For every time we heard my computer is running slow or some application not working and get a dollar, we could be millionaires. We have heard this so many times that someone’s computer is running slow or some application is not working from business users as well as friends and family. In business this is more critical loosing productive time when you have to get something done.
Today I am going to try answer this question, and hopefully help share this article to get everyone I know be able to have less issues and work on faster computers. Or at least I can send them to when they ask me this question again. 🙂
Computers get slow because of a few reasons.
When we first buy a computer, it works just fine with a few pop-ups of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) software you may have pre-loaded on the computer from manufacturer. If you load Operating System yourself from a disk or a USB. You can avoid all the extra software which can later not being configured correctly can make your computer slow while startup by itself when your computer runs everytime taking up memory and processing while making the experience slow.
Over time we use computer loading our favorite applications depending use of computer at home or at work. Working on a computer means accessing internet rather web sites, without which a computer seems a waste these days.
Working online downloads temporary information on your systems, with email attachments, website, images and other downloads. As every piece of information you see on your computer gets downloaded for you to view. Computers have limited storage allocation for storing such files and when it starts to fill up computer become slow not being able to process information quickly.
Using our computer for first three months can mean a lot has changed since we purchased the system. From applications, which might now need updates, security updates which Microsoft releases in queue to be updated. Over the time frame as the computer get older you need to run a few checks to make sure everything is working well and can communicate to other systems you use. There are few things you need to do to keep your computer running as new knowing you always find your computer work optimized, have security in place for being connected online for threats such as viruses, malware, and phishing websites. If you are a business you would need to look at IT Essentials.
Tasks you should run on your computer, for keeping it work as new and not fail you.
1. Clean up disk for temporary locations.
2. Check on startup programs.
3. Defrag your computer.
4. Check for Windows updates.
5. Application updates and checks.
6. Hardware Driver updates.
7. Security Scans.
If you want to get this run for your home computer, at FixKar we do one time optimizations for systems. So your computer runs well for a long time, we however recommend 3 – 6 months you should get it checked or below are the tasks you can perform by yourself.
For businesses, keeping your team productive means this is just one more task, however having your IT team make this a practice and if you need to download a template to provide your team to send you every 3 months on running tasks for confirmation. With number of computers you are using for your business to run these tasks, techs need to have centralized systems make it easier for them to perform all proactive tasks and run regular maintenance.
How to run computer optimization step by step.
For not getting into issues on your computer, make it a routine to follow below steps or get one time optimization from our team. Checking only when the computer gets slow or you are really frustrated can mean you could have been productive on your system all this while just spending some time. If you plan to do this manually follow the steps below every time you run into issues. For businesses, learn more about IT Essentials as you need to get this done on lot many more computers, and usually with daily routine might miss out on IT systems till you start facing issues. IT Essentials further does a lot more things covering all systems you should have as a basic setup.
Disk Cleanup. A simple process to keep good disk performance and cleaned up. Disk space used due to different applications and services which run on your computer assisting you perform the task you need to complete. A good example would be browsing a website on your computer where you are using a web browser (application), using internet connection via WiFi or cable and downloading the web page for your access. While cleaning up disk space you need to check for following locations on your computer.
Temporary files – Two locations one for the users using the computer which is under the home directory of users and when you are logged on can just type %temp% on your computer to access the location. The path would look like “C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Temp”. The second location to clean up on your disk is “C:\Windows\Temp” this space is used by all your applications to function or new updates to install.
Applications – Review your applications under Add\Remove programs. This could be a good place to start optimizing your computer by just checking on applications you never use or don’t need for work. Anything under publisher name Microsoft, Java or other standard applications you can leave them as they may be needed for computer functioning. However always remove applications which are free like explorer bars, multiple antivirus, unknown names. This saved a lot of your computer time and disk space to keep it running well.
Checking Start up Programs. When you install any program it has function to start by itself when your computer starts, mostly while installing a program there is a checkbox which says start the program when computer starts and is mostly checked if you don’t un-check it or read the prompts carefully. This makes your computer over time slow and seems to drag even with best of system configuration. Always make sure only few basic applications you use with security and backup systems run when the computer starts and everything else disabled. To do this, open Run prompt pressing Windows Key + R on your keyboard together or click on windows key and type Run on search bar and press enter.
On the run bar type, msconfig and press enter. This opens up System Configuration tool, under this you would find startup applications which you can review to disable your self. In Windows 10, this option is under Task Manager which you can open right clicking task bar and then Task Manager.
Defragmentation your Computer. Defrag is process to optimize your computer disk space. It looks for empty space within storage memory, and then aligns it so when you save a new file it is saved in continuous block of memory saving time to read and write information or else computer has to process more information. Say you saved 10 files of 1 MB free, computer finds a disk space of 10 MB together and saved the files, next you go ahead and delete one file some time in the future, this creates a blank space between continuous files and when computer needs that space for a larger file it divides it into two saving it at two different location using 1 MB each. Now when you need to work on the 2 MB file it takes longer.
You can run defragmentation, typing defrag on search bar clicking start on your computer and first analyzing the disk if you need to run the process, as once you start it can take hours depending on size of your disk and utilization.
System Update. Updates are necessary for best performance and security of your computer system, You need to check updated for three things on your computer. The first being windows update, Microsoft releases patches for there windows and applications every week which include security issues found, important updates and optional you may choose to install such as hardware drivers. The second updates which you need to check are application updates, these are released by individual software manufacturer to keep there software work well and give you new functionality or fix for an issue. While the last system update you need to review are updates for your security software on your computer which included antivirus, web protection or other in-house systems you have in place. Having all of these three system checks and updates makes you more secure and applications work with out any issues.
Hardware Driver Update. Drivers are software which interacts with hardware of a computer to provide you functionality, example if you get a new graphics card for your computer for better display and video processing it comes with a disk, and over time there are new updates to drivers you have first installed as manufacturers keep updating them to work with new operating system or fix issues that are found. You can check on new hardware drivers going to device manger as shown below.
Security Scans. The last task you need to complete to optimize your computer is check for security. If you have a good antivirus, make sure it is updated in above steps and then run a complete scan, not a quick scan a complete scan. Complete scan looks at locations on your computer which are most common to get infected rather than place quick scan checks for you on most antivirus applications. If you do find anything, we recommend to download another application such as Malwarebyte free version and run it to confirm you are safe and later uninstall the second application as it can cause conflict.
Everything mentioned above is the only service we run for home computers as one time optimization, keeping you out of trouble. While we advise above steps in case of any issue you may be facing, or looking to make your computer work faster. For businesses we help them be more productive, secure and managed seeing how they use their IT systems. See our recorded Integrated IT presentation for more details on IT systems you may want to review.
We hope this article helps you keep running your systems fast always, being productive having lesser issues with your computer. At home, we recommend to opt for antivirus which is licenses as free ones do half the job and back up your files and information.
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