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Fixing your very slow PC - step by step

There are the three main reasons why computers become very slow over time:

1. Remove adware and junk with free ADWCleaner - [Download]

This tool will remove rogue and "promotional" programs you might have installed accidentally. It will scan your PC and display all the junk that will be removed, with your permission. You can uncheck items if you prefer to keep them. Restart the computer once it's complete. The following video demonstrates step-by-step installation and usage of ADWCleaner.



2. Remove malware with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware - [Download]

This anti-malware program will remove viruses, trojans, spywares, keyloggers, potentially unwanted applications(PUP), rogue programs and other types of malware. Follow this video to start a complete system scan. After the scan is complete, click Quarantine All and restart the PC to finish the process. Use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware at least once a month to scan your computer. The free version does not have a protection engine that runs on background. For that, you will need the paid version but keep in mind that you should only use one anti-malware program with real-time protection.




3. ESET Online Scanner - [Download]

ESET Online Scanner is similar to Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. It will remove wide variety of malware and potentially unwanted applications. It is important to carefully configure the tool before running a system scan. It does not remove unwanted programs if you use it with default settings, so make sure to check and uncheck the boxes as shown in the video below. The video was edited to remove the idle times. In reality, your system scan will last about an hour. Before the actual scanning begins, the tool will download and update the latest detection signatures.




4. CCleaner - Remove junk, manage autorun - [Download]

This widely popular tool will clean junk files and offer you an option to remove or disable autorun programs. Install the program and use the settings as shown in the video below. Once it's installed, you'll have to close the internet browser before cleaning the junk files. Don't forget to return here to finish reading. After you use the Run Cleaner button to clean the junk files, go to Tools > Uninstall tab. If you used ADWCleaner and Malwarebytes tools from previous steps then there isn't much work left. You just have to find 3rd party programs that you did not install, or do not use anymore, and remove them. Be careful not to uninstall drivers and other important programs. If you are not sure whether something is important or not, it is best not to touch it. You could also Google the name of the program to see if it's a known junk program or something you no longer need. Use the same logic in Tools > Startup tab. Approach it with caution. If you find a 3rd party program that you do not want to start with the operating system and constantly use resources on background then select it and press Disable.




5. Checking CPU/RAM usage with Task Manager

Task Manager is a tool that shows which processes are running and how much resources they consume. Sometimes a malware or a poorly written software consumes too much processor(CPU) and memory(RAM). This will have a negative impact on the overall system performance. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager. You could also use Alt+Ctrl+Delete combination. Within the Task Manager window, press the Show processes from all users button on bottom-left corner to display all processes. Click on CPU tab to display processes based on CPU usage.Ignore the entry that says System Idle Process. Find processes that use lots of CPU then Google their names to find out which programs they belong to. Make a decision whether you want that program to run on background or not. Go to that program's settings and disable "Start program with computer startup" option so it will only start when you open the program, and not when your PC starts. You can also use CCleaner from previous step to force disable startup programs. If you accidentally select important process and terminate it you might have to restart the PC. There will be no permanent damage, however.




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