The typical user will not reinstall Windows on a routine basis. Ideally, this will be done each year in combination with a good backup regiment to keep your computer running as fast as it did when you first purchased the PC. If you do not reinstall periodically, you should at least take a weekend to go through and perform some general maintenance to help speed up your PC. Among other things, you should uninstall any old programs you have installed but never use anymore. This could be in the form for Scumware–software that came bundled with your computer as a trial, Freeware–software you found on the Internet and Shareware–trial software you never got around to purchasing or removing.
So why are we bothering to do all of this? Most programs will try to load automatically when you boot. While you may not see them, they may be running in some form in the background. The more unnecessary programs you have installed, the more they could be leeching RAM and other system resources from your computer, thus slowing it down.
Backup Before Uninstalling Software
It’s always a good idea to backup whenever you make any drastic changes to your computer. Before you start uninstalling programs, make sure you backup your data. If the programs you remove have serial numbers or activation codes, you should make sure you have them written down somewhere in case you ever need to put those programs back on your system. Once done, you are ready to uninstall unnecessary programs.
Ways to Uninstall Programs
Programs that are well written will often have uninstallers packaged with them. To remove a program, try navigating to it through the Start menu and see if there is an Uninstall option. if not, proceed to the Control Panel and look for “Uninstall and Program.” Depending on your view mode, you might see the icon “Add / Remove Programs.” You should find the program listed in that menu.
Never remove a program simply by deleting its folder. This doesn’t remove the program and actually causes a lot of issues. When you uninstall a program correctly, it goes through the registry and other folders and removes every bit of the the software that was installed. If you only delete the folder, you leave information in the registry and other folders that will likely generate errors and system crashes. Make sure you reboot after you uninstall a program.