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Computer Tune-up Tips

Keeping our computers running clean and smooth is vital for stability and reliability, especially when we are using so many different programs and applications. There are many things you can do to ensure your PC runs as good as it did when you first purchased it. Here we will outline some of these for you.

1. Deleting unnecessary files from your computer.

You can do this using the built in Disk Cleanup tool that comes with most Windows operating systems. Find the Disk Cleanup tool in the Start menu. Click start, all programs, accessories, system tools, Disk Cleanup. We recommend using a very neat little program called CCleaner instead. It's much more effective and gets the job done without any harm, easily. www.ccleaner.com. You should always have a minimum of 1 to 2 gigabytes of free disk space available on your C: drive.

2. Running Disk Defragmenter tool.

This can be effective when you have many files and programs on your hard disk drive. The Disk Defragmenter tool will reorganise your files and fix any fragments, which in return, your computer will find files faster.

3. Limiting start-up items.

Upon turning on your computer and loading the desktop, Windows will load many programs in the background, such as Windows Live Messenger and the more obvious, your Antivirus program. Try and have only the more important programs load at start-up, this will allow your computer to run more smoothly. Windows has a built in tool called Msconfig, which is a little more advanced. We recommend you visit and read this website for more information about this tool and how to use it before trying. www.netsquirrel.com

4. Anti-spyware program.

You might already have antivirus software, but it's still a good idea to have one Anti-spyware program installed. There are many free anti-spyware programs out there, we recommend SUPERAntiSpyware. Ensure you run the program at least once a week with a full scan. www.superantispyware.com Free edition.

5. Uninstalling programs.

Occasionally, go to Add/Remove Programs in the Start menu, Control Panel. Look through carefully and uninstall anything that you no longer use. This will free-up disk space and possibly help make your computer run smoother.

6. Tool bars and add-ons in web browsers.

Many programs now days, especially the free ones, come with Internet Explorer add-ons and tool bars, such as Yahoo and Google tool bar. These add-ons will dramatically slow your Internet Explorer down, especially start-up times. In Internet Explorer, click on Tools, Manage Add-ons. You will see which add-ons are enabled and disabled. Go ahead and disable the toolbars. You can pretty much safely disable everything and Internet Explorer will still work. Leave Java and Shockwave Flash Object enabled so you can still view websites that utilise java and flash such as YouTube.

7. Stay up-to-date with Windows updates.

You should have automatic updates enabled to ensure your Windows operating system is protected with the latest fixes and service packs. Want to do it all manually? Go to www.windowsupdate.com to download these updates directly from Microsoft.

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