On June 3rd I began a series of quick tips to speeding up your computer.  In that article, we covered Computer Settings, Startup Programs, Disk Cleanup, and Adware & Bloatware removal.  This time we are going to continue with a few more tips on increasing the performance of your computer.  For those who did not read the first article but would like to, check out 4 Quick Tips To Speed Up Your PC.

Frag Out

Lets talk about organization.  Your hard drive must organize the data that is put on it.  With more data comes more responsibility.  So, to help your hard drive to stay organize it is recommended that you Defragment your hard drive regularly.  Usually this is done automatically by your operating system but sometimes it can be missed.

(Note:  If you have a SSD then it is not recommended to Defragment your Drive because it could shorten its' life.)

To Defragment your hard drive:

1:  Go to the Start menu.

2:  Scroll down to Windows Administrative Tools and click.

3:  Select and Click Defragment and Optimize Drives.

Defragment-and-optimize-drives

4:  Select the drive you would like to Defragment and Click Optimize.

Optimize-Hard-Drive

5:  Wait for Defrag to complete its work.

We Need More Power

After Defragging your computer might still be slow.  This is a good opportunity to change your power settings.  There are 3 types of default power settings:  Power Saver, Balanced, and High-Performance.  Having your computer set to Power Saver saves on power usage but at the cost of performance, which can slow down your computer.  The Balanced setting is the in between for the other two settings.  Lastly, the High-Performance setting uses more power to get the best performance.  The later of the settings will eat up the power of your battery provided you are using a Laptop.  To change your Power settings, do the following:

1:  Go to the Start Menu

2:  Click on Windows System and Select Control Panel.

Control-Panel

3:  In Control Panel Click on System and Security

Adjust-Computer-Settings

4:  Click on Power Options.

Power-Options

5:  Select the High-Performance.

Power-Plan-High-Performance

(Note:  If you have Control Panel set to Large or Small Icons then click on Power Settings.)

Where is that File

Now that you have set your power settings to your liking, lets move on to Indexing.  Indexing allows you to use the Windows 10 search function more efficiently.  It does this by indexing the files on your drives.  The Indexing Service uses CPU and RAM to search for a file that you want to find.  This can slow down a computer that is already taxed on CPU and RAM usage.  To shut down the Windows Indexing service see the below instructions.

1:  Go to the Start Menu and scroll to Windows Administrative tools and click, then select and click Services.

Computer-Services

2:  When the Services Window opens, scroll down to “Windows Search” and Right click on it and select Properties.

Windows-Search-Service

3:  In the Properties window click on “Stop”.

Stop-Windows-Service

The Windows Search service is the active Indexing service.  Stopping this service will free up resources at the cost of being able to search quickly for your files or apps.

(NOTE:  While performing actions within Services, you must have administrator privileges to make changes)

Paging File

The next item we will look at is the system paging file.  This is often called Virtual Memory.  This is space on your drive, usually on the C: Drive, where data can be stored that was not able to fit on the RAM of your machine.  Usually, windows automatically manages this for you but sometimes you do have to take matters into your own hands.  If you do not feel comfortable with changing the paging file, I recommend reading more about it and making your best judgement.  Below is how you can change the paging file:

1:  Click on File Explorer, which is the folder icon, on your task bar at the bottom of the screen.

Folder-Icon

 

2:  While in File Explorer, Right click on “This PC” and select “Properties”.

PC-Computer-Properties

3:  In the System Window, Click on Advanced Settings.

Advanced-System-Settings

4:  In System Properties, Click Settings under Visual Performance.

Visual-Performance-Settings

5:  At the top of the Performance Options window, click the Advanced Tab and click Change under Virtual Memory.

Virtual-Memory

6:  In this window, you will need to know how much RAM you have in your computer.  Below is the recommended setting for a computer with 8GB of RAM.  To figure out how much Virtual Memory you will need, Multiply the amount of Ram you have by 1024.  Then Multiply that with 1.5 and 4.  They will both be the minimum and Maximum amount of Virtual Memory you will want.

