Developing

Top tips to a faster PC

There is something unbelievably frustrating in waiting for a computer to load and you can guarantee it will take its sweet, precious time when you have something important to do.

SanDisk commissioned a survey of 8,001 desktop and laptop users around the world and found UK computer users lose 5.5 days a year on average because of slow loading PCs.

Here are a few top tips to speed up your PC, so you don't become one of the 17 per cent in the survey relieving your frustration physically.

Regularly clean up your hard drive

All files use space and memory. The more storage you have, the faster your PC will be so if you have numerous files that are no longer needed, get rid of them.

You could always move them onto a USB or external hard drive if you don't want to get rid of them forever, but try not to fill up your hard drive.

Use disk clean-up tools, such as CCleaner, to get rid of no longer needed temporary files and try and do it on a monthly or weekly basis. More space means less time for your computer to find things and more working memory for it to use.

Keep on top of updates

This is an easy thing to do, and it's even easier if you stay on top of it and do it when they are needed.

Make sure your antivirus software is up to date, as well as any other software you use such as word, excel etc.

Keeping it updated will help keep everything running smoothly and you'll know you have the best version of any software you have if you keep up with the updates.

In addition, ensure that you set the Windows update tools to run automatically. This will keep the desktop software running as smoothly as possible.

Clean the air grilles

You might think this sounds like a ridiculous tip, but overheating can cause your computer to slow down.

If you clean the air grilles regularly so they are free from dust and dirt, it can help cool the PC down and make it run more efficiently.

Sometimes anything is worth a shot, and this won't take you much time, especially if you keep on top of it.

Clean the registry regularly

The Windows Registry is a system file that stores a huge collection of details about your computer. Cleaning it out can improve your PC’s performance, but it shouldn't be done lightly - it is a risky task. Back up any important files to an external hard drive just in case.

Pretty much everything you do is recorded in the Windows Registry and because it doesn't tidy up after itself, it can get pretty cluttered with unnecessary entries, which will slow your PC down.

The best thing to do is use a registry cleaner such as CCleaner, which will catch the errors but also safe to use. It's best to do this regularly to avoid it taking too long and giving you too much hassle.

Switch to Windows 8

Windows 8 is a massive improvement and boots very quickly compared to the older operating systems.

It is also said to boost performance and battery life and your Windows 7 (or older) files, apps and settings should transfer easily.

You'll be able to run multiple apps at the same time, snap two apps side-by-side and open the Windows Store straight from your start screen giving you access to numerous apps.

Add more RAM

Random access memory (RAM) comes up a lot when talking computers and adding more of it will help speed your PC up because it means you won't need to swap programs in and out. You will need to be comfortable opening up your PC or laptop – check the manufacturer’s manual for details.

Programs including word processors and internet browsers use large amounts of memory. Depending on what data files you want to look at it could equal several megabytes if you are looking at more than one document or a page with a lot of graphics.

A big application – like a game or video editing software – can use 100MB or more of RAM, plus you will also have the operating system running which will use up some space so more memory should help.

Switch to Solid State Drives

Solid-state drives (SSD) use semiconductor chips to store your data, rather than traditional magnetic hard drives. They have no moving parts, hence the name, which means they don’t have to start spinning itself when you are turning on your computer, so everything loads more quickly.

An SSD is a much faster drive, similar to the ones found in an iPod or iPhone, but they can be pricy so you might want to try other options first. You will have to transfer everything across from your old hard drive to the new, so it may be worth recruiting an expert helping hand.

It's certainly worth giving these tips a go before you throw your computer out of the window. Sometimes they will help, other times they might not, but at least you can say you did everything you could.




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