We’ve all been there; it’s a Monday morning and you need to build an extra 20 minutes into the start of your day to let your PC “warm up”.
Whether we’re working from home or in the office, the first thing we usually do is turn our PC on.
We then patiently wait for the login screen to appear, before typing in our password then going to the toilet, making a coffee, checking emails on our mobiles and generally trying to fill the time whilst our PC gets going.
Once our PCs are “warmed up”, we can start our day, clicking on Outlook and waiting for our inbox to appear…
Improve PC performance to improve productivity
Does this morning routine seem familiar to you?
If so, you may be interested to know that…
The average PC user in the UK spends 130 hours each year waiting for their computer to load!
Consider how much more you could get done if you didn’t have to wait around for your PC to load.
Your employees may have become accustomed to saying things like “my device is just running slowly today” or “oh, it always does that, just give it a minute.” But this complacency could see your business wasting valuable time, reducing your overall productivity and limiting your growth potential.
Slow PCs in the morning can be caused by a number of different factors, including a lack of proactive maintenance, server issues, or out of date computer systems. These issues may seem daunting, but there are some small changes (as well as some slightly larger ones) that you can make to improve PC performance and enhance productivity.
Our 12 expert tips to improve PC performance
Note that these tips refer to PCs using Windows 10, although some tips will be relevant for older operating systems.
1. Cut down on start-up items
When you turn on your PC, there will be a number of start-up items that are all programmed to kick in at the same time. This is one of the main reasons that your PC can take a long time to boot up.
Whilst it may be useful for some of these items to start immediately, you might not need all of them to. By cutting down on the number of start-up items you have, you can help reduce the time it takes your PC to start in the mornings.
You can manage your start-up items by clicking on the Task Manager app. Within the app, click on the Start-up tab. Here you will see all the apps, programs and systems that start up when you switch your computer on. You can then disable any apps that you don’t want to start up automatically, helping to reduce the time it takes for your PC to get going.
But be careful! Make sure you don’t disable anything that looks important – like your antivirus software.
You can, however, disable non-essential systems such as Google Toolbar Notifier or Adobe Acrobat.
2. Uninstall programs you no longer use
If you’re disabling programs from starting up automatically because they’re not being used, why not go one step further and uninstall them altogether?
Removing unnecessary programs will help to improve your PC performance and enhance your productivity.
To uninstall unwanted programs, navigate to Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall Program and select the programs you wish to remove.
3. Clean up your hard drive
Cleaning up your hard drive will help you maximise storage space and improve how your systems function.
You can clean up your hard drive using the Disk Clean-up program on your PC. This will scan your hard drive for files that you no longer need, such as temporary files, cached webpages, and rejected items in your Recycle Bin. If you don’t remove these files, they can add up over time and take up a lot of space on your computer.
The Disk Clean-up program will identify all of these files, showing you how much storage space they each use up. You can then decide which files to delete depending on how important they are and how much space they’ll free up.
If all unnecessary outdated files are removed, your PC will run more smoothly and have fewer crashes.
4. Clear your browser
Clearing your browser will improve your PC performance as well as preventing you from using old forms and protecting your personal data.
But wait, before clearing your web browser’s cache, cookies, and history be aware that this may also remove:
- Saved passwords
- Address bar predictions
- Shopping cart contents
If any of this information is important, you may wish to record it elsewhere first.
To clear your browser in Chrome, click the menu icon in the top right then click “Tools” or “More tools” and “Clear browsing data”. Select the Advanced option to select each item you would like to be cleared and the relevant time range.
If you’re using a different browser (e.g. Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera or Safari) you can click here to discover how to clear your browser.
5. Scan for and remove malware
Malware refers to any software that’s been purposefully designed to damage your device, system or network. There are a plethora of different types of malware, including computer viruses, ransomware, and spyware. If malware does infiltrate your system, it will significantly slow down the speed of your PC. As well as harming productivity, this could also put you at risk of data theft and cyber-attack.
