Clearing Out Computer's Memory

My computer is low on memory and is very slow. Can anyone tell me how to clean it off? There are a lot of things on here I don't use. Thank you.

Peggy from Canastota, NY

November 6, 20080 found this helpful

(1)You can go to the control panel (windows) and go to "add/delete programs" and delete everything you don't use. Just deleting the icon on the desktop won't delete the program itself. (2) you can "defragment" the disk - also under maintenance somewhere - use a "find" and get your hard drive cleaned up - (3) you can use a registry cleaner (download a free one from the net) to get rid of all the registry keys you have collected while surfing - they slow things down, too.

Hope this helps. Also keep your firewall/anti-vius up to date!

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November 6, 20080 found this helpful

Be very careful downloading anything from the internet. I've always been leery of messing with the registry. CrapCleaner is safe and I use it often. It cleans up bits and pieces not needed. The defragmenter is located under All Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Disk Defragmenter. Good luck.

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November 6, 20080 found this helpful

My computer recommends C Cleaner.

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November 7, 20080 found this helpful

Your problem is not your "computer's memory".

I'm not being a smart aleck here, just bare with me.

Your computers memory (or RAM) is wiped clean everytime you turn off your computer. Your problem is probably two fold:

1. Your hard drive is full, one of the other posters is correct in that you need to go to the control panel and use the add/remove programs menu to remove anything you don't use often. This will not speed up your computer though, it will just give you more hard drive space, it could give windows more room for a swap space but that probably won't result in blazing fast speed.

2. What I really recommend here is that you re-install windows. What happens is after using your computer for a year or so you install programs that write to the registry etc. The longer you use your computer the more registry entries (even after using the un-install features) and the slower your machine will run.

If you re-install windows (and make sure you do a destructive re-install where it erases your hard drive and then install windows, this will require that you back up all of your data before you begin) it will be as if you just got your computer "brand new". It will probably run much faster, as fast as the day your bought it. You CAN NOT speed up your computer through the use of memory managers or other software, the only options are to add more memory (and don't go to bestbuy etc. find someone local, maybe on craigslist to do it for very cheap) and/or do the windows re-installation routine.

Good luck

Editor's note: Make sure you have a good back up of all essential files before doing anything.

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November 7, 20080 found this helpful

Check you history settings if it is not set to automatically do it every so often you have a TON of past sites visited.

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November 7, 20080 found this helpful

You can use your standard Windows tools to remove programs you don't use, clean out some unnecessary files, defragment the hard drive, and change a setting to minimize the unnecessary files being saved on your computer every time you use it. This WILL improve the performance some. Here are the steps I'd recommend:

I've assumed you are using Internet Explorer. If not, post again identifying what system and browser software you are using.

Do 1, 2, &3 specifically in that order.

1) Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs. It will take it a few seconds to scan and list all of the programs on your computer. Review the list and select one you don't use and want to remove, click the Remove button. Once it is removed, select the next one you aren't using and remove it.

2) All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup. If you only have one drive it will automatically start analyzing it. If you have more than one it will ask which one you want to cleanup.

When it is done with the analysis it will give you a box which lists all the memory you can clear if you remove various categories of items. One of the largest will probably be the Temporary Internet Files. Step 4 will tell you how to automatically delete those files everytime you close IE so they don't build up.

I recommend selecting these checkboxes - Temporary Internet Files, Recycle Bin, Temporary Files, and WebClient/Publisher Temporary Files. If you have already installed any programs you downloaded and don't want to keep the downloads for backup, you can also select the Downloaded Program Files checkbox.

3) All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter - Select your main drive (usually C:) and click Defragment. It will actually analyze before it starts, that's why I don't bother with the analyze button. If you do run analyze first, ignore the message from Microsoft and close the box, 90% of the time it will say you don't need to defrag even if the whole thing shows as red for fragmented files.

Look at the "before" block; you'll probably see a lot of gaps and red sections. The first time you do this I would start it at night when you finish with the computer and let it run overnight. It will probably take a long time. I usually tell people who have had their computer more than 6 months without running defrag that they should run it 2 or 3 times.

3) Open IE, go to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced (Tab). Scroll down to the Security section (near the bottom) and look for the "Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed" line. Select the checkbox and click the OK button.

The items mentioned in other replies will give you additional improvement. Just keep in mind that downloading and using other "disk" cleaner programs and/or Registry cleaner programs should only be done if you are very comfortable with the programs you are using. If not ask a friend who is more "computer literate" to help you out the first time or follow TW's (guest) advice and find a local computer shop or independent geek to do it for you. Much cheaper than one of the chains. (The only exception to this is if you bought a "service plan" when you bought the computer. If so, check out the details of the plan and use it to get what you paid for upfront.)

Hopefully this will help with performance. Let us know what results you get.

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