3 easy steps to speed up your computer
Computer running slow? Here’s how to speed it up in three easy steps.
Computers should, logically, last for several years but what happens when your computer starts to slow down? Below are three steps that can quickly speed up your laptop or computer.
Make sure your computer is clean and cool
Computers and laptops rely on cooling fans to maintain a good working temperature. Over time, dust builds up around these fans and around the cooling vents and makes them less efficient. This is easily solved with a compressed air duster.
First, disconnect your computer from power and, if it is a laptop, disconnect the battery. Give the air duster a shake and a quick blast into the air to check that it is working properly and then, keeping the can upright, give it a good spray into the cooling vents. You’ll be surprised how much dust comes out! Once the air duster has displaced the dust, get your hoover’s nozzle attachment and put it up against the cooling vents to suck any remaining loose dust out. Leave your laptop or computer for five minutes before turning it back on.
If you’re using your laptop on anything soft like your bed or even your lap, you should also consider buying a cooling pad. These work in two different ways. Manual cooling pads lift up the laptop and allow air to circulate around the cooling vents. USB-powered pads still lift the laptop but they also blow cool air into the vents to help the laptop stay an ideal temperature. A hot laptop is a slow laptop so any step to keep it cool will help it in the short term.
Do A Little Digital Housekeeping
You probably know that you should have an antivirus program on your computer but did you know that you shouldn’t have more than one? Antivirus programs are designed to work independently and having two or more on your system will create clashes. Although some antivirus programs charge you for a subscription, there are many free antivirus programs such as Avast or BitDefender that will do the job just as well — and for free!
As well as keeping your computer virus-free, you should be cleaning your system regularly. CCleaner is a great system cleaner (there is a free version for personal use) and will clear up most of the obvious and some of the less obvious clutter on your system: recently I installed CCleaner on a client’s laptop and it recommended she remove the 15GB of deleted photos she had in her recycle bin. Her computer instantly sped up to four or five times its previous speed.
Tweak Your Computer’s Settings
While you shouldn’t be messing around too much with the settings on your computer, it’s easy to make a few changes to the way that your computer is set up that will completely revolutionise the way it works. The easiest is to reduce the amount of programs that start when you turn on your computer.
If you have installed CCleaner, all you need to do is to go into Tools and then select Startup. You’ll have a list of the programs that start up with your computer. From there you can Disable or Delete their startup entries. There are some that you should definitely leave alone, such as the startup for your antivirus or any system applications but, for example, some programs have automatic update searching that runs every time you switch on your computer: you definitely don’t need those!
Hopefully if you follow these three tips you’ll find your computer running more smoothly. If you feel you need a little more help, consult a professional for more advice.
Andy Zavistauskas is a qualified computer and phone technician who runs Andy Repairs, a small independent electronic repair company in Milton Keynes.