Speed up your computer

Please help maintain your computer and keep it running smoothly.

Please see below how to use the tools available in Windows 7 to more efficiently maintain your computer and safeguard your privacy when you're online.

1. Free up disk space

The Disk Cleanup tool helps you free up space on your hard disk to improve the performance of your computer. The tool identifies files that you can safely delete, and then enables you to choose whether you want to delete some or all of the identified files.

Use Disk Cleanup to:

  • Remove temporary Internet files.
  • Remove downloaded program files (such as Microsoft ActiveX controls and Java applets).
  • Empty the Recycle Bin.
  • Remove Windows temporary files such as error reports.
  • Remove optional Windows components that you don't use.
  • Remove installed programs that you no longer use.
  • Remove unused restore points and shadow copies from System Restore.

Tip: Typically, temporary Internet files take the most amount of space because the browser caches each page you visit for faster access later.

To use Disk Cleanup

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, then click Disk Cleanup. If several drives are available, you might be prompted to specify which drive you want to clean.
  2. When Disk Cleanup has calculated how much space you can free, in the Disk Cleanup for dialog box, scroll through the content of the Files to delete list.

  3. Windows 7 disk cleanup
    Disk Cleanup dialog box

  4. Clear the check boxes for files that you don't want to delete, and then click OK.
  5. For more options, such as cleaning up System Restore and Shadow copy files, under Description, click Clean up system files, then click the More Optionstab.
  6. When prompted to confirm that you want to delete the specified files, click Yes.

  7. After a few minutes, the process completes and the Disk Cleanup dialog box closes, leaving your computer cleaner and performing better.

2. Speed up access to data

You don't normally need to manually defragment a modern operating system (Windows 7 onwards). If in doubt please visit your local IT Support Centre for more information

3. Detect and repair disk errors

In addition to running Disk Cleanup, you can check the integrity of the files stored on your hard disk by running the Error Checking utility.

As you use your hard drive, it can develop bad sectors. Bad sectors slow down hard disk performance and sometimes make data writing (such as file saving) difficult, or even impossible. The Error Checking utility scans the hard drive for bad sectors, and scans for file system errors to see whether certain files or folders are misplaced.

If you use your computer daily, you should run this utility once a week to help prevent data loss.

Run the Error Checking Utility

  1. Close all open files.
  2. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  3. In the My Computer window, right-click the hard disk you want to search for bad sectors, and then click Properties.
  4. In the Properties dialog box, click the Tools tab.
  5. Click the Check Now button.
  6. In the Error-checking dialog box, click Check now... and then select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box, and then click Start.
  7. If bad sectors are found, choose to fix them.

Tip: Only select the "Automatically fix file system errors" check box if you think that your disk contains bad sectors.

4. Protect your computer against spyware

Spyware collects personal information without letting you know and without asking for permission. From the websites you visit to usernames and passwords, spyware can put you and your confidential information at risk. In addition to privacy concerns, spyware can hamper your computer's performance. Please visit your local IT Support Centre for more help and information if you think your pc might have spyware.

Download Microsoft Security Essentials for free to guard your system in the future from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.

5. Learn all about ReadyBoost

If you're using Windows 7, you can use ReadyBoost to speed up your system. A new concept in adding memory to a system, it allows you to use non-volatile flash memory—like a USB flash drive or a memory card—to improve performance without having to add additional memory.

Learn more about ReadyBoost in Windows 7

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