Clean Your PC — Steps to Help Fix and Speed Up Your Slow Computer

The longer you use your PC, the slower its performance tends to become, which can lead to annoying system freezes and/or crashes. It's frustrating having to deal with a suddenly dysfunctional and increasingly slow computer. But there's hope in the form of key computer maintenance practices — e.g., scanning your computer for viruses and spyware, optimizing disk space and cleaning up junk files — that can speed up and improve your computer's performance. Below are seven problems and solutions to help clean, fix, and speed up your slow computer.

Note: Before you begin cleaning your PC, it's best practice to save all of your important files on an external hard drive or backup software program.

1. Delete cookies, cache and internet history from web browsers

Problem: Whenever you visit certain websites, temporary internet files and cookies are stored on your computer to keep a record of the sites you've visited. These stored files can be helpful for accessing information faster, but can clog your computer's disk space, thus slowing your computer's internet loading time.

Solution: Deleting or removing your cookies, cache and internet history will free some of your computer's disk space, enabling your computer to run faster.

2. Clean up unnecessary PC startup programs

Problem: When booting up your PC, multiple programs can and will automatically startup in the background. This will slow down your computer's startup time. To help speed up your PC's load time, only necessary programs should be set to run when starting your computer.

Solution: Some programs have options that allow you turn off their automatic startup function. Uninstalling unnecessary startup programs will also help speed up your computer's startup time.

3. Uninstall unused software

Problem: Occasionally, people download software that is rarely used or unnecessary. When software is downloaded to your computer it will take up space or even start in the background when you boot up your computer, making your startup time and daily computer use slower.

Solution: Uninstalling unused software from your PC can free up space for other, more useful programs, plus speed up your computer's startup time and overall performance.

4. Clean and free up your PC's disk space

Problem: Over time, your computer saves temporary internet files, Windows files, and junk and duplicate files.

Solution: Use a disk optimizer to identify and clean PC files that are no longer needed on your computer.

5. Clean your computer's registry

Problem: Your computer's operating system registry is a database that stores and configures information about system programs and third-party applications. If you're experiencing serious PC problems such as your computer slowing down, crashing, or freezing while using Windows, you may need to clean, optimize and reduce the size of your PC's system registry.

Solution: The system registry is a very sensitive part of your computer and should be modified with caution. The best way to clean and optimize your computer's registry for better performance is to use a trusted registry cleaner and optimizer to defrag and compact your system registry.

6. Defragment the computer

Problem: During normal, everyday use, Windows places fragments of files you create and delete throughout your hard drive — instead of in just one location. This can cause your computer to slow down.

Solution: You can speed up your slow computer by defragmenting the hard drive. Defragmenting your computer's hard drive takes all of its fragmented files and places them in one central location. This results in more available disk space on your hard drive, which in turn allows your PC to perform faster.