6 Easy Ways to Speed Up Your Computer

Author: Kirstin Toms - MarCom/Wednesday, April 29, 2020/Categories: Home Internet

Our country’s broadband Internet bandwidth is being stretched to its limit, often leading to slower-than-expected Internet speed. There are many ways you can strengthen your wireless Internet connection for a speed boost, including moving your router or turning off appliances that may interfere with Internet speed.

But if you’re running a slow PC or laptop, that’s probably not helping your efforts, either. Satisfy your need for speed by following these six steps to speed up your Windows-based computer. 

1. Run Windows Maintenance

Windows 10 comes with an automated system maintenance feature that is supposed to run every morning at 2 A.M. – but only if your computer is plugged in sleep mode. If you’re a night owl (or suffering insomnia like many others concerned about the pandemic) the maintenance feature may not have had a chance to run.

You can run systems maintenance any time you want a boost in speed. Go to your Control Panel and select System and Security > Security and Maintenance. Then click “Start maintenance,” and it’s as easy as that.

You can also change the time it runs by selecting “Change maintenance settings” and choosing the time. Make sure to check the box for “Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time,” then click “OK.”

2. Make Sure Viruses and Malware Aren’t Slowing Down Your Machine

Do you have up-to-date antivirus software? When was the last time it scanned your computer?

Run a scan any time you want to boost your computer speed. You can also use the anti-malware app that comes with Windows 10. To find it, enter “Windows Defender” in the search box. Click “Scan Now” and enjoy improved system performance with that meddlesome malware out of the way.

3. Run Defrag on your Hard Drive

When you use a conventional hard disk drive, it will at first store files neatly in consecutive segments, called blocks, on the disk. But as you use the drive more, it begins to store data in irregular patterns. When you try to recall that data, it takes longer to access because the segments may be spread across the disk.

Running a defragmenter program (or defrag) can speed up your computer substantially. Windows 10 includes a defrag app that you can access by typing in — you guessed it! — “defrag” in the search bar.

Like Windows Maintenance, you can schedule a disk defrag to run on a preset schedule, too.

Important note: Solid-state drives run differently. If you have an SSD, you do not have to defrag it; in fact, doing so can shorten its lifespan.

4. Shut Down and Restart

IT professionals aren’t looking for the easy way out when they suggest you shut down and restart. If you don’t turn off your computer frequently, it starts to slow down due to processes running in the background. Your computer’s RAM (random access memory) also gets full, making it sluggish when it tries to store new information.

Shutting down and restarting your computer can work wonders for its speed and performance.

5. Keep Fewer Tabs and Windows Open

If you’re a million-tabs-open multitasker, this tip may seem infuriating. But trust us, it will help. Try to stick to just a few tabs and only one or two apps open at a time, especially if you’re using a bandwidth-heavy application like Zoom or other videoconferencing software. Who knows? You may even find yourself being more productive if you’re only focused on one thing at a time

6. Connect to a Wired Internet Connection in Your Home

As fast as your PC is, your wireless Internet speed may be slowing you down. Hook up to a wired Internet connection via LAN, if possible, so that the excessive Internet traffic created by millions of remote workers, children distance learning, and so many people watching TV On Demand during the pandemic has less of an effect on your Internet speed.

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