There’s nothing more frustrating than a slow computer. When webpages take more than a few minutes to load, your first reaction is usually to assume that the computer is broken. Before you run out to try to get your computer fixed, there are a number of optimizations you can try to get your device to run quicker. Here are a few handy tricks you can try at home.
Check the Hard Drive
When trying to optimize your computer’s performance, the first thing you should check is the hard drive. Since this device stores all your documents and files, it may start running slowly if it’s filled to the brim.
On Windows, you can do this by going to the File Explorer and checking under the “This PC” tab. For Mac users, this can be done by searching for the hard drive through the Finder, under the devices header.
A common rule for computer users to follow is to leave at least 15% of the hard drive open at all times so the device isn’t overloaded. If you can’t make space, you may have to shop for a bigger hard drive as a replacement.
Run a Disk Defragment Program
Disk defragging is an effective process that can help improve your computer’s overall speed. Some files are too big to store in one place, so your computer will break them up into smaller fragments so they can be stored in different locations. While this helps with space problems, the computer also has to spend more time getting all of the pieces together to run a single file.
With disk defragment, you can reverse this process and force the computer to pull files back together. You can find the program for this on Windows computers by searching for defragment in the Home Menu. You probably won’t need to do this on Macs, because those computers don’t rely on defragging as much as Windows devices do.
This process may take a while, so only do it when you don’t need to use your computer.
Stop Programs from Running at Launch
Do you have it set so certain programs immediately launch when you boot up your computer? If so, this could be another reason why your device is taking such a long time to start.
When programs are set to run in the background at launch, your computer has to divert memory to them so they stay open. If too many programs are running in the background at once, the computer will not be able to keep everything running efficiently. Certain programs, like antivirus software, should be set to run at launch, but you should change your settings so the other programs don’t start until you actually need to use them.
Delete Files You Aren’t Using
To clear up space on your hard drive, you should think about deleting some programs that you haven’t used in a long time. Go to your computer’s Control Panel and browse through the list of programs that are installed. Delete anything that you don’t plan on using any time soon.
Make sure you take a look at some of the preinstalled programs that came with your computer when you bought it. You can delete some of these if you feel that you wouldn’t benefit from using them (chances are there are some programs here you’ve never opened). Just make sure you don’t get rid of any programs you might need for work or personal use.
Move Videos & Pictures to the Cloud
One last thing you can do to improve your computer’s performance is to move videos, pictures and other similar items into a cloud service. Like with the unattended programs, images and videos can take up a good chunk of your computer’s memory, especially videos. The problem, however is that you probably don’t want to delete many of these.
By moving these items to the cloud, you can still easily access them, and they won’t take up space on your computer. Moving them onto an external memory drive can also be helpful if you don’t want to use the cloud.