Well, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your computer’s efficiency. They don’t take a lot of time, and you don’t have to be a computer geek to do them.
Dump Your Cache
Deleting your Internet browser’s cache–history, cookies, and temporary files–will free up space on your hard disk and give you noticeable results immediately. It’s a good idea to do this regularly, at least once a month.
If you’re not sure how to empty your browser’s cache, Indiana University has a great step-by-step guide that can walk you through the process. It includes the major browsers for both Windows and Mac OS. Also, if you are a Windows user, you have a built in Disk Cleanup tool (Accessories–>System Tools) that allows you to clean up these categories: “Windows Components,” “Installed Programs,” and “System Restore.”
Defragment Files Regularly
Disk fragmentation happens naturally. As you create, delete, and modify files, the operating system stores parts of these files in noncontiguous clusters. This can significantly slow down your computer’s reading and writing capability.
For Windows users, using the Disk Defragmenter (Accessories–>System Tools) will consolidate the scattered files and folders on your hard disk, thereby increasing your computer’s response time. Ideally, this should be done once a week. Fortunately, you can schedule this to take place automatically, so you don’t have to worry about it. (Mac users: OS X already defragments files automatically, no scheduling required).
Delete Unnecessary Files (Backup & Store Files)
Okay, this may not be as quick and painless as the other two, but you’ll feel a huge sense of accomplishment once you’ve completed it. And it doesn’t have to be done all in one day either. Baby steps work.
Let’s face it, we all have junk on our computers. Old, out-dated stuff we’ll never use or look at again. Delete it.
Or if it’s something you need to keep but don’t refer to often, remove it from your computer and store it on an external hard drive. Other prime candidates for this type of storage are photos, music, and movies. Offloading these files will allow your computer to run faster and more efficiently.
Of course, there are other steps you can take to optimize computer performance, but completing these three will give you quick results with very little effort. And sometimes that’s all it takes to get the ball rolling.
What About You?
Do you clean up your computer regularly?