Bergesch Computer Services, Inc.
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Clean it up

Performance issues?  First, is it the computer or only the Internet that seems slow?  If the Internet, see HiJacked?  But if the computer in general is slow, try some of these, especially check for disk errors... 

As with all of our suggestions, you apply these at your own risk. And as always, before doing anything major, BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP!

First thing: We refer to the Run Command, Command Prompt and Administrative Command Prompt.  If you are not sure how to get there, see command.

From time to time it is a good idea to clean up your machine, but that does not mean going through and haphazardly deleting files or folders! 

Odd performance issues

We have seen where McAfee is in process of system scan while you are using the computer.  It should be scanning only when the computer is idle and it should detect you are using the computer then pause the scan, but it does not always do so.  Worse of all, those surprise scans cannot be canceled!  Nice move McAfee...

Using the Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del), check for excessive CPU usage by the various processes. 

Windows 7: Other than Idle process, if you have something using more than about 8-10%, do some research on it.

system idle

In the Task Manager sort by CPU usage by clicking the CPU column header.
CPU Usage

Windows 10 does not show system idle rather it shows nothing at all so in Win10, look at the total CPU usage and if more than a few percent, start researching.
win 10 system idle

From Microsoft, there are a bunch of system tools available.  Of interest in performance issues may be Processes Explorer which breaks down the CPU usage further than the Task Manager shows. 

Unnecessary programs

Begin by looking in the Control Panel's Programs and Features.  Look through the list and if you find applications, games, etc., you no longer use, select that item and then click the Remove/Uninstall button.  But be sure to remove only what you no longer use.  If you find items listed you are unsure of, search the Internet for that item and see what it is.  Your option, but unless you specifically use them, we recommend uninstalling all Internet Explorer toolbars. 

Also see brute uninstaller information here.

Crap/Junkware, Toolbars and Hijacked home pages

See Hijacked!

Temporary files

From the Run command, type %temp% then press Enter. 

That opens the Windows temporary files folder.  Press CTRL A to select all files.  Hold the Shift key then press the Delete key.  Notes:

We have seen just a couple machines so far where the temp folder is full of folders, typically just a 3 or 4 character name, but hundreds of them.  You delete all and they come right back after booting.  We may have stumbled on some scheduled tasks causing this problem.  Try deleting (or at least disabling) any computer and printer manufacturer tasks, but from there the only solution seems to be reinstall Windows from scratch.  

Cleanup manager

From the Run command type cleanmgr then press Enter.  If prompted, the drive of interest is "C:" and select the various cleanup options as desired...

Windows Vista/7/8/10 may offer to cleanup all files on the computer, select that option.
When the cleanup manager opens, place a check mark in every option (except compress old files Windows XP - as that may actually slow the computer performance).  Recycle folder is optional!  We never empty ours... 

Check for disk errors

It's a good idea to check the disk for errors, but don't get carried away.  Run this check if the computer is running unusually slow and you have eliminated virus and software issues, or it has suddenly shut down due to a power outage or the like, or has been shocked, e.g., a laptop getting moved while running.  And be aware, this check could take a couple of hours... 

Simply type chkdsk /r  (then enter) at the Administrative command  prompt 

Chkdsk notes:

Defrag

Start > Search "defrag"   defrag   This too will take some time...   

But with very fast CPUs and hard drives, this is simply not as necessary these days.  Never defrag a solid state drive (SSD).

SFC Scan

Run this if you are having odd problems with Windows.  From the run command  type sfc /scannow then press Enter.  SFC Notes:

See also DISM repair

Change Dropbox settings

Change the bandwidth settings to limited.  50k download and 50k upload: 

In Window's system tray, right click Dropbox, click the "gear" then select preferences.  In that window you will see the bandwidth options...

Turn off indexing

Another issue we see on occasion is the Windows Indexing is a bit to aggressive.  More so on under Windows XP but possibly 7 and later.

While it makes for quicker local searches, the indexing could very well slow the computer a lot and our recommendation is to simply turn it off.

Windows 7 and later: Control Panel > Programs and Features > Windows Features and uncheck Indexing Service.

Windows 10

Turn off all those excessive social/Internet connections!  See Settings/Privacy.