Quick and Easy Tips to get your PC performing faster
Its 0900am Monday morning and you have finally made it to work after a nice relaxing weekend, you are in for a busy day and you are raring to go.
You scratch the roof of your brain to recall your password an after a few minutes you have finally logged in.
Now your just sitting, staring at the windows Welcome screen, a few too many minutes pass till you get to your desktop and now your waiting again as the system loads, watching the loading circle spin like the movement of the teaspoon you used to stir your morning brew.
Its now 09.15 and you haven’t even loaded any of your applications yet……. sound familiar?
We have all been there and the majority of you may still be there, but these tips will help your pc run quicker and recoup those lost minutes per day which calculate to hours over the weeks and months per year. So lets go…
- Limit your Start Up Programs
One reason for a slow sluggish PC is that you may have too many programs set to run at start up, because once you log into your PC you are then required to wait while it loads the start up programs in the background increasing your wait time and slowing down your PC.
Start by launching Task Manager
If you are using Windows 7, click on the Windows Start Button and type msconfig and hit Enter.
A System Configuration box will pop up.
Navigate to the Startup Tab where you will see a list of programs that are set to run at start up.
(Please be advised that Windows requires some services to be run at start up as part of the Operating System, stopping these from being enabled at start up could land you with more issues than you had to start with so proceed with caution)
From here, you can uncheck the boxes of the applications that you do not require to run at start-up.
Once your done, click apply, then OK.
- Turn off Windows Visual Effects.
We all love a bit of eye candy, animations, shadows, visual effects and those of you especially on older PC’s will be eating into your systems memory.
Adjusting the PC’s visual effects can increase your systems Memory utilisation.
Open the Start Menu
Right Click Computer
Choose ‘Properties’ from the context menu
In the left panel click ‘Advanced System Settings’
In the performance section click ‘Settings’
The list allows granular control of the visual effects that you can adjust.
For those of you who may be overwhelmed with the options then simply choose Adjust for best Performance. Click Apply then OK
- Run Windows Update
It’s important to keep you PC’s operating system updated with the latest updates pushed out by Microsoft. These updates can include security patches for system vulnerabilities and framework updates. Good thing for you is that once you have navigated to the system update page it only takes a couple clicks to have your system updated.
(Please note that some updates require a restart of the PC so choosing suitable time to run and install any updates in the day or week would be a better idea than first thing in the morning when you have too many things to get on with)
In Windows 7, click the Windows Start Button and type Windows Update and then select from the returned results.
Once the Windows Update Box appears navigate to the left-hand side menu and click Check for Updates, this can take a couple minutes to make the required checks. If you are lucky enough to have any updates, then click the Install Updates button. Depending on how many updates are available this can take anywhere between 1 minute to possibly 10 or more minutes, if a reboot is required you will be prompted to reboot (make sure any work you have open is saved!!)
- Run a Anti Virus Scan.
Worms, Crypto Viruses, Malware, Trojan Virus….no, you are not reading a leaflet at your local Doctors Surgery, these are just a fraction of some of the nasty malicious computer viruses out there in the wild.
Ensuring that your PC is regularly scanned to check for infections can help your PC in many ways and also stop your PC spreading and infecting other PC’s in the business.
If your company is serious about its security, then you will most likely have an anti-virus application installed on your PC. If the Application is well maintained by you or your IT Department then these scans are most likely to run out of hours. If your company doesn’t have a Security Solution, then Microsoft has its own free Security Solution called Microsoft Security Essentials.
Click on Update tab and update the Anti Virus
Click on the Home tab and select your scan option
(Full Scans will scan every file on your PC and take a long time depending on how many files you have and the size of your Hard Drive/s)
- Delete your Temporary Files Folder.
Programs store temp files on your Hard Drive and over time can build up clogging space on your Hard Drive, deleting these temp files can help you claim back vital Hard Drive space that can be used to store data that you need.
Press the Windows and R key to open the RUN dialog Box
Enter the following: %temp% then press OK.
You will now see your Temp Folder.
Press Ctrl+A to select All and press Delete on your keyboard then click Yes to confirm.
All your temp files will now be deleted.
