I am pretty sure many of you must have had thoughts about smashing your system or throwing it out of the window whenever it was painfully slow or when it hung in the middle of something important like an assignment or you are simply trying to set P. I can say for a fact that some of us have even gone as far as actually carrying out these thoughts. Hey it is ok. We are humans so it is bound to happen. Finding ways to increase the speed of your computer is the most important thing you can do as a computer user.
Before we go on, I have to tell you the truth. It is your fault that your computer is slow because you do not perform computer maintenance on it. It is your duty to speed up your computer and make it run at its optimal performance. Don’t go blaming the computer because it is slow. The reason for most slow computers has nothing to do with your CPU speed as popularly believed instead it has everything to do with junk files you keep on your computer and the lack of organization. Let us see how we can help make your computer run faster.
TIPS ON HOW TO IMPROVE THE SPEED OF YOUR COMPUTER
USE AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE FOR BACKUP
Nowadays there is no excuse for not backing up your files! In our last post, we tried to see the importance of backing up your system. You can buy a portable USB flash drive of 4GB for about N2,500 or so or a 500GB external HDD from N15000. Both these portable devices are simple to connect to the computer via a USB plug. Once connected, you will find the device if you go to your start menu and then click on computer. For systems still running XP, it will be called my computer.
Use these devices to store all of your files on, leaving your computer clean and free to work on.
UPGRADE YOUR RAM
When you buy a new computer nowadays it should come with at least 3 GB of memory installed. This should be okay for a year or two; after which you will eventually need to upgrade your memory.
People are using old computers to do new things that those computers were not made for. Upgrading your computer memory and increasing your hard drive size can help speed up an old computer.
When upgrading your computer memory in order to speed up your computer, you have two options, to do it yourself or get someone else to do it for you. If you have no clue, I would suggest you take it to a professional for the upgrade.
ERASE UNWANTED FILES
When I say to delete unwanted files, I do not mean you should go around your computer and start a deleting spree and remove any file you do not want. In this case, I am talking about the files that you have created yourself, and are totally aware of what they are. For example if you created a Microsoft excel document and you no longer need it, and never will, then you must ask yourself this “why still keep it’’?
This is the kind of junk that fills up your computer. Files that you have created such as documents and image files can be safely deleted by selecting the file on your computer, right clicking on it, and choosing delete from the menu or just hitting the delete button after selecting.
AVOID DOING MANY THINGS AT THE SAME TIME
If you’re like me, you will have 10 Windows open at the same time, with your Internet browser having at least 12 tabs opened as well. Yes I know it is crazy and I’m trying to change. I have realized that some programs cannot be open at the same time as others. For example you should not be running a large program like Photoshop or Dreamweaver, while running a virus scan at the same time. We all know what the right thing to do is, but we just can’t help ourselves.
DELETE HIDDEN JUNK FILES
Hidden or temporary files are created without the user knowing. All you have to do is open files, browse the Internet (most popular), install programs, and more files are created in the background. There is so much happening in the background that most people are unaware of and do not know that this area exists. This is something you are going to have to learn about if you want to speed up your computer.
Disk Clean Up will get rid of the rest of the junk files that you have missed.
For systems running with windows 7, you can perform a disk clean up by going to start menu>control panel >system and security (if you cannot find it, change the ‘’view by’’ to category)> administrative tools>freedisk space.
Go to start menu>accessories>system tools>disk cleanup. You can see more information about this system tool on my computer maintenance checklist for systems running with XP.
UNINSTALL UNWANTED PROGRAMS
Are you one of those people that constantly download and install programs onto your computer? Every software program you have on your computer takes up space. It is not only taking up space, but it might also be checking for updates and connecting to the Internet. It also might be starting up when your computer starts up. There are so many good reasons why you should remove unwanted programs.
After you have removed the software program that you did not want, make sure you restart your computer to complete the process.
DEFRAG YOUR HARD DRIVE
First of all, let us talk about the meaning of fragmentation. It occurs when storage space is used inefficiently there by reducing capacity and performance. It often leads to space being wasted as its term also means wasted space.
When you install programs and save files on your computer, the files are automatically saved to the closest available space on your hard drive. This means that files for your programs are fragmented if your hard disk drive is not organized correctly. This is why we need to de-frag our computer to place the files back together and to place the most frequently used files at the front for easy access.
You should defrag your computer at least once a week if you use your computer often. If you do not use your computer that often, then you can defrag less often.
For systems running with windows 7, you can defragment your disk drive by going to start menu>control panel >system and security (if you cannot find it, change the ‘’view by’’ to category)> administrative tools>defragment your hard drive. If you are still using xp, the Windows disk defragmenter is located at start menu>accessories>system tools>disk defragmenter, you can choose to “analyze” first before you choose defrag. This feature will tell you if you need to perform this task or not.
PAY FOR AN ANTI VIRUS PROGRAM!
Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with a free anti-virus program. In fact I will recommend Avast as my number one freebie. However, even though this can secure your system, it is safer to have the extra security features that come with the paid versions. Nowadays most new antivirus also comes with a firewall that if they do not, Windows provides a perfectly good firewall for free.
If you do not have an anti virus program installed you are risking everything. Is that really worth the trouble?
UPDATE YOUR APPLICATIONS AND PROGRAMS REGULARLY
Every program on your computer must be updated regularly. If you do not do this, you will have problems, guaranteed! Even Windows itself needs updating, along with any other applications and games, and even hidden device driver software.
To see if your device drivers are performing properly you can go to the Control Panel, click on system, advanced settings, and then you will find device manager under the hardware tab.
I use a program called Driver detector. Most computers need a program like this because having outdated driver software on your computer can disastrous. Having the wrong driver software on your computer can cause black screens, blue screens, and total computer crashes.
To find out if Windows needs updating, simply go to your start menu and type in the search section, “Windows update”.
DISABLE UNNECESSARY START UP PROGRAMS
When you boot into your computer it is not only the Windows operating system that is starting, as most people have many other programs starting at the same time. To speed up this process you need to disable startup programs.
To do this, go to the run menu by holding down the windows key and pressing the ‘’R’’ key. After which type ‘’msconfig’’. Click the start up tab and deselect the programs that do not need to start up with the system, for example yahoo messenger and ITunes.
A great way to speed up your computer is not to overwork it in the first place. For example most people have five or six programs open at the same time and they really aren’t using all of them. Close down programs you are not using.
USING THE RIGHT POWER OPTION (LAPTOPS)
Although all of these tips above can speed up your laptop, this one applies to laptops only.
All laptops built in the last 5-8 years make their batteries last longer by slowing down the computer processor when you don’t seem to be using all of it. Although this works great to prolong battery life, it means that your laptop runs slower when it runs off battery.
To switch your laptop back into normal mode, all you have to do is plug in your laptop and the computer processor will run at full power, giving you 100% of the speed you expected when you bought the laptop.
I believe I have done my good deed for the day. The rest is up to you to do. Cheers