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DIY Computer Tune Up

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slow computer
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Five Steps

Slow computes create a multi-million dollar “tune up” industry and to be honest, it’s easy to pay a lot of money for something you can likely handle yourself with no training or help.

I own a computer repair company and I know what the margins are. You would be amazed by what people will pay you to do. It’s crazy!

So buckle up and settle into your computer chair – it’s time to tackle the tune up!

Step One

Start Up Programs

When the computer turns on, with it come a slew of programs firing up all by themselves. Some good, most bad. Common sense dictates that the only thing you really need to fire up when you turn the computer on is the Antivirus. I mean, you always want that – right?

You may need to Google some stuff here, because I won’t cover every Operating System but, In Windows 7 or older: press the Windows key on the keyboard and the letter ‘R’ simultaneously. This brings up the “Run” window. Here, type msconfig and hit enter. Go to the “Start Up” tab and check out all the check marks. This is what starts with the computer.

Look through the list and uncheck everything except the antivirus. If you don’t know what something is, Google it! Don’t worry too much. You aren’t going to break anything here.

Restart and revel in the new found speed!

Step Two

Uninstall, uninstall, uninstall

Over the years, a lot of unwanted programs accumulate and even sneak their way in. They will put a tax on your system as many may even include “updaters” to keep themselves up to date. They run updates whenever they like and even slow the internet down. The logic in updating a program you never wanted or never use is just silly.

As such, time to get rid of the junk. Windows – Start, Control Panel, Uninstall a Program or Add Remove Programs.

This list is everything you have installed except the important bits like Windows and drivers and such. So most of what’s here is expendable.

Look for tool bars, anything you don’t use anymore, and most importantly – if you don’t know what it is, Google it! Many programs come up with clever names to look important. Don’t be fooled.

Uninstall whatever you don’t want, and then make a second pass uninstalling everything you Googled. Take a third pass just to make sure everything left makes sense.

Typically, you will go from 30-40 programs here down to about 15.

Reboot.

Step Three

Got malware?

Virus, adware, malware – whatever the media is calling them this month, you don’t want any! Open the Antivirus and run a full scan. If you don’t have an antivirus, go get a free one. AVG Free is my go to but watch the check boxes when installing anything “free”. They often include other programs and such. Always chose “Custom Install” so you can uncheck the extra stuff.

A full virus scan with an up to date Antivirus should clean things up a bit further.

Reboot.

Step Four

Clean up

I like to use CCleaner for this step. Other programs work too but this is just a preference. I Google CCleaner and download. Again watch those checkboxes! You don’t want any other programs sneaking in!

CCleaner is fairly easy. Click the Analyze button, and once complete, click Run Cleaner. Say yes to the warning and let it go. It will clear internet cache, cookies, the lot.

This is sometimes the final step in the tune up process as it catches whatever everything else missed.

Reboot.

Step Five

Changes

Finally, you can start making some changes. This is where you have to decide how big you want to go. Did you know you can make Windows 7, Vista, and XP look just like Windows 98? Why would you want to do that?

Well, simply put, it’s faster. Not having to make all the fancy menus and animations means more power to actually use the computer. All the functionality, less of the form.

If you are interested, Google it.

You can remove screen savers and simply shut the screen off when not in use. Remove wallpaper. The list goes on forever.

Anyway that’s our tune up procedure. You just saved a hundred bucks. Happy?

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