How to Optimize Your 3 Year Old PC
A computer is regarded as one of the primary tools for modern day workstations. It is used in literally everything today. Whether you’re a cashier at a fast food joint or the world’s highest paid CEO, a computer is critically essential.
While there are several approaches on how one uses their PC, we can all agree with the fact that every PC gets cluttered at some time. As time passes by, your desktop will surely be less efficient than what it was 3 years ago or so, and this is where this guide comes in.
In this guide, we’ll be giving you several tips on how to optimize that 3-year old PC or even regardless of its age. In order to give you a fast and efficient way of cleaning your PC, we will not be utilizing Window’s CMD nor its built-in maintenance functions, and we will refrain from suggesting the typical “reformating” solution. While it is true reformatting will most likely speed things up, it is not entirely necessary. Even in some situations, a good PC clean up can do more than what reformatting can whilst saving an ample amount of time.
This guide is not a step by step tutorial. We will only be suggesting possible approaches to help you optimize your PC.
Cleaning the Registry
One of the most underrated but common build up of system junk is the registry.
When we install apps/games, they register a file inside our registry. In most cases, however, if we uninstall those apps, not every file is removed. Thus leading to junk build up in our drive. This is the same for our registry. Whenever we uninstall an app, in most cases, there are leftover files inside the registry.
How do we solve this problem? Simple. Use registry cleaning/maintenance software.
There are numerous maintenance software out there on the web and a lot them are free. One of our favorite utility software right now is CCleaner, though there are several other registry utility software as well. They are easy and simple to use, and the best part is that they’re free. Just go to their respective registry clean up feature and commence the cleaning right away!
Checking/Removing unwanted Startup-Programs
This is around 60% of the main cause of start-up delays especially if you don’t have an SSD. Boot up time gets slower if there are several programs that are starting once the PC is up. Not every software is important for them to start with the OS. An example of important software that should boot are; Antivirus, external firewalls, utility software, among others.
The trick here is to choose what software are important for you and your PC. In order to choose which programs do you want to boot, you could either use Revo or CCleaner and other utility programs or just go to your Task Manager by simply clicking CTRL + SHIFT + ESC, then go to “Startup” then choose the programs that you want to boot.
Scheduling a weekly scan/boottime scan
Most people tend to forget that the internet isn’t always a safe place. Especially in our day and age, all of us browse the internet every day thus increasing the chances of malicious attacks that could either be Viruses, Malware, Spyware, and the like. This is one of the most common and biggest reason why the majority of household PCs are slow. If you’re wondering whether a Virus can really affect the overall performance of a PC, then yes.
Even if there’s an Anti-Virus program in your PC, it doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll be safe from attacks. In most cases, there are Viruses that get past the Anti-Virus program simply due to the weak of Heuristic Sensitivity (this might be called differently in other Anti-Virus apps), outdated Virus definitions, and delay in local Virus updates (from host/developer).
Unknowingly, these viruses can and will create unwanted junk, send informational data, decrypt files, and ultimately lead to an unstable OS. So, how do we counter this efficiently? Well, of course, the most obvious answer is updating your anti-virus software and scan your system, there are better alternatives as well. Particularly, a boot time scan.
What is a boot-time scan? As the name states, its a scan before your OS boots. This has several advantages over a typical scan since the OS hasn’t loaded yet, thus the Virus can’t move from its current location within the drive (hypothetically). We always set a boot time scan atleast once a month to ensure that our PC is safe.
Removing unwanted apps/files thoroughly
Junk build up in all of our digital electronic devices are inevitable. Whether we like it or now, there will always be some sort of build up either fragmentation or forgotten files/texts/apps, and the best way to counter this is to remove those whom are unwanted.
While it may sound simple, there is more to it than just deleting and uninstalling apps. Remember, deleting files in the recycle bin doesn’t always permanently remove the file itself. In most cases, you can recover these deleted files using software such as Recuva, and other recovery software.
The best way to delete apps is through an external uninstaller. Revo is one of our favorite free external uninstallers and through it, you can easily and effectively remove unwanted apps. The difference between using an external uninstaller such as Revo is the ability to scan and remove remaining files/registry components.
The best way to delete files, however, is not through the use of the generic “recycle bin” delete method, but through the use of shredding software. They overwrite the shredding method depending on your preferred selection. If you want a file to be 100% unrecoverable even while using the most expensive recovering software there is, set it at around 35x or so. This means that the shredder will shred the file (regardless of its size and type) 35 times.
Another method of deleting files is by using the cleaning feature (most cases shredding) of utility software such as CCleaner.
Cleaning/Checking the Hardware
For those who are unexperienced with PC building, we suggest that you get assistance from someone who is knowledgeable as misuasage or carelessness can lead to product damage.
A PC is built by parts. These parts all have specific uses and their specialties. This is why we recommend everyone to inspect/clean their PC at least once every six months. Prolonged inattentiveness to hardware health can result in damage. For example, the fans of the CPU will always get dirt. As the dirt compiles, cooling efficiency of the fan will degrade thus leading to higher temperatures, and will ultimately lead to thermal throttling (degrading CPU performance to lower down temperatures and lessen the risk of CPU failure).
Asides from cleaning your PC, maybe you need an upgrade? If you are complaining that your game is lagging, then maybe it’s time shell out some cash. Upgrading your PC depends on which parts are necessary to upgrade.
There are several videos on the internet which teach a step by step process on how to clean your PC. We have provided one below.
Overclocking your PC
Not really the most approachable way here in this guide, overclocking is dangerous but at the same time rewarding.
Overclocking is simply the process of pushing your processor to the limit by increasing its base clock speeds higher than what it was before resulting to faster performance. But, it will significantly increase the temperature and might — in the long run — kill your processor if not properly cooled enough. Take note though that overclocking is very dangerous and we are not responsible for any unwanted damage that you may receive.
Overclocking processors are mostly known as “K”, such as the Intel Core i7-4790k, i5-4690k, etc. They are build for overclocking and the “K” represents them being unlocked. If you’re an expert in PC building or atleast someone that wants to try something new, overclocking is a good step to increase your PC capabilities and increase your overall performance up to a few megahertz.
Scheduling a monthly “maintenance” day
All of us are busy with our lives and because of this, we tend to forget the current state and health of our PC. While it isn’t really that important, it is still a necessity. So the best way for one to maintain his/her PC is to schedule a monthly maintenance day.
This day could be the end of the month, or even once a week if you want. The point is to have a day dedicated to the health of the PC. You could apply everything here and set the programs to handle them automatically or do things your way and only run certain tasks as well.
All in all, since computers are used everyday whether its for your job, for your school, health, lifestyle, we can all agree that technology is an essential part of our life. Thus we should at least dedicate some time in maintaining our PC so that it can, and will always be in an optimal state.
While the examples in our guide are guaranteed to increase performance in your PC, if your PC is still lagging or uncapable even after all attempts, it might be time to refresh the PC using windows dedicated tools. If that fails, then there might be a problem with the OS such as missing files, or corrupted files, thus a full PC reset must be done. Just remember, reformatting isn’t always the solution in solving your problems. There are several ways on how to maintain your PC and we hope that this guide gives you an idea for that.