The song goes “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”, but when it comes to technology, we’re really all about “faster”. While our ancestors were content to wait months or weeks for a written letter to arrive, we’re just about ready to throw our laptops under a train if they take more than two and a half seconds to load our email. Speed seems to be a losing battle with our computers; they start getting a little sluggish within a few months of buying them, and every piece of software advertised to “speed up your PC” turns out to be a 3rd world cyber scam. Luckily, there are a few simple tricks you can try to make your computer run a little faster:
When you first start up your computer, does it go right to a clean, fresh desktop? Or does it vomit up a million useless applications and programs? Every time you install a new piece of hardware, it seems to come with a massive set of annoying extra programs that you would literally never use if you lived until the heat death of our solar system. Plenty of these programs like to run constantly in the background, sucking up precious RAM and making your whole computer chug along like a three-legged cow. If you’re not using a program, and you notice it still likes to show its ugly face every time you reboot, uninstall it. That’ll show it who’s the boss.
This sounds a lot like crazy technical jargon, and most of the people reading this are probably wearing glassy-eyed doll expressions at the mere thought of dealing with tech jargon. The process is actually quite simple. As you mess around with your computer, adding files, deleting files, moving files, rescuing files from the trash bin and then deleting them again, it lives little, irritating blank gaps in your hard drive. When your computer goes to search for relevant files on its hard drive, it gets caught up on these blank holes in the data. To fix it, all you have to do is go into your “My Computer” page and right-click on the C drive; click on “Properties”, then “Tools”, and then “Defragment”. The whole process should take less than an hour, and no worries: you can keep browsing Facebook while it happens.
Some people, when visiting suspicious and unseemly websites, can pick up little malicious pieces of software that latch onto their computer and collect information to send back to the program’s owners: these pieces of software are called “adware” and “spyware” (known together as “malware”), and they slow your whole system down. You, of course, visit nothing but wholesome, family-friendly websites, so you can’t possibly have picked one of these up. Nevertheless, one of these irritating cyber-parasites might have sneaked onto your machine while you weren’t looking, so it’s best to check anyway. There are a variety of free tools available to help rid your computer of these unwanted guests – the most popular being Malwarebytes – and a simple scan can have you downloading your porn quickly again. Not that you’d do that. Special thanks to Edward Dennis who is a tech and marketing blogger. He’s part of of Web24’s team, an Australia dedicated server hosting company.