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If you run multiple applications simultaneously in Windows for long periods of time, you probably notice that your system’s performance gradually decreases over time. When you close an application either from within the application or by using the Task Manager, the tasks or threads associated with the application may not all be completely released. This ties up your system’s memory resources and causes your system to become sluggish and possible unstable. You may think that the only way to solve this problem is to reboot your machine. We found an easy way to flush the memory cache without rebooting your computer.

To easily flush the Windows memory cache, we will create a shortcut containing a command that will perform the task. To do this, right-click in an empty area of the desktop and select New | Shortcut from the popup menu.

The Create Shortcut dialog box displays. Copy and paste the following command into the Type the location of the item edit box on the first screen of the dialog box. %windir%\system32\rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

Click Next.

On the next screen, enter a name for the shortcut in the Type a name for this shortcut edit box and click Finish.

Your shortcut may have been placed where you right-clicked to create the new shortcut. If you want it lined up with your other shortcuts, right-click on an empty space on the desktop and select View | Auto arrange icons from the popup menu.

When your Windows system feels as if it not responding to commands as quickly as it should, run this command using the convenient shortcut. Your system’s performance should improve.

You can also put the shortcut on the Taskbar for easy, one-click access. To do this, right-click on the shortcut and select Pin to Taskbar from the popup menu.

NOTE: You can also add the shortcut to the Start menu using the Pin to Start Menu option on the popup menu.

We created this shortcut in Windows 7 for the example in this post, but this shortcut will work in Windows Vista and Windows XP just as well.

NOTE: For one-click access to the shortcut in Windows XP, drag the icon on the desktop to the Quick Launch bar. The icon will not be moved; a copy of the icon will be available on both the desktop and the Quick Launch bar. Enjoy!