Got a slow laptop? This cleanup trick can help speed up computer

ByElizabeth J. Bohn

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Q. My computer has been running really slow so I looked in the Task Manager and could see that my CPU usage was high, even though I wasn’t doing anything on my PC. Do you know how I can resolve this?

A. Even though you may not be actively performing tasks on your computer, it doesn’t mean the computer isn’t doing things on its own.

The usual suspects for an increase in CPU usage are things like malware and viruses so it’s always good to scan periodically.

However, I recently made a discovery with my own computer that was having a similar problem.

As it turns out, high CPU usage can be a sign that your Windows Event Viewer logs have gotten too big.

Windows keeps track of various system events, which you can review using the Event Viewer. The information can be very useful for troubleshooting, but it’s usually meaningless to the average computer user.

And while the log files are usually not a problem, they can sometimes expand in size enough to cause a computer to slow down as the CPU creates and monitors the files.

To clear this up, click Search and type eventvwr and then press Enter.

This will bring up the Event Viewer where you click on Windows Logs, Application on the left and then click Clear Log on the right side of the application.

Do the same thing for Security, Setup and System which are also under Windows Logs.

Once you do this, close the window and restart your PC.

When you check the CPU in Task Manager you should see it back at normal levels.

Q. I read that if my computer is running sluggish, I should clear the cache from my browser. Should I do this?

A. Most people’s experience with a computer is Web-based. Whether it’s browsing the internet or checking email, the Web browser tends to do most of the work.

As you use your browser, it collects data files. This includes cookies and trackers and also a cache of files that is supposed to make browsing quicker.

When a browser is behaving normally, it will generally clean the cache as needed. But it almost never does a satisfactory job.

If you are experiencing sluggishness when browsing the Web, clearing your cache may be a good idea.

You can find simple instructions for this by searching with terms like clear cache Chrome or clear cache Internet Explorer, depending on the browser you use.

Clearing the cache will not remove saved passwords. But it might make your internet access a little more peppy.

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