As we all know, you depend on your computer when you work from home. Trying to work on a computer that isn’t running properly can be extremely frustrating, but there are ways to make your computer faster. Keeping a good maintenance program and regular cleaning can help make your computer work fast and consistently more productively. If you’re having major problems with making your computer work, you should place a call to the manufacturer or bring it in to be serviced. But first, a little technological cleaning may put the hum back in your hard drive.
Start your computer clean-up with the most visible items like icons. Look at your system tray or taskbar in the bottom right corner. Those small icons represent programs that start-up as your computer boots. It takes time for your computer to find the icons for all those shortcuts. Remove or turn off unnecessary ones, like Live Messenger, with a swift right click. Do you need immediate access to all those files and pictures on your desktop? Not likely. Categorize them in the Documents, photos, and music folders to keep them organized and eliminate the clutter on your desktop.
If you’ve never used a program that came with your computer or haven’t used it in over a year, you may want to consider trashing it. If you don’t use it, get rid of it. However, you can’t delete a program by trashing its files. If you don’t use the uninstall command (under Programs and Features in the Control Panel) or the uninstall program that comes with your program, it’s still there. Don’t forget to empty the Recycle Bin afterward.
As you work on your computer, information gets stored onto the hard drive in bits and pieces and put wherever there is space. To open a certain file, your computer runs around looking for all the components. Think of it as having various chapters of a book on shelves throughout your home and having to find all the sections when you want to read the full text. The defrag tool (Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter) does its best to reorder your hard drive.
Keep your software and hardware frequently updated to get the best performance out of your system. Updates can be downloaded by visiting the manufacturer’s web site. Windows Update (Start > Control Panel > Windows Update) can also scan your system and present a list of updatable items. A little reminder box will occasionally pop up in the right-hand corner of your screen when you start Windows. That reminder will let you know when you need to update. Just clicking on it will install the necessary upgrades for your system.
Not only does this make surfing the web slower, but it also takes up valuable space on your hard drive. While on Internet Explorer, click on Tools and then Internet Options. On the General tab under Browsing history, click Delete. You can also set the amount of disk space you want such files to use by clicking on Settings and changing the megabytes.
The more programs you keep open while you work, the more random access memory (RAM) you will need to keep them running smoothly. To check which programs use the most energy, hold down the Ctrl – Alt – Delete buttons and when options pop up, click Task Manager. The task manager will let you know how much of your computer’s memory the open programs are taking up and other information about the individual programs open.
Like so many other things in life, preventative maintenance is important when it comes to your workspace. Protect your computer work with a good spam-blocker and anti-virus, and tidy it up regularly, and you should get a good life out of it!