Tips To Improve Computer Performance

Tips to improve computer performance

Boost your computer's performance with the tips below. These tips are especially relevant for telecommuters who are using a home PC or laptop computer to connect to their business systems.

Reboot every 2-3 days

For the majority of users, we are used to simply allowing our computers to enter sleep mode when we have finished our work for the day. Whether that means closing the screen to our laptop, or simply allowing the computer lock and enter hibernation.

This is an acceptable practice if you limit it to only one or two days in a row. It's important to recognize that applications will remain open when doing so. Failing to shut down and restart your computer also prevents Windows 10 from applying multiple updates that can be critical to security and the overall health of your computer system. It is advisable to restart your computer every 2-3 days to be certain that any unused background applications are able to close and for patches and updates to be applied to your system.

Reduce start-up applications

Most computers come installed with numerous applications that are rarely used in the business world. Some of these extra applications get added to your system startup processes. These applications may run in the background, without you being aware of them and silently stealing system resources. This is especially true for home computers and is a leading cause of many home systems “running slower” than when the machine was first purchased.

Many applications have an option to open when a computer first boots up, ultimately slowing down the startup process and your computer's performance overall. Thankfully, you have the ability to modify what applications run during your system startup.  

To choose which applications run during the startup process:

  • Type “Startup” into your navigation bar (the magnifying glass next to the windows icon)
  • Click on “Startup Applications”

Reduce startup applications

  • Toggle on/off the applications that should be running when booting up. There should be a listing of the applications and in some cases an indication of the impact to your system at startup.

Desktop icons
NOTE: If you are unsure as to whether a startup application should be disabled, ask AM Data Service for guidance.  

Clean up desktop icons

Having a lot of desktop icons can have a surprisingly large impact on a computer’s performance.

If your desktop is a sea of cluttered files and links, you should consider a little bit of cleanup.

Desktop icons
Instead of having all of those icons floating around, consider making folders to categorize the icons. This will reduce the number of applications on the desktop and the effort the system must commit to rendering all those tiny images.

Defrag/disk cleanup tool

Defragmentation is a clean-up process for your PC that is similar to tidying up things in your own home. Defragmentation processes pick up all of the pieces of data that are spread across your hard drive and put them back together again. This is important because fragmentation is a natural occurrence from using your computer just like clutter is a natural occurrence from living in your home. If you don’t clean house, everything becomes harder to locate and things take longer to get done.

It is the same for PC performance. Disk fragmentation occurs when a file is broken up into pieces to fit on the disk. Because files are constantly being written, deleted and resized, fragmentation is a natural result. When a file is spread out over several locations, it takes longer to read and write. When hard drives become fragmented, running the Defragmentation and Disk Clean up tool will help free up memory space and improve the system’s ability to locate and use the files and information.

Steps to use these tools:

  • Defragmentation
    • Type “defrag” into your navigation bar
    • Click on “Optimize Drives”
    • Click Optimize button
    NOTE: A lot of computers are set to run this on a schedule. These steps are only for machines that are set to manual.

To check to see if your machine automatically runs this feature, look under “scheduled optimization” on the “Optimize Drives” screen and ensure it's “ON.”

  • Disk clean up tool
    • Type “Disk Clean Up” into your navigation bar
    • Click on “Disk Cleanup for Windows
    • Select the files you wish to clean up
    • Click Clean up system files button

NOTE: When selecting to clean up things like “recycling bin” or “Downloads” – be aware these files will be deleted from the system. You should not elect to clean up file locations where you have files that you want to keep.

If you wish to keep those files, ensure the box is not checked.

Run only necessary applications

The biggest hindrance to computer performance is having unnecessary applications open.

Only run those applications you are using at the moment, and eliminate those running in the background.

Google Chrome is an excellent web browser but it's notorious for using a lot of memory.  

Ensure when using it that only the necessary tabs are open to reduce the amount of resource allocated.

Related information

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