You're not imagining things: It is indeed taking you longer to load Windows, browse the Web, and run your applications. It's as if your car took longer to get you to work as it got older. You wouldn't stand for such diminishing performance from your automobile, so why abide PC slowdowns?
Unless you built it yourself, your PC began picking up unwanted junk long before you first connected to the Internet. The people who made that shiny new PC loaded it with useless, bandwidth-clogging software at the start. And it only gets worse as you install programs, whether via download or off a disc.
The following tips will help you scrape the crud out of Windows and your applications to get your PC running better than it did when it was new. And "Optimize Your Notebook" will show you how to wipe out power-draining settings in your portable. Of course, stray software isn't the only thing that clutters your computer life; actual dust, dirt, and debris can create problems too. Answer Line guru Lincoln Spector offers advice for removing the physical gunk from your PC's dirtiest hardware components.