1) Explorer...open explorer, press f12, which will open developers tools...select Cache off the menu bar and Clear Browser Cache.
2) With Firefox its in history....Clear recent history, click Everything...Then scroll down and select which elements to clear, and select all....Click "Clear Now"....Close it out then reopen.
Am I imagining things? Do unused icons on the desktop slow down a computer's speed?
There are people far more proficient than myself in computers, code, etc...but 50 icons are a lot to have on a screen. If you saw a difference in performance, I would say it might be because if she doesn't have an actual graphics card, any "graphics" computing is being pull from the intergraded card, drawing on the processor needlessly.
1) Delete/Uninstall any programs that are not being used
A)Get rid of all bloatware, free trials, junk ect.
2) Organize the remaining desktop into maybe 10 max icons/folders full of icons.
3) Turn off visual effects, this my give performance a little boost. (control panel...performance and tools....Adjust Visual Effects...go for performance...done)
She's using Avast free antivirus and Malwarebytes (free version), but they don't seem to slow down the processor at all.
1) Is all her antivirus and malware definitions up to date?
2) Have they been set to update and scan on a daily basis?
3) Are there any pending Windows updates/security fixes?
4) Just because she has the programs running in the background doesn't mean she is protected from malware or viruses. She will always need to keep them up to date for the best chance at being protected. Some attacks turn off the automatic updates and leave system venerable to future attacks.
I'm wondering if anyone here has any more suggestions.
Just a couple
1) Autorun...Hate this...Things running in the background needlessly...Type in MSCONFIG into the start bar and go to the Start Up tab. Anything that is not Microsoft/antivirus/malware/hardware support can be disabled. This is one thing that should help out a lot. Most programs demand attention upon boot and want to be high priority. You don't need Java updater, Quicktime, a dozen other things that want to be running, hidden in the background. After disabling most of them. Then reboot...the boot should finish faster.
2) I don't know about her computing habits, but its a good idea to reboot daily. If anything errant is hung up or running in the background, it will at least close it out.
3) While 4 gig of ram may be adequate, its definitely not a whole lot. My cell has more...If she has a slot free, an extra dimm shouldn't be all that much. Just depends on age, mother board, etc...but there should a noticeable difference with a small upgrade....Its a lot cheaper than buying a new rig.