5 Easy Ways to Speed Up Your Home Computer

Does it seem like your home computer just keeps getting slower? Could be it’s time for some TLCC (tender loving computer care). Just like everything else you own, your computer needs maintenance to operate at peak performance. So here are five fixes — most of them quick — to get you hopping as close to full speed as possible.

1. Empty your recycle bin or trash. Regularly.

2. Clean out your startup programs or items. You may not need them all to open automatically, and some programs place themselves there without asking when installed.

3. Delete installed programs you don’t use. Do you really need all those apps? Really? You can always download or install again if you find you miss them.

4. Free up disk space. If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a good hard look at what’s on your hard drive, now’s the time for some spring cleaning. Approach it systematically.

5. Optimize your disk. Disks get fragmented over time which makes your computer work harder to find information. On PCs, use Disk Defragmenter and schedule it to run regularly. If you’re using an older Mac (new Macs don’t need defragmenting), a third-party program like Disk Warrior can help.

 Just for Windows users:
• Get rid of spyware, but be careful what you use.
• Run the Disk Cleanup Tool.
• Use ReadyBoost (Windows 7 or Vista).
• Repair disk errors by running the Error Checking utility.
• Want to see what might be causing your slowdown? Check out this free speed test.

Just for Mac users:
• Make sure you’re running Intel apps if you have an Intel machine.
• Disable dashboard widgets you don’t use — they eat up RAM.
• Delete unnecessary language packages.
• Reset Safari, or at least empty the cache regularly.
• Run First Aid on Disk Utility to see if there’s a problem with your disk.