Windows 10: Boost your PC’s performance with these tips

Windows 10 has a lot of special features that aim to improve your computing experience. Unfortunately, many of these may also slow your PC down, especially if your machine is older or has a low-end processor. We’ve listed four effective tweaks to make your Windows 10 computer faster.

Prevent programs from launching at startup

Windows makes certain programs readily available by loading them at startup. While Microsoft likely has good intentions for doing this, this auto-launch feature slows down your computer. To fix this issue, you’ll need to adjust your settings.

Open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc. On the Startup tab, select a program you don’t want launching at startup — such as a media player or an optional accessory that doesn’t have to be active all the time — then click Disable. To be on the safe side, however, keep essential apps such as antivirus software enabled.

Get rid of useless applications

Having too many programs installed on your computer uses up valuable memory and hard disk space. This slows down your machine and makes it work harder than necessary. Quickly uninstall programs you don’t need by following these steps:

  • Tap the Windows key on your keyboard and type “Add or remove programs” in the search bar. Selecting the first result opens a System settings window.
  • Under Apps & features, you will see all the apps stored on your computer.
  • Select the program/s you no longer want, and click Uninstall.

You’ll then be guided through several steps to complete the uninstallation process.

Organize your disks

It’s important to regularly clean out your computer of data you don’t need. Thankfully, Microsoft’s Disk Cleanup tool makes it easy to do so.

To find the tool, tap on the Windows button on your keyboard and type “Disk Cleanup.” If you click on the first result, the tool will launch and automatically find files that take up too much memory space, such as temporary internet and system memory dump files. Make sure that the checkbox before each option is selected, then click OK to send these files to your Recycle Bin.

Turn off apps running in the background

You may not know it, but there are a lot of programs that run in the background as you use your computer. Even when you’re not actively using them, these apps run in the background so they can receive information, send notifications, and download and install updates. However, they also slow down your CPU. Disabling these apps will reduce the burden on your computer and speed it up.

To find out what programs are running in the background, press the Windows button on your keyboard, type “Background apps,” and hit Enter. Find the programs you don’t need running and toggle the On-Off button.

By following these four steps, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your PC speed. If you want to learn how to optimize your Windows system further or need assistance with other Microsoft products, give us a call.

This post was originally published on this site

Windows 10: Boost your PC’s performance with these tips

Windows 10 has a lot of special features that aim to improve your computing experience. Unfortunately, many of these may also slow your PC down, especially if your machine is older or has a low-end processor. We’ve listed four effective tweaks to make your Windows 10 computer faster.

Prevent programs from launching at startup

Windows makes certain programs readily available by loading them at startup. While Microsoft likely has good intentions for doing this, this auto-launch feature slows down your computer. To fix this issue, you’ll need to adjust your settings.

Open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc. On the Startup tab, select a program you don’t want launching at startup — such as a media player or an optional accessory that doesn’t have to be active all the time — then click Disable. To be on the safe side, however, keep essential apps such as antivirus software enabled.

Get rid of useless applications

Having too many programs installed on your computer uses up valuable memory and hard disk space. This slows down your machine and makes it work harder than necessary. Quickly uninstall programs you don’t need by following these steps:

  • Tap the Windows key on your keyboard and type “Add or remove programs” in the search bar. Selecting the first result opens a System settings window.
  • Under Apps & features, you will see all the apps stored on your computer.
  • Select the program/s you no longer want, and click Uninstall.

You’ll then be guided through several steps to complete the uninstallation process.

Organize your disks

It’s important to regularly clean out your computer of data you don’t need. Thankfully, Microsoft’s Disk Cleanup tool makes it easy to do so.

To find the tool, tap on the Windows button on your keyboard and type “Disk Cleanup.” If you click on the first result, the tool will launch and automatically find files that take up too much memory space, such as temporary internet and system memory dump files. Make sure that the checkbox before each option is selected, then click OK to send these files to your Recycle Bin.

Turn off apps running in the background

You may not know it, but there are a lot of programs that run in the background as you use your computer. Even when you’re not actively using them, these apps run in the background so they can receive information, send notifications, and download and install updates. However, they also slow down your CPU. Disabling these apps will reduce the burden on your computer and speed it up.