Adjusting-Virutal-Memory

Here is how I figured the Initial Size and Maximum Size.

I have 8GB of RAM

1GB of RAM is 1024

You would want at least 1.5 times the amount of Virtual Memory for your Initial Memory and 4 times that for your Maximum.

8GB Multiplied by 1024 would be 8194

8194 Multiplied by 1.5 would be 12280

8194 Multiplied by 4 would be 32768

I hope this Article helps to speed up your computer.  Please keep a look out for future articles where I will telling you how to set up Ready Boost and a couple of other ways you can potentially speed up your computer.

Feeling intimidated by these steps? We also perform PC Maintenance & Repair in our office. Most repairs are completed within 1-3 days!

For most people regular maintenance on their PC is far from their mind. So we've put together 4 quick tips that can help speed up your Windows 10 PC. We hope to followup with some additional tips in the future including some more advanced guides.

 

Change Computer Settings to Best Performance

You can change the visual effects of your computer so it doesn't have to spend as much resources on rendering and animating windows. To do this:

1. Go to File Explorer – Click the folder on your task bar at the bottom of your desktop. You can also type in "File Explorer" in the search menu.

File Explorer Open

2. Right click on This PC on the left side of the window.

Right Click on PC

3. On the upper left side of the screen, left click on Advanced System Settings.

Advanced System Settings

4. In the popup window check to make sure the Advanced Tab is selected and click the Settings button under Performance.

Performance Settings

5. Choose between the Options listed under the Visual Effects Tab.  You can Adjust for best appearance, Adjust for best performance, or Customize the changes yourself by selecting what you want to disable in the box below the Custom bullet. If you have an older or slower PC, we recommend choosing Adjust for best performance.

Performance Options

Disable Startup Programs

You might have issues when you first turn on your computer.  You sit and type in your login information and it takes forever for you to be able to do anything on your desktop. You might have more than a couple of programs that are starting up that you don't necessarily need right away. The more programs that run at startup, the longer it will take for your PC to fully boot. To check this:

1. On your keyboard, press the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys – this will bring up a menu.

2. Click on Task Manager.

3. At the top of the window you will see Tabs.  Click on the one that says Startup.

Task Manager Startup

4. After you have clicked on startup, you will see a list of programs that begin to run when your computer starts.  These can be disabled by selecting them and clicking the Disable button on the bottom of the screen. Try disabling items that have Medium to High impact.

Task Manager Startup

Note: If you make a mistake you can always click the button again to enable the program again.

Run Disk Cleanup

When you are done with clearing up the startup programs, you can try running disk cleanup next. Having a full hard drive could cause your computer to work harder to locate programs and files.  Let us clear out a little space so you can ease the burden on you computer and recover some disk space.

1. Click on the Start Menu, scroll down and select and click Windows Administrative Tools, then click on Disk Cleanup.

Open Disk Cleanup

2. If you have more than one drive, you may be prompted to choose which one to cleanup. Choose the C: drive if prompted. You will then be prompted with a box where you can select what types of files you would like to delete. Click on all options except for Downloads, unless you are OK with Disk Cleanup deleting all files in your Downloads folder. Clicking on any of the options will also give you a brief description of the contents. When you are satisfied with your selections, you can click OK at the bottom of the Dialog Box and you will get a prompt that will ask if you are sure you want to delete the files. When you are ready you then click on Delete Files.

Disk Cleanup

3. (Optional) If you would like to recover even more space, you can click on the Clean up system files button at the bottom of the Disk Cleanup box and you will get another box with more options including Windows Update Cleanup, Windows Upgrade Log Files, and more.

 

Remove Adware & Bloatware

Sometimes a PC is slowed because of unwanted software. When installing a program, a software vendor may sneak in bloatware or adware which can cause the computer to slow down or cause problems with the operating system. Malwarebytes can be a useful tool in finding and removing such software. It's free for personal use too! You can download Malwarebytes here.

