Many people like to ‘tune up’ their computers and we often see various programs on customer computers that are supposed to do this.
Unfortunately some of these programs can do the opposite of tuning up your computer, so here are a few general tips about ‘tuning up’.
Registry cleaning programs
Avoid them – even Techs do not go into the Windows Registry unless they have to. The Registry in Windows is one of the most important files on your computer and contains all the settings necessary for your computer to work properly. It is so important that if there’s a problem with the Registry file, it can cripple the computer and in some cases, you would need to reinstall Windows if the Registry was corrupted.
Many ‘tune up’ programs include a Registry cleaning element and even with best efforts, a Registry cleaning program can delete or corrupt important information. Is it worth it – especially when you bear in mind that the people who make Windows, do not supply a Registry Cleaner program themselves.
If you do decide to go ahead and ‘clean’ your Registry, make sure that you do create a Registry backup, and just as importantly, know how to replace it if things go wrong.
Tune up programs
There are many of them available, both free and commercial – there are too many programs to list here but it is best to stick to well-known programs from established manufacturers. We recommend that before using any of them, research them on a search engine first to find out if they are any good or should be avoided. You do need to check exactly what they do and if in doubt, deselect the parts of the program that you are not sure about, such as anything to do with the Registry.
Some so-called tune-up programs are simply a scam – they do not do what they say they do and just look good – but are there just to take your money. Some programs are poorly written and can damage your data.
There are also many fake tune-up programs out there that contain malware, so be very careful what links you click on, as you may get a nasty surprise and it won’t be a tune up!
If you ever see a tune-up program appear that you have not deliberately installed yourself, you can be fairly certain that it’s either fake or a scam – either way, delete it straight away and if it keeps coming back or will not uninstall, contact an I.T. professional.
Computer housekeeping – defragmentation
Regular defragmentation of hard drives can help performance, because over time, data on your hard drive can get further and further apart (because it is split into smaller packets). If those pieces are too far apart, it can take longer for mechanical drives to collect all the pieces when you need them, so defragmentation brings all the pieces closer together, which can improve performance.
SSD drives are getting more popular so you need to be aware that they do not need defragmentation like mechanical drives do, as SSD drives can access information equally fast no matter where it is on the drive. In fact, SSD makers such as Samsung recommend disabling defragmentation utilities altogether, if you have an SSD drive, because SSD drives are rated by the amount of data written to them over their lifetime and running a defragmentation utility just uses up that data.
Apart from defragmenting, keep an eye on installed programs, especially those that auto start every time you switch on, as this can make things slow down, even on Windows 10 computers.
If you would like a professional tune up of your computer, give us a call on 01455 209505.