Software Mango

Urban Legends and Truths About Computer Slowdown

When you first got your computer, it was faster than a quickdraw cowboy. Now, however, it’s slow and clunky, processing like a pile of goop. Why is that? There are many reasons why people think your computer is slow. Maybe your computer has too many viruses. You may think you need more RAM. Or perhaps you’re cleaning your files because you think they are the culprit. These reasons have a bit of truth to them, but they aren’t the main reasons. In this article, misconceptions will be cleared, and you’ll know how to speed up your computer.

Urban Legends

Here are just a few urban legends that people claim will cause slowdown. Most of these just cause you to waste your time if you attempt them, but don’t feel dumb if you’ve tried them before. These reasons have been spread around so much that you probably thought it was gospel. Here are just a few of them.

Urban Legend: Malware Causes a Slow Computer

Some viruses do cause your computer to slow down. However, most of them wouldn’t affect your performance. Think about it. If you were to infect someone’s computer, would you make it so that it causes massive slowdown? Nope. That’s because the user will suspect foul play and remove it. Especially with malware. Malware is made so that it can look at your information and steal it. It’s going to be sneaky if it wants to stay there for long.

If you want to make sure your if computer is filled with viruses, check your computer’s health daily. There are plenty of  free anti-virus software out there as well, such as AVG and Avast. However, run one anti-virus program. Having too many doesn’t protect your computer further, but does conflict with software, making it annoying.

Urban Legend: Deleting Personal Files Will Speed Up Your computer

You’ve probably done this before. Your computer is slowing down, and you think that deleting all your pictures, documents, music, and videos is the solution. However, unless your hard drive is low on space, you’re not going to see a difference. If your hard drive has only a few GB left, then you may want to clean house. Programs need free space to thrive, and do so by creating temporary files. So unless you only have a couple gig remaining, there’s no worry. If you have too much, you could always put it in an external device and access it later.

Urban Legend: Upgrading and replacing parts will make your computer for speed

Giving your computer more RAM or a better hard drive won’t necessarily mean a faster computer. It all depends on what component you’re buying. Take for instance, the hard drive.

The most common hard drive is the hard disk drive. They’re mechanical, and have many components that move. The hard drive has to scan with a magnetic head to find data, moving on a platter to do so. Hard disk drives have different revolutions per minute, all of which determine how much faster your computer will be. The more RPM, the faster your computer. However, it has its limits.

If you want to improve your hard drive, you should invest in a solid state drive (SDD.) With those, they use flash memory, just like a USB drive. With no moving parts, they don’t have any hindrances of lasting data. However, SDDs are more expensive, and the cheapest one won’t have much storage. To avoid this, you can split your storage into two components. Use your SDD as your main operating system and to take care of your main programs. Meanwhile, your HDD you can use to store all your miscellaneous files. This is a great way to have the fastest computer possible.

Urban Legend: Just Upgrade Your RAM

This rumor is one that will not die. RAM, or random access memory, stores the data that’s in use, allowing your system to retrieve it any time it wants to. So if you have more RAM, you can store more temporary data. So it does help your speeds, but there are a few flaws. If you only have a 32 bit version of Windows, it’s capable of only using 4 GB of RAM. Upgrade it all you like, but it won’t do anything. So beforehand, you should research to see which version of Windows you have, and then upgrade the RAM if it will be useful.

Urban Legend: Clean Your Registry for Maximum Performance

We’ve all done it before. You’ve downloaded CCleaner or any other program and cleared your registry, all because you’ve heard that doing so will speed up your computer like crazy. However, this is just not true. Essentially, the registry stores different settings from programs and from your OS. Even though it may contain useless files, those files are only kilobytes. This means that you won’t see hardly any difference if you delete them all. Plus, you may remove essential programs, so it’s not even worth the risk.

Urban Legend: Just Reinstall Your OS and Start Over

In most cases, you can restore your computer back to its factory settings, wiping your hard drive clean. However, just because it’s back to the factory settings doesn’t mean that it will perform like it did when you first bought it. Even though it will help boost the speed, it may not be worth it for a number of reasons. First, you’re going to have to go through all the trouble to reinstall every program you’ve had, and then adjusting the settings to suit your needs. Plus, your computer will slow down anyway if you use it the same way you did, and you’re going to be back to square one. Reinstalling is only recommended if nothing else helps.clean up

Instead, a good alternative is to backup your system’s images. Many programs allow you to do this. It creates a copy of your settings at any given time, and unlike just copying your files, it will also replicate your settings too. It’s best to back this up every month, so that way you can revert with ease back to when your system was fast if you experience slowdown.

The Easiest Ways to Speed Your OS

So now that you know a few misconceptions, you should now learn a few good methods that will speed up your computer, all without having to take large risks. Different OSs have unique methods, so here’s a list of just a few of them.

Windows 7

The methods to speeding up your computer are user friendly, so you won’t have to worry about biting off more than you can chew. One simple way to speed up your OS is to look at your startup programs. Some programs begin running during startup and then keep running in the background. Make sure to look at what programs are running, and if it’s a program you don’t even use, uninstall it.

Another method of speeding up your computer is to turn off some of the aesthetics. Turn off the Aero Peek and animations if you want to speed up your computer. There’s even a classic mode that makes your computer move faster. This benefits you especially if your system is older.

Windows 8

Windows 8 has a task manager that shows you every program that your computer is using. You can see how much memory, disk space, CPU, and network space they take up. If you want to look at the old way of looking at processes, that is available too, but the new task manager makes it so easy.

Besides that, Windows 8 does include its own security apps. This means that you don’t have to worry about downloading too many programs. It will check your computer for viruses, spyware, and see if the programs you download are trustworthy.

You should always find out what the cause of your slowdown is. Not only because no one likes a slow computer, but you could be doing so much more with a fast one. However, do not try some of the methods that are urban legends. Deleting your personal files and cleaning your registry just may hurt you in the end, and won’t do much for your computer. The other methods may work out, but the risk is too great. Just remember to look for programs that run in the background, and keep tabs on them. If you do this, you can be sure that you’ll have a computer that runs fast for a long time.

About the Author Terry Dawson

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