
13. Free utilities A collection of free utilities for the adventurous beginner and the technically savvy. Free antispyware, free antivirus software, free registry cleaner, and more, to speed up PC!
14. Device Drivers. Manufacturers of peripheral devices will issue driver updates which can enhance the function and performance of your system.
15. Windows indexing service. The indexing service helps Windows OS find information faster. But if you are like most, it uses more resources than it is worth.
“Windows ... may run slowly.” (due to indexing service) -MicroSoft
16. Eye candy. Some of the graphical options set by default are unnecessary. Speed up computer by turning off some of the glitter. Also extends battery charge on laptops.
17. Install SSD. SSD will increase performance of file operations.
18. More advanced problem. If you're still asking, 'Why is my computer so slow?' after applying the above solutions, you may need to seek more advanced help.
19. New Computer. If the old PC is just beyond help, here is a simple guide to your next purchase.
Computer buyers guide (4-5 Years)