One of our recent articles, Optimize your computer for peak performance, talked about some steps you can take to maintain your computer. It was a pretty popular article, and we got a lot of comments. The most common comment we got was another simple way to keep your computer running at peak performance: get rid of programs you're not using.

Basically, all you have to do is survey the software on your computer and uninstall programs you don't use. By doing so, you can lower the amount of space used on your hard drive and lower the memory it uses. This sounds simple, but I just did this to my work computer after having some performance issues. I deleted programs on my computer that I had never used or hadn't used for more than a year. My computer started faster and my computer sped up. It's simple and very rewarding.

To uninstall programs from your computer:

  1. On the Start menu, click Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel, click Add or Remove Programs.
  3. In the Add or Remove dialog box, you will see a list of all the programs on your computer. When you click on a program, you can see how often and when you last used the program. The image below shows where you can find this information. If you want to get rid of the program, click Remove.
  4. Click Yes when you're asked whether you want to remove the program.

Image of the Add or Remove Programs dialog box

Here are some other articles that can help you speed your computer.

—Jason Kozleski