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PostPoints tip: Slow computer? Assign blame properly

If your computer suddenly, mysteriously slows down, don't just curse at the stupid machine--find out what program gummed up the works. In Windows, hit the Ctrl, Shift and Esc keys to bring up the Task Manager. In that window, click the "CPU" heading to see which program, as identified by the name of its .exe file, is keeping the processor too busy (note: if "System Idle Process" tops the list, you should be fine). Then click "Mem Usage" or "Memory," depending whether you use XP or Vista, to see which application is eating the most memory. On a Mac, go to the Utilities folder and select Activity Monitor; click the "CPU" and "Real Memory" (sometimes abbreviated as "RSIZE") headings to see each program's processor and memory use. Once you've identified an offender, you can quit that program, complain to its developers or just swear at it by name.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  May 26, 2009; 9:17 AM ET
Categories:  Tips  
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