The Need for Speed

Take a moment to think of all the ways we have made things faster. Stick the words “instant,” “quick,” “speedy” or “express” in the name of something and now you can charge extra for it. From the packages we ship to the food we eat, we have become a society that hates to wait. In fact, there are very few circumstances where waiting is acceptable, and waiting on our PCs is not one of them. So if the current speed of your PC has you frazzled, here are some tips that will hopefully help restore a portion of your sanity.

  1. Over time, disk errors can occur with system crashes, power outages, etc. Run Check Disk to clear up these errors.
  2. Be sure to use anti-virus software and keep it updated to prevent your PC from getting bogged down by spyware, malware and/or viruses. Note that anti-virus software itself can slow down your PC (some more than others), but it beats the alternative.
  3. Don’t allow temporary files to build-up; delete them by running Disk Cleanup.
  4. Delete old files that you no longer need. Alternatively, if you still need them but don’t access them often, you can move them to an external hard drive or burn them to a CD. Try to set aside at least 20% of your hard drive for free space.
  5. Uninstall applications from your PC that you don’t use any longer.
  6. Use the Disk Defragmenter tool. This will put the pieces of your files together so your computer does not have to search across the disk drive for them.
  7. Microsoft releases patches to Windows and its other products which can include performance enhancements. Use Windows Update to apply these patches to your PC.
  8. Close programs that you aren’t using; don’t just minimize them. The more programs you have open, the more of your PC’s memory you are taking up. This leaves less memory for the programs you are using.
  9. Remove programs from Startup that aren’t necessary. Programs that are in your PC’s Startup folder will open every time your PC starts. They are open and running even though you may not see them, and they are taking up memory.
  10. Newer programs typically demand more memory from your PC. Since your PC probably didn’t come with the maximum amount of memory it can handle, a memory upgrade may help its performance. If you choose to do this yourself, be sure to get the correct memory per your PC’s make and model. A tool such as TigerDirect’s Memory Configurator can help you figure this out.

While these tips won’t take care of every condition, they should address the more common ones. There are plenty more ways to bring back some of your PC’s pep. So if you have any other pointers, please share them with us. Thanks for reading!

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