To find out what programs are running in the background, press the Windows button on your keyboard, type “Background apps,” and hit Enter. Find the programs you don’t need running and toggle the On-Off button.

By following these four steps, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your PC speed. If you want to learn how to optimize your Windows system further or need assistance with other Microsoft products, give us a call.

This post was originally published on this site

Save on electricity with these PC tips

When it comes to saving energy, every little effort goes a long way. The more energy-efficient your PC is, the more money you save. In fact, you can save up to $50 a year if you activate your PC’s power-saving feature. Further increase your savings by following these tips:

1. Unplug your computer when not in use

When you’re not using your computer, it’s best to shut it down and unplug it. This is because a plugged-in PC — even when switched off — still consumes standby power.

2. Disconnect external devices

When they’re connected to your PC, devices such as printers, headphones, and webcams consume power even when they’re not in use. This is why you should disconnect or remove external devices from your PC once you’re done using them.

3. Alternatively, use a smart strip, especially for computers you cannot turn off

A smart strip is a series of several electrical outlets in one strip, with circuits to monitor and maximize your gadgets’ power consumption. It can electronically unplug any device so that they stop drawing current, which saves energy. By connecting your PC and peripherals (e.g., printers, scanners) to the smart strip, you won’t need to unplug your equipment when you’re not using them.

4. Adjust your computer’s energy settings

Adjusting your PC’s power settings will help you consume less energy. For example, you can opt to put your hard drive and monitor into sleep mode when they’re left idle for a few minutes. Lowering the brightness of your screen also saves electricity.

5. Use a charger only when your laptop is charging

When we charge our laptops, we tend to forget about them, leaving them plugged in for hours. Unfortunately, overcharging degrades the battery over time. Leaving the charger plugged in — even if it’s not connected to your computer — also consumes standby power.

To save energy, make sure to unplug your laptop charger once you’re done charging. Alternatively, you can use a wall outlet with a timer or plug your charger into a smart strip.

6. Choose an Energy Star-compliant PC

Energy Star is the US Environmental Protection Agency’s symbol for energy efficiency. Every product that earns the Energy Star symbol is guaranteed to deliver both quality performance and energy savings. The more stars a product has, the more energy-efficient it is. Studies show that a single Energy Star-compliant computer and monitor can save between $7 and $52 per year in electricity bills.

These tips should help you lower your electricity costs and make smart hardware choices. If you need assistance in choosing the best hardware for your specific needs, give us a call. We’ll be glad to help.

This post was originally published on this site

Save on electricity with these PC tips

When it comes to saving energy, every little effort goes a long way. The more energy-efficient your PC is, the more money you save. In fact, you can save up to $50 a year if you activate your PC’s power-saving feature. Further increase your savings by following these tips:

1. Unplug your computer when not in use

When you’re not using your computer, it’s best to shut it down and unplug it. This is because a plugged-in PC — even when switched off — still consumes standby power.

2. Disconnect external devices

When they’re connected to your PC, devices such as printers, headphones, and webcams consume power even when they’re not in use. This is why you should disconnect or remove external devices from your PC once you’re done using them.

3. Alternatively, use a smart strip, especially for computers you cannot turn off

A smart strip is a series of several electrical outlets in one strip, with circuits to monitor and maximize your gadgets’ power consumption. It can electronically unplug any device so that they stop drawing current, which saves energy. By connecting your PC and peripherals (e.g., printers, scanners) to the smart strip, you won’t need to unplug your equipment when you’re not using them.

4. Adjust your computer’s energy settings

Adjusting your PC’s power settings will help you consume less energy. For example, you can opt to put your hard drive and monitor into sleep mode when they’re left idle for a few minutes. Lowering the brightness of your screen also saves electricity.

5. Use a charger only when your laptop is charging

When we charge our laptops, we tend to forget about them, leaving them plugged in for hours. Unfortunately, overcharging degrades the battery over time. Leaving the charger plugged in — even if it’s not connected to your computer — also consumes standby power.

To save energy, make sure to unplug your laptop charger once you’re done charging. Alternatively, you can use a wall outlet with a timer or plug your charger into a smart strip.

