Support XFINITY Internet Maintaining a Healthy Computer

Introduction

Keep your computer running smoothly with simple, regular tasks that boost performance.

Overview

Over time, you might notice your computer or laptop’s performance slowing down. But there are several easy steps you can take to help your computer run smoothly. By regularly performing these small tasks, you can avoid larger problems down the road and get the most from your machine.

Keep a Clean Desktop

Do you often save pictures, Word documents, videos and more to your computer’s desktop? A cluttered desktop doesn’t just make it harder to find your files - it can actually slow down your computer as well.

If your desktop is jam-packed, you’ll want to organize them into more manageable folders.

Your computer should come equipped with folders you can use, like My Documents or Pictures. Simply drag files from the desktop and drop them into the folder of your choice until the desktop is clean.

Note: Icons on your desktop that open programs like Word or Photoshop are only shortcuts, not actual files, so you don’t need to move them.

Learn how to Troubleshoot a Slow Computer.

Avoid Pop-up Ads

Pop-up ads can come from websites and from spyware that has been installed on your computer without your knowledge. These ads aren’t just intrusive - they can also slow down your computer. Here’s how to avoid pop-ups so you can surf the web without interruption.

Scan for spyware
If you’re encountering pop-up ads, you may have spyware on your computer. If so, you’ll want to run a spyware scan.

To do so, simply download and install the XFINITY Toolbar, available here. You can schedule regular scans of your computer or run a scan whenever you want.

Block pop-ups
Some pop-ups are embedded in a website and will appear when you visit. To block these ads, you’ll have to install a "pop-up blocking" program.

The free XFINITY Toolbar also features a pop-up blocking tool. Download the XFINITY Toolbar here.

Find out more about how to Protect Your Computer From Viruses and Other Intruders, how to avoid untrustworthy sites with better Email Privacy and Security and how to block spam by Setting Up Spam Filters and Blocking Emails.

Clear Your Cache

Web browsers save copies of recently visited web sites in a cache. This way, instead of reloading a page completely when you come back, it can use the saved copy. This makes browsing quicker, but if the cache gets too full it can slow you down.

To fix this, you can clear your cache. (This will not affect any bookmark lists of sites you’ve created in your browser.) Here’s how to do it.

Clearing Cache in Firefox

  1. Hold down Ctrl+Shift on the keyboard and hit the Delete key, or select History from the Settings menu, represented by three horizontal bars to the right of the address bar.
  2. Select the desired time frame in the Time range to clear drop-down menu.
  3. Select the Cache checkbox from the Details menu.
  4. Click Clear Now.

Clearing Cache in Google Chrome
  1. Click the Settings icon, represented by three horizontal lines to the right next of the address bar.
  2. Select History from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Clear browsing data.
  4. Select Cached images and files.
  5. Click Clear browsing data.

Clearing Cache in Internet Explorer
  1. Click the Tools button and select Internet Options from the drop-down menu.
  2. Under Browsing History, click the Delete button.
  3. Check the box next to Temporary Internet Files.
  4. Click Delete.
  5. Click OK to close the Internet Options window.

Clearing Cache in Safari
  1. From the Safari menu, select Clear History and Website Data.
  2. From the Cookies and website data menu, select the time frame for which you wish to clear data.
  3. Click Remove All Website Data.

Clear Your History

Web browsers also keep a record of every website you’ve ever visited, called your browsing history. Deleting your browser history can boost computer performance. To do it, just follow these simple steps.

Clearing History in Firefox

  1. Hold down Ctrl+Shift on the keyboard and hit the Delete key, or select History from the Settings menu, represented by three horizontal bars to the right of the address bar.
  2. Select the desired time frame in the Time range to clear drop-down menu.
  3. Select the Form & Search History checkbox from the Details menu.
  4. Click Clear Now.

Clearing History in Google Chrome
  1. Click the Settings icon, represented by three horizontal lines to the right next of the address bar.
  2. Select History from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Clear browsing data.
  4. Select Browsing History.
  5. Click Clear browsing data.

Clearing History in Internet Explorer
  1. Click the Tools button and select Internet Options from the drop-down menu.
  2. Under Browsing History, click the Delete button.
  3. Check the box next to History.
  4. Click Delete.
  5. Click OK to close the Internet Options window.

Clearing History in Safari
  1. From the Safari menu, select Clear History and Website Data.
  2. From the Cookies and website data menu, select the time frame for which you wish to clear data.
  3. Click Remove All Website Data.

Clear and Disable Cookies

Cookies are small bits of data put on your computer when you visit a website. Cookies store online preferences so that when you return to a site, it remembers things like your username at an online store.

Cookies aren’t harmful, but clearing your cookies can boost computer performance.

Note: Clearing your cookies will mean that sites which normally remember your login information, like social networking sites or online shopping sites, will need you to re-enter usernames and passwords the next time you visit.

Here’s how to delete cookies in several different browsers.

Clearing Cookies in Firefox

  1. Hold down Ctrl+Shift on the keyboard and hit the Delete key, or select History from the Settings menu, represented by three horizontal bars to the right of the address bar.
  2. Select the desired time frame in the Time range to clear drop-down menu.
  3. Select Cookies from the Details menu.
  4. Click Clear Now.

Clearing Cookies in Google Chrome
  1. Click the settings icon, represented by three horizontal lines to the right next of the address bar.
  2. Select History from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Clear browsing data.
  4. Select Cookies and other site data.
  5. Click Clear browsing data.

Clearing Cookies in Internet Explorer
  1. Click the Tools button and select Internet Options from the drop-down menu.
  2. Under Browsing History, click the Delete button.
  3. Check the box next to Cookies.
  4. Click Delete.
  5. Click OK to close the Internet Options window.

Clearing Cookies in Safari
  1. From the Safari menu, select Clear History and Website Data.
  2. From the Cookies and website data menu, select the time frame for which you wish to clear data.
  3. Click Remove All Website Data.

You can also set your computer to disable cookies so that none are saved. Once you disable cookies on your computer, they will be disabled no matter which web browser you use.

Disabling Cookies in Windows
  1. Click the Start button and select Control Panel from the menu.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. Under Browsing History, click the Settings button.
  4. Under Check for newer versions of stored pages, click the radio button option for Never.
  5. Click OK to close the Internet Options window.

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