We have decided to put together a post to help those who want to speed up their laptop or computer without too much technical know how.

Do you remember when you first opened that new laptop or computer and everything whizzed by so quickly? How about now? Does it take minutes just to boot up the machine or 10 seconds to load simple webpages? Read On!

CLEAR JUNK APPS FROM STARTUP

Clear unnecessary junk software from running at computer startup automatically. You may be one of those lucky few who purchased a shiny new computer with no bloatware installed. Many are not so lucky and have trial versions of Office, Ebay and various other applications foisted upon them.

You may be surprised that even new computers are packed full of junk software that is bundled in with your computer. Some manufacturers such as Lenovo have even been reported elsewhere for installing spyware on machines themselves. Bloatware tends to load up automatically when your computer starts, even though you may never need or want to use it. This can cause a system to slow down as it updates itself over time and potentially can be a security risk.

You can right click your task bar and via task manager, view all of the applications that run at startup and disable those you do not want. If you are uncomfortable doing this or are not sure what to disable, give your IT Support company a call. It is important to stress that you can potentially break your system if you make changes without knowing what you are doing.

DISK CLEANUP

While disk defragmentation is no longer such an issue in modern computers running Windows 7 or 8, you may want to defragment your hard disk if you run something older and insecure such as Windows XP. Imagine a vinyl record spinning around and the needle representing the data being saved as it randomly touches the surface. Defragging tends to move these fragments to the same section of disk so it is easier to call up when required.

You should be able to search your computer for “disk cleanup” and run the inbuilt software to clear old and unnecessary temporary files from your computer to speed things up.

MEMORY UPGRADE

Applications and their associated data are generally loaded into temporary memory (volatile) when fired up and that temporary memory is lost when the machine is switched off. When this volatile memory fills up and struggles to keep up with what you are doing it will then jump across and use your hard drive (non-volatile) memory to keep things working.

This is not unusual or a problem in many cases. If your machine is underpowered or is working on tasks that are a too much for it to handle it can cause slowdowns as the hard disk is not as fast as your RAM memory. This can be an easy fix by contacting your local computer supplier and purchasing more RAM. Many modern laptops have a number of slots to install RAM and are fairly easy to put in. Speak to someone in support for help and advice if you are not comfortable opening up a computer or laptop yourself.

Remember, the more RAM you have the less likely your machine will need to use this swap data from the hard disk. It is fairly inexpensive and can provide a good boost to productivity.

UPGRADE YOUR HARD DRIVE

The single most powerful upgrade you can provide to a laptop or computer is to upgrade the hard disk to a solid state hard drive (SSD). Think of an SSD as a big USB memory stick. There are no moving parts which means they are blazingly fast compared to older mechanical drives. Prices have been reducing over recent years and it now provides a super boost to new or ailing computers of all types.

They are fairly easy to fit but remember you will need to install everything including Windows from scratch if you do replace your existing disk. Speak to your local IT Support company for help and advice.

ANTIVIRUS INSTALLED AND UPDATED?

Not all Antivirus products are made equal. Some actually are so bloated that they may even slow down your computer to the point that it is unusable. You sometimes need to look at your computer specification and decide if you need a bloated antivirus solution or a less intensive antivirus application that is lightweight and runs better on older hardware.

We have even heard of users getting so frustrated with antivirus that they uninstall it themselves and then get infected with a virus or spyware which then slows down the machine yet again. Many registry cleaner applications will pop up on websites and boast they will speed up your machine when in fact they may do the opposite.

Our advice is to stick with a reputable antivirus provider that does not bring your system to its knees. Our personal favourites would be BitDefender Free and Panda Cloud Free.

It is worth remembering that like any machinery, computers will get slower as they age. A computer 3-4 years old will never respond as fast as it did even if you factory reset it.

We hope that these tips have proved useful to you. If you need any help and support please get in touch! We cover Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire and surrounding areas.