The best way to protect against malware is to have a robust cyber security strategy in place, including effective antivirus and managed malware protection. The right cyber security solutions will proactively scan and silently remove viruses, as well as filtering all internet traffic to prevent cyber-attack. If you chose to partner with Netstar, you’ll receive high quality cyber security consultancy, ensuring your business operates efficiently and securely.
6. Adjust appearance to improve PC performance
Windows 10 includes lots of visual effects, such as shadows or animations. These are designed to improve aesthetics and user experience but hold no practical value. Therefore, if your PC is running slowly, you can adjust these visual effects and preserve system resources to be used elsewhere.
To adjust the appearance of your PC, type “performance” into the taskbar and select “Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows.” On the Visual Effects tab, select “Adjust for best performance” and then click “Apply”. Then restart your PC. This should help improve PC performance by removing unnecessary visual effects that could be taking up storage space.
7. Defrag your hard drive
Defragging is the process of reorganising data within your hard drive so that related pieces of data are grouped together and ordered in a continuous fashion.
You can defrag your hard drive automatically by typing “defrag” into the taskbar and selecting the “Defragment and Optimise Drives” program. Defragging may be automatically turned on, in which case you’ll see that it’s on and how frequently it’s occurring as below.
If automatic defragging isn’t on, simply click “Change settings” and set this to happen automatically at a convenient time and frequency for you. If you set this to occur monthly or less, you should see a significant improvement in PC performance.
8. Change your power plan
A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings (like display brightness, sleep etc.) that manages how your computer uses power. If your PC is on “Power Saver” mode, this will be slowing down it’s performance. Power Saver mode limits PC performance to save energy. This applies to desktop PCs as well as laptops.
To change your power plan, go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Change power saver settings. Selecting the “High Performance” or “Balanced” plans should give you an instant performance boost. You can also customise your power plan to suit your needs, e.g. by choosing the amount of time your screen will turn off and enter standby mode if your PC is unattended (for security reasons, the shorter the amount of time the better).
9. Ensure all your PC is always up to date
Outdated applications, programs, devices and systems will not only slow your PC over time, they’ll also put you at greater risk of cyber-attack. As such, it’s important not to prolong updating anything on your PC. If you receive a notification that something needs updating, do it straightaway.
If you’re partnered with a proactive IT Support provider, they will monitor your systems to ensure everything is consistently up to date. They will also provide reports on the health of your devices, so that you can recognise when they need replacing. This will optimise PC performance across your entire organisation as well as contributing towards a robust cyber security strategy.
Need more help with improving PC performance?
If the tips above haven’t boosted your PC performance enough, here’s three more advanced tips you can try.
10. Add more RAM
RAM refers to Random-access memory and is a form of computer memory that is typically used to store working data and machine code. Installing additional RAM will make a noticeable difference to your PC performance, helping it to run smoothly and quickly.
If you have an in-house IT team, they may be able to do this for you. However, if you do require additional support, your IT Support Partner will be able to recommend the best option for your business. They will be able to order and implement compatible RAM, helping to improve PC performance.
11. Upgrade to an SSD drive
An SSD drive refers to a new generation of storage device used in computers. SSDs replace traditional hard disks by using flash-based memory. Older hard-disk storage technologies run a lot slower, often causing your PC to run slowly. In comparison, SSD drives are significantly faster and more efficient.
Like with installing additional RAM, upgrading to an SSD drive is slightly more complicated and will require IT experience, but it will facilitate a very noticeable improvement in your PC performance.
Firstly, you’ll need to check with your IT partner to find out whether your machine is compatible with an SSD. They will then be able to make the right recommendations for your business.
If you do upgrade to SSD, you should notice that your PC takes less time to start up and your programs open and run faster throughout the day.
12. Partner with a proactive IT Support provider
Your IT Support partner should be able to provide you with additional tips and recommendations to improve your PC performance. After all, it’s their job! They know your business and your needs. This, coupled with their technical expertise, makes them the perfect resource to help improve your PC performance. If PC performance is something your business struggles with, partnering with a proactive IT Support provider could be the change you need to elevate your productivity companywide.
For more information on how we can help you improve PC performance, as well as any other IT issues you may have, please get in touch today.
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