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Earth Day Special – Computer Life Saving Top Tips

In honour of Earth Day, let's take a look at how you can add years onto your devices.
Banner for Earth day with advice to reduce, reuse and recycle for a happier earth

Earth Day Special – Computer Life Saving Top Tips

Earth Day is a reminder to us all that we have one planet and one planet only. It makes us think about how much we waste and how much we use unnecessarily. At Dove Computers, we pride ourselves on being a largely green company. We recycle, we use solar energy and we give our customers the option to drop off old hard-drives for safe and secure destruction. However there is always more we can do.

 

  1. Spring Cleaning

Clean out any duplicate folders or junk files.

Quite often, just through general usage, our computer accumulates junk files. When we download a program, create something on Adobe, download a file from the internet… whatever we do, junk files appear.

Image result for temporary recycle fileFor instance Adobe users will find that when creating any media file, Adobe will create temporary files that fill your computers storage. These files aren’t necessary but are created mainly just to ensure you don’t lose any step of your creation. They were made with a good purpose, but do not fulfil that entirely.

Duplicate files are also an issue and happen mainly with media files. Check your computer for duplicates as this takes up unnecessary space and slows down your system. This makes the machine feel a lot older than it actually is. There is a free program called ‘Easy Duplicate Finder’ that can help speed this process along.

Windows users can use the built-in clean up functions. Just search ‘Disk Clean Up’ in the home search bar, and your computer will bring up a list of files that could be unnecessary or clogging up space.

By removing junk and duplicate files you can ensure that your computer runs quickly and smoothly. It also takes the pressure of the system’s zip, making the computer last longer.

Delete programs you don’t use or need.
We all have programs we installed once on a whim and then never used again or a game we downloaded that we couldn’t wait to play and never did. These files are useless… it’s time to admit it.

Mostly we find that the pre-installed files on a computer, i.e. Windows Media Player, are replaced by another program we pay for or download. I know I always do this. Media player is then no longer necessary and can be uninstalled.

By uninstalling the extra or unused programs you can free up huge amounts of space, but be sure they are unwanted before you press the ‘uninstall’ button.
Image result for computer clean up

Defrag your hard drive.
Once you’re rid of your unwanted files it’s a good time to take a look at your hard drive. This can speed up your computer’s performance. It’ll mean your system doesn’t need to work as hard and therefore will last longer.

The concept behind fragging is the fragmentation of files across your hard drive disk. In theory this makes the data harder to access and therefore makes for a slower computer. Once you’ve cleared out your unwanted data you can ‘defrag’ your machine. This merely makes your data more compact and therefore easier to access.

However, should you have and SSD hard drive, DO NOT DO THIS as it will wear your newer hard drive down even faster. We’ll come back to an SSD hard drive later in the article.

On older systems that run on Windows 7 or before you must manually apply to defrag your hard drive. However for Windows 8 users and above, this is an automatic process.

Remove programs from launch.
You don’t have to get rid of your programs altogether, even stopping them from automatically launching upon start-up of your computer will speed your system up.

Many programs are designed to pop up as soon as your computer is turned on. This is meant for easy access and for some programmes you use daily can be helpful. However loading too much in one go can slow and even freeze your computer. Your computer that seems to take forever to start, this could be why.

Programs I’ve found that primitively launch are those such as Skye, MSN (in the old days), Steam, Dashlane. They’re usually programs you’ve downloaded online.

It’s a fairly simple process, though if you’re unsure of how you do this, it can seem impossible.

For Windows 7 users of below, you need to search ‘msconfig’ into your Start menu search bar. By following the ‘Start Up’ tab in the ‘System Configuration’ window you will be able to deselect which programs automatically load upon start-up.

On Windows 8 or higher just search for ‘Task Manager’ and you can find the ‘Start Up’ Tab located there to do the same.
Desktop tidy up.
Often we create shortcuts to our desktop that we do not use or need. We’ve all seen someone with a desktop that looks like this:Image result for windows 10 cluttered desktop                                                                                                                                                     (It’s the thing of nightmares)

 

This can slow down your computer start-up again, because of your system trying to create all these shortcuts from the off.

Many programs once downloaded create these shortcuts automatically, or by accidentally dragging a folder or webpage you can create a desktop shortcut. Surely not every single shortcut is necessary for everyday use?

Something that’s supposed to increase productivity can reduce it.

Deleting a short cut is as simple as select and ‘delete’. This will not delete the program, just the quick access.

 

  1. Update

Another option is to update your computer… or at least parts of it. This can save you time and money as it’ll ensure your device lives a longer life than it otherwise would. Here’s how you can save your computer through updating:

Hard drive
Older machines, namely Windows 7 or earlier, have an older hard drive system. This isn’t an issue as they are resilient when treated properly. However newer machines have what’s called an SSD hard drive.

Physically, an SSD hard drive stores data in microchips as opposed to an older hard drive using a ‘read/write’ arm to find and deliver information on data. As you can imagine, the SSD drive is much faster.
Image result for ssd and hdd

Most modern devices are made with these newer hard drives installed, as people will not tolerate a slow machine in our busy day and age. However any older machine can still see through a few more years with this upgrade.

At Dove, we can take the data already installed on your old hard drive and transfer it across to a new SSD drive. This way you keep all your important data and documents on a revamped device.

Memory

Another solution is to update your computer’s RAM (otherwise known as memory). It’s easy for this to fill as often in old machines the RAM isn’t large enough to cope with years of usage.

On newer models you are looking at several GB of memory to work with and this is therefore a feature that can be added to an older device.

  1. Advice

Our expert’s advice is to look into your options.

There are occasionally isn’t anything that can be done for old devices, and that is a sad day indeed.

There are times when replacing all the parts to an old machine become more expensive than buying a new machine, and then (provided you recycle it) an old machine can be laid to rest.

However if we catch any issues early, they are savable, or at least your data is.

 

At Dove Computers, we can offer you advice on how to make the most out of your machines and how to avoid or resolve any issues you may have.

We offer data backup, that ensure no matter what happens to your devices, your important files are saved and therefore transferable to a new or improved device.

We also offer repair and data recovery for dying devices as well as an indication as to what your next step could be.

We do nothing without your explicit say so and so you will only be charged for the service you have chosen to receive and nothing more.

 

For any further advice on the details of this article, or any other I.T. queries you may have you can message us on:

Facebook – Dove Computer Solutions Ltd
Twitter – @dovecomputers
E-mail – info@dovecomputers.com
Phone – 01335 81 80 81

Or check out what services we can offer you right here on our website!

All I have left to say is Happy Earth Day all.
Let’s make Earth Day into an Earth Week, into an Earth Month…. You get the picture!
Image result for Earth Day

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