The Best Performance-Boosting Techniques for Your Laptop
My laptop is my lifeline, much like my phone. If anything happens to this hunk of metal and plastic bits and pieces, I’m in deep trouble! This laptop is what keeps me working every day. It’s what enables me to pay my bills on time, what keeps my transactions flowing smoothly and safely, where I find new recipes, and where I work out my monthly budget and my travel plans. This one device sees a lot of traffic and experiences a lot of wear and tear every day!
Whether you’ve just bought yourself a shiny new laptop, or you’ve had your old faithful for a long time, laptop performance is something that you can always take steps to improve. Making sure that your laptop is performing well is the same as putting oil in your car, setting your alarm before you go to sleep at night, or washing your clothes after you wear them: it keeps the computer safe, keeps it working properly, and ensures that it will last for a long time to come. Let’s see how you can keep your laptop performing at a high level at all times.
- Limit the programs attached to startup
You can select which applications start automatically when your computer boots up. Your task manager will enable you to refine this list and see what is running in the background at all times. If you have mostly unused programs attached to your startup, they’ll slow down the boot and the overall speed of your computer. If they’re unnecessary things that you don’t use every day, nix them from startup!
- Delete unnecessary software
Computers, like phones, come preloaded with a number of applications that you may or may not find useful. If you’ve just gotten a new device, go through the programs you’ve found on your computer and see if there’s anything there that you won’t use. Some programs may not be removable (especially in the case of phones and tablets), but removing anything you’ve downloaded but don’t use anymore can free up memory and get everything moving a little bit faster and more smoothly. Your computer’s “assistant” can show you all the programs on your computer and let you know which have not been used in a long time. These can be uninstalled and reinstalled later if needed.
- Add extra memory
Extra RAM (random access memory) essentially gives the computer more space to figure things out. RAM is not the same as hard drive storage: RAM is “happening now” space, and hard drive memory is permanent storage. The more “room” a computer has to work on the things that are happening as you type, play, or browse, the faster and more easily it can get things done. Since RAM is relatively easy to install, you can probably handle this yourself. If the thought of messing around inside your computer makes you nervous, don’t worry! You can always get professional help if you need to.
- Check for spyware and viruses
This is an essential step in the maintenance of any device that connects to the internet. You should have anti-virus software installed on your laptop that regularly scans for both spyware (sneaky programs that make a home in your laptop and watch what you’re doing) and viruses (programs that exist to cause damage and chaos to your system) and deals with it if there is any present. These programs can slow your system down or disable and corrupt parts of it completely. Not only can these programs cause damage to your computer, but they can also leave your personal and financial information exposed to criminals. It is essential both for the health and performance of your laptop and your personal or professional safety that you keep spyware and viruses at bay at all times.
- Defrag and clean up your disk
Every kind of computer has broken files and fragmented program bits and pieces hanging around somewhere. Things that weren’t properly installed or uninstalled, things that haven’t been used for a long time, or that were stored badly. If you want to get rid of those bits and pieces like you were sweeping the dust bunnies out from underneath a cabinet, you need to run a disk cleanup and defrag your system. How effective a disk cleanup can be will depend on how much RAM you have available to work with. The laptop will definitely run more slowly while it’s being cleaned up, so expect delays and try to avoid working while it’s running. Run these programs on a regular basis and keep an eye on how much memory you have available.
- Check on your browser
Making small adjustments in your browser settings can make a big difference to your computer. If you’re using a certain browser and notice that uploads or downloads are taking longer than they should, try clearing your cache. A cache is made up of all the little things that you pick up, such as cookies, when visiting various websites. If that doesn’t help, try out an entirely new browser and see if there’s a difference.
If you keep your eye on things and keep running these free and time-efficient little checks as often as you need to, your laptop’s performance will always be tip-top.