10 Quick Tips to Improve PC Performance and Get More Done
I’ve been there.
You build an extra 20 minutes into the start of your day to let your PC “warm up”.
First thing in the morning, you power walk straight over to your PC and turn it on before doing anything else.
You impatiently wait for the login screen to appear.
Only after punching in your credentials do you take off your coat, go to the toilet and make a coffee.
By the time you’ve finished checking in with your team members and answering emails on your phone, your PC is “warmed up” and ready to use.
You click on Outlook and drum your fingers on the desk waiting for it to open…
Here are my 10 quick tips for things you can do to speed up your PC
1. Cut down on start-up items
One of the reason that many PCs take a long time to boot up is because of start-up items that all kick in at the same time.
To see everything that tries to start when you boot up, click on “run” and then type “msconfig” into the box. Click on the “startup” tab.
Don’t touch anything that looks important, like your anti-virus!
You can however, safely disable Google Toolbar Notifier, Adobe Acrobat and anything else that you don’t need to use straight away.
2. Uninstall programs you no longer use
If any of the programs you’re disabling from running on start-up are not being used, why not just uninstall them all together?
To get rid of unwanted programs, go to control panel, then Add/remove programs, or uninstall them from the start menu.
3. Clean up your hard drive
You can clean your drives by typing “cleanmgr.exe” into the run menu. This will start Disk Cleanup.
From here you can delete downloaded program files, temporary internet files, offline webpages, files in your recycle bin, temporary files, thumbnails and archived error reports.
You can select the ones you want to remove and Disk Clean-up will show you how much space will be freed up.
4. Clean your browser
Cleaning out your browser should be done regularly to improve performance.
In Chrome, you can do it by clicking the menu icon in the top right, then “tools” and “clean browsing data”.
This removes the history, cookies and cached items, all of which take up space.
If you use CCleaner, you can choose whether it does this for you as part of its cleanup.
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5. Scan for and remove malware
Malware will slow your computer to a crawl, as well as be potentially dangerous, annoying, and could result in theft of your personal data.
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6. Adjust for better performance
E.g. Computer > system properties > advanced system settings – performance setting button that allows you to “adjust for best performance”
Reducing screen resolution can also speed things up slightly and improve battery life
7. Defrag your hard drive
This can be performed automatically. Type “defrag” into the start menu and select I”Defragment and Optimise Drives”.
If automatic defragging is turned on, you’ll see a message here with the scheduled frequency. If not, simply click “change settings” to set this to happen automatically at a convenient time and frequency for you.
If you do this at least monthly, you’ll experience better performance.
If your disk is more than 10% defragmented, you may notice it performing some tasks slower.
8. Add more RAM.
If you have spare slots, then installing additional RAM will make a noticeable difference.
If you are able to do this yourself, it is an easy way to improve your PC’s performance. If this is not something you are comfortable with doing, the best thing to do is to contact your IT Support Provider or IT Team and they can recommend if this is the best option for you. They will be able to order compatible RAM and get it put in place for you.
9. Upgrade to an SSD drive
This is more difficult for someone without IT experience to do, but will provide a very noticeable increase in performance. Check with your IT Provider to find out if your machine can take an SSD. They will be able to recommend the right device for you.
SSD drives don’t have moving parts – they are not a disc that spins – therefore they don’t need to defrag.
If you install your operating system and programs that you use regularly to the SSD then you should notice the machine boots far quicker, and the programs open and run faster.
10. Don’t shut down, use Hibernate
Using Hibernate puts your PC into a low power mode that is much quicker to resume from than starting up again from cold the next day.
You can save your work, leave the programs open, then hibernate and carry on the next day without having to reopen everything.