- Whether you have a dedicated IT support provider or not, there are still plenty of ways to speed up your work PC and get more done.
- In this guide to speeding up your Windows-based desktop or laptop, we’ll share 5 essential tips which you can take care of yourself right away.
- For more comprehensive, long-term IT support for the entirety of your business, ask our team about a Get Support IT support agreement today.
Your computer is at the heart of your day-to-day working life.
Whether it’s sending an email or meeting your remote team for a catch-up, your laptop or desktop computer is increasingly the window into your work. So you want to be certain it’s operating at peak performance at all times.
While some of your company’s IT support challenges — like buying new hardware or implementing disaster recovery plans — might require a fully-fledged IT support service like Get Support, there are still plenty of ways you can optimise your Windows-based work computer all by yourself. (Sorry, Mac people, but that’s another article altogether).
Without further ado, here are 5 of our favourite tips to speed up your machine.
#1: Make sure your machine is up-to-date
One of the biggest reasons for performance problems is that users simply don’t update often enough.
We get it – it can be time-consuming to sit and wait for updates to complete, but it’s really essential if you want a computer which keeps pace and stays secure against cyberthreats.
Microsoft actually releases emergency patches for its software all the time, so if you’re not regularly allowing your computer to update Windows, you might be exposing your system to threats. Not only that, but these updates often include optimisations which will actively speed up your system. So that’s two reasons to stay updated.
#2: Switch to a Solid-State Drive (SSD)
Old mechanical hard-drives are slowly becoming relics of the past.
In their place, Solid-State Drives, or SSDs, are making their way to the mainstream. If you’ve noticed your computer is slow, especially when it comes to opening files or loading file lists in explorer windows, your drive might be to blame.
SSDs are orders of magnitude faster than older HDDs. In fact, an SSD can load Windows 10 in just 16 seconds, whereas an older mechanical drive will take almost 43 seconds to do the same thing.
Need we say more? If you care about getting things done at work with optimal speed, an SSD is an absolute must-have.
#3: Double-check your start-up programs
Ever noticed that your computer takes a minute or two to get up to speed, even after you’ve logged in? This is because Windows has a series of start-up applications that it’s loading in the background after you log in.
While some of these are essential, others probably aren’t, and can be disabled as start-up applications without being totally uninstalled. It simply means you can load them when you want to, rather than on every boot. Fewer start-up programs means a faster start-up – simple!
To check your start-up programs, right-click the Start button and click Task Manager (or press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC).
Next, click into the Start-up tab and you’ll see a list of all the apps which will be loaded when you first start up your machine. You can click the “Status” column to sort these by enabled and disabled, then carry out a quick audit to decide what you really need.
For example, do you really want Spotify to start with Windows? If not, you can right-click and select Disable to stop it from doing so.
#4: Clean up your disk (the easy way)
When it comes to computers, a little bit of digital clutter is unavoidable. It’s just a fact of life that installers, updates, and other files will sometimes pile up in various places. This doesn’t just make it less straightforward to navigate the operating system, but it also takes up valuable storage space.
Thankfully, the solution is much easier than going into every folder manually and deciding what to do with your files.
Instead, click the Start button, then type “Disk Clean-up” and click the first result. This will open a built-in Windows app (appropriately called Disk Clean-up) which you can use to quickly get rid of temporary files, unnecessary update files, and other bits and bobs which take up space.
Just follow the on-screen prompts and you’ll free up some much-needed space in minutes.
#5: Uninstall “bloatware” and apps you don’t use anymore
All modern computers come with pre-installed software, but that doesn’t mean it’s useful or necessary for your day-to-day working life.
In fact, many computers are filled with “bloatware” which you’ll never actually use. You can uninstall apps like this to free up space and save some time when starting up your machine.
Don’t worry – you have final say over what stays and what goes. To cut the wheat from the chaff, follow these steps:
- In Windows 10, click Start, then type “Add or remove programs”.
- Click the first result, then you should see a list of all installed apps.
- You’ll see a “Sort by:” filter. Click this, then choose “Installation date” as the option.
- Scroll all the way to the bottom of the list of apps and ask yourself when or if you’ve ever actually used the app. If you haven’t, you can uninstall it from this menu.
Top tip: If you see an app you don’t recognise or aren’t sure about, either leave it where it is or – if you can – call your IT support team for advice. (Failing that, Google is a good fallback option).
Want to spend less time on IT support and more time growing your business?
We hope these few tips will help streamline and optimise your work computer, but they’re really just the start. If you’re a business owner or manager and you’re finding yourself in the IT trenches more often than you’d like, it might be time to call in the experts.
At Get Support, we offer IT support agreements tailored to your business. When you work with us, your IT becomes our problem, leaving you free to focus on far more important things – like growing your business.
Want to learn more about how our IT support agreements could help your business? Call us today on 01865 59 4000 or just fill in the quick form below.