You’re trying to get something done on your computer, maybe it’s some work, or chatting with your family, maybe you started writing that novel you’ve thought about for so long, but this damn piece of junk is so slow. If you don't want to spend money on a new computer, what can you do to solve this problem? I’ve been there, and thanks to my tech-savvy friends, I've compiled this guide to help you clean up your old computer and give it a new lease on life.
First thing’s first: You need an antivirus installed on your computer! If you don’t have one, your computer might be infected with viruses, these nasty little pieces of software, used for a variety of things (gathering info, stealing passwords or just by people looking to be purposely malicious) – tend to hog the computing power of your Central Processing Unit (CPU) and slow down your computer’s response time.
According to tests performed in June 2014, the Antivirus software with the highest level of protection (99% success rate) were:
But before you install the Antivirus of your choice, make sure that you don’t have an old Antivirus installed – 2 antivirus programs don’t cooperate, they clash and slow down your computer. To check if you have an Antivirus installed, watch this video:
Pro-tip #1: Be sure to run a full scan on your computer once in a while, as there might be infected files lying dormant in your hard-drive.
Now that we made sure you have an antivirus installed and that it’s up-to-date, it’s time to check for the other problems that might be slowing down your computer. These include “cookies” or even internet toolbars that can negatively effect your computer's speed because they might be doing “naughty” things in the background (like sending your browsing data to a company, or giving you search results that aren’t the best, but instead were paid for by advertisers).
Currently, the 2 best programs for clearing such offenders are BitDefender & Malwarebytes Antimalware Free (99% success rate or higher).
Pro-tip #2: Run a scan once or twice a week, you’ll be amazed at what you might find.
Now that we've gotten the 2 biggest things out of the way, let’s clean up those nooks and crannies. You should download a program called “Should I Remove It” – it’ll scan your computer and let you know if you have useless programs installed, with an explanation on what each program does.
Some manufacturers install their own software on laptops and desktops and much of it is not really needed (called “bloatware”) and with ShouldIRemoveIt – you can easily get rid of all of these useless programs, clear space in your hard drive and speed up your computer.
Pro-tip #3: Most search-toolbars aren’t needed, and actually won’t display the best search results, consider uninstalling them.
This process may take a while if your computer needs a serious clean-up, but if you follow these simple pieces of advice, you’ll enjoy a faster-working computer without the need to buy a new one or pay a technician to clean it for you!