1. Proceed to download and install Malwarebytes.

2. When prompted to Buy Now, Activate License, or Maybe Later, choose Maybe Later and then Get Started. If you want the premium version of Malwarebytes, you can choose to Buy Now if you prefer. The primary difference between the Premium and Non-Premium version is the Premium can run automatic updates, scans and removals for you. The free version requires you to start a scan manually. You will also be given a free 14-Day trial of the software if this is the first time you are installing it.

3. Click Scan on the Malwarebytes home screen.

Malwarebytes Start Scan

4. Depending on the speed of your PC, the scan can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Once the scan has completed, you will see the Threat Scan Results. Choose to Quarantine any items Malwarebytes finds. You me be prompted to restart your PC to finish the quarantine process.

Malwarebytes Scan Results

These four procedures discussed are fast and an easy way to speed up your computer. They are simple and safe enough for anyone to complete them without any major consequences. So, when you feel like your computer is slowing down, take a look at these four procedures to speed it up and get you going again! Feeling intimidated by these steps? We also perform computer repair in our office. Most repairs are completed within 1-3 days!

As a business owner, you’ve probably heard the term “managed IT” more times than you can count, but there’s still a good chance that you don’t know what it really means or even how expert managed IT can help your business succeed. Below, you can learn more about what managed IT really means – and what it could mean for your business, too. 

The Definition of Managed Services

By its very definition, the term “managed services” refers to a business offloading many of its operations to an outside provider. Instead of the business owner constantly monitoring and managing his or her network and the other IT systems driving his or her business, the managed service provider handles it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For small business owners without the ability to hire a dedicated IT team, or for those who have a need to maintain an IT infrastructure but who only have a few employees, managed IT services can be a huge boon. 

Why Businesses Choose Managed IT 

Today’s businesses choose managed IT services for a wide variety of reasons, but ultimately, it has to do with a company’s need to have access to the latest technology in order to operate with any degree of efficiency. What’s more, companies that do not have access to the latest technology tend to fall behind their competitors; without modern IT, they simply cannot connect, collect data, and process data in such a way that allows them to maintain relevant in any industry at all. 

Business owners also find themselves busy – incredibly busy – and unable to keep up with the routine maintenance that goes into IT. They forget to run backups as frequently as they should, and they may forget about downloading the latest security fixes and patches designed to keep their data (and their customers’ data) safe. As a result, these businesses are at risk of losing access to things like financial applications, email servers, and other things that are critical for everyday operations. 

Managed IT is Not a Break-Fix Service

Finally, it is important for all business owners to remember that managed IT is not a classic “break-fix” service. This means that it is not a service you employ when something goes wrong; rather, it is a service you employ to prevent something from going wrong in the first place. In today’s connected world, losing your connection for even a few hours can lead to unrecoverable business issues. Rather than waiting for something to happen, then calling an IT professional to resolve it while your business suffers significant downtime, managed IT support is always there, always watching, and always protecting your data and your network. 

With managed IT support, business owners can stop worrying about things like backups, security patches, and even the latest antivirus definitions. By offloading these operations to an outside company that specializes in IT infrastructure and security management, business owners can spend less time with these simple but time-consuming tasks and more time running their businesses the way they originally intended.

Information technology has come a long way in the last two or three decades. Whereas servers once took up entire rooms, it is now possible to fit numerous servers in a room the size of a closet – something even experts would have never predicted. Below are five predictions for the future of IT that could affect the way your company does business – or at least affect the hardware and services it uses. 

#1 – Zero-Size Intelligence Technology is Coming

It’s hard to believe, but the first computers took up an entire room and had only a fraction of the processing power of today’s smartphone devices. Today, things are certainly different, and the technologies we use to keep us connected to the world and to our businesses easily fit in our pockets. Within the next 10 years, experts believe that we will be even closer to what is known as zero-size intelligence. This simply refers to having a ton of processing power in a very, very tiny package – perhaps even the head of a pin. 

