One of the most frustrating experiences is clicking an icon or doing an operation on your computer and seeing the small circle/disc rotate. Our computers have become so fast for everyday tasks that even having to wait a couple of seconds for a task or operation to be completed by the computer puts our patience to the test.
Irrespective of the type of computer you use, its performance is bound to decline over a period of time. While there are multiple reasons why computers slow down with age, there are many things we can do to speed up our PCs.
Let’s have a look at a few of the things we can do from time to time to keep our computer healthy and improve its performance. The good news is that with the latest versions of operating systems, you can do most of the cleaning and performance boosting with native features and without third-party tools.
Kill the programs which require a lot of RAM, CPU, or memory
Over a period of time, you’ve probably installed many programs which are running in the background of your computers that require a lot of RAM, CPU, or memory to run properly. Sometimes, there are multiple instances of the same program running in the background without our knowledge which slows down the system.
You can manually close these programs, or you can use Windows Task Manager which helps you find out what programs and background processes are using most of your RAM, CPU, and memory. To do this, open Task Manager and find the program which you want to close under the ‘Processes’ tab. Select it and then click ‘End task’.
This practice will help you boost your computer’s performance.
Uninstall unnecessary software
Device optimization programs make it easier to clean and speed up your PC.
The next best practice is to check if all the software, apps, or programs that you previously installed is still required. If you find programs which you no longer need or use, you can remove them from your computers.
Delete large files, old files, and downloads
Leftover files from program installs, offline web pages, temporary files, or old files all make your computer work hard and should be removed. If you want to remove these files manually, right-click the ‘Windows Start’ button and open ‘File Explorer’. Then select ‘This PC’ so you can search your whole computer.
Type ‘size: ’ into the search box and select ‘Gigantic’.
Select ‘details’ from the View tab and click the Size column to sort by largest to smallest.
The Disk Cleanup utility can help you identify and delete files that you didn’t know took up a lot of room. The chances are that you have even more old files that can be deleted in order to free up more space.
The biggest space killer to look out for are photos, videos, and files in your Downloads folder. Over time your Downloads folder accumulates photos, documents, and email attachments that you might no longer need — and they take up a ton of room on your computer’s hard drive.
Consider moving some files to a cloud storage platform or backing up files onto a separate drive to free up space on your main computer’s storage. This can significantly improve your computer’s speed.
Read on: How Can You Save Up To 65% On Your Cloud Costs?
Backing up files also protects you in the event your hard drive fails, loss of your computer, or any other damages.
Optimize the number of programs at startup
You can also check which applications run automatically when you restart your PC. In case you don’t need certain applications at startup, you should remove them in order to shorten the boot time of your computer. Make sure you don’t remove any critical applications like antivirus from startup.
Check for spyware and viruses
All company provided computers have antivirus installed which is running all the time, and new Windows Defender software has made it easier than ever to find malware that may be causing major issues to your PC. However, your laptop can still get infected due to multiple reasons like visiting a malicious site or trying to copy a file from external sources.
With your personal laptop you must consider installing two types of software for monitoring computer performance. Malware cleanup programs can solve lagging or blatant issue with speed or popups. However, you should also look for applications that provide continuous protection and run in the background. It’s important to remember that anti-virus programs require a lot of room which is why you should select one that doesn’t affect performance.
Empty the recycle bin
Most people think they delete files by moving it to the Recycle Bin. All that happens is these files are moved to the Recycle Bin and are then forgotten about. It’s important to regularly empty the Recycle Bin in order to fully remove the deleted files from your system.
Clear your web browser’s cache
The web browser you choose to use is not the only thing that may slow down your computer when using the web. If you have a full cache that has not been emptied in a while, you should go to your settings and empty it as it could be affecting the computer’s performance.
If you use Chrome and want to clear your browser’s cache, click the three dots in the top right and then click ‘More tools’.
Then select ‘Clear browsing data’. Select a time range from the drop-down menu, and if you’d like to delete everything select ‘All time’. Check the boxes that say, ‘Cookies and other site data’ and ‘Cached images and files’ before clicking the ‘Clear data’ button.
Install the latest updates
If your computer is slow due to compatibility issues or poor driver development, manually downloading and installing the most stable version of the driver from the manufacturer’s support website may resolve performance issues.
Change the power settings of your PC
Computers may reserve some of their performance to save their battery power. This especially applies to laptops that aren’t plugged into an electrical outlet. It’s easy to change your PC’s power settings. Simply click on the battery icon in your Windows tray and move the slider across to ‘Best performance’.
4 best practices to maintain good PC performance
- Always close the apps and software you are not using
- Move large files to a cloud storage platform
- Regularly empty your Recycle Bin and delete software caches and unnecessary downloads
- Restart your computer regularly
Give your PC a much-needed break and do a self-audit on it so that you can maintain good PC performance.