How to Speed up Your Computer
It may sound like a #firstworldproblem, but a slow computer can definitely be a drag. You rely on your computer to manage your finances, store your photos, plan your family vacations, and even do your work. When the computer is sluggish, you can’t power through your to-do list and get things done.
If you’re looking to speed up your home computer, there are several steps you can take.
1. Defragment Your Computer
Sometimes, your computer stores related files in separate locations, which means it has to retrieve that information from several different places on your hard drive. Defragmenting the drive puts related files in sequential order, so that they can be accessed more quickly
You can find detailed instructions for defragging your computer running Windows 7, 8, and 10 right here.
You can find instructions here.
If you have a solid state hard drive (SSD), you don’t need to defragment your hard drive.
2. Install an Antivirus Program and Run it
Your family computer is particularly susceptible to viruses and malware if it’s being used by multiple people who may or may not understand the security implications of downloading random applications, games, movies, and so on from the Internet.
AVG Antivirus can find and remove any existing viruses, spyware and malware that’s already on your computer. Installing AVG will also protect you from future attacks and prevent malicious software from ever being installed on your computer—including email attachments with viruses, malware and other potentially harmful material. If you’re interested in AVG—it protects both Windows and Mac computers—talk to the Arvig Tech Team about installation. You can also learn more about internet security here.
3. Run a Junkware Removal Tool
Junkware is the term used to describe any software you didn’t intentionally put on your computer. Hard as it may be to believe, there are malicious people in the world who hide spyware and other unwanted software in email messages, images and even inside other software. A Junkware removal tool can find and remove that software, which can have a significant impact on your computer speed.
You can download MalwareBytes, the junkware removal tool Arvig recommends, for Windows or for Mac.
4. Add RAM to Your Computer
Your RAM is your computer’s memory. You can find an easy-to-understand explanation of RAM here. You can buy and install additional RAM to speed up your computer – in some cases. If your computer already has 8 GB or more of RAM, adding more probably won’t do too much. But if you currently only have 2 or 4 GB of RAM, upgrading to 8 GB may give you a significant speed boost. If you’re not sure how much RAM you have, this article gives detailed instructions on how to find out.
Remember, RAM is a physical product, so you can’t download an upgrade. Any site that’s promising to give you more RAM with a software install is probably trying to put malware or a virus on your computer. In fact, you should never download any application that promises to speed up your computer, because it’s simply not something that can be done with software.
5. Upgrade Your Hard Drive
A hard drive upgrade can speed up your computer – in some cases. If you have an older, mechanical hard drive (HDD), upgrading to a solid state hard drive will give you a noticeable increase in speed. (Learn more about the difference between mechanical and solid state hard drives.) But if you simply add an additional HDD to your computer, or upgrade to a larger size HDD, you won’t see any speed benefit.
With proper care and maintenance, you should be able to keep your computer running in top form—and at top speed.