#2 – VoIP Will Still Be Relevant

Though mobile phones have come a long way in the last several years, they simply cannot compare to the features and benefits associated with VoIP for business. In fact, companies that choose the right VoIP provider can enjoy many of the same calling features that a mobile phone would provide, including the portability. Other reasons why VoIP will remain relevant in the next decade include cheap international communication, enhanced affordability, user-friendly software, and incredible scalability. 

#3 – Mass Data Could Replace Independent Decision-Making

IT, or Information Technology, is all about data management. In the next 10 years, experts think that the tremendous amounts of data being collected, the machines used to process that data, and the algorithms telling those machines what to do could progress to a point where many independent decisions about what to watch, what to wear, and even what to eat become a thing of the past. In fact, the technological advances may even pose moral problems in the future as people must decide how to use the vast amounts of data they collect. 

#4 – Youth Involvement in Technology will Increase

There’s an ongoing joke that the older we get, the less “tech-savvy” we become, but it’s actually the opposite that is true. Younger people who grow up with the latest technologies fare far better in the high-tech world and they can adapt at a much faster rate than the older generations. Because of this, the younger generation is by far the best generation to drive the tech industry forward. They can build upon what they already know and create new technologies designed for convenience, safety, and more. 

#5 – You Will Need to Protect Yourself from So-Called “Dark” Networks

The more data we collect, the smaller the world becomes. The internet allows us to gain access to practically anything we can imagine – a recipe, a chat with a friend on the other side of the planet, and more – instantaneously with a few clicks. Unfortunately, while most people use the internet for good, there are some who use it for more sinister purposes. As technology advances in the next decade, these “dark web” groups and “hacktivists” will thrive, and they will pose new challenges for businesses of all sizes striving to keep their data safe. 

The next decade will bring about some brand-new challenges for everyone connected to the internet, including both consumers and businesses alike. In some cases, the problems we already see today will be exacerbated. Hopefully, though, with increased knowledge and the ability to predict the actions of others, it will be possible to make the right decisions about information, technology, and the way they work together. 

 

Information technology is a huge industry these days. In fact, almost every single company in existence – from one with only one or two employees to one with thousands spread across the globe – relies on accurate information and a secure network in order to thrive. Before you hire an IT professional for your company, look for the following qualities and skills to ensure the perfect match. 

Problem-Solving Skills

Information technology is fraught with problems. Things simply stop working, networks go offline, and hardware decides to simply stop functioning properly. However, an IT professional should be able to not only remain calm when these types of failures occur, but he or she should also be able to preemptively plan for such things to prevent any disruption to your business. Any IT professional you hire should demonstrate outstanding problem-solving skills for this reason. Otherwise, you may find yourself dealing with far more downtime than you anticipated. 

Effective Communication

Keep in mind that IT professionals must be able to communicate issues with other departments, and failure to do so appropriately could lead to trouble. Maintenance is just a part of information technology, and that means rebooting servers, checking network health, and more. These things should always be done outside of peak hours, but it is still important for other people or departments to be aware of when they will happen. It is also crucial that your chosen IT professional can explain complex networking issues in such a way that people in other departments can understand them. 

A Love for Technology

Some people have a love-hate relationship with technology, but for an IT professional, technology is life. These individuals not only appreciate everything technology has brought to the table over the last several decades, but they are also passionate about keeping up with new trends and technologies that could help your company thrive. Sometimes, a simple new technology is all it takes to help your company get a leg up on the competition, and this is far more likely when you choose an IT professional who is passionate about technology. 

Self-Discipline

For the most part, when you hire an IT professional (whether in-house or remotely) you will not be able to supervise around the clock. For this reason, choose an IT professional who is a self-starter and who can work on projects alone without supervision. This is the very definition of “dependable”; someone you can rely on to get the job done even if you are unable to answer questions or provide guidance. When combined with all the other qualities above, this individual should be perfectly capable of making decisions in the best interest of your company, as well. 

Hiring an IT professional can seem like a daunting task, and this is especially true if your own knowledge of IT is limited. However, whether you choose to hire someone in-house or outsource your IT needs to a company you can trust, these are all important qualities that you should look for. Ultimately, they can have a tremendous impact on your company’s success. 

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