Oh, btw star, wiping out/deleting prefetch files can actually slow things down on your computer. Prefetch is similar to cache. For those of you non-techies, prefetch and cache are ways that Windows (well, browsers in particular) "stores" things like web pages, even entire sites, in "memory" so that when you, for example, hit the "Back" button on your browser, it just grabs the "snapshot" from it's memory file (prefetch, or cache) and loads that up right quick, rather than check to see if any changes have been made and upload the updated page(s) for you - increasing the load time.
You may have noticed that when surfing the 50plus forums. You click "Back" and the previous page loads up in a snap, appearing just like it did a few moments ago. Problem is, people have actually posted in those few moments and you don't see the updates - why? Because your browser used a "prefetched" page or a page file stashed in cache. Convenient, yes. Useful for the average user, yes.
In theory, it's a time-saver. And that's true.... but it may be loading outdated info. Info that's vitally important for those who may be following newscasts and similar dynamically changing content.
So, clearing cache, prefetch and even cookies can actually slow
things down for you - yes, you'll be getting the most up-to-date content. And yes (when clearing cookies) you'll have to remember all those damned passwords and login info's again... but is it worth it just to gain a few milliseconds of "speed" while you frantically search for your bank account login stuff to see if you have enough to renew your 50plus premium membership?
Prefetch and cache are in place for your convenience. That's it. The most you'll gain is maybe a second or two of "speed". So weigh the risks before wiping out everything that makes your life easier in exchange for a tiny bit of "speed".
Hint - want the most up-to-date page? Do shift-F5 to refresh. This causes your browser to "force" a full reload of all page data. Mmmm.... fresh cuppa coffee!
Chances are, if you're experiencing noticicable slowdowns/freeze-ups, the problems are elsewhere. Time for a virus/malware/spyware scan.
I'm sorry, but I get sick of all these UN-NEEDED "tune-up" utilities available online and people suggesting to "clear your cache" to give your computer some sort of "super turbo boost" in speed. It's a myth and has been since before Win XP.
And since Win 7, has not been needed as the newer win OS's do NOT need, nor require these "speed" management techniques or "voodoo". So throw that defragger into your recycle bin. It will speed things up if you do. By approx. .3212 milliseconds.
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