Why does a window slow down with age? There are many reasons, not least of which is that over time it has to cope with the demands of more and more installed programs, each new program you install take up space on the hard disk, user memory and may use space to create files and documents. Some programs such as antivirus tools start when windows lads and each of these uses a share of the PC’s available memory, hard disk space and processor resources.
They can also make windows take forever to start by jostling for position and trying to load while windows itself is trying to get its house in order. If there are lots of programs running, eventually there comes a time when memory runs low and windows has resort to using free hard disk space as extra virtual memory, this is much slower than real memory and can cause the computer to slow down.
Especially if there is not enough space on the hard disk, adding more physical memory is the best solution, but a free short term fix is to reduce the number of programs that are running. Error on the hard disk caused by program crashes that are running, Error on the hard disk caused by program crashes or user turning off the PC improperly are also sources of problem; temporary files can get left behind, filling up the hard disk and causing other error.
Files are not stored on a hard disk in tidy way and over time this can lead to the blocks of data that make up a file becoming scattered across the hard disk or fragmented; to open a fragmented files windows has to scrabble around finding all the pieces and putting the back together which take time. There is an easy way to fix problem, using windows built in disk defragmenter tool, click start, all programs, accessories, system tools and then disk defragmenter, when the program opens, click defragment or defragment opens, click defragmenter.
When the programs opens click defragment or defragment disk, the process can take several hours and will finish more quickly it the PC isn’t used during this time. In vista and windows 7defragmentation is performed automatically every Wednesday at 1 AM, as long as the PC is turned on if isn’t the task will run as soon as possible, to change this to a more convenient time open disk defragmenter and in vista click the configure schedule button in windows 7 click modify schedule.
As we mentioned above, a lack of hard disk space on your PC can have an impact on performance, unnecessary programs are on culprit and programs you don’t use might also be loading bits of themselves when windows start, leading to a further drain on the computer’s resources. For this reason it’s well worth having an occasional clean-out of unwanted programs and document, especially if you like trying out free program that you may have forgotten to remove, before removing any program that you have paid for, this ensure you have the original discs (registration detail and serial number if applicable) so you can re-install it again later if you need it.
The quickest way to uninstall program in windows xp is via the control panel, click start, control panel and click add or remove programs to open an alphabetical list of installed programs, the amount of hard disk space take up by each program is also shown if it is known, to remove a program, click on its entry and click remove button, sometimes labelled Change/Remove, follow any instructions that appear, restarting the PC if asked.
In vista or windows 7, click start, control panel and click the uninstall a program link, in the programs category, select a program category, select a program and click the button labelled uninstall may display change or change/uninstall button instead, when you uninstall a program, the user account control security prompt will ask for confirmation, click ok or type in your administration account details if requested to do so.
Once you have cleared out unwanted program, it’s time to dig out the deeply ingrained junk, when a files is deleted, it is move into the windows recycle bin so it can be restored if needed. The problem is that many user don’t realise this, so the recycle bin fill up with many scattered across the disk, also program such as web browser often create hundreds of temporary files that are left behind when the program closes, the best way to get rid of everything at once is to use the built-in disc-cleanup tool. Click start, all program, accessories, system tools and disk cleanup to launch the program, in vista click the ‘files from all user on this computer’ option when requested.
After while, a list of files type will appear, including the recycle bin, all are safe to select but not choosing ‘Office setup files’, ’Hibernation file cleaner’ or ‘compress old files’ if they appear in the list. Selecting these will not harm your computer, but there could be annoying side effects. In windows 7, click the ‘cleanup system files’ button to show some extra files, again these can all be safely deleted, click ok to start cleanup. If there is more than one user account in xp, log on as each user in turn and run disk cleanup again.