If the spinning wheel of death continuously threatens your computer or you feel like you’re using a 90’s Netscape browser to surf the web, don’t be scared— it doesn’t necessarily mean you need a new computer!
To make your computer run faster you can apply some simple fixes and most of them only take a few minutes to complete. Let’s have them flesh out below.
- Check your hardisk space
A common thumb rule to keep your computer running fast is to have at least 15 percent free space on your hard disk. If your hard disk is near full, certain programs and files need to be deleted to improve the speed of your machine. But if your disk has plenty of space, your operating system could get something wrong.
- Delete/ uninstall unused program
Most PC manufacturers are selling new computers with software that you have not requested, and may not like. These often contain trial editions and limited-edition versions of programs that software companies expect you’ll try, find useful, and then pay for upgrades to full or newer versions. When you decide you don’t want them, using precious memory, disk space, and processing power to keep the software on your computer can slow it down.
Uninstall all the software you don’t intend on using is a good idea. This should include both manufacturer-installed software and software that you have installed but don’t want any more— especially utility programs designed to help control and modify the hardware and software on your computer. Utility programs such as virus scanners, disk cleaners, and backup tools often run automatically at startup, chugging quietly in the background where they are not visible. Many people don’t even know they run.
Even if your PC is older it may include programs installed by the manufacturer that you have never seen or forgotten since. Deleting these and getting rid of the clutter and wasted system resources is never too late. You may have thought that someday you could use the software, but never did. Uninstall and see if it runs faster on your PC.
- Organize desktop icon into folder
Organizing desktop icons into folders cleans your background, and also cuts down the use of RAM on your computer. If you don’t organize your desktop, which takes up a lot of RAM space, your computer has to load every single icon. If each icon is in a folder then you only have to load each folder on your computer.
- Stop program running on startup
Programs running automatically on startup can slow down your computer. Others you may want to actually run, like antivirus software, but others may be needless.
Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager to launch, or hit Ctrl-Shift-Escape. Head to the Startup tab and you’ll be able to view, along with its effects, every item running on startup.
Go through those and decide which ones don’t automatically need to start. This method is extremely useful for results if you can uninstall some of the high impact ones. But note that some of those programs are vital to running Windows. Those with Microsoft listed as the publisher, for example, are probably best left alone. If you’re not sure, either quit it, or do a search on Google to find out more.
To switch off, just right-click and hit Disable. Remember, the program isn’t disabled, just the way it runs on startup.
- Update your computer software
Updating the program for your computer can be a hassle but it’s definitely worth it: new software updates fix bugs and crashes that slow down your computer. To check whether your current software is up to date on a Mac, go to the Apps menu under the Apple icon and click Updates. Click on Start button on Windows > All Programs > Windows Update > Check for Updates.
- Delete internet browsing history
Deleting browsing history from all times or deciding how much you want to date back is a good idea. Many web browsers have a history tab which allows you to select Home or Show Full History to access.
- Restart regulary
The tip is clear. Restart your PC at least once a week, especially when you’re using it a lot. Restarting a PC is a safe way to clear its memory and make sure all incorrect processes and programs that have started running are shut down.
Restarting removes all the software running on your PC— not only the programs that you see running on the taskbar, but also hundreds of utilities that may have been initiated and never stopped by different programs. When the exact cause is hard to identify, restarting can fix mysterious performance problems.
If you keep open so many programs, e-mail messages, and websites that you think restarting is a problem, this is probably a sign that you should restart your PC. The more stuff you have open and the longer you leave them going, the better the odds of your PC getting bogged down and running low on memory eventually.
- Check for malware
Malware is a broad term used to describe malicious programs which could cause harm to your computer. These may come from different sources, including email links, software downloads, and even advertisements (malvertising). Apart from potentially causing permanent damage to your system, some malware forms can cause slow running of your computer.
Installed with good antivirus software can help protect against malware, as well as other threats. Some solid free options are available but we recommend Bitdefender, VIPRE, or McAfee if you are willing to pay a fee.
- Upgrade your hardware
If you have already tried all of the above tricks, it could be time to invest in some new hardware. Here are a few things that you might want to consider putting some money into:
1. Add an SSD: Although HDDs provide more capacity for a lower price, installing an SSD will make the computer run much more quickly.
2. Add more RAM: When you have an older system, it may have too little memory for effective running in modern applications. What’s more, if you are using a lot of programs at the same time, you may not have enough Random Access Memory (RAM) to get you around. The installation of a new RAM kit could give you the boost you need.
(source: comparitech.com, focusdatasolutions.com, support.microsoft.com, blog.hubspot.com, and pandasecurity.com)