Giving Old Computers New Life: 2 Tips to Speed Them Up

It’s a problem we’re all familiar with. When you buy a new computer, it is lightning fast. It does everything you need and want it to do and more. It boots quickly, it can manage dozens of browser tabs without any trouble, and you never experience it lagging or feeling slow. After a year, you […]

It’s a problem we’re all familiar with. When you buy a new computer, it is lightning fast. It does everything you need and want it to do and more. It boots quickly, it can manage dozens of browser tabs without any trouble, and you never experience it lagging or feeling slow. After a year, you start to notice a small delay. Maybe it’s booting up more slowly and you can’t have as many tabs open. Or programs hitch every once in a while. And it keeps getting worse and worse until your system is a few years old, you throw up your hands in frustration, and buy a new computer.

Most people assume that the computer is just getting worse over time and there is nothing you can do, but there are things you can do to help breathe new life into your aging computer! Here are two things you can do to help improve its performance.

Clean the inside

One of the best things you can do to speed up your computer is one thing that most people don’t even think of: cleaning out the inside. Like any other object, your computer gets dusty and dirty, and it happens inside the system as well as outside.

Computers need to be cool to run, and the hotter they are the more slowly they function. It’s why your computer has all those fans. But over time, dust gets into the system, inhibits the computer’s ability to cool itself, and slows it down.

As such, getting the the dust out of your computer system is the best thing you can do to speed up your system. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, you can always hire someone to clean out your computer for you, however, it is really easy to do.

The only tool you need to get lots of the dust out of your computer is a can of compressed air. If you have a desktop, you can open the tower and simply blow out the insides. Make sure to get the dust off all the fans, and also the heatsink attached to the processor, which is a block that looks like a metal sponge. Dust in the heatsink in particular is cause for a slowing machine.

For laptops and for those who are uncomfortable opening your system, you can direct the air through the vents on the computer. This is going to be less effective than opening it up, but it will help.

Get rid of software bloat

Another situation that causes computers to slow down over time is software bloat. Lots of programs run in the background on your computer, and lots will launch themselves when you start up your computer. This slows the speed at which your computer boots.

If you’ve ever looked at your iphone and scroll through all the programs that are running in the background and closed them, this is like that.

Cleaning up software bloat manually is pretty easy, though for people who are uncomfortable doing it manually, there are many pieces of software that can do it as well. CCleaner is a popular choice.
To do it manually on a PC, the process is simple.

  • Go to your system search, type in msconfig and hit enter.
  • Click the startup tab. If you’re on an older version of Windows, you’ll see a list of programs. For newer versions of Windows there will be a prompt to go to the task manager. Click it.
  • Now that you see a list of programs, choose the ones to disable.
  • Some things you should leave enabled no matter what like antivirus software, but most other things can be disabled.

And that’s it! These two things should be quite helpful in increasing the speed of your aging computer, and they’re things that anyone can do. Additional steps can be taken to get more life out of an aging computer; however, they often require hiring an IT professional. If you’d like to learn more, contact us.

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