The holidays are approaching, and you might be considering a replacement computer for yourself or a loved one. I’ve always felt that the average computer – especially if it’s a laptop – lasts about 5 years before it starts to become unstable. Before you run out to the stores on Black Friday, you might be able to squeeze some more time out of your existing computer by cleaning it up. Or, if you are going to buy that new computer, you can use the information in this post to streamline it and ensure that it is set up to work properly for a long time. Here are 4 things you can do to speed up your used (or even a brand new) Windows computer.
Remove Unnecessary Programs
Extra toolbars, media players, browsers, and other add-ons, if not needed, will simply bog down your computer with unnecessary software. To keep your system running at peak performance, you’ll want to tightly control the number of installed apps. In addition, these apps can become a real security problem over time if not updated properly. While not every program will be prone to attack, the best way to avoid these problems is simply to remove programs you’re not using. Hoarding unnecessary software is a great way to slow down your computer.
Update Software to the Latest Version
For the software that you do use, make sure that you’re using the most updated version. In most cases, your operating system will patch and update your most critical updates – this usually includes Windows, Office, Adobe, and other large apps. For smaller apps, it’s worth it to check the issuer’s website to make sure everything is up to date; if a new release is available, install it! Over the long term, keeping all of your software updated to the newest stable release is considered best practice and will save you headaches.
Keep a Clean House
Wonderful programs (many with free versions) can keep your computer from gathering the dust of unused programs, temp files, obsolete registry keys, and more items that will eventually slow you down. We highly recommend CCleaner to help keep you running lean. It will scan and remove files causing configuration errors, temporary internet files, cookies, document lists, the recycle bin, memory dumps, and all other manner of other easily forgotten or overlooked areas. Another great tool on CCleaner comes in its easy uninstaller. At 7 River Systems, some of our team members run CCleaner on their own systems every night, and it is the first program we use when cleaning our customers’ devices.
Maintain Good Habits
No matter how you use your computer, it’s important to remember that it is comprised of many different components, all with different requirements, update cycles, and lifespans. The best way to keep your machine running smoothly is to diligently keep up with it. Setting yourself up for success is important, but being consistent in maintaining your computer will keep it running smoothly and quickly.
Of course, there are many other things that you can do in order to keep all of your devices running at peak performance. This list is intended as a very basic tutorial to get you started. If you need help with the above, or are interested in learning about more advanced methods, a quick Google search will provide you with a wealth of information. Of course, we’re always here to help, too.