Every computer gets to a point where it gets a little bogged down. Thankfully, it’s not too hard to get things running smoothly again – just follow these tips to get your computer running like new again.
Prevent Programs from Loading On Start-Up: There are many good reasons to launch programs in the background on start of the computer. However, there are some applications that like to install unneeded or optional programs that run every time your computer boots, even if you don’t need them. Many of these programs can be safely disabled (though we recommend doing a bit of research before doing so to make sure you don’t actually need the program). Adjusting those startup programs has been an easy thing to do since the MSConfig tool was launched with Windows 98. However, in Windows 10, the “Startup” tab of the tool has moved to the Windows task manager where you can see the program’s impact on a system’s start-up speed. To open up task manager, press “Ctrl-Shift-Esc” on your keyboard, and click on the “Startup” tab of task manager where you can easily disable programs you don’t need from launching on startup. If you need more advanced control of programs that run on startup, Microsoft’s Autoruns tool is an incredibly handy tool – but also a good way to bugger up your system, so be careful.
Turn Off Background Apps: Windows 10 has a variety of Microsoft-enabled background apps that are constantly running in the background that you likely don’t need to be running all day. Whey they’re running all the time, they’re taking valuable CPU cycles from other programs that need it. To find out what programs are running in the background and disable them, navigate to “Start Menu>Settings>Privacy>Background.” Look at the list, and switch off the ones you don’t need.
Get Rid of Unneeded Applications: By uninstalling programs you don’t need, you’re not only freeing up diskspace, but you’re potentially freeing up system hooks the program uses, which can frequently speed your system up. In Windows 10 you can type “Change or remove a program” into the Start menu search bar. Open up the program, and then select the programs you know you no longer use or need (ask us if you don’t know) and select “Uninstall” and walk through whatever process the program uses to remove itself.
Clean Up Your Disk Space: This is much more effective as a speed up tool on a mechanical hard drive than a solid-state-drive when you follow it with defragmentation (see our article on the difference between mechanical and solid-state drives). Since there are a variety of ways you can free up disk space, we have a whole article dedicated to disk cleanup.
Upgrade Your Computer: As we mentioned in our computer buying guide, we recommend systems have at least 8GB of RAM and a solid-solid-state drive. If you don’t have either of those or get confused by the terms, contact us. The upgrade cost may not be as extreme as you think but it will make your computer run tremendously faster.