Remember when computers and dial-up internet were slower than a tortoise? That used to be the norm for people, but those days are history. Today, people have the expectation that their computer should run as fast as the wind—and they are right. Computer should be speedy! However, we all know that computers have a tendency to run into speed traps that can create a nightmare for you as a user. Let’s look at some ways to increase computer speed and avoid these speed bumps and get back on the fast track to an optimal user experience.
If your PC has slowed down, first take a look at the hardware. If you are operating without enough RAM (operating memory) or hard drive space, your computer will begin to slow down. A lot. Make sure that you are running the Windows OS on hardware that is adequate to support it. Hardware makes a difference. You don’t expect your TV to work great missing its speaker or other parts, right? The first step to a fast computer is proper hardware.
Malware, viruses, spyware—things that every computer knows about and every computer user should fear. They attack your computer’s various programs and apps and they will slow you down when you are operating your Windows OS—sometimes, they will metaphorically kill your computer by causing it to crash. Avoid these computer predators by getting a good antivirus program and using it to scan and protect your computer regularly.
There are a lot of programs and applications on PCs—so many, in fact, that we users sometimes have no idea how many are not being used. Excess apps and programs clog up your computer’s registry and hard drive and thus create a slower PC experience. Take the time to identify and uninstall programs that you do not use so that your PC can run faster.
A very good way to free up space and speed on your computer is by making use of a registry cleaner. Registry cleaners get rid of junk and gunk files on your PC’s registry by scanning for and eliminating them. They are a time-efficient tool since they scan the entire registry for you—imagine how long that would take you manually! However, registry cleaners are not perfect. If you decide to use one, you will need to make sure that it has a good reputation. Some registry cleaners have the propensity to delete files that you need to run your OS and some are really just malware in disguise. Be a smart PC user and research your options before you download a registry cleaner.
How many of us have sat waiting, frustrated beyond belief that it takes 5 minutes or more for our settings to load when we start up the computer? This is a common problem that many of us experience. One way you can avoid this pitfall and simultaneously speed up your computer is to disallow the certain programs from automatically starting when you turn on your PC. When too many programs start automatically, it means that you have to wait longer for them all to load their settings. Why wait—load programs as you need them not all at once.
If you want to have a faster PC experience, then give your CPU a break. The CPU (Central Processing Unit) gets strained when you have too many programs running simultaneously, and this strain causes your computer to both slow down and freeze up. Only keep programs that you absolutely need open when you are using your PC, this will help everything move at a faster pace.
Until this point we have discussed quick fixes ways to be preventative when it comes to the curse of the slow PC. However, sometimes more drastic measures need to be taken to speed things up. When you have exhausted all other options, then it may be time for you to ring in the big guns—you may need to either defragment your computer or reinstall the OS.
The process of cleaning all the old files and folders on your PC’s hard drive is called defragmenting. Defragmenting causes your computer to run faster by optimizing the organization of these files and folders—it reorganizes them in a more efficient way. Each Windows OS comes with its own type of defragmenting tool. To find yours, look up your computer’s defragmenting options in the “System Tools” part of your OS.
Now for the absolute, final last ditch option. Sometimes nothing that you do to quicken your PC’s pace seems to work. Your computer is slow, freezing up and seemingly on the brink of disaster. This may be the point when you decide to reinstall your PC’s entire OS. Again, this should be your last resort—exercise all the aforementioned options first! To reinstall your OS you will need to make sure you back up everything on your computer onto an external hard drive. You will then need to wipe your hard drive clean and reinstall the Windows OS using the disks that came with your PC when you purchased it. However, do not take making this decision lightly. Reinstalling your OS should really be your last ditch effort at saving your PC’s speed.
Waiting on a slow computer is the absolute pits and nobody wants to do it. Our lives are too fast paced and we have too little time to stare at the computer screen when it is not working for us. The good news is that you do not have to suffer from the curse of the slow PC is you become a smart PC user. Learn to read the signs and understand what makes your PC slow. Learn to take care of the minor issues that lead to a slow computer before they spiral out of control. Just like anything in life, a computer only runs as good as its caretaker takes care of it. You can’t expect an optimal PC experience if you don’t take a hand in making it optimal. The key to increase your computer speed is increasing your computer awareness and proactivity.