No matter how state-of-the-art your computer was when you bought it, performance will diminish over time as you begin to store data, accumulate temporary files, and pick up spyware.
If your computer is starting to slow down and show signs of sluggish performance, consider these quick fixes before you decide to throw in the towel and buy the latest model:
Even if you are vigilant in your efforts at safe Internet browsing, you likely have a few dozen spyware programs piggy backing your activity when you check your e-mail, post to Facebook or even transfer money in your bank account.
Most of these programs are harmless and are designed to collect personal information about you for targeted spam and advertising. However, they can significantly slow down your computer’s speed, especially when browsing online. Run a spyware program regularly and remove and block what you find.
Clear Your Cache
As you surf the Internet, your browser will start to remember your preferences – things like the sites you have visited, the information you enter into forms, and even passwords. This information is stored in a temporary cache. The trouble is that every time you open up your browser, new information is added to the cache like an obsessive hoarder.
Over time, your browser turns into a bag lady that can no longer carry the load of her collective scrounging. Clearing out the cache regularly will significantly improve your computer’s performance – and protect you from targeted advertisements and junk mail.
Defragment Your Hard Drive
As you begin to run out of space on your hard drive, your system will begin to store parts of files in various locations where it finds room. When you later need to recall that data, your computer will go looking for it in multiple locations.
When you defragment your hard drive, your computer will place all these files in the same location, making it easier and faster to recall data. Simply choose the “disk defragmenter” tool on your control panel to perform this task.
Uninstall Files and Programs
Many computers come with factory-installed software that you have no interest in and will never use. And, over time, you may decide that even though it seemed like you would love playing that hot new multiplayer game, you just don’t have the time and it has languished away on your desktop for months.
Removing programs like these that you don’t use will clear up a significant amount of space on your hard drive and improve your computer’s performance. Also, be sure to turn off any automated start-up programs that you don’t at start up.
The easiest solution for faster processing speed is to add more memory to your computer. If you have tried all the other solutions available to you, invest in a bit more RAM, and you will be sure to see a noticeable and lasting improvement in your slow computer’s processing speed.
Proper maintenance and care of your PC or laptop is always the best way to ensure top performance. Shut down or restart your computer every night and keep it free of viruses and unwanted programs, and you will lengthen the life of your PC and see steady performance.