Five Worthwhile Habits That Will Speed Up Your Computer
Paul Watson, PC Technician Wednesday, July 22nd 2009
Computer slowdowns can be perceptual or actual. You can’t fix your perception of speed (except maybe by buying a new computer) but you can cure actual problems that make your computer slow down. Today, I offer five habits that, if you’re willing to adopt them, will cure actual problems and speed up your computer.
1. Clear Out The Cobwebs Periodically, go through your computer and remove applications you’re not using. While you’re cleaning up, clean out the startup items your computer loads each time it starts. Manually start the programs you need and leave the rest closed.
2. Reboot Your Computer Once In Awhile Just like you, your computer needs a break. For the computer, that means a reboot. Rebooting will clear out any misallocated memory, zombie programs that didn’t shut down correctly and runaway processes that you’re not aware of. If you shut down your computer every time you finish using it, you’re ok. This tip mainly applies to the folks who leave their computers on all the time.
3. Defragment Your Hard Drive Your hard drive space gets parceled out pretty quickly. In short order, files are broken into pieces and some parts are stored over here, while others are stored over there, or just wherever the computer can find space. Very disorganized! Like business cards for a business, your hard drive represents your computer, keep it simple, clean and organized. The computer has to jump around quite a bit just to read a single file. Defragmenting will reassemble your piecemeal files into contiguous spaces on the hard disk and eliminate the delays in reading (and writing) files. Defragging is a good overnight task, especially the first time you do it.
4. Upgrade Your RAM The more RAM your computer has installed, the faster your computer will run. There is an upper limit to how much memory your computer can take. That will depend on your BIOS and your OS. Consult the owners manual for your computer to determine its maximum addressable memory. If your installed memory is nowhere near the limit, consider installing more RAM.
5. Use A Registry Cleaner After you’ve removed your unused programs, cleared out your startup items, and defragged your hard drive, your registry may be pretty well hashed. Using a registry cleaner like RegCure can tidy up those hard-to-reach spots in the registry that frankly won’t make much sense to most users, but can make all the difference in the world when it comes to performance.
Photo Credit: Esther Dyson, via Flickr