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Dec 2014

Part 2 of Our Speed up your PC feature.

Last time we advised about deleting junk from Internet Explorer, defragging your hard drive and removing unwanted programs. Here are some more simple ways to speed up your PC:
  • Run an Anti-Malware Program
We find that nowadays people get an awful lot more problems with Malware (software which is specifically designed to disrupt a computer system) than the more traditional virus issues. This is mostly down to Microsoft doing a better job of fixing exploits and making significant security improvements to Windows. If you’ve clogged up your PC with all sorts of gremlins, you should run an Anti-Malware program such as the excellent Malware Bytes Anti-Malware from www.malwarebytes.org. Just go to their website and install the free version, this should do all that you need to do for now. Once it has finished downloading the latest updates, run a full scan and follow the on-screen instructions. If it finds something, don’t panic - just follow the on-screen prompts once it has finished the scan.
  • Install more Memory
When it comes to memory (RAM) your computer will always want more. This will be the hundredth time I’ve written this paragraph and it still comes out as technobabble, so please dear reader brace yourself as I’m about to spout numbers at you! For 64 Bit versions of Windows 7 and 8.1 PC’s and laptops you need to have a minimum of 4Gb of RAM. For 32 Bit versions of 7 and Vista you should be looking at having a minimum of 2Gb. For everything to run as nicely as it can, you should realistically double the minimum amount of RAM. HOWEVER, if you’ve never done anything inside a computer before, do seek some help with regards to the purchase and installation of memory as it can be fairly complicated.
  • Install Windows 8.1
Windows 8 received a lot of bad press when it was first launched - some of this was fair, some was not. Microsoft got much right with Windows 8 as it is significantly faster and far more secure than Windows 7. And if you can’t get past the big chunky icons, simply install a piece of software called Classic Shell from www.classicshell.net (this makes Windows 8 look like Windows 7). Personally I stopped using Classic Shell when the Windows 8.1 update came out. But I digress. Windows 8.1 is so much faster than 7 at start-up, it beggars belief.

Top Tips To Speed Up Your Computer. Part One.

Every now and again your computer needs a little TLC. Most creaking computers are slow not because they have a slow processor but because they are full of junk files and haven’t had routine maintenance run on them. Here are some simple ways to speed things up.
1. Delete junk from Web Browser.
Temporary files are continually being created by your PC, mostly by the web browser you are using. The reason is that should you ever return to an internet page, it doesn’t have to download the pictures again. These temporary files are easy to remove - simply click on the Tools cog icon within the web browser, select Internet Options, then click on the Delete button. Just ensure you read all the options and that you are happy with your choices (the default options are normally fine).
2. Defrag your hard drive
When you keep data (pictures, music and documents are all types of data) on your PC, it is stored in little pigeon holes on your computer’s hard disk. Each time the files are accessed, they grow and shrink in size and sometimes have to be broken apart and thus end up fragmented around the hard disk. When this happens (and it always happens), your computer has to spend more time putting all the pieces of the file back together when you next need it. To defrag within Windows 7, go to the defrag tool located in Start Menu\Accessories\System Tools\Disk Defragmenter. Within Windows 8.1 type Defrag. This will bring you to the tool and all you then do is “Analyse Disk” and it will tell you if it needs to be done or not.
3. Remove unwanted programs
If you’re one for installing hundreds of different programs on your PC before finding the right one, that’s fine, but if you don’t use it, uninstall it. Some programs will often have a launcher program waiting in your dock to fire up just in case you decide to play a file. These programs take up valuable memory and processing time and can be a major cause of slow PC’s. Go to Add/ Remove programs in the control panel and get rid of the ones you don’t use anymore (IMPORTANT: make sure you installed it and it wasn’t installed by the PC manufacturer as this could cause lots of problems. If you are not sure, leave it alone).
There will be more speedy tips in a fortnight.