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5 Simple Steps to Optimize and Speed Up Your Laptop
Whether due to overuse or natural degradation, the brand new experience becomes a distant memory… but it doesn’t have to be that way! There are many short steps that even inexperienced computer users can take to make their PCs run faster and smoother than they were in the first place.
Clean the dust
It often doesn’t occur to anyone that tiny specks of dust have a major impact on system performance, but even in the cleanest of homes and offices, dust collects in laptop fans and vents. In addition to affecting people with allergies, it also has a serious influence on the performance and life cycle of a system. Graphics cards give off a lot of heat, especially when watching movies or playing video games, and the accumulation of dust affects their ability to cool down. Imagine that you are driving a car without oil through the desert.
When a computer can no longer cool down, a forced shutdown can be triggered. If you clean the dust from the fans with a brush or a can of compressed air, the computer’s cooling system will work properly again. Open an old laptop and be amazed at the amount of dust that accumulates inside it over time.
Check RAM and hard drive
Age can have a negative effect on hardware, but users can check performance with the help of helpful monitoring tools that identify whether a misconfiguration or simple wear and tear is to blame for a drop in laptop performance. It is recommended that you run several of these tests before purchasing a new computer or making a warranty claim with the device manufacturer. If the RAM or hard drive is identified as the source of the problem, these can be serviced by someone familiar with the hardware components at a relatively low cost (compared to the price of a new Also, a full hard drive can seriously impact system performance; Therefore, if you are short of space, it is advisable to make a backup copy of the old disk and change it for a new one.
Uninstall programs you don’t use
With just a quick glance at your PC’s Control Panel, you can quickly identify and remove programs you rarely use. Analyze the list with a magnifying glass and uninstall the programs that you use often. But remember to be careful when uninstalling programs you are not familiar with. Many computers come with pre-installed software and files, but by identifying which ones are no longer useful, you can free up space and improve performance. It is important that you uninstall the software correctly, as removing just one folder or shortcut will leave a lot of unwanted files on your computer.
Update antivirus software
Sometimes, the software in charge of protecting the system can be the one that slows it down. In recent years, antivirus solution providers have focused on the speed of their offering, but performance can suffer if a computer is running an older version.
System and malware scans can slow down your computer’s performance, especially considering that they scan hundreds of thousands of files, folders, and other data. Make sure only one antivirus program is running on a device at a time, and analyze which programs run the most background processes.
When nothing else works, you can resort to reinstalling Windows. This should only be done as a last resort to save a slow computer as it is a tedious and time consuming task. If you decide to go down this route, make sure you have (at least) a backup of your data, as the hard drive will be reformatted during the installation.
The New York Times Gadgetwise blog has also offered computer users some simple steps to improve the performance of their PCs. In addition to the above, the New York Times mentions that reducing or deleting a device’s web history and disabling plug-ins when browsing the Internet also speed up performance. Clearing the cache and deleting cookies will initially slow down your web browsing speed, but it’s a good idea for some computers that have a large amount of cache configured and the cache has never been cleared. It’s also a good idea to make sure your operating system and all programs are up to date.
The official message from Microsoft Windows is that updates to Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 offer «improved personalization, search apps, the Windows Store, cloud connectivity, security, and reliability.» Upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 for free in the Windows
The system requirements for Windows 8.1 are basically the same as the requirements for Windows 8. You will not lose files, desktop applications, user accounts or settings. Built-in applications can be upgraded or replaced. Current Windows Store apps can be reinstalled once the update is complete. The apps you own will be available in the Your Apps section of the Windows Store.
Prepare your PC by backing up files and establishing file history. Also check that you have enough disk space. The 32-bit version of Windows 8.1 requires 3,000 MB of available space, and the 64-bit version of Windows 8.1 requires another 3,850 MB. Connect to the Internet, plug in your device, install critical updates, and temporarily disable your antivirus software.
On the Start screen, click the Store panel to access the Windows Store. Click the Windows 8.1 update, and then click Download. You can continue working with your PC while you download the update. Disk space, app and device compatibility, and any necessary updates will be checked automatically.
Once the download is complete, restart your PC, select your settings, and sign in. After you’ve set up your Microsoft account and SkyDrive cloud storage settings, you’ll see a new Start window where you can start exploring your new Windows.
If you’re upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1, the upgrade assistant will run a compatibility report and guide you through the process. You can also buy Windows 8.1 on DVD as an alternative to upgrading online. After downloading the upgrade assistant and running a free compatibility report, you’ll be able to choose what you want to keep and what files you want to back up.
The upgrade assistant will tell you when your PC is ready to upgrade to Windows 8.1. It will recommend you to buy one version and download it by step-by-step installation.
For years, consumers were limited to two options when buying a laptop: A Mac or a Windows machine. Windows held the majority of the PC market and had a wide range of applications supported by the platform, while Macs were known for their ease of use and suitability for applications such as design and media production.
Today, however, there is another option when considering a laptop purchase: the Chromebook. Although Chromebooks were originally advertised as a low-cost alternative to Windows laptops, some newer Chromebook models boast performance (and price) comparable to a Windows machine. Body
Chromebooks run the Google Chrome operating system, based on the Linux kernel, which uses the Chrome web browser as its primary user interface. Most of the activities that users do with a Chromebook take place through the Chrome browser or through the cloud, using web-based applications rather than software loaded on the machine itself. Although the storage capacity of a Chromebook is limited, users often store documents, photos, music, and other files in the cloud. The operating system also includes features to sync and store data between devices, including Android phones and tablets.
Chromebooks come preloaded with a number of apps, including a calculator, plain text editor, basic image editor, and file manager. Thousands more apps are available through the Google Play store
Chrome OS is extremely stable, without the issues that can occur when installing new apps on a laptop running a different OS. Because your files are stored in the cloud, even if your Chromebook is damaged or stolen, you’ll still be able to access your data.
Because Chromebooks don’t come with a huge storage drive or DVD drive, they’re typically much thinner and lighter than a Windows laptop. Thanks to their solid-state storage drives and limited features, Chromebooks boot faster than PCs built with other operating systems.