As IT is at the center of most company operations nowadays, it’s critically important to have computers that run efficiently. Yet, employees often struggle with slow computers, sitting idly facing the dreaded circle of death waiting for their computer to process a command or load. With that being said, read on to find five effective steps you can use to speed up your computer and get more done.
Why you need to speed up your computer
Before we delve into the different ways you can speed up your computer, it is important to acknowledge just how critical computer speed is to businesses today.
You may think that a slow computer is not much of a problem, but a slow computer really impacts productivity, and a slow computer doesn’t fix itself; instead getting slower and slower over time. The top 3 costs resulting from slow computers are:
- the time it takes to get back on task
- stress and frustration caused when employees struggle to get enough done
- poor performance
Getting back on task
Imagine the scenario you likely face at least once a week. You’re firing on all cylinders as you get that report ready or crunch numbers for your annual report. Suddenly, you find yourself facing the wheel of death or a screen that just doesn’t move. As you wait for the computer to crunch through whatever task you gave it, you get up for a cup of coffee or chat with the woman in the next cubicle. Soon your computer’s ready, but you’re still off chatting in the break room.
According to Fast Company, it takes an average of 23+ minutes to get back to work after an interruption. Plus, you probably have to go back through your document or spreadsheet to figure out what you were doing when a slow computer stopped your progress.
Stress and frustration
You likely know from your own experience how frustrating it is when you’re waiting for your computer to load or perform some task. And, stress piles on to your frustration when you face a deadline or when another employee expects your work product so they can do their job.
This stress damages employee health and sanity. In fact, 45% of adults 18-38 feel waiting for a slow computer leaves them more drained than a strenuous workout.
Clients and customers don’t care that your computers are slow; they want you to deliver on your promises quickly and accurately. We’ve all had the experience of calling customer service only to sit on hold then wait as the employee struggles to find our information on their computer to take care of our problem or answer our question.
And, slow computers create a vicious cycle where one customer waits while your slow computer takes forever to handle their situation. Meanwhile, the slow response to customer 1 means the queue of callers on hold grows, with each subsequent customer facing similar slow service that allows the queue to grow even larger. Soon, customers wait for long periods on hold just waiting for their turn in the queue.
Speed up your computer
This is why you must ensure you keep up with computer maintenance, no matter whether you are a one-man-band or you have a team of 100. The last thing you want is for your situation to get to the point where you need to restore your computer to factory settings because it is so slow that it simply keeps freezing all of the time.
As a dedicated Mac user, I can say that this was the situation that first drove me away from Windows machines. And, while a Mac isn’t immune to slowdowns, they’re much better than a PC with a Windows operating system, plus they aren’t as susceptible to virus and malware as a PC. Hence, we’ll focus our discussion on Windows machines, as the strategies to speed up your computer varies by operating system.
To ensure you have the best computers for the tasks at hand, let’s take a look at the five things you can do to speed up your computer and alleviate the problems identified above.
Turn off search indexing
The first thing you should do is turn off search indexing. The latest versions of Windows indexes your hard disk in the background. This, in theory, enables you to search your PC at a quicker speed than if no indexing occurred to hog resources.
However, you can see a performance boost if you turn indexing off, especially for slower PCs. This is also beneficial even when you have an SSD (solid-state drives) disk, as the constant disk writing that indexing performs eventually slows down SSDs.
Stop OneDrive from synching
OneDrive file storage keeps all of your files up-to-date and synced with your PC. It is a cloud-based solution that’s built into Windows 10. It is also a helpful backup tool. However, OneDrive can slow your computer down because it continually syncs files between your PC and cloud storage. By preventing constant synching, you speed up your PC.
Disable programs that run on startup
If you and your employees have too many programs running in the background, this is likely why the performance of your Windows PCs feels sluggish. To combat this, you should press Ctrl-Shift-Esc to launch Task Manager. You should then choose ‘More Details’ at the bottom of your screen to see which programs are hogging your resources. Sometimes, you’re surprised at the number of programs triggered at start-up on the assumption you need these programs. Skype is a likely culprit as it seems to always trigger when you start your computer but you often only need this program occasionally.
Begin by killing any programs you don’t currently need. To do this, click the Startup tab. You will see all of the programs that start when Windows starts, and you can disable some of them you don’t use all the time.
Change your power settings
In addition to this, another method to make your Windows computer faster is to alter your power settings. Selecting the Power Saver plan slows down your computer as this plan saves energy by lowering the performance of your computer. You can, consequently, encounter an immediate performance increase if you change to Balanced or High performance rather than trying to save power. Of course, it’s a trade-off when you use your computer remotely, where you don’t have ready access to keep up the charge.
Use a managed service provider
Another way to ensure your computers run efficiently is to make the most of managed IT services. By doing using managed IT services, you always have professionals to rely on should you discover something wrong with your computer or if your PC runs slow. Hiring a managed IT service company gives you great peace of mind. It also ensures your performance is at the optimal level and fixes your machines to ensure peak performance.
When you look for a managed service provider, there are a lot of different factors you need to consider. You should make sure the company you select has plenty of experience and that they have a good track record in the industry. You can read reviews left by other people to ensure the service you plan to hire meets your needs and provides great service. You’ll also get a feel for the company and the way that they operate from your initial conversation with them.
As you can tell, there are various ways to speed up your Windows computer. Other options include cleaning out your hard disk, cleaning out your registry, and disabling animations, shadows, and visual effects.
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