Now Right Click on the Recycle Bin on your desktop and select Empty Recycle Bin
- Delete any unwanted / Unused programs
Overtime you will accumulate a long list off applications on your pc and its good practice to delete any unused applications that not only take up your Hard Drive Space but also could be impacting your computer’s cached memory (see step 1)
Click the Start Button, Click Control Panel.
In the Control Panel click on Programs and Features
Select an application you want to install and click on the Uninstall/ Change icon.
- Restart your PC / Laptop
You maybe in a working environment where you are lucky enough to have your own desk and PC / Laptop, or you hot desk, sharing your computer with multiple users per day/ week.
In either case its imperative to reboot your pc now and again.
I would suggest at minimum at least once a week but better practise to reboot every day at the end of your working shift.
This is probably the easiest to perform but you will be surprised at how many PC’s have not been shut down or restarted for months.
This simple procedure can help Flush your computer’s Memory, stop memory leaks, fixes small errors, installs updates and many more.
So at the end of your working day, instead of just locking your PC or putting your Laptop in ‘sleep mode’ give it a reboot.
Click the Windows Start Button, click the arrow next to the shut down box to reveal the sub menu and click restart. Simple…but effective.
- Open only what you need.
We all need love to multitask, each day we require several applications and webpages to be open at the same time for various reasons.
We have our email application open, software applications open, various Webpages to site portals we need to log into, we have our eBay and amazon shopping sites open, you have a new cooking recipe open, oh not to mention the what’s on guide for the weekend. Possibly even YouTube, a local news webpage and google maps open so you can plan your evening commute home. These tabs and applications contain plugins and scripts which are being used by your computers memory even if its open in the background again slowing down your pc and you may notice that its taking forever to switch between that shopping site you have open for that new dress and your Social Media site to tell everyone you know how slow your PC is.
The accumulation of all the tasks open eat at your computer’s memory even when they are running idle in the background.
Depending on how much memory your computer has installed this can be a major culprit of your PC being slow and causing it to freeze quicker than you can name your favourite takeaway order.
Limit your workflow to only keep open what you need as and when you need it and you will notice your PC running faster than when you leave the office on Fridays to start your weekend, due to your PC having more memory available for your current tasks.
If you have gone over the above but your PC is still running slow then it is quite possible that you may need a Physical Upgrade.
I understand this may be difficult to convince your boss that your PC needs to be upgraded but the advancement of technology is continually improving and with the high demand of PC components they have surely gotten cheaper.
- Upgrade your PC Memory (RAM)
PC memory is known as RAM which stands for Random Access Memory and depending on the age and spec of your pc you can have anything from 1gb memory to anything up to 32GB.
How to check how much Memory my PC has ?
Press Ctrl+shift+Esc key together to bring up the Task Manager and on the Performance Tab you will see the ‘Installed Memory (RAM) displaying the total amount installed, how much of that memory is cached and how much is free and available.
How to monitor how much memory is being used?
You can take this investigation a step further to give you even more info in regard to what is eating away at your memory by clicking the Resource Monitor button which will give you a clearer indication of what processes are chewing up your much needed memory.
If you see that your memory usage is running high you will need to close some applications/webpages to bring this usage down and to free up your memory cache to enable your system to perform better.
Alternatively, a simple upgrade to install more RAM will be beneficial to your daily workflow.
- Upgrade your Hard drive to an SSD.
Look out for my blog comparing SSD with HDD in which I will briefly explain the difference between both bits of hardware and how a simple upgrade can drastically improve windows start up times but also the speed of loading applications, better performance and reliability, all whilst using less power, no noise and producing no heat output.
There could be a whole other range of reasons why your PC is running slowly such as a slow network connection, needing to increase the page cache file, cleaning out the inside of the PC to free it up of clogged dust and debris, running a disk defrag (on HDDS only), changing the power plan settings for laptops plus a whole lot of other things I haven’t mentioned however the tips above are simple enough for you to do something about your PC today.
Need help with any of the above?
Do you have the green light from your boss to upgrade your PC?
We are at hand to help you find a solution and provide advice on helping your PC to perform to the best of its ability.
Give us a call on 0161 2237 2829 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are even available via Web Chat so come speak to us at www.terahost.co.uk
Nasir Ali is a Technical Support Specialist at Terahost