Dr Fix it! 8 Easy ways to speed up your Windows PC or Laptop

8 Easy ways to speed up your Windows PC or Laptop

People around the world are spending more and more time on their PCs and laptops, be it for work, gaming, streaming or just browsing the web, having a slow computer can make even the simplest of tasks a time-consuming hassle.

Thankfully, there are a few easy to do fixes that can speed up your PC, that don’t require great computer knowledge or take longer than a few minutes to get done.

1. Unused programs opening when you turn on your PC

This is one that for a lot of people goes unnoticed, but when turning on your PC initially, a lot of your programs such as Spotify and Skype will automatically launch. These programs will eat up a ton of the memory and usage of your computer if left opened and unused.

The fix is to simply open up your task manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete together and select task manager from the list. Once in the task manger, go to the start-up tab and disable any non-essential startup applications.

2. Check your hard drives capacity, time to clean up?

We all end up with a ton of needless junk saved on our PCs, and it’s important to routinely check and reallocate or delete files and data to free up hard drive space. A general rule of thumb is to have at least 15% storage free. A good way to clear up a large chunk of space is to move all photos, albums and videos to an external hard drive or upload it to cloud-based storage.

3. Uninstall all those old programs

Over the span of our PCs life, we will download and install a lot of different programs for varying reasons. But often once they’ve served their purpose, they are closed and never opened again, eating away at your disk space and memory for no reason. In the Control Panel under Programs, you can find a page listing all currently installed applications. You can uninstall any unnecessary ones here, however, be careful not to remove any programs you aren’t familiar with, as they could be essential in making other programs work.

4. Temporary Files need a Disk clean-up

Temporary files are things your web browser will save such as your cookies, internet history and caches. Theses all take up a lot of hard drive space. By opening the Windows search bar and typing “Disk cleanup” you will find the option to “clear disk space by deleting unnecessary files”.

5. How hot is too hot?

This one will mostly apply to laptops but can occur on desktop computers as well. If your machine is hot to the touch, turn it off! Give it time to cool down or if you’re using a laptop make sure it’s on a solid surface and able to ventilate correctly. A machine that is constantly overheating will end up going sluggish and slow because of the stress being put on the CPU.

6. Tabs, tabs, tabs!

Google Chrome is by far the most used browser in the world, being used on 56% of all devices. It’s also one of the heaviest consumers of your PCs memory. We all have that one browser open with 10-15 tabs at a time, and if you’re noticing that your PC is feeling sluggish, that’s probably why. Closing unused web pages is a must.

7. Updating Windows and regularly shutting down or restarting your PC

These two can go hand in hand, we often leave our PCs running for weeks on ends. It’s important to shut down your PC AT LEAST once a week, as it allows it to refresh its memory. It will also likely be a good time to get those annoying Windows updates out of the way. Keeping your OS up to date is a great way to avoid unnecessary errors with your machine.

8. Checking for sneaky viruses

Viruses can range from minuscule and annoying to downright dangerous. It’s extremely important to run a regular scan. While Windows Defender which comes installed on all modern Windows operating systems will do a great job at stopping most threats, it’s often good to use an outside source to make sure the job gets done. A free option that will pick up most viruses is Malwarebytes, and a manual scan once a month using this is a great way to keep your PC safe.

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