Published Friday May 30, 2014
Are you having this kind of a day? Is your computer to blame? I can relate!
When your PC starts to lose steam, sometimes a simple upgrade can solve your problem. In other cases, it may be smarter to start fresh with a new machine. You can save time, money and hassle by learning to make the distinction yourself. Whether you're a Mac or Windows user, here's your simplified plan of action.
The fundamental concept to understand is that your computer may slow down when its memory fills up. Sometimes the solution is a quick fix, so begin by cleaning up your desktop.
- Be honest with yourself: which programs do you no longer use? Begin by uninstalling these, even if they've developed sentimental value just by being those familiar, unused icons on your desktop. They have to go.
- ...so does the outdated Internet Explorer browser with toolbars and plugins that slow down your Internet. Get the renovated Internet Explorer 9 instead, or opt for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. All three are good browsers, and can be easily downloaded for free from their respective websites.
- Clear your browser's cache (the temporary data files automatically stored by your computer every time you go on the Internet). This process will be different depending on your browser, but a quick internet search will take you step by step in under two minutes.
If your computer is still lagging, it's definitely time for at least an upgrade in hardware. Here are a few ways to add memory space to your device.
- Buy more RAM memory by the chip.
- Buy a larger hard drive.
- Even better, advance from a hard drive to a solid-state drive (SSD). Unlike the traditional hard drive, SSDs use innovative flash memory, making your device move practically at the speed of light (well...really fast!).
- Inspired by recent events, don't forget to consider your wireless router as a source of your computer's connectivity problem. Replace it with one of higher bandwidth if you find yourself constantly having to reboot.
When all else fails, invest in a new PC.
- If you've tried one or more of the above options and performance still isn't up to par, it may be time for a replacement. You never want to end up having spent more money on repairs than it would've cost to start fresh with a new machine.
- With a new computer, minimize the potential for future issues with regular checkups, always backing up your data (there are plenty of software packages to choose from or even online services), and keeping your programs, especially your antivirus software, updated.
Guest blog by Stephanie Ursitti