How Do I Speed Up My Computer?

By FPL_Adam

A slow PC can be drain on your patience. Over the course of time, you may notice that your computer starts to slow down. Here are some options for speeding up your laptop as it gets older (Mac users will want to use the link at the bottom of the article):

 

  1. Malware and Threats

These can have a negative effect on your computer’s performance. Luckily, checking for malware is pretty easy. Here is how to check your Windows 10 computer:

 

Settings→Update and Security→Windows Security→Virus and Threat Protection→Scan Now

 

If there are any threats found it will step you through how to handle those issues.

 

  1. ReadyBoost

Older machines with less RAM may see an improvement by using ReadyBoost and a spare USB thumb drive. A Windows machine can use the RAM to store frequently stored application files and libraries to improve performance. If your machine has a small amount of RAM, then ReadyBoost can be quick and easy way to improve performance. This feature allows your computer to use the space on the USB thumb drive to act as additional RAM. The USB thumb drive you use for ReadyBoost won’t be available for saving files (or anything else) and will need to stay plugged in all the time.

 

    1. Insert the USB stick and erase any files.
    2. Open File Explorer (Windows key+E).
    3. Right click on the USB stick you want to use for ReadyBoost and select Properties.
    4. Select the ReadyBoost tab and then Use this Device.
    5. Then click OK.

 

Note: You can’t just pull out the thumb drive once you have enabled it to be used for ReadyBoost. You will need to repeat these steps and select Do Not Use this Device. Once you have disabled the ReadyBoost, then you can remove it and use it for other tasks.

 

If the ReadyBoost option doesn’t appear, it is likely because adding the additional RAM memory in this way would not improve the computer’s performance.

 

  1. Web Browsers

Do you keep a lot of browser tabs open? Try bookmarking and closing those tabs. It can make a difference in your computer’s performance!

 

Have you installed a lot of browser extensions? Do you frequently use them all? Try closing your preferred browser and using a different browser (one without all those extensions) for a day and see if things improve. If performance seems to improve with the browser that doesn’t have the extensions, that might be a sign you need to eliminate some of those extensions that you don’t get a lot of value from every day.

 

  1. Hard Drive Space

If your hard-drive is getting full, it may be time to weed out those photos, documents, videos, no-longer useful applications, etc. To keep performance up, the computer actually needs some of that hard-drive space to be free and available. One rule of thumb is to keep at least twice as much free space on your hard drive as RAM. So, if you have 16gb of RAM then you’ll want to keep 32gb of free space on your hard drive. To find out how much RAM is on your machine, go to:

 

Settings→System→About

 

There are some more in-depth answers and videos with step-by-step help from experts you can access with your library card!

Use your library card to access these LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) videos on this topic and more:

After logging in search “Tech Simplified” to find this lesson and other plain and simple answers to common technology questions.

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