As your cursor becomes a virtual hourglass, endlessly turning itself over and over, you know you're in for a long haul... You have to wait for the computer to boot, for programs to open, and web pages to load. And at every step of the process that hourglass is there, tempting you to put your fist through the screen.
But wait! Don't do it! There are easy ways to speed up your computer and help it run more smoothly saving you time in front of the screen, energy needed to run the machine and the cost of buying a new computer. Try these simple tricks provided by Geek Squad Double Agent Ismael Matos to keep your machine, and your sanity, in good working order.
1. Delete old files.
Run through your folders and delete any pictures or documents you don't need. Extra files take up extra space on the hard drive, and keeping your hard drive clear is the best way to keep the machine running smoothly. Look for old homework, papers, reports and downloads and delete everything you no longer need.
2. Empty your trash or recycle folder.
The files you "delete" aren't actually gone until you delete them permanently from your computer's trash or recycle folder.
3. Delete programs you don't use.
It's easy to download a program, use it once and then forget it's there, but applications take up space on your hard drive. Look through your programs folder or start menu and get rid of everything you don't use.
4. Take note of what programs open when you start your computer.
A lot of programs and applications (especially Internet chat programs) are set to open automatically when you turn on your computer. Having too many open programs will slow down your machine, so make sure the only programs that are running are ones you're using. In order to adjust what programs open in Windows, right click on the start menu, click on "properties," choose to customize your classic start menu and drag files out of the startup folder.
"If you have a lot of things running, that tends to slow things down," Matos said.
5. Keep your Internet router away from magnetic fields.
Keep your wireless Internet router away from other wireless communication devices like cell phones and cordless phones. Your connection will improve without the interference.
6. Shut it down every night.
Try to shut your computer down on a daily basis. When your computer is turned off, the parts inside aren't running and won't wear down as quickly. Overall, you'll extend the life of your machine. Running a computer all the time can cause a hard drive to break down, and the machine to stop working. You'll enjoy your computer longer, and it won't use up nearly as much energy when it's shut down.
"As long as your computer gets roughly two hours of rest time on a daily basis, that's what's important," Matos said. "Overnight would be ideal."
Run disk cleanup or disk defragmenter.
These specific programs are for Windows, but other operating systems have similar options. Disk cleanup will delete temporary Internet files and cookies, leaving your hard drive clear run this program once a week. Defragmentation compresses your information and organizes it so your computer won't have to work as hard to load your files run this program once a month. (Matos points out that if you aren't comfortable running these programs, Geek Squad can help.)
The time it takes to go through your files and run these programs is well worth the time it will save you in the end! Clean up your computer and it will run faster. The less time you spend waiting for things to load, the less energy you'll require to run the computer!
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