6. Choose an Energy Star-compliant PC

Energy Star is the US Environmental Protection Agency’s symbol for energy efficiency. Every product that earns the Energy Star symbol is guaranteed to deliver both quality performance and energy savings. The more stars a product has, the more energy-efficient it is. Studies show that a single Energy Star-compliant computer and monitor can save between $7 and $52 per year in electricity bills.

These tips should help you lower your electricity costs and make smart hardware choices. If you need assistance in choosing the best hardware for your specific needs, give us a call. We’ll be glad to help.

This post was originally published on this site

How Disk Cleanup can make your PC run faster

Receiving a notification that your computer is running out of disk space can be stressful — or even a real emergency if it happens while you’re working on an urgent task. The good news is regularly cleaning out your PC can free up drive space and help it run faster. One of the simplest ways to tidy out files you no longer need is to use Windows’ Disk Cleanup tool.

What is Disk Cleanup?

Disk cleanup is a tool that scans your computer’s hard drive for files that you no longer use. These include temporary files, cached web pages, and deleted items stored in your system’s Recycle Bin. Unless you periodically purge these files, they accumulate over time and take up a lot of space on your PC.

Disk Cleanup categorizes the identified files as well as the amount of storage space that each category occupies within your hard drive. From these items, you decide which ones to delete according to their importance to you and the amount of storage space that you’ll be able to recover.

How to use Disk Cleanup

In Windows 10, you can access Disk Cleanup by going to the Start menu and scrolling to Windows Administrative Tools.

Once opened, this tool automatically selects Drive C (though you can switch to other drives) and shows a list of file locations containing files that can be removed.

Each file location has a corresponding checkbox that needs to be selected in order to delete the files it contains. Upon clicking a file location, a description of the files it contains will appear at the bottom of the window so that you’ll know exactly the types of files you’ll be removing.

When Disk Cleanup is finished, you’ll need to restart your system to remove unnecessary Windows Update files. Remember, the Disk Cleanup tool only removes Update files that are no longer needed, hence usually very few are deleted.

The benefits of Disk Cleanup

Using the Disk Cleanup tool can help improve your computer’s performance by:

  • Maximizing your drive’s memory – The ultimate benefits of cleaning up your disk are maximized computer storage space, increased speed, and improved functionality. These enable you to use your device to run at peak performance levels.
  • Making your computer more reliable – Some programs that are downloaded through the internet may be infected with viruses that can decrease your computer’s reliability. The Disk Cleanup tool can clean your computer and rid it of unwanted programs as well.
  • Saving time and increasing efficiency – The traditional way of opening folders to find and delete old files may be sufficient for some, but not for those who prioritize productivity. Although files can be deleted manually, Disk Cleanup can do this much faster.

The Disk Cleanup tool is as simple to launch and operate as any basic program. If you are looking to further improve the speed of your systems or are interested in other tech solutions, contact us today to learn more.

This post was originally published on this site

How Disk Cleanup can make your PC run faster

Receiving a notification that your computer is running out of disk space can be stressful — or even a real emergency if it happens while you’re working on an urgent task. The good news is regularly cleaning out your PC can free up drive space and help it run faster. One of the simplest ways to tidy out files you no longer need is to use Windows’ Disk Cleanup tool.

What is Disk Cleanup?

Disk cleanup is a tool that scans your computer’s hard drive for files that you no longer use. These include temporary files, cached web pages, and deleted items stored in your system’s Recycle Bin. Unless you periodically purge these files, they accumulate over time and take up a lot of space on your PC.

Disk Cleanup categorizes the identified files as well as the amount of storage space that each category occupies within your hard drive. From these items, you decide which ones to delete according to their importance to you and the amount of storage space that you’ll be able to recover.

How to use Disk Cleanup

In Windows 10, you can access Disk Cleanup by going to the Start menu and scrolling to Windows Administrative Tools.

Once opened, this tool automatically selects Drive C (though you can switch to other drives) and shows a list of file locations containing files that can be removed.

Each file location has a corresponding checkbox that needs to be selected in order to delete the files it contains. Upon clicking a file location, a description of the files it contains will appear at the bottom of the window so that you’ll know exactly the types of files you’ll be removing.

When Disk Cleanup is finished, you’ll need to restart your system to remove unnecessary Windows Update files. Remember, the Disk Cleanup tool only removes Update files that are no longer needed, hence usually very few are deleted.

