Web Analytics

Windows Guides Feed

save yourself before computer crashes 800x800 220x146 Slow Boot and Slow performance ?There’s nothing like a brand new computer or a freshly installed one. It boots quick. It performs well. Windows and programs just pop up – almost before you boot them. But not before long your computer becomes sluggish, boot seems to take forever and programs take forever to load. Your CPU works overtime and you hear that constant nagging from your hard-drive.

Is it time to do another fresh installation, already ??

I hate doing fresh installations, it takes me two or three days getting my computer back up and running as I like it.  So, I keep putting it off, until nothing works, and I have no other choice…

Inevitable? Yes, BUT – there is one thing to try first….

I recently came across a tip that will help prolong the inevitable – much longer. In this tutorial I am using Windows 7, but it should also apply to Vista and XP.

Lets open your Main User Folder:

  • Windows 7 users, go to:  C:\Users\
  • Windows XP users, go to: C:\Documents and Settings\

Where of course C: is your main drive.

Right Click on your User Folder (the one with your name on it) and click: Properties.

fullfolder Slow Boot and Slow performance ?In the General Tab you will find useful information: Folder Size and Disk Usage. Now IF the folder-size exceed 3GB (I’ve seen it as big as 40GB) then you might just have found your culprit. Remember that the User Folder holds every information, document, icon and preference you set. When you save documents, files, videos etc. to your desktop or any other Sub User Folder, you will actually contribute to your computers slow demise. Windows index the content in these folders, keeping most of it in RAM – no wonder things seem slow, huh?!

How to fix the issue

First thing you should try is: Delete. Delete or Move everything that you really don’t need to store in your User Folder (documents, pictures, music etc.) to another disk or folder. This spring cleaning should reduce the toll on your system considerably. Remember keeping your User Folder to a minimum, not exceeding 3 GB will keep your computer run smoothly longer. Moving without remapping will let Windows work without the knowledge of where those documents are stored, thereby saving memory.

Delete User Account

If you are not able to reduce the Folder Size. Or removing content doesn’t help – then you need to delete the User Profile from the computer. This will effectively Reset Windows back to Factory Settings (such as Desktop Wallpaper, icons, Browser and folder Preferences etc.). You do that by creating a new User Account and to make it an Administrative Account. Reboot into your new account, and delete your old user account from the User Section found in the Control Panel.

Should everything fail

Should you be as unfortunate that this doesn’t help – then the only choice is to do a clean installation. Good luck !

 Slow Boot and Slow performance ?

About Thomas

Computer geek from the age of 7, which amounts to 30 years of computer experience. From the early days (when every computer company had their own OS) of DOS, Windows 1.0 through Seven...

Free PC tips by email

Search Windows Guides


  • Ben

    If you made a system image right after you configured your machine the first time, and made periodic system images thereafter, you could probably avoid a clean install. Just sayin’ …

    • http://www.mintywhite.com Thomas

      Yeh I know.

      I always plan to do just that…
      But problem is, I never get around to it.
      And I imagine, many are just like me :-p

  • http://twitter.com/phazed1 AaronH

    Wow, that is the biggest piece of trash article that I have ever read. Wrong Wrong Wrong on so many levels it’s ridiculous.

    According the the article:

    Delete user account = This will effectively Reset Windows back to Factory Settings. WRONG.

    LOL.. this guy probably doesn’t know the difference between RAM and a
    hard drive. If you have 3GB of files in your Pictures/Music/Videos..
    Windows does not store 3GB in RAM.. it keeps the index in RAM
    (C:ProgramDataMicrosoftSearchData) and the index is generally some
    small MB’s in size or less (KB’s).

    If the computer is actively indexing, your computer may slow down due to
    mostly HDD utilization. After the initial indexing is complete, future
    index operations should be fairly light and quick in utilization.

    Of course what this genius doesn’t suggest is to turn of Indexing or
    Windows Search which would eliminate this “problem” all together.

    It’s articles like these that I hope people find.. so I can get the business fixing them.

  • Chris

    This is bad advice. This won’t do much of anything for performance, and doesn’t help people with large picture or music collections. Windows does not keep the contents of these folders in RAM. That would be insane since many users have folders larger than 3GB under their user profile.

  • Andy

    Wow! Just, wow. I tend to refrain from name calling, but you, sir, are an idiot. Instead of spelling out the reasons why you are an idiot, I will simply point you to AaronH’s comments, which are spot on. I will say that to delete a user account (without, by the way, stating that you should backup or otherwise move/save existing data, nice move there) to ‘fix’ a slow computer is like saying you should paint your car to fix the fact that it won’t start. It won’t work, but it sure will look nice.

  • ralph

    all these negative comments, personally i take this as 1 suggestion to try among many, aaronh has a good suggestion as well. oh and pd i’ve had as much as 60+ gb in my users folder, where do you think your itunes music is stored by default (unless you change the default location it’s in “C:UsersralphMusicitunes” or something along those lines.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ppelaez Percival D. Pelaez

    what the?… that doesn’t sound correct. CHECK the startup programs, viruses, trojan, worms, malwares. Clean those temp folders/files. Regularly do a registry cleanup and defrag. Those are the obvious culprits of a computer slowing down.

  • Susan

    What I can’t understand is why individuals have to resort to “name-calling” or making snide remarks to others when they don’t totally agree with what the other person has written. We all have a right to our own point of view and if you don’t agree and have another point of view, then just “state it” without all the childish name-calling. We are all human beings and none of us are perfect. Why try to make someone feel as if they are a dumb-ass? Why put someone down for speaking up and adding to a conversation from their own personal view on the subject? You don’t have to be nasty or ignorant; just SAY what you want to add to the topic! It’s high time we all show each other some respect and consideration. :-) Hope everyone is enjoying their first official weekend of Summer 2012!

Get our Free Newsletter

Enter your email address:

Windows Guides on Facebook
Windows Forums