No one likes a slow laptop. No one…
Technology is speeding up all the time and people are no longer prepared to sit around waiting for files to load or apps to start up. Once upon a time, we used Cds and DVDs to transfer files. Then we moved onto a USB. Now, Dropbox, Google Drive and a whole host of services mean that file transfer is faster than ever.
But what about your trusty laptop or your dependable desktop? There is nothing more disappointing than shelling out for what you thought was as fast as a Ferrari only for it to feel slower than the Royal Mail on a bad day after only a few months of use.
Never fear…I Love My PC is here…This is our quick and dirty guide to keeping your computer lean, fit, and running fast as sh***….!!
Is Your Computer Overheating?
Overheating is one of the most common reasons for a computer go-slow. I dare say you, too, lose a little bit of gusto when your body temperature is jacked up beyond natural limits. Yes, we humans have the luxury of things like air conditioning for when life is getting a bit hot and sweaty (ask us about our DIY AC unit at I Love My PC on Gloucester Road if you’re interested). Sadly, your computer responds the same to overheating. It has to work much harder and freaks out a bit.
However, preventing overheating is something you can easily take care of yourself. Keep your laptop clean and dust free whenever possible. Get a skin or a case for your device so that it doesn’t accidentally get covered in dust and dirt in transit. Take care to wipe down the keyboard regularly so that grime from fingers and general dust doesn’t accumulate and ends up finding its way into the machine.
You need to keep a tab on this because inside your computer is a fan that kicks in when life is getting too hot to handle in the engine room. If the airflow system inside your machine is getting clogged with dust and dirt, then hot air will get trapped inside the mechanism and your processor will start panicking about how to complete the workload when it can’t breathe properly. I would feel the same.
Be kind. Get a clean for your computer or laptop every 12-18 months and you’ll get a faster machine and also one that is likely to last longer. If you’re taking a laptop to dirty onsite work environments then a year is a long time between cleans. If you’ve bought from new, then under normal circumstances you can wait 2 years if it seems to be behaving normally.
If you want some advice on tools and techniques for cleaning your laptop yourself, drop us a message on our contact form here.
Let’s Talk Feng Shui For Computers
Do you know any hoarders? Horfield in Bristol is full of them!! Think about that garage or junk room that you can barely get into in order to sort. Well, that is exactly how your computer feels when you don’t leave any spare disk space on the hard drive.
When things get too full, your computer’s processor will literally be unable to get a look at what is going on inside its drive because it can’t cope. So, don’t be a data hoarder. You’re basically being mean to your computer.
As a rule of thumb, you should start keeping an eye out for a hard drive slow down once you hit around 30% from full capacity. You might be able to get to 15% before things get ugly. The best thing to do is start having a clear up around the 30% mark or make a decision to buy more storage if that’s what you need.
Different types of hard drives have different numbers for this, we’ll link to a specific hard drive care article at some point in 2022……
Check for Viruses and Malware
You need to be careful what you download and where you download it from. Getting files from unofficial sources can be risky as they may be compromised and could contain viruses and malware.
As well as the obvious carnage that viruses can cause, malware lurking about, getting up to nefarious things in the background, can slow down your device’s processes, and a sudden major loss of speed could be an indicator of it loitering in the background on your machine.
Get yourself some antivirus software and run it regularly. Make sure it is up-to-date, too.
When Did You Last Clear Your Cache And Cookies?
Cache and cookies are great. They store stuff so that pages can load quicker because, as we’ve established at the start, no one likes to wait around for a webpage. The only trouble is, if you end up with too many of them on your device, it can get clogged up, slowing everything down. Annoying…
Just as you clean your house on a regular basis, you need to give your machine a clean now and again to prevent the cache and cookie situation from reaching critical mass. Make it a resolution to clean up your device before things start going bad: why not cement your good intentions by putting this task on your calendar and sending yourself a reminder email using this handy little link: https://emailfuture.com/.
Fair disclosure: after you’ve cleaned up the cache and cookies on your machine, any usernames and passwords that you’ve saved will be deleted, too, unless they’re tucked away in a third-party add-on, and you’ll need to re-enter these details manually when you next log-on to the site. But on the plus side, that site is going to load up significantly faster than it did before.
Prevention really is better than cure when it comes to keeping your machine running at optimum speed. So give regular love to your machine and it will love you back.
If you’re getting stuck on any of this, fill out our contact form. We are an anti-jargon team and we want to help!