“But we just bought the computer!” You complain. In fact, you bought it six years ago when you made that trip and decided to take advantage of the exchange value. But why do programs now take so long to open?
If you are not an IT expert, but do not want to change your computer as a dress swap, our guide has compiled a few tricks to help you keep your Mac or PC – these are simple steps that everyone can use, no matter how much you know about computers.
Defragment your hard drive
You may not even know what this means, but you may be surprised at the importance of the procedure in maintaining your computer.
Defragmentation speeds up the way your computer reads and navigates through documents, “cleaning” and rearranging the data stored on it.
Even modern hard drives get slower over time, because of the way files are stored. As files are created and deleted, they are fragmented and stored on different parts of the disk instead of being all together. This makes access to files less efficient.
By organizing the information blocks scattered on the hard disk, you not only increase the available memory space, but also speed up access to the data.
Defragmentation is especially necessary on PCs, which have a special program to do it. Another option is the free Smart Defrag 3 program (for Windows 8.1).
On Macs, Apple claims that defragmentation is unlikely to be done because the system optimizes the organization of files automatically. But if your Mac is slow, you can use the Disk Utility program to repair it.
If you want to try defragmentation anyway, the iDefrag program (for Apple OS X) is also free.
Delete unnecessary files
Nowadays it is very easy to fill a hard disk of less than 200 GB. And the fuller it gets, the harder it gets to complete any action.
You probably have many old files that you never use, taking up valuable space on your computer.
And to find out what they are fast, just download an application.
There are many programs on the market for both PCs and Macs. To use on Windows, both SpaceSniffer and WinDirStat, both free, help identify files that take up more space on your hard drive.
If you use the Mac, there is an even easier way to find these files, using the Finder itself (standard OS X file management program). It lets you see everything on the Mac in a practical way, including applications and programs, hard drives, files, folders, and DVD drives.
You can organize your files and folders out there, get stuff anywhere on your Mac, or delete everything you do not want anymore.
Avoid running programs automatically
This is one of the fastest ways to make your computer faster – especially when you turn on the machine.
You can see which programs are running on your computer in real time and close them if you want.
Both OS X, with Activity Monitor, and Windows, with Task Manager, allow you to do this.
If you use a Mac, look under System Preferences, select “Users and Groups,” and click the processes you want to stop.
If you have a PC, you can use the free software Autoruns, which controls all programs run automatically.
Eliminate viruses and ‘malware’
Some insist that it is possible to run out of an antivirus program, stating that they use lots of memory and processing power, especially on older PCs.
But for those who are not experts, it is better to prevent and install the program.
It is important to choose the antivirus according to the specifications of your computer. Some of the programs that use less memory and processing are Microsoft Security Essentials, Panda Cloud, and Avira. For PCs, the list is pretty long.
Despite the popular myth that Macs are not vulnerable to viruses, suspect your computer is slower than normal. Use a free tool like Avast or Sophos.
Use web applications
Why install Office if you can use free online programs like Google Docs, Adobe Buzzword or the Zoho and Peepel program suite?
Web applications, opened in a browser, can perform almost all the functions necessary to create or share files.
They also have two advantages: they are lighter (so they require less processing power to run) and do not fill the hard drive.
If you try these five steps and even then, your computer does not perform tasks faster, maybe it’s time to call a technician – or invest in a new machine!