With technology playing some type of role in our daily lives, it’s pretty easy to say that there is nothing more frustrating than dealing with an overtly slow piece of technology, especially our personal computers. We’re so use to having our technology respond to our commands at a near instantaneous manner, that it’s easy to get frustrated at having to wait an extra few seconds for a response. But before you go blind with rage and end up kicking our tech devices off the nearest cliff, there are a few things you can do right from home to clear out all the gunk and get your PC running at a faster speed.
Restart your computer at least once a day
One of the best practices you can do with your computer is to restart it once a day. We know it can be a pain, especially when you have tabs that you want to keep open and things you need to get done on your PC. However, restarting your device on a regular and daily basis can help close out any programs that may be running in the background and causing your PC to run slowly. Essentially, a reboot will help flush out your RAM and temporary files so that all unnecessary clutter that’s bogging down your computer is cleared out. Restarting isn’t a cure-all by any means, but it can temporarily relieve you of a slow device.
Whenever you device is running slow or feels overheated, try restarting it to see if this helps your device’s performance. If you’re on a Windows laptop, clicking the Start key and accessing power options should allow you to set the computer to Sleep, Restart, or Power Down.
Some of you may have heard that letting your device battery discharge or die completely is good for the device. There is a huge debate on this topic on whether this is a good practice or not. For right now, we suggest that you avoid full discharges since batteries have a finite number of charge cycles, and fully depleting the battery may cause you more issues down the line.
Delete all temporary files
Those who have a PC know the joys of decoding the mysterious Windows temp folder. And as the name suggests, this folder contains files that only exist temporarily. However, these files don’t always get deleted, so they tend to waste precious disk space. To delete these files, select the Start button and type “temp” in the search bar. The temp folder should appear and from here you can highlight all the files within the folder that you would like to remove.
Defragment your computer’s hard disk
When your information is scattered throughout your hard disk drive’s spinning platter, your PC’s performance can suffer horribly. Thankfully, defragging a computer is a relatively easy task to complete. In fact, if you use Windows 10, the system’s built-in tools can automatically defrag your machine for you. The same can be said of Windows 7 and 8 as well.
But if you notice files are taking much longer to load than usual, you’ll want to open up the disk optimization tool by typing “defrag” in your search bar. This is where you can manually run the tool. If you’re not sure whether you should defrag or not, select your hard drive and click Analyze. If you need to defrag, select your hard drive and click Optimize.
Update your version of Windows
The cool thing about Windows is that you don’t really have to do anything to update your system, as it happens automatically. However, these updates are super important because they protect your computer against malware attacks. They also removes general bugs and other issues. If you’re not sure which version you’re running, you can check by selecting Start and typing “computer” in the search box. This window will tell you which version and edition of Windows you’re running.
Remove or disable programs you never use
Most Windows PCs are slower than they should due to preloaded software (aka bloatware). Because these programs are constantly running in the background, they really impede performance. By uninstalling these unwanted programs, you’re freeing up hard disk space, increasing computer speed, and enhancing security.
If you’re using Windows 10, the first thing you’ll want to do is open the Start menu and click on Settings. You’ll then want to select System from the Settings menu, which should open up a brand new window. Go to Apps & Features (third one down), highlight all the programs you’d like to remove, and click the Uninstall button
Upgrade your RAM
If you’re the kind of person that always has a gazillion tabs open, you’re going to need a lot of memory so your computer can keep up. Not sure what memory is? Well, it basically lets you do more things at once.
So, if you can’t run more than two or three applications at the same time, may want to upgrade your memory. If you’re just browsing the web or chatting on Slack, 8GB of RAM should be more than enough.
Clean your device inside and out
If you crack open your PC, you’ll probably find a fair amount of dust in all the nooks and crannies, as it tends to get sucked in through the cooling fan. This is bad because it disrupts airflow and prevents the machine from keeping the temperature down. If your PC overheats, performance will decrease.
So, here’s what you can do about it. Open your PC and use a small handheld vacuum on the lowest setting to suck up the dust. You’ll want to be careful because you don’t want to accidentally catch a wire or dislodge a delicate part. Make sure the PC has been off for thirty minutes first, as the internals can run hot.