Does your computer run slow? Is your operating system bloated with valueless background tasks and processes? Is your hard drive filled with files you no longer need? If any of these describe your situation, you need a good tune-up.
Nobody likes it when their computer runs slow, especially if they’re using it to work or play games. A slow computer can be the bane of your existence, especially if you still use the 10-year-old clunker that was handed down to you when you left college. Thankfully, there are plenty of tricks to speed up your PC.
Here are 10 tips that will help you improve your PC performance and make sure it’s running like new again.
1) Remove unnecessary software and apps
If you’re like most people, your computer is a workhorse. You rely on it for tasks large and small throughout your day, but that means you’ve also loaded a lot of software onto it over time. The problem is that some of that software may actually be slowing down your computer, making it less efficient and effectively shortening its lifespan.
There’s a good chance that you haven’t used some of your installed programs in months, if not years. However, just because they aren’t running doesn’t mean they aren’t using system resources and slowing down your PC.
An excellent way to find which apps you don’t use often is simply to sort by last opened date; the older programs will appear at the bottom. If something hasn’t been opened in over 6 months, it’s time for you to uninstall it from your computer permanently.
To get your computer back up to speed, remove any programs or apps you don’t need. If you run into problems getting rid of software you do need, take a trip to your local IT store, where they can help uninstall any unnecessary programs or apps.
2) Download an anti-virus software
If you’re not using anti-virus software, it’s time to download one right now. This is because there are so many malicious programs designed to steal your private information, such as credit card data and bank account information. They can also damage your computer or smartphone, often in ways that aren’t immediately noticeable.
There are several different anti-virus options out there; just make sure you install one on your devices. In addition, you can research various software brands to know what features and functions are available with each package.
3) Defragment your hard drive
If you’re using a Windows computer, run Windows’ built-in Disk Defragmenter tool. If you have issues, it might be because your hard drive is fragmented.
Fragmentation occurs when files are broken up and scattered all over your hard drive. The more fragmented a file becomes, the slower your system will run; a slow computer can lead to other problems down the line. So if you suspect fragmentation is slowing things down for you, go ahead and run Disk Defragmenter from inside Windows (you can usually find it by going into My Computer or Computer).
4) Turn off unnecessary features of your computer
The best way to speed up your computer is by turning off as many unnecessary features as possible. Remember, all these different processes will slow down your system and decrease its performance.
So make sure you turn off or disable any of these: ыtartup programs, services, and tools that run automatically with Windows startup. For example, If you don’t use iTunes for music, get rid of it. Take a few minutes each week to manually update things that need updating instead of letting them do it on their own whenever they decide they need to.
And don’t forget about getting rid of any bloatware on your computer; those little toolbars and other applications sometimes come pre-installed on new PCs, often without your knowledge.
5) Stop Autoplay
Many modern PCs and laptops come with a feature called autoplay, which means that when you insert a flash drive or DVD into your computer, it will open without you pressing anything. It sounds like a great feature for consumers, but it also uses up some of your system resources.
6) Use a Tracking Tool
No matter what type of PC you’re using, it can benefit from a reliable tracking tool. Whether you want more information about your daily computer usage or want to track down a bug and fix it before it becomes a problem, there are tons of different tracking tools designed for specific uses.
As always, shop around and find one that works well with your situation; some of these tools are free while others cost a small fee. Many of them will give you regular reports on how they’re helping improve your performance over time. Many come with free trials, so feel free to move on if you don’t like what you see in their first-month report.
7) Fix bad registry errors
A registry is an electronic database that stores settings and information for software installed on your computer. Over time, these registries can fill up with errors and unnecessary files, slowing down your computer’s performance.
In some cases, fixing these issues will make it easier for you to run programs and games.
8) Update drivers
Updating your drivers will improve how your computer communicates with the hardware. Most computers purchased within the last five years should have most of their drivers updated. You’ll always want to ensure your sound card, video card, modem, wireless card, and other hardware is up-to-date.
While Windows automatically checks for updates regularly (usually), it can’t hurt to check manually from time to time, just in case.
You can update drivers manually by visiting manufacturer websites or searching online for instructions on how to update drivers.
9) Reduce overheating issues
Heat buildup inside your computer’s case is bad news for performance. Like, awful news. It can cause key components to underperform, which results in sluggish system performance and annoying shut-downs.
If you notice your computer shutting down without warning or if games are running slowly, even on low settings, you might have an overheating problem.
To fix this, you may need to consult an IT expert, mainly if you have lots of company software or information you are scared of losing in the process. Once you find one, run a check on them on Nuwber to verify their trustworthiness before entrusting your computer to their care.
10) Keep it updated
The tricky thing about all of your system’s tools is that they require constant attention, so it won’t be long before they become obsolete if you’re not routinely updating and maintaining them. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to be constantly tinkering with your system, but keeping things up-to-date is essential for ensuring that your system runs smoothly over time.
Keep an eye on Windows update alerts (or enable automatic updates) so that you can quickly deal with any critical patches or fixes as soon as they become available. Set up regular maintenance tasks on your calendar so that everything gets a thorough once-over every few months (or week if possible), especially if no new security issues are being flagged.
Your PC may be powerful enough to handle anything you throw at it, but as it ages, you’ll notice that some tasks take longer than they used to, such as booting up your computer or loading applications.
If your computer has become slow, following the steps mentioned here can help you free up system resources, optimize your RAM usage, and clear out clutter from your hard drive so that everything runs smoothly. Use them to get your computer back up to speed to enjoy the things you love about it again.