by David Hakala

Q: My five-year-old computer running MS Windows XP turns off very slowly. It takes minutes to shut down completely. Any economical suggestions or recommendations? — Alan

Alan, you don’t have to spend a dime, just a little time.

When Windows shuts down, it must save many system settings to use when it starts up again. It saves these settings in a group of files collectively known as “the registry.” Over time, the registry becomes cluttered with invalid settings as you add, remove, and relocate files, shortcuts, programs, etc. Cleaning up such clutter will help Windows shut down and start up much faster.
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