The benefits of Disk Cleanup

Using the Disk Cleanup tool can help improve your computer’s performance by:

  • Maximizing your drive’s memory – The ultimate benefits of cleaning up your disk are maximized computer storage space, increased speed, and improved functionality. These enable you to use your device to run at peak performance levels.
  • Making your computer more reliable – Some programs that are downloaded through the internet may be infected with viruses that can decrease your computer’s reliability. The Disk Cleanup tool can clean your computer and rid it of unwanted programs as well.
  • Saving time and increasing efficiency – The traditional way of opening folders to find and delete old files may be sufficient for some, but not for those who prioritize productivity. Although files can be deleted manually, Disk Cleanup can do this much faster.

The Disk Cleanup tool is as simple to launch and operate as any basic program. If you are looking to further improve the speed of your systems or are interested in other tech solutions, contact us today to learn more.

This post was originally published on this site

What you can expect from the Windows 10 October 2020 Update

The Windows 10 October 2020 Update, or Windows 10 version 20H2, is rolling out to billions of users worldwide, offering a number of small but important improvements to your PC. Here are some of the features you can expect from the latest Windows 10 update.

Start menu’s new look

The Start menu gets a makeover with “theme-aware” tiles, or tiles that take on the dominant color of your theme. Microsoft has removed the accent color behind tiles in the apps list, replacing it with a uniform translucent background in light mode and a solid black background in dark mode. The theme-aware tiles give the Start menu a more modern, streamlined look.

However, you still have the option to use accent colors for the Start menu, taskbar, and action center when you enable dark mode. Just go to Settings > Personalization > Colors. From the dropdown menu, choose Dark to enable dark mode, then pick an accent color from the swatches below. To apply your chosen color to the Start menu, taskbar, and action center, tick the box next to the “Start, menu, and action center” option at the bottom of the Colors menu.

Alt + Tab changes

You can now switch seamlessly between open tabs in your browser with the new and improved Alt + Tab keyboard shortcut. Pressing Alt + Tab opens the task switcher, which will now show you all open tabs in Microsoft Edge, not just the active one. This way, you can go to the browser tab you want straight from the task switcher interface without first opening the browser window.

If you’d rather not see all open tabs at once, you can configure the task switcher’s settings by going to Settings > System > Multitasking. Then, choose from the following options:

  • Open windows and all tabs in Edge
  • Open windows and 5 most recent tabs in Edge
  • Open windows and 3 most recent tabs in Edge
  • Open windows only

Taskbar tweaks

If you’re like a lot of Windows users, you probably have your most visited or favorite websites pinned to the taskbar for ease of access and convenience. Having sites pinned to your taskbar lets you open a website or switch to the most recent app quickly.

With the Windows 10 October 2020 Update, you can now see all open tabs in your pinned websites by simply hovering over the website icons on the taskbar. This eliminates the need to search through open tabs and browser windows just to find and switch to the specific tab you need.

The taskbar also has a new layout, but this is limited to first logins to a new PC or new account creations. The taskbar will be personalized depending on the user’s preferences. For instance, if the user has an Android device, the Your Phone app will be automatically pinned to the taskbar.

Less intrusive notifications

Microsoft also made minor tweaks to the notification panel. Now, all notifications have an X icon at the top right corner so you can quickly dismiss them with a click. All notifications will also show the app logo so you can easily tell which app has sent which notification.

Additionally, by default, Focus Assist will no longer show you a summary of any notifications you missed while the feature was enabled. To change this setting, go to Settings > System > Focus assist, then tick the box next to “Show me a summary of what I missed while focus assist was on.”

Enhanced Edge

If you haven’t gotten around to installing the new version of Microsoft Edge, you’ll be glad to know that the Windows 10 October 2020 Update comes with the browser preinstalled.

The new version of Microsoft Edge is based on Chromium, the same technology on which Google Chrome runs. As such, it offers a range of features designed to maximize performance and thus improve your browsing experience. What’s more, Edge affords users more control over their data, ensuring that their privacy online will always be protected.

Microsoft is constantly developing new features designed to keep Windows 10 devices running smoothly and securely. Drop us a line today to learn more about the latest Windows 10 features and how they can benefit your business.

This post was originally published on this site