A lot of people will be upgrading their gadgets and equipment this Christmas. Most business owners will also do the same to take advantage of the sales all through the holidays. But, small business owners have a limited budget and may think twice before buying a shiny new laptop. If your reason for buying a new laptop is speed, here are a few tips to make your machine go faster.
Trash unused programs
Your laptop comes with pre-loaded programs that you will never use. You probably don’t even know they are there. Some of these programs run background processes when you start your laptop and they take up memory. It is better to just uninstall them.
Open the Control Panel. Look for the Programs and Features page. Check out the list of software installed and remove those you don’t need. Be careful not to remove your laptop’s hardware needs. These are usually named Microsoft or under the laptop maker’s name.
If you are scared to do it alone, try PC Decrapifier. It is a free, non-commercial use tool that will tell you which programs you don’t need.
Preventing unnecessary start ups
When you turn on your laptop, some programs are automatically launched too. This affects the speed of your laptop to load. These programs may also continue to run after startup and use up your computer’s memory making your laptop slower.
To prevent these unnecessary programs starting up, click Start then Run. In the Run window, type “msconfig” then Enter. The Startup tab will appear with all the programs ticked that load upon your computer starting up. You will be surprised to find a number of programs that run during startup. You can manually unclick those you don’t want running or just click Disable All and then click the ones that you do want to automatically run i.e. anti-virus software.
You can also remove all the unnecessary fonts that Windows loads. If you are using Windows 7, did you know that it loads more than 200 fonts at startup? To do this, go to the Start Menu’s search box. Look for the Fonts folder and check off all the fonts you don’t need. Then click the Hide button in the toolbar.
Delete temporary files
Do you delete temporary files? You should. Temporary files accumulate over time through your daily tasks. They can remain on your disk, ultimately slowing down your machine. By removing these files that include your internet history and cookies, you can get a larger hard disk space that will speed up your laptop.
Click Computer and select your local drive (usually drive C). Select the Windows folder and then open the folder titled Temp.
Right click on the folder and in the View option choose Details. Select all the files older than the current date and press delete. Go to the Recycle Bin and empty it.
This is a way to reconfigure how your hard drive stores information. Go to Computer, right click on the hard drive and select Properties. In the Tools tab, choose Defragment Now.
Disk Clean Up
Disk Cleanup is a built-in de-cluttering tool. It searches through your entire system for unnecessary large files such as temporary Internet files, program installers, etc.
Click Start then All Programs then Accessories. Choose System Tools and click Disk Cleanup.
Install a solid state drive
Your hard drive is the biggest reason for slow speeds and slow start-ups. Solid state drives are expensive but they have extremely fast read times so you can expect your startup to get significantly faster.
Get more hard drive storage
It does not matter if you regularly purge your temporary files. If your hard drive becomes 85% full, you can expect your laptop to slow down.
If you regularly record videos choose the biggest hard drive you can afford like 1TB and up.
Get more RAM
RAM is the temporary storage memory used by your machine. This is used when tasks are being executed by different programs. The more programs you use, the more RAM you need and the slower your machine gets. If you don’t have enough RAM, you have a problem with speed.
If your computer slows down every time you try to process a large file or it freezes when you use several different actions at once, you can be sure you don’t have enough RAM.
Find out how much you are using by clicking Ctrl-Shift-Esc to bring up the Task Manager’s Performance Tab.
You can buy an extra memory stick or two or get a completely new memory if all the slots are taken. Theoretically, there is no limit on the amount of RAM that you can have with a 64-bit OS. For practicality, 4GB is usually more than enough for most people.
Give your laptop a static IP that never changes. When you startup, your machine spends a considerable amount of time asking the network for an IP address. A static IP will cut loading time and helps you manage the network easier especially if you have several devices on the network.
Click on the Network and Sharing Center and select Change Adapter Settings. Right click on the local adapter and select Properties. Highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 or TCP/IPv4 and click Properties
Locate the use the following IP address part and enter your Subnet mask, IP and default gateway that correspond to your network setup. Check “validate settings upon exit”. To find out the 3 needed info go to Run and type in ‘cmd’. Input IPCONFIG/All at the prompt.
Dust out your laptop
Believe it or not, physical dust affects your laptop’s performance. It can impede airflow so your computer can overheat. When your machine overheats, it will slow down its performance in order to cope.
Overheating will also make it impossible to use some programs i.e. Skype.
You can use a hoover or a hand held vacuum cleaner to blow off the exterior of your device. Use a low power setting. Make sure that your device has been turned off at least 30 minutes and disconnect all cables before dusting it off.
Use a small attachment and either the reverse setting to blow air into the vents and push the dust out or suction to get some of the dust.