The issue of computer slowdowns often leads users to consider purchasing a new device. However, experts suggest trying out 10 different methods before buying a new one. Here are the details…
A slow computer can negatively impact your productivity, but there are several simple and effective methods to speed up your device before resorting to buying a new one. Experts have outlined 10 possible approaches:
- Create Space
Review your documents, photos, videos, downloads folders, and all other folders. Delete what you don’t need. Consider using a backup drive or cloud storage for files that take up too much space but aren’t needed daily. Don’t forget to back up important files and empty the recycle bin!
- Manage Your Applications
Go to the Start Menu, click on the Settings tab, and select Apps on the left side. Browse the list of software installed on your computer, and if you find something unnecessary, click the three dots in the top right corner and select Uninstall.
- Clean Your Storage Space
Starting with Windows 10, Microsoft introduced a feature called Storage Sense, which provides more information about your PC’s storage usage and allows Windows to clean your computer on your behalf. This includes automatically deleting temporary files, emptying the recycle bin, or removing old downloaded files. To enable and adjust this feature, go back to the Settings menu, click on System in the left column, and then select Storage. However, if you’re worried about Windows deleting something you want to keep, you can do this manually. In the same Storage menu, choose Cleanup Recommendations. Check if there are any large files you haven’t opened in a while and remove them. Next, click on See Advanced Options, review the list of files that can be deleted, and be careful not to select Downloads if you want to keep them. Press Remove Files.
- Set Up Startup Applications
Limit the applications that launch when you log in to make your work easier and ensure your device runs smoothly. To do this, go to the Start menu, type Task Manager, and press Enter. On the left side of the window, click on Startup Applications. You may be surprised to discover that applications you only occasionally need start running as soon as you turn on your PC. Only select applications you recognize and don’t touch anything unfamiliar; some may be necessary for Windows to start properly. To disable an application, hover your mouse over it, right-click, and select Disable.
- Configure Your Privacy Settings
Go to Settings in the Start menu, select Privacy and Security, and review each item in the Application Permissions section: Location, Camera, Microphone, etc. Disable access to these services for applications that don’t require them. Even if your PC is working well, you should always review this menu to learn which permissions you’ve granted to installed applications.
- Manage Energy Performance
Select System from the Settings section and go to the Power and Battery item. Windows is great at managing your Power Mode. If you’re using a laptop without a power source, it can help in this situation by choosing Balanced mode or Best Power Efficiency when your battery is low. If your PC is plugged in and running slow, select Best Performance. Your computer may be exposed to higher temperatures, and you might hear the fan sounding like an airplane preparing for takeoff, but you can push your device to work as fast and powerful as possible.
- Disable Visual Effects
Go to Settings, choose Accessibility, and then select Visual Effects. Proceed to disable Transparency effects and Animation effects.
- Update Your Computer
Updating your computer allows you to benefit from patches and adjustments that improve the performance of certain applications and ensure smooth operation. Updates also increase your protection against security vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.
- Optimize Your Hard Drive
Defragmenting your hard drive can speed up your computer by reorganizing and consolidating fragmented data. This process makes the hard drive work more efficiently. To defragment your hard drive, type “Defragment and Optimize Drives” in the Start menu, press Enter, and follow the on-screen instructions. Note that this applies to traditional hard drives (HDDs) and not solid-state drives (SSDs), which should not be defragmented.
- Consider Hardware Upgrades
Before buying a new computer, consider upgrading specific components. Adding more RAM can significantly improve your device’s performance. Upgrading to a solid-state drive (SSD) from a traditional hard drive (HDD) can drastically increase your computer’s speed. Additionally, upgrading your graphics card could improve the performance of graphic-intensive applications and gaming. Evaluate your needs and research the best options within your budget.
By following these expert-recommended steps, you can speed up a slow computer and save money on buying a new device. Take the time to maintain your computer regularly to ensure its optimal performance.