Google Desktop Slows Your Computer Down
June 14, 2007
Google Desktop, at first look, comes with features that many people think they just can’t live without. But after installing it, Google Desktop actually slows down your computer’s speed at times — which can be quite irritating.
But first, what are the features of Google Desktop?
- Quickly search your computer for the information you need. Google Desktop can search files, pictures, certain words within files, emails, your web-browsing history, and much more. When I say “quickly,” I mean QUICKLY — you get complete search results within a couple seconds, within a browser window instead of a separate window. Not like the “Search” function built into Windows that is accessed via the Start or Windows logo symbol. That dog seems to take forever to search for results within your computer. Google Desktop does this very, very quickly.
- You can add a sidebar to your desktop which displays information you want, like your photos, recent news items, weather, and more. Much like the Windows Vista sidebar, butGoogle’s sidebar was there before the Vista sidebar.
- You can add numerous gadgets to the sidebar — lots of gadgets similar (or identical) to those you can find on Google’s Personalized Homepage.
- You can add a search box anywhere on your desktop or in the taskbar, linking to Google Desktop and/or the general Google search function.
- And some more features as well.
But this functionality comes with a downside: noticeably slower computing speed at times. Not all the time, mind you, but some of the time. The first time you useGoogle Desktop, it will take quite a while for Desktop to do the first indexing (sorting of all the info on your computer). During this time, you will notice that your computer is slower, and that there is a noticeable delay for pop-up menus and right-click menus to appear, and for your clicks to “register” with the computer.
After the initial indexing is done (which can be within an hour, depending on how much junk, ahem, information you’ve got on your computer), your computer will feel normal once again. But once in a while,Google Desktop will do its indexing act, although for a far shorter time than the first one. During each indexing act, your computer will again feel slow.
Google Desktop says that it will do the re-indexing only when your computer has been idle for 30 seconds or more. But hey, that’s like an instant to us folks who open a largewebpage and read what’s on it, then gets tapped on the shoulder by our partner / spouse or kids, and then look back at the computer and click to see the rest of thewebpage — and hey presto, the browser now feels “slow” because Google had begun its re-indexing act.
Friends and associates often ask me to “clean out” their computers to make them feel more speedy. And when I sit down at their computer, I always look forGoogle Desktop first — and I uninstall it (with their permission, which they always give). Instant speed-up. (I also look for other assorted junk and spyware that they may have accummulated over the years — but that’s for another blog post.)
So, if you have Google Desktop and have been frustrated with your computer’s speed, I strongly recommend that you uninstall it. If you find it very useful, then well, good for you.