7 Ways to Speed Up Your Slow Computer: If you’re old enough to remember when personal computers first appeared, you’ll realize how spoiled we are when it comes to computer speed. Nowadays if a program hasn’t loaded in 1.3 seconds, we’re wondering if there’s a problem, and some of us even start yelling at the screen.
With combinations of personal software, malware from the internet and an increasing desire to store information, there’s no wonder our computers get clogged. But what if you don’t have the money to take your system to have a professional solve the problem?
Here are seven simple steps you can take to clean up your computer, for either a PC or Mac and improve performance without spending a dime.
How to Speed Up Your Slow Computer:
1. Defragment your hard drive:
When a file’s fragmented, your computer has a hard time reading it. Your Windows system has a built-in utility (Disk Defragmenter) to deal with fragmentation, consolidating programs onto one disc to speed up performance. If you’ve not done this before (or for a while) it may take more than an hour to accomplish.
2. Clean out the registry and cookies:
Programs leave footprints, which is why you can’t uninstall and then reinstall a trial program, hoping to get the free trial again. Use CCleaner to mop up the footprints.
3. Protect against Spies:
Spyware collects personal information from you while you surf the internet, including passwords and usernames. This also messes with the performance of your computer. I recommend using Ad-Aware, which you can download for free.
4. Get rid of old programs:
I guarantee you have too many programs on your PC, some of which you’ve forgotten about. This weighs down your computer and stifles performance. Use the Disk Cleanup wizard in Windows to identify and throw out those programs you no longer use.
5. Update, update, update:
Windows is constantly exposed to vulnerabilities, like viruses and spyware, which is why updating your software is so critical. Make sure you take advantage of patches to close off those nasty vulnerabilities.
6. Give your PC an enema:
Comically referred to as bloatware, free trial software can seriously affect computer performance. Doesn’t it bother you that after a year, you’re still being reminded to buy the full version of some mundane software? It’s running in the background, eating up computing resources, so get rid of it. You can get a free personal version of the PCDecrapifier here.
7. Repair your computer’s registry:
This is like a table of contents inside your PC and if it has incorrect listings, your computer will lag as it tries to start programs or retrieve information. I recommend the free program, Glary Utilities, to streamline your system.
How to Speed Up Your Slow Mac Computer
1. Clean out the startup items:
Click on your accounts in the system preferences and see what you have listed. The more programs you have competing for attention at startup, the longer your Mac takes to boot.
2. Clean the clutter on your desktop:
The Mac OS X treats every little icon on your desktop as its own screen, which means an accumulating memory hit. Categorizing and placing icons in another location rather than on the naked desktop can increase performance speed.
3. Dashboard cannibals should be shot:
Yes, we love dashboard widgets, but they consume a lot of RAM. That means you have less RAM for the application you’re using. Check-in your Applications folder – go-to utility folder and then Activity Monitor. You’ll be able to see the dashboard widgets and if they’re high on the list, you might want to disable them.
4. Flush your Applications folder:
If you don’t need all those shareware apps on your computer anymore, get rid of them. This will free up space and immediately improve performance.
5. How many languages do you speak?
There’s no need to have the Farsi language pack if you only speak English…even bad English. It also means you can throw out the German and French language packs to save more space. By using Monolingual (a freeware app), you can get rid of all the nonsense in a snap.
6. Find out what you’re storing, by using Disk Inventory:
X (free) to locate and display the size of files. If you find your hard drive is being dominated by music, movies or photos, you may want to move them to an external HD instead and free up that space.
7. It’s ok to unplug:
It’s nice to have external HDs, printers, and docks attached for when we need them but do we need them right now? Most of your USB accessories don’t have to be constantly hooked to the Mac, so unplug them. If you are noticing a decrease in speed, it may be due to a bottleneck.
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