Parent resources / Tech Tips

Tech Tip #97: How to Add Zip to Your Slow Computer

tech tipsAs a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: I have a small netbook which is incredibly slow at starting up. My son seemed to think I could go to the start up menu. Not sure where that is or what to do when I get there! Can you help please?

A: I got this post from an efriend over at my writer’s blog. Here’s what I told her:

There are several steps to this fix. Here are the first few. If they don’t work, let me know and we’ll go to the next level:

  1. Run defrag, which is under start button (lower left corner), type ‘defrag’ into the search bar. It’ll come up with a ‘defrag’ program. Run it. This helps put your ducks back in a row.
  2. Run malware programs like Spybot and Adaware. If you don’t have those two free programs, download them from
  3. Uninstall unnecessary programs. Go to Start button, Control Panel, Programs and Features. Uninstall those pesky toolbars and other programs that get on your computer when your virtual back is turned.

I didn’t hear back from her, so I suspect everything worked out well. These are starter steps. I’d recommend them every month as a routine.

Do you have any maintenance steps you take that help your computer?

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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2 thoughts on “Tech Tip #97: How to Add Zip to Your Slow Computer

    • Check what programs are loaded you don’t want anymore through the Control Panel. Another spot that slows a computer down is fonts loading. I used to carry up to a thousand and now have only a couple of hundred. Each time you boot up, all those font files have to load.

      Who needs thousands of fonts??

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