One of the best parts about purchasing a new computer is its snappy speed when you use it with almost instantaneous responses. Then, for seemingly no reason at all it gradually begins to deteriorate – accessing files isn’t immediate, opening files now takes a long time, ect. ect. If your computer has been lagging, before you jump to shelling out cash for a new one, use our tips here to boost your Mac or PC.
Why Do Computers Get Slower Over Time?
It’s important to understand how computers gradually become slower in the first place. Unfortunately, that honeymoon period where your computer will take you to a new website when you press enter with lightening speed will inevitably end as the years (or months if you’re unlucky) go on – but why?
It’s not really about the Hardware. Most speed issues involving computers have less to do with hardware and more to do with software. In fact, it could likely be wagered that the hardware on your current computer is working just as well when you purchased it.
The culprit could be an excess amount of digital clutter that makes the drive work harder. Why? Often this digital clutter is scattered throughout the drive and not stored together, making your drive have to find the data that it needs. Additionally your computer accumulates programs and tasks that run in the background, and although individually they might not make too much an impact on the overall speed of your machine, over time the combined effect can really take a toll with each program or task using up a certain amount of your computers memory, CPU (central processing unit) cycles and hard disk space.
On the off chance that it is a Hardware issue, it is more than likely linked to dust accumulation that is hindering its overall performance. A key indicator that your laptop is crammed with dust is if the fan is constantly running or if the machine gets uncomfortably hot around the cooling fan unit. Why is dust and overheating a problem? Some modern processors are constructed to conduct deliberate reductions of the speed of the CPU. Depending on the type of compute or laptop you have, an easy fix would be to open it up and manually remove the dust. As methods vary between different styles and models, a quick Google search could do the trick.
Steps to Make Your Computer Faster
Now that we’ve gone over the causes, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. These steps will be dealing with software, as we have already gone over possible hardware issues (dust) and how to fix them.
If you’re a relatively avid computer user, you have downloaded a file or two, used it and forgotten about it. Files that you have downloaded and not deleted after you got your use out of them are dead weight on your computer and are an easy to remove to speed things up a little.
Clean up your desktop
Although it’s convenient to have all the files you need within easy access on your desktop, each file needs an image, and each image takes up valuable memory from your computer.
Limit the amount of files you have to no more than 10 and every few weeks do regular clean ups to keep your desktop tidy and in check. Extravagant images as your desktop background can also slow up your computer, so if you’re willing to swap out your artistic background (eating up memory from your computer) for one of the pre-installed monochromatic backgrounds, you’re in luck.
Restart your computer regularly
It can be a pain to restart and lose your network of windows and web tabs you have open, but restarting your computer at least once a day could actually make a significant impact on the speed of your computer. It stops unnecessary programs that are running in the background in your RAM taking up space.
Uninstall programs you don’t use
You may have programs on your computer that you once needed but no longer have any use for, or programs that came installed onto your computer when you initially purchased it. Both of these use tons of memory, so to uninstall them for PC users you can either manually go to your Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs (or Uninstall a Program) or utilize online tools like decrap.org for PCs or AppCleaner for Mac – these tools look through programs installed on your computer and identify possible unneeded ones that can be deleted.
Cut down on start up programs
A common complaint of those with slower computers is that they can make a cup of coffee in the amount of time it takes for their computer to start up. The reason behind this could be that you have too many apps loading upon logging into your account. An easy way to halt these apps from uploading for Mac users is to go to System Preferences > User & Groups > username > Login Items and then make sure the only programs checked are the ones that are absolutely necessary for you. For PC users go to Start > type msconfig in search bar > Startup tab > and you will be shown a list of all the programs that are started when you reboot your computer, proceed to select only the ones you need.
Store files and images you don’t need immediate access to elsewhere.
Whether it be pictures or reports from years ago, you don’t need every single document or memory immediately on your computer’s hard drive. Take advantage of USB Flash Drives and store memories or documents that you would like to keep without taking a hit to your computer speed. Invest in both a quality USB Drive in addition to an organized storage place to keep your USBs so you will know where certain files are located and what is in each USB.