posted on May 25, 2011 10:34
The following tips are what we would recommend to keep your PC into tip top condition. Everything needs maintenance, so why not your computer?
These tips are basic, but essential. An expert would delve deeper into the workings of a PC, but with these basic tips you shouldn't go wrong.
Just be careful - we can't be responsible for loss of programs or data.
1. Delete any software that you don't use
It's surprising how many people keep software on their computer that they have never used or will never use. A software package will often have a start-up component that runs as you turn on your computer - slowing it down on start-up.
Go to your control panel and remove or unistall those unwanted programs!
2. Clean up your Desktop
You know how difficult it is to work when your desk is covered in loads of stuff? Imagine if everytime you come to sit at your desk you have to go through and check each bit of paperwork and every item thats there!! Well, a computer is just the same, if its full of files and shortcuts it's going to take time to load. Move your files to ordered folders, reduce the amount of shortcuts you have - do you really need all those program short cuts?
Right click on them and click delete.
3. Remove spyware
Spyware or malware is software that is added to your computer without you knowing, designed to collect personal information without letting you know and without asking for permission. From the websites you visit to user names and passwords, spyware can put you and your confidential information at risk. In addition to privacy concerns, spyware can hamper your computer's performance. To combat spyware, you might want to consider installing a program to run regularly that will identify and remove most spyware. There are a number of free programs that will do a reasonable job for you, but if you have a particular problem, purchasing software would be best.
4. Disk Cleanup
Like a real filing cabinet, Hard Disks get full of unwanted data, mostly temporary files that you don't need. Luckily there is a tool within Windows that is made for removing those unwanted files. The tool identifies files that you can safely delete and then enables you to choose whether you want to delete some or all of the identified files.
Use Disk Cleanup to:
- Remove temporary Internet files.
- Delete downloaded program files, such as Microsoft ActiveX controls and Java applets.
- Empty the Recycle Bin.
- Remove Windows temporary files, such as error reports.
- Delete optional Windows components that you don't use.
- Delete installed programs that you no longer use.
- Remove unused restore points and shadow copies from System Restore.
Typically, temporary Internet files take the most amount of space because the browser caches each page you visit for faster access later.
For full details on how to use Disk Cleanup click here for our instruction article
5. Improve Disk Access Speed
Again, like your office filing cabinet, over time information gets put in the wrong place so that it takes more time than really necessary to retrieve.
Your Hard Disk is just the same, it slowly builds up with fragmented data making data retrieval slow.
Windows have a built in tool to help you.
Disk Defragmenter (sometimes shortened to Defrag by users) is a Windows utility that consolidates fragmented files and folders on your computer's Hard Disk so that each occupies a single space on the disk. With your files stored neatly end to end, without fragmentation, reading and writing to the disk speeds up.
When to run Disk Defragmenter:
In addition to running Disk Defragmenter at regular intervals (monthly is optimal), there are other times you should run it, too, such as when:
- You add a large number of files.
- Your free disk space totals 15 percent or less.
- You install new programs or a new version of the Windows operating system.
For full details on how to use the Disk Defragmenter utility, click here for our instruction article.
6. Add more Memory or RAM
One of the more effective ways to improve your computer speed is to upgrade the RAM memory.
Memory modules are quite cheap these days and your PC has probably got spare slots available, or you can replace the existing modules.
First of all, you will need to identify the type of RAM that your computer uses.
If you know where to look, you can open up your PC and make a note of the existing RAM and available slots. Be careful to disconnect the power supply and be careful about the effects of static.
There are online tools available, like the one from Crucial [http://www.crucial.com/uk/systemscanner/] that can help identify which type you need and what size you need.
These tools scan the system hardware and then provide a suggested solution to suit your budget.
Remember to look after your computer and maintain it regularly and you will prolong its working life and reduce your own stress.