Computer Tip of the Day: Speeding up an Old Computer
It happens to every computer eventually: it starts to become less responsive, more sluggish, and just much slower overall than it used to be. It’s frustrating to deal with, but it’s a fact of life for all technology. Many people simply buy a new computer to replace their slow, aging one. However, there are many ways to speed up an older computer if you want to hang onto it a while longer.
Clean out the junk
Many computers start to slow down because they end up bogged down by too much useless clutter. Although it’s not the most impactful change, freeing up hard drive space will help speed up your computer. This is especially true if it’s near capacity.
An easy way to clean up all this unneeded junk is to use CCleaner, which is a program that automatically deletes unused junk files for you. It also allows you to easily uninstall any programs that you’re not currently using to help free up even more space.
Change startup programs
A lot of programs will automatically startup when you first boot up your computer. While this may seem convenient, since you won’t have to start them yourself, having too many startup programs can make your boot up times significantly longer.
Once again, CCleaner comes in handy here. One of the tools that it has built-in allows you to change which programs will launch when Windows starts up. If your computer feels especially sluggish when you first turn it on, then disable as many of these startup programs as possible.
Scan for viruses
It goes without saying that viruses and other malware will slow down a computer more than anything else. So, making sure your computer is virus-free is very important.
Luckily, Microsoft has a free antivirus program that you can use called Windows Defender. It’s built into all versions of Windows from Windows 8 and up. If you’re using Windows 7 then you will need to install Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) instead.
Make sure you run your antivirus program regularly to ensure that your computer stays virus-free.
Sometimes, a simple tune-up or freeing up hard drive space just isn’t enough. Your computer may end up becoming plagued with corrupt files, driver problems, or broken registry keys. In some cases, it’s possible to go through and fix each of these manually, but it is very difficult and time consuming to do.
The easiest fix when your computer has issues like these is to reformat it. This means wiping the hard drive and reinstalling Windows.
To do this, you will need to get your copy of Windows and follow through with its installation instructions. Microsoft has made the process incredibly simple and streamlined from Windows 7 and up. Just be sure to install over your current installation so that it wipes everything clean.
While all of the above should speed up just about any computer, they still might not do a good enough job. In that case, all you’re left with is upgrading the parts in your computer. However, you have to be pretty computer savvy to do this. Or you can try to find someone else who can do it for you. If that’s not an option, then, unfortunately, it’s probably time to upgrade to a brand-new computer.
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