Let’s talk about computers, shall we?
Brand new computers are lightning fast — until its user spends a few years with it and the previously speedy machine eventually takes forever to do everything: from starting up, to opening a document, to simply loading a web browser. Sound familiar? That’s because most (if not all) computer owners have experienced a similar scenario.
Here are a few things that can make a significant difference on how fast your computer performs:
1. Remove unnecessary software
Computers often come preloaded with software that you’ll never really use; worse, some of them run in the background from the moment you boot your machine and these can make the computer run slower.
To get rid of these, go through the list of your installed software (Programs under Control Panel on a PC and the Applications folder on a Mac, and uninstall those that are obviously not desirable, while being careful to leave stuff your system and hardware needs.
Whenever you’re unsure on whether it’s safe to uninstall a program or application, do a quick Google search and you’re likely to find the right information from other users. If you use a PC, you may also consider using a tool like PC Decrapifier, which will tell you what programs you don’t need.
2. Disable startup programs
As mentioned earlier, startup programs can slow your computer’s boot time. To disable these on your PC, click on the Start button and type ‘msconfig’ (without the quotes). When the System Configuration dialogs displays, switch to the Startup tab and disable programs you don’t really need upon startup.
On a Mac, simply go to System Preferences then Users & Groups. Select your account, switch to the Login Items tab, and uncheck everything you don’t need on boot.
3. Clear web browser data
Internet web browsers are probably the most used programs on every computer, and it’s also the one that downloads and stores a lot of data. To speed up your browser’s performance and response time, clear your cookies and other web history. Here’s a link with instructions on how you can do this with the most popular web browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
4. Do malware scans
Malware scans can help you keep your computer running in mint condition. If malwares (which includes virus programs) have infected your machine, you can bet that it will take a very large portion of your computer’s resources, such as RAM and hard drive space. Of course, be sure to keep your antivirus and antimalware software up-to-date so that you are protected from the latest threats.
5. Ensure operating system is updated
Many computer users are too quick to click the “skip” or “remind me later” button when asked to install operating system updates. If you’re one of them, you may want to reconsider. While OS updates usually don’t add a lot of new features, these fix bugs in the system, close security holes, and help optimize entire system’s performance.
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If these 5 steps don’t improve your computer’s speed, you have two more options: a) do a clean install of your operating system or b) upgrade your hardware. Should you decide to go with the latter, consider getting more hard drive storage (or even better, a solid state drive) or adding more RAM.