If your computer is running like molasses, but you’re not quite ready to spring for a brand new PC, use these three tips from computer expert JJ Schoch to help get your machine running like new.
• Uninstall unnecessary software. Many computers come preloaded with programs that you might not even know about. Some of these programs automatically open when you start up your machine and run in the background, causing your computer to slow down.
• Organize your hard drive. As you create, delete, and download files, your computer splits data up and stores pieces in various locations, causing your hard drive to become fragmented. A fragmented hard drive can significantly slow PC performance. Files take longer to open and programs take longer to start. To reclaim hard drive space, use the defragment tool (consult your owner’s manual for detailed instructions).
• Clean up clutter. Over time, your hard drive accumulates unnecessary files—old downloads, temporary Internet cache, etc. Periodically delete the “temp” files from the computer as well as the “history” files and “cookies” from your web browser to free up space on your hard drive.
Sound a little too complex? If you’re not comfortable going the do-it-yourself route, there are many programs and services—like the System Mechanic (To buy: $40, www.iolo.com)—that will automatically clean up your PC to keep it up to speed.
See more smart ways to speed up your computer.