I have been working on a lot of computers lately and one of the things that I notice the most is that there are programs still on the computer that are no longer needed.
Some of the new computers have a lot of demo software on there for the customer to try. If they like it, they have an option to buy it. If they do not like it, or even tried it, the computer still has to store the program and all of the related files.
In addition, many times parents will buy education software for their kids. The kids are now 9-10 years old, but the software that was bought for the 3-4 year old still remains on the computer.
Another example is AOL. Some people have started off using AOL, then they decided to go to cable modem, DSL, FIOS and the no longer use AOL. Even though they do not use it the software and all of the files remain on the computer.
Everything mentioned above slows down the computer, especially leaving AOL on it. AOL is a massive program and it puts software pieces everywhere including a program called the registry.
The registry is a program that keeps track of everything on the computer. If you no longer use an application and you do not uninstall it the Registry has to go through all of the data to get to where it needs to go.
So, the first step in getting rid of the applications that you no longer need is to go to the Start menu and look at all of the programs and files under the All Programs menu option. Just look at the different folders and applications to see what you no longer use, or even heard of.
The next step is to click on the Start menu and click on the Control Panel icon. When the Control panel opens click on the Add/Remove programs option. In XP and Vista, Add/Remove programs is either in the first row (icon vies), or on the left column (word view).
When the Add/Remove window opens you will see all of the applications that are installed. If you have a lot of applications on your computer it can take 30 seconds or more to populate all of them on the screen.
Click on the application that you want to remove and select Remove (XP), or Uninstall (Vista). Follow the prompts and the program will uninstall. Some applications ask you to restart your computer after it is uninstalled. You can do this each time, or just wait until you uninstall all of the applications. Once you are done, go to the Start menu and select Restart and the computer will restart.
The next and final step is to delete the folders associated with the programs. Add/remove mainly work with the applications, not the extra files it installs. Click on the My computer icon and then select the drive C icon. Next look for Program Files folder and double click on that to open it. The next thing to do is to look at the folder names and delete the folders of the applications that you uninstalled. The folder names are usually the same as the application that you removed.
After you are done I would click on the Start menu , then click on Accessories folder, and then the System Tools folder and select Disk Defragmenter and let it run by clicking on the defragment program. What this application does is gets rid of the extra spaces on your hard drive. The extra spaces were left there from the applications that you removed. After it is complete, which usually takes an hour, the hard drive will work less and find what it is looking for faster. The end result is a faster computer.