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Old January 31st, 2019, 04:21 PM
Digerati Digerati is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Nebraska, USA
Posts: 2,424
Do you suspect malware?

Lots of things can slow down a computer that don't suggest infection. If you have kept Windows and your security current, and you have not been "click-happy" on every unsolicited popup, attachment, download and link you come across, it is unlikely your computer is infected. Have you scanned for malware?

For sure, unwanted software can slow down a computer - but so can too many "wanted" programs starting with Windows. So make sure only those programs you use regularly start with Windows.

Too much "clutter" can slow down a computer. In fact, this is one of the more common causes. If you already have CCleaner installed, you can run that. If not, use Windows own Disk Cleanup.

Running out of free disk space is a very common cause of system slow downs. After cleaning out the clutter, make sure you have lots of free disk space - especially on your boot drive. What is "lots"? Don't let anyone tell you to maintain some "percentage" based on the size of the disk. They don't know what they are talking about. With today's huge drives, using a percentage could result wasting way too much.

Remember, Windows could care less how big the drive is, it only cares that is has enough elbow room for its own files, it's temp files and for proper Page File operation.

I generally recommend at least 20GB of free disk space (I like to keep 30GB). If you have less than that, uninstall programs you installed you don't use. If you don't know what a program is, Google it to make sure it is safe. If still unsure, leave it.

If you still are low on disk space there are easy ways to move your Documents and Downloads default folders to a different drive. The primary Page File can be moved too.

Speaking of the Page File, dinking with it can adversely affect performance. Just let Windows manage it. Unless you truly are smarter than all the PhDs, and computer scientists at Microsoft with their super computers and their decades and exabytes of empirical data, it is highly unlikely you know more about memory management than they do.

If you still cannot free up enough space, it may be time to shop around for a bigger drive.
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