How many times have you put your computer to sleep in the hope it will turn on more quickly in the morning?
Many of us are guilty of never turning our PCs off. You put your PC to sleep, leave the office, and expect it to work nice and quickly the next day.
The next morning, you’re staring at the ceiling, twiddling your thumbs waiting for your programs to load.
According to the latest Office National Statistics, the total annual cost of a slow PC is £3657. Slow PCs not only cost your business money, they also cost your employee’s time.
A recent survey completed by SanDisk found Britons lose an average of 5 ½ days productive work every year because of slow computers. So how can you speed up your PC and improve staff productivity?
You’ve probably heard this classic solution many times before: ‘have you tried turning it off and on again?’
Don’t dismiss it so soon. PCs often slow down because they never get rebooted. Generally, turning them off and on again does help.
Why do you need to restart your PC?
- Just like us humans, your computer needs rest to stay healthy. Leaving it on stand-by means it has no chance to rest and update.
- Most PCs are good at managing their RAM. But when you restart your computer, it begins again with a completely blank slate, helping it run more efficiently.
- Some applications on your PC cause slow memory leaks. RAM used by specific software is never returned to the computer, which slows down your PC. Restarting your computer kills the process and releases the RAM back to the PC for you to use again.
- Your computer will be receiving Windows updates, which only install when your PC restarts. If you don’t restart often enough, your computer won’t be able to update, or install important security fixes.
What else slows down your PC?
More and more applications
We expect our PCs to do way more nowadays than we used to. One of the first things we do is install a load of software. We want our PCs to run all of our different software and products quickly.
Unfortunately, a normal PC can’t always keep up with our demands and can’t always handle the number of things we want it to do.
The more applications you install, the more resources you’re using, which slows your PC down.
Bigger and better software
We often think our PCs should be able to run the costly software we buy. The bigger and better the product is, the greater the chance that it’s slowing down your PC.
If you want your software to work quickly, you may need to give in to buying a higher specification PC, which can handle the size and sophistication of the products you want. This does mean it will be a little more expensive, but not £3657 more expensive (see figure above).
Many developers create their apps so they automatically begin when your computer starts up, for example Skype and Spotify.
Every time your computer turns on, you’ll end up with a bunch of applications launching. Over time this will slow down your computer and increases the time it takes to reboot.
Check out the settings on these applications and turn off, where possible, the automatic start.
Applications in the background
Many applications will have a feature which allows them to run in the background when you’re not currently using it, for example Slack.
So even if you don’t notice it’s open, the application may still be running and that’s consuming your valuable RAM.
To check whether you have applications open in the background, check your Task Manager (press Ctrl, Alt, Del and click Task Manager. Right click on the task you want to shut down, then click End Task).
6 ways to speed up your PC
There’s a few simple steps you can take to speed up your PC:
1. Turn off your PC every night
2. Turn on Power Save mode
3. Use the ‘Disk Clean Up’ utility in Windows to delete files and free up storage space.
4. Uninstall programs you no longer use
5. Download ‘Autoruns for Windows’ from Windows Sysinternals to find out which applications are starting automatically and disable them from doing this.
6. End background applications. Start your Task Manager. Click ‘End Task’ for any applications that are open and not being used.
So listen to the old saying and restart your computer regularly to keep it healthy.
If you need help solving your PC problems, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.