3 Ways YOU Can Improve PC Performance Without Spending a Dime!

In the past, we’ve talked about how constantly switching tasks during the workday can ruin your productivity. In that article, we briefly touched upon how slow software performance can be a major trigger for unfocused distraction. If a program takes a long time to load, it’s natural to switch to another task, such as checking email or to-do lists. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get distracted by this new task, and some time can pass before you return to your original task.

One way to help minimize these issues is to stay on top of your computer’s performance. Try these three tips the next time you find yourself in a constant state of waiting and wandering.

1. Declutter

Over time, many of us accumulate programs and files we don’t use. Regardless of whether or not these come packaged with programs we do use, or if it they came pre-installed on the computer, having these extra programs on your computer can cause it to run slowly. Having more programs installed creates registry clutter, and some programs even run background processes while your computer is running, even though you are not actively using them. Getting rid of the dead weight can help free up processing power and speed your system up. Try bringing up your Task Manager right now (we’ll wait). Right-click on the toolbar or Ctrl-Alt-Del and select Task Manager. See any programs or processes that you don’t recognize? Odds are that a fair amount of them are superfluous and slowing you down.

Many of these programs do not need to be constantly running, and would be considered bloatware. Courtesy of Gizmodo
Many of these programs do not need to be constantly running, and would be considered bloatware. Courtesy of Gizmodo.

Of course, don’t just go deleting everything you don’t recognize; some of those processes are vital to keeping your system running. Unsure which programs are just bloatware (sometimes lovingly called crapware) and which ones you need to keep? Should I Remove It? is a good resource for removing program clutter. (Yes, we’re aware of the irony of downloading yet ANOTHER program to identify which programs to get rid of. Bear with us.) It identifies all the programs installed on your computer and compares them to a database compiled by both its users and technical experts. It then organizes them by how frequently they are removed by other users, with the most uninstalled programs listed at the top. It will also give you a brief description of what the program does, as well as user ratings and reviews. Best of all, you can uninstall all the programs directly from the Should I Remove It? interface, without having to open up the Control Panel.

Having excess programs on your computer is not the only thing cluttering up your hard drive, however. Having too many files on your desktop uses operating memory to swap out information from to the hard drive. It does this (a process called memory paging) because it thinks that it has to keep everything the user wants to do running all the time. Simply tucking these extra files away in My Documents will free up a lot of memory, allowing your computer to run faster. Other simple ways to help declutter your computer include cleaning out your recycle bin, turning off programs in your system tray that aren’t being used, and disabling any programs that run automatically at startup. Windows also comes with a built in de-cluttering utility called Disk Cleanup. Disk Cleanup searches through your system for large, unnecessary files, such as temporary files and program installers so that you can remove them quickly.

About the Author:

Rhiannon is the head of marketing and documentation services at Deep Core Data. A writer and editor for over 10 years, she is also a professional singer and not quite professional gamer. Her favorite blog posts are about tips and tricks to improving software, writing, and general business.

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