For many people, speeding up their computers means spending money, but there are a few steps you can take to improve your computer’s performance without spending a penny. Below you’ll find three of the easiest ways to get more from your computer.
1. Defragment your hard drive Your hard drive is perhaps the most important component in your computer. It’s the hub of all of your information and stores your important files and folders. That’s why it’s important to take good care of it.
If you’re anything like me you’ll move your files around a lot to different folders on your computer. When you do this it causes these files and folders to become fragmented, with different fragments located at different parts of your hard drive. The knock on effect is that it takes your computer longer to locate these files and open them. This extra effort stalls your computer and in extreme cases can lead your computer to freeze up.
Fortunately, the solution is simple. Windows has an in-built program to tackle this program called ‘Disk Defragmenter’ that’s very simple to use.
Open My Computer, and then locate the hard drive you’d like to defragment. Right click on the icon and click the ‘Properties’ button. From there you’ll want to select the ‘Tools’ tab and then click on ‘Defragment Now’. The wizard will take you through the rest of the process step by step. It’s that simple!
2. Rid your computer of Spyware Spyware is perhaps the most common problem facing Internet users today. If undetected, spyware can do serious damage to your system’s file structure and slow your computer to a standstill. That’s why it’s important to perform regular scans to check your drives.
There are many anti spyware programs out there and many of them are free. So if your computer becomes infested with nasty programs you’ll only have yourself to blame.
Go to your favourite search engine and find yourself a good anti virus program. Don’t just select the first one you find; have a good look around and read reviews from other users until you find one you’re confident with using. Then simply download it, install it and run it, and enjoy your new spyware free computer!
3. Clean your startup folder The more programs you install on your computer, the more likely it is that some of those programs are installing themselves in your startup folder. This is the folder that controls which programs automatically launch themselves each time you start or restart your computer. In this instance, less is more. More programs = longer loading time, and vice versa. Nobody likes a slow loading computer, so it’s wise to clean your startup folder so that only programs that you consider absolutely necessary are in there.
To clean your startup folder, open your ‘Start’ menu and click ‘Run’. I the dialogue box type in ‘MSCONFIG’. Then you’ll want to navigate to the ‘Startup’ tab. You’ll find a list of programs here. The ones with a ticked box next to them are the ones loading when your computer starts. Consider whether each program is vital and when you’ve finished you should only have ticks in the boxes of programs you would like to launch themselves when you start your computer. When you’re happy with your selections, restart your computer to complete the process.
Hopefully after completing these three simple steps you will notice a considerable increase in the performance of your computer, as well as making sure your files and folders are well looked after.