As a computer gets old, it becomes slower in performance as responsiveness to command becomes slower than when it was new.
But that doesn’t have to be because the hardware of the PC can no longer keep up with the tasks.
Even a computer needs to be looked after from time to time so that it stays active as it gets old.
Accumulated old and large files, unused programs running in the background, full hard disks, missed updates or even a computer virus can significantly reduce performance.
A few simple tricks can help and your PC will run fast again.
Turn your PC off and on again
Even if it sounds stupid to some, restarting your computer can help. For many, it has become a habit to simply close the laptop or turn off the PC screen without shutting down the computer.
If a computer runs for several days or weeks, the main memory is virtually clogged.
A restart clears up all accumulated processes and gives the computer more performance.
Remove Browser Extensions
If you notice the performance is bad when browsing the Internet, you should take a closer look at your browser.
It usually helps to remove unnecessary browser extensions and search bars.
Delete unnecessary programs
Over time, applications that are no longer needed usually accumulate on a computer.
Processes of these unnecessary programs may run unnoticed in the background and permanently consume resources.
It is therefore advisable to remove applications that are no longer useful from the computer.
It is best to uninstall these programs in the system settings (Control Panel – Programs – Programs and Features).
Delete programs in the system Tray
When a Windows computer starts up, several programs start automatically in the background.
Some of them are necessary, but some are not dependent on them.
A look at the taskbar reveals whether applications are running in the background that you could do without.
A click on the “up arrow” in the right area of the taskbar shows which programs were started in the background and then permanently consume resources.
The classics are, for example, applications such as Skype, any cleaner apps, Dropbox, or similar programs. I
f you don’t need an application, you can exit it right there. This can help to increase the performance of the PC, says TechPally.
Check Autostart Programs
So that unnecessary applications do not start automatically and use up resources senselessly, you should check which programs need to be started automatically.
To do this, open the Task Manager: right-click in the taskbar and select Task Manager or Ctrl-Shift + Esc.
In the Task Manager, select “Autostart” from the tabs to see which programs are started automatically in the background and what effects they have on the performance of the computer.
The autostart function can be deactivated by right-clicking on the application.
However, some applications are necessary for the smooth functioning of the computer.
Clean up your Hard Drive
A full hard disk restricts the flexibility of the computer and should therefore be avoided at all costs.
If the storage space is running out, you should scour your computer and make space by removing files that are no longer needed, especially larger files.
Usually, it is video files or photos that eat up a lot of storage space.
Additional storage in the cloud or an external hard drive can help create space on the computer’s hard drive.
Optimize Hard Drive
Under Windows 10, there are several options with which you can ensure an optimized hard drive.
On the one hand, the disk cleanup can be used to remove files that are no longer needed and otherwise difficult to find. A classic example is the temporary Internet files.
To clean the data carrier, click with the right mouse button in Explorer on the hard disk to be cleaned, then on “Properties” and then on “Clean up”. Then you select the file clusters that you want to remove.
Another way to ensure a faster computer is to defragment the hard disk: right-click on the hard disk in Explorer, then “Properties”, then select the “Tools” tab and click on “Optimize”.
The hard drives can then be optimized in another window.
Should a PC experience a sudden drop in performance, it could be that the system is infected with malware.
To check this, you should let the Windows built-in antivirus called Windows Defender scan for malware.
The Windows Defender can be found in the ” Windows Settings” under “Update and security.”
A quick system scan can be started under “Virus & threat protection”.
If the malware cannot be removed in this way, it may be advisable to reinstall the operating system.
The fact is that you need a virus scanner on your PC before now because Microsoft didn’t care about the security of its Windows users at some point in the past.
In the meantime, however, Windows 10 has integrated its virus protection.
To check whether this is also activated, navigate to “Update and Security” and “Virus & threat protection” in the ” Windows Settings”.
This integrated protection against malware called Windows Defender is usually sufficient so that you do not have to install a virus scanner on your PC.
Apart from the costs, antivirus programs can sometimes slow down a computer considerably.
If you make your PC fit again, it is worth taking a look at the energy options, which can be found in the control panel. “Balanced (recommended)” should be activated there.
If the energy-saving mode is switched on there, this can lead to a loss of performance because the computer reduces its performance to save energy in this way.
It is also important that current Windows updates and any application updates are installed promptly.
This is not only about security against malware but also about the smooth functioning of the computer.
Reinstall or reset the operating system
The last resort to make an older computer fit again is to reinstall the operating system.
It radically removes unnecessary files, processes, and programs that have accumulated over time.
Before reinstalling, however, you should back up all important files on an external hard drive or cloud storage, as this process will also delete them from the computer.
Since Windows 10 now offers 2 options for resetting the operating system to the factory settings.
The user can decide whether he wants to keep the personal data or whether he would rather carry out a complete reset, which also removes all data from the computer.
If the computer is infected with malware, for example, it is better to use the latter option