You may have noticed that your computer isn’t quite as speedy as it used to be. Modern technology innovates at an incredible pace these days, and the best in market device you bought could be completely obsolete two years later. It’s a common problem, but no cause for alarm. Computers often slow down over time, and while you probably noticed it first on complex tasks, even simple actions such as opening programs or clicking through folders can start to become ponderous. Luckily there are several things you can do to get your computer performing the way it used to. Here are a few methods you can use to improve your computer’s speed and performance.
First off, take a look at the hardware itself. If your device is more than five years old, you will be substantially limited in the actions you can take. As operating systems and web browsers are updated, they eventually move beyond your computer’s capabilities. So if it’s been that long, it might be time to invest in a new device. But if you’ve only had your computer for a couple of years, start with small adjustments and work your way up to more complicated tweaks. First, take a look at your desktop. If it’s packed with folders, give it a quick clean up. You want to cut down on the amount of information your computer has to process even at rest, and all of those files add to the workload.
Next, install a virus protection software and perform a quick system scan. Some spyware, adware and computer viruses can slow down your computer significantly, even if they aren’t serious enough to cause massive problems. If the scan uncovers any viruses, remove them immediately and see if you notice a difference. Follow that up with consistent scans, once a month or more, and you won’t have any more problems.
Now take a look at your list of installed programs. During the life of your computer you’ve probably loaded in a bunch of extraneous programs, and many of them link directly to your operating system. That means they could be causing a slow down, even when not in use. Open your application folder and give it a once over. Anything you haven’t used in a long time should be removed. That alone will free up hard drive space and improve your computer’s performance.
Depending on the type of computer you have, the next step is to look at the hard drive. If you’re working off of an Apple device, you may need to replace an overstuffed hard drive with a larger one, or add more RAM. Performing either fix will definitely speed up your computer. If you have a PC device, you might consider defragmenting your hard drive first. The drive actually stores information for each file and program in a different part of its system. As your computer ages, this happens hundreds or even thousands of times. When the computer accesses the drive, it has to hunt out each piece of data stored in a different place. When you defragment the drive, all of those elements are reconnected and stored in the same part of the drive. Make sure you back up all of your files externally and then run the defragmenter. You should see an increase in speed.
If all else fails, take a look at the operating system. Sometimes a computer simply needs to be brought back to factory settings. Again, save all of your info on an external drive, then wipe the internal drive clean and reinstall the operating system off of the disks you got when you purchased the computer. You’ll lose your Youtube video converter and all other plugins, but you should see a marked improvement in performance once everything is back online.