7 Easy Ways to Speed Up Your Computer
A slow computer is the most frustrating thing when you are trying to be productive and go about your day. Over time we forget to keep on top of smaller checks and processes that gradually make the performance slower until eventually, you are ready to throw the machine out of the window, or just go out and buy a new one. But before you do that, here are 7 habits to get into to make sure your computer is always running at its optimum performance level.
1 - Updates and Patching
Every post we write seems to mention this is some way, which shows how crucial it is! We dedicated a whole post to patch management so have a look at the if you’re unsure of how to do this and its benefits. In short - it's the most simple way to make sure your system is secure, and up to date.
2 - Run an anti-virus scan
Could an undetected virus or other forms of malware be eating away at your computer performance? Running an anti-virus scan is generally good security practice, and most anti-virus software will do this automatically but it’s always a good idea to manually scan your PC just to eliminate this possibility.
3 - Limit Start-up Programs
Lots of software that we run on our desktop either pops up by default on start-up or runs invisibly in the background. You can find out what exactly is running by typing ‘msconfig’ into the Start search bar, this will lead you to a System Configuration window where you need to click on the ‘Startup’ tab. This will lead you to a list of programs where you can see what is running on startup and can deselect any that you know you don’t need. It is a good idea to double check here, as the system may be running software that you haven’t heard of but is important to have in place.
4 - Uninstall unused programs
A similar sort of process is good for unused programs that take up space on your hard drive. Go to your Control Panel and select ‘uninstall a program’ which will bring up a list of all the programs installed on your computer for you to check through and clear out. Again do make sure to check exactly what each programme is before you uninstall. Each system will come with its own pre-installed software that is essential for the general running of your computer.
5 - Clear your cache and cookies
If your browser is slow, the easiest way to speed it up is to clear your cache and cookies. Depending on what browser you are using the process is slightly different. You just need to access the browser’s settings where the option to ‘Clear browsing data’ or ‘Clear cache and cookies’ will be found.
6 - Reboot your PC
A really simple way to speed up your computer is simply to restart it. When we shut down our systems it, ironically, does not fully shut them down. The machine will keep running data from your so that your PC for a process called Fast Startup, which will help your PC to start up quicker, but you need to restart your PC ideally every 2-3 days to give it a chance to clear out its memory and stop processes that can overexert resources to keep it running at a good performance level.
7 - Upgrade from HDD to SSD
Finally, you can really speed up your PC by upgrading your hard drive from an HDD to an SSD (solid state drive). Whilst an HDD has moving parts and spins to function, the SSD is stationary and therefore faster. However, the issue with these is that they can be expensive (between £40 and £250) and must be installed correctly by taking the case off your computer and physically installing it into the hardware of your machine. It is a good idea to get a professional to do this so you do not damage your entire machine.
These are small and straightforward processes to try, but that is what makes them so useful! It is beneficial to make them a habit in order to maintain a high performing system and to look after the general health of your computer. Let us know if you have any extra tips that you use to speed up your computer.