5 tips to improve the performance of your PC and phone

In light of how much we depend on our PC, laptop, tablet and smartphone, here are five tips to optimise their performance.

We are already four months into 2015, and in more temperate climes, it is spring. In the spirit of spring-cleaning, and noting that most of us cannot afford to have our PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone malfunction, it is opportune to give our computing devices some much needed attention. Below are five tips to speed up those devices and keep them operating optimally.

1.  Keep OS up to date

This tip should be a regularly practice to ensure bugs and vulnerabilities in your devices Operating Systems are rectified as soon as the manufacturer has released updates or patches for the programme. Nevertheless ensuring that all critical updates have been installed is an excellent starting point when optimizing your machine.

2.  Check for viruses, malware, and other threats

Frequently, running antivirus and other device security programmes can be a bother. They can take several minutes or even hours to complete, and depending on how they have been configured, you might experience frequent notifications and interruptions. However, these threats not only slow down your system, among other things, they can cause devastating damage to your data and your device. Hence do spend the time, and some money (if necessary), carefully address this matter.

3.  Thin out applications, unused files and data

With a 500 GB or 1+ TB hard drive, there can be sense that you have a virtually unlimited storage, but the more your device has to read – to search for data on the storage medium – its performance will be affected. To help your system become more optimised, the following are recommended:

  • empty the contents of the recycle bin
  • delete unused or temporary files
  • delete cookies
  • delete browsing history
  • delete temporary Internet files and empty cache
  • delete unused applications
  • delete unused widgets (on phones).

4.  Archive data

In addition to ensuring that you have a separate and up to date backup of critical data stored on your devices, there are programmes, such as those for mail management (e.g. Microsoft Outlook), that store user data and files within the application. Over time, they not only become large, but also unwieldy and less stable. To alleviate this, consider (i) deleting some of the user files (or email messages) that are of little or no value, and (ii) archiving the older data for which you might no longer have an immediate need.

5.  Run disk utility applications

Finally, most Operating Systems have device maintenance and utility applications to identify issues and to optimise their operation. It is thus an excellent idea to run those programmes, some of which are able to correct some basic problems to ensure that your system remains at its best and in tip-top condition.

 

Image credit:  Stuart Miles (FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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