Our PC performance can have a massive impact on our productivity and overall work life. We have all been there; it is Monday morning, and you are ready to start the week strong. Unfortunately, your computer requires an extra 20 minutes to “warm up” before you are able to dive into work. Instead of being able to start the week with a head start, you are stressing about the large number of tasks on your to do list.
Improve PC Performance to Improve Productivity
In the UK, an average PC user spends around 130 hours each year waiting for their computer to load. This means that improving your employee’s PC performance has a direct positive impact on their overall productivity, as they would not be losing such a big chunk of valuable business time each year.
A slow computer in the morning can be caused by several different factors, such as lack of proactive maintenance, server issues, or even out-of-date computer systems. While these issues may seem daunting, there are both small and big changes you can implement to improve your PC performance significantly and enhance your daily productivity.
How to Improve Your PC Performance
Below we are discussing the tips and tricks Astec IT recommends all their clients to improve the overall PC performance of a computer running on Windows 10 in order to increase productivity and decrease downtime.
1. Cut Down on Start-Up Items
Every time you turn your computer on, there will be a number of programs that kick in at the same time (Start-Up Items). This is one of the main reasons why it takes a computer a longer time to boot up.
While it might be useful for some of the items to start immediately (e.g., antivirus software, Dropbox, etc.) you might not need all of them (e.g., Google Toolbar Notifier, Adobe Acrobat). By cutting down on the number of start-up items, you can help reduce the time it takes for your computer to start whenever you turn it on.
You can manage your start-up items by clicking on the start-up tab within your Task Manager app. Here you will be able to see all the apps, programs, and systems that start up automatically, helping to reduce the time it takes for your PC to boot.
Warning: Be careful to not disable anything that looks important such as your antivirus software.
2. Uninstall Programs You No Longer Use
Another way to improve the performance of your computer is by uninstalling programs you no longer use. Removing unnecessary programs will help to improve your PC performance and enhance your overall productivity.
In order to find a list of your installed programs to choose from, navigate to the Control Panel and click on programs. Here you are able to pick the programs you no longer need and uninstall those.
3. Clean Up Your Hard Drive
Thirdly, cleaning your hard drive can help not only maximise storage but it can also improve how your system functions.
You can clean up your hard drive by using the Disk Clean-Up program on your computer. This program will scan your hard drive for files that you no longer need (e.g., temporary files, caches, webpages, and rejected items in your Recycle Bin). These types of files often add up over time and take up a lot of space on your computer.
The Disk Clean-Up Program you choose to use will identify all unnecessary files and showcase how much storage they are taking up. You are then able to decide which files you would like to delete depending on their importance and how much space they could free. Once all unnecessary and outdated files are removed, your computer will hopefully run a lot smoother and have fewer crashes.
4. Clear Your Browser
Clearing your browser is also an option when it comes to trying to improve your PC’s performance, as it is preventing you from using old forms and protecting your personal data.
Warning: Before clearing your browser history, make sure you are okay with it removing saved passwords, address bar predictions, and shopping cart contents.
5. Scan for And Remove Malware
Malware refers to any software that has been purposefully designed to damage your device, system, or network. There is a wide range of different types of malware, including computer viruses, ransomware, as well as spyware.
If malware manages to infiltrate your system, then it will significantly slow down the speed of your computer. Besides harming your productivity, you are also at risk of data theft and cyber-attacks.
The best way to protect yourself against malware is by having a robust cybersecurity strategy in place. This includes an effective antivirus as well as managed malware protection. Once the right cybersecurity solutions have been chosen, it will proactively scan and silently remove viruses, as well as filter all internet traffic in order to prevent a potential cyber-attack.
By choosing to take on a managed IT service provider, you will be able to speak to a cybersecurity expert who can find the perfect bespoke solution for your business.
6. Adjust Appearance to Improve PC Performance
Windows 10 provides you with the option to choose between many different visual effects, ranging from shadows to animations. While these designs might be able to improve the aesthetics and user experience, they hold no practical value. In fact, these features might be slowing down your computer. Therefore, when you notice that your computer performance is unsatisfactory, you can adjust these visual effects and preserve system resources for more important things.
7. Defrag Your Hard Drive
The term defragging describes the process of reorganising data within your hard drive to group related pieces of data together and order those in a continuous fashion. You can defrag your hard drive automatically by typing “defrag” into the taskbar and selecting the “Defragment and Optimise Drives” program. If automatic defragging is not already enabled, simply press “Chang Setting” and set it to automatic. When this is set to occur monthly or even less, you should see a significant improvement in PC performance.
8. Change Your Power Plan
A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings (like display brightness, sleep, etc.) that are managing how your computer is using its power. If your PC is in power-saving mode, then this will be slowing down the computer’s performance. This is because power saver mode actively limits how well the computer can perform in order to save energy.
To change your power plan, go to Control Panel and select Hardware and Sound, there you can find the Change Power Saver Settings button. By selecting the “High Performance” or “Balanced” plan you should be receiving an instant performance boost. You are also able to customise the power plan to suit your needs e.g. choose the amount of time your screen will stay on and how long it takes until it enters standby mode when the computer is unattended (for security reasons, the shorter the amount the better).
9. Ensure Your PC Is Always Up to Date
Lastly, outdated applications, programs, devices, and systems will not only slow your computer down over time, but they also put you at risk for a cyberattacks. Therefore, it is important to ensure your PC is always up to date. If you receive a notification that something requires an update, then do It straightaway to avoid forgetting it.
If you are interested in finding out more about ways to improve your PC performance or you are looking to take on an IT provider, contact us here. We currently offer a free IT consultation, so don’t forget to fill out our IT Workplace Assessment, so we can come back to you with our recommendations.