How to Give Your Laptop a Spring Clean
There are few things more frustrating than a slow running computer. As the seasons begin to turn to spring, it can be a great reminder to spring clean certain areas of your life. Giving your laptop or PC a revamp once a year can be a great way to maximise the functionality of your machine and improve its longevity. There are several ways you can spring clean your laptop: below we’ve included some of the best options you can action from the comfort of your home.
1. Uninstall unused programmes
Often new PCs come with a whole host of programmes you won’t even be aware of and will never use. You can navigate to installed software by going to Programmes & Features on your Control Panel — click on installed software and uninstall all those programmes you don’t need. Be careful you don’t delete programmes that your computer’s hardware will need. These are typically named as Microsoft or with the name of the maker of the PC. You can also use PC Decrapifier, which is free for non commercial use. This should tell you which programmes you need and which you don’t.
2. Update software
Software updates often address bugs or issues associated with older versions. Updating the software on your system is a quick and easy way to increase the speed of your computer. Check for updates on your web browsers, any drivers you use for devices like printers, applications, and Windows itself.
3. Remove unnecessary items
As your storage fills up your machine will begin to slow down and perform less effectively. Deleting unwanted photos, videos and music off your laptop is another really simple and free way you can improve the running speed of your laptop. If you have a smartphone it’s all too easy to plug into your laptop and add more photos to your laptop’s storage than you even want to keep. Whilst it can take time, it’s such a worthwhile task to complete. Set yourself a goal, say over the month, to clear up all unwanted photos, you can do it whilst you’re watching the TV — and transfer these photos onto external storage such as a USB.
4. Check for viruses and other malware
It’s so important to run regular anti-virus and malware checks on your PC, number one to protect yourself from system crashes and failure, and in the worst case, the loss of documents, photos and music. Viruses can also slow your computer down and malware acts as a spy on your computer — monitoring your activity and collecting information about you. First, ensure your anti-virus software is up to date, and run a scan. Next, run a full hardware scan: some packages also allow you to set up scheduled scans, which is a great way to ensure you’re always updating the protection on your computer.
5. Invest in more RAM
If it feels as though your computer is slowing down or freezing every time you try to use it, chances are you don’t have enough RAM. RAM stands for Random Access Memory — it comes into action when you are completing different tasks using different programmes. If you regularly work across many different programmes you will need more RAM. You can add more RAM with a USB stick, 4GB is usually more than enough for most people.
6. Run a disk clean up
Running a disk clear up is another quick easy way to improve the performance of your PC. Windows can search your system for unnecessary large files such as internet files and programme installers using its built-in de-cluttering tool called ‘Disk Cleanup.’ You can run ‘Disk Cleanup’ by clicking on ‘Start > all programmes > accessories > system tools > disk cleanup’.
7. Remove toolbars
Often when you click on web browsers they pre-install and add unnecessary toolbars straight to your PC. Toolbars can run in the background again slowing down the running of your PC, often appearing at the top of your browser, with their own search box. To ensure you aren’t downloading these toolbars, look out for the opt box when you’re installing other programmes that they don’t come with additional toolbars.
There are so many cheap or free ways you can help to improve the speed and functionality of your PC. Getting in the habit once a year of going through the steps above can help to improve your day-to-day usage and the longevity of your computer’s efficiency.
If you’re looking for more advice on how to improve the speed or running of your computer or any general IT support question then contact us on 0203 868 2794.
Originally published at breezetech.co.uk on June 9, 2017.