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One of the most persistent myths about Windows is that you need to reinstall the operating system regularly to keep it running at top performance. Let’s take a look at the real problem and how to fix it. Today we’re talking about the myth that Windows slows down over time, and how to solve the problem. The reality is that Windows doesn’t slow down if you just take care of your PC a little more. Follow these procedures, and you won’t have to wonder if spending time installing from disc, and re-installing your essential applications is really necessary. What Does Slow Windows Down Over Time? I’m not going to sit here and tell you that your Windows PC will never slow down — because for many people, they almost always do. What actually slows your PC down are too many poorly written applications that stay resident in memory and waste CPU cycles, having too many badly written low-level applications that hook into Windows, or running more than one antivirus application at a time. And of course, if you’ve run your PC’s hard drive out of space, you can hardly blame Windows for that. If you aren’t getting the picture, the problem is usually the person behind the keyboard that installed too many junk applications in the first place. More gently put, it’s often that (very well-meaning) person’s gradual easing of their safeguards and cleaning regimens as time goes by. 1. Stop Installing Junk Applications Installing software should be thought of like feeding your PC. If you constantly feed your PC garbage apps, it’s going to get sick and won’t be able to run fast anymore. These poorly written applications clutter your drive with unnecessary DLL files, add always-resident Windows services when they don’t need to, bloat up your registry, and add useless icons to your system tray that waste even more memory and CPU cycles. Usually you can get away with using a few terrible applications, but as you continue to install more and more of them, your PC will slow down to a crawl. 2. Be Smarter About What You Do Install You should keep in mind that we aren’t trying to tell you to install every single one of them at the same time-just install the applications that you actually need and you’ll generally prevent the dreaded format and reinstall. Here’s a few tips to help you know what applications you should be careful with: Apps that function as an Explorer plug-in, because they directly hook into the shell and any problem will make your entire PC slow or in the worst case, crash repeatedly. Antivirus applications are notorious for slowing your PC down, and you should never, ever, ever use more than one real-time antivirus application at a time. We recommend Microsoft Security Essentials as a free, fast and awesome antivirus tool. Make sure to install official system drivers from the manufacturer website. Drivers have a huge impact on performance, and you want to have stable, updated drivers. You can consider the idea of using portable applications wherever possible, since their self-contained nature means they won’t clutter up the rest of your PC with things you don’t need. 3. Keep Your Computer Clean And Trim Once you’ve rid yourself of your junk application habit and resolved to only use healthy, useful applications, you’ll want to make sure to keep your PC clean of any remaining clutter that doesn’t need to be there. Your best bet is to set up Wise Care 365 to run automatically on a schedule, so you don’t have to remember to do it. With all of this automated file deletion going on, your hard drive is likely to get a bit fragmented.