For business owners who depend on computers for daily operations, a slow operating system often translates to lost productivity. Whether you are using desktop or laptop computers, lagging speeds often mean that websites take longer to load and programs have difficulty running in tandem. By taking steps to boost your computer's speed, you can increase efficiency and reduce frustrating wait times.
One of the fastest ways to make your computer run faster is to add extra memory. If your computer tends to slow down when you have many programs running simultaneously, upgrading the random access memory can increase speed. Because altering the memory on your computer may be a violation of your warranty or service agreement, check with the manufacturer before performing an upgrade.
A crowded hard drive is a common cause of a slow computer. When your disk fills up, the computer takes longer to find files, open programs and process information. The easiest and safest method to reclaim disk space is to create multiple backups of your business data on external hard drives and server machines. When the data is securely copied, you can delete it from your main work computer to free up space. Start with the largest files first: videos, large photographs, program files and high-resolution documents. Alternatively, replace your current hard drive with a larger model.
Occasionally, a mass buildup of non-essential files – temporary files, downloaded program files, and items in your Trash – can cause a computer to slow down. By deleting these items, you can free up space and speed up your computer. On a PC, you can use Disk Cleanup to clear out the files. The tool is located in the System Tools panel in the Accessories menu. On a Mac, you can use Disk Utility, which is located in the Utilities folder of the Applications directory.
Over time, the files on your hard drive can become fragmented, which makes it more difficult for the computer to access them. If you are working on a Mac, the operating system takes care of fragmented files on its own. On a PC, however, you can speed up the computer by running the Disk Defragmenter. The tool can be found in the System Tools option of the Accessories menu. It is particularly useful when you have limited free disk space, you have just added a large file or you have upgraded your operating system.