Sluggish Tech Gadgets? 7 Ways to Bring Electronics Back Up to Speed

Posted

spring-clean-your-gadgetsThis post originally appeared on All You.

Is your computer, tablet or smartphone running painfully slow? Sounds like it’s time for a tune-up. These time-saving tricks can help clean out your devices so they move at a quicker clip.

If You Have a Mac:

Tidy up your icons. Keeping files on the desktop might seem convenient, but your computer has to load them each time it starts up.
How: Move files to individual folders, or create a folder on your hard drive (in My Documents) called Desktop and drag and deposit the files there.

Free up space. Prior backups aren’t always overwritten when iTunes catalogs your iPhone, iPad or iPod, so you might have previous versions you don’t need.
How: Open Preferences in iTunes and click on the “Devices” tab. If you see any old, unused backups, delete them.

Don’t launch everything at once. Some programs start automatically. (Skype, for example, loads unless you tell it not to.) That can seriously lengthen the time it takes to get up and running.
How: Go to Login Items in your System Preferences folder. Click on “User” and “Groups” ad uncheck those you don’t want to auto-launch.

If You Have a PC:

Ditch junk files. Your computer saves versions of everything you do, resulting in a gazillion unnecessary files that slow the system.
How: Run the free CCleaner program to purge useless items. When there are fewer files for the hard drive to index, your system runs faster.

Wipe out viruses. Out-of-date security software could allow viruses to put the brakes on your PC. Because the newest Web browsers offer some degree of virus protection, a simple no-cost program should be all you need.
How: Download a free program from free.avg.com or malwarebytes.org to protect against malware and spyware, which can drastically slow—or even destroy—your system. Protect your computer by setting up Free AVG to scan mail and files. Take a few minutes to run Malwarebytes every other week (weekly if you surf the Web constantly). Some people run both—useful mainly if you download lots of files from the Web.

Untangle Your Web Connection:

If things crawl when you’re e-mailing or surfing, the problem may be your Internet provider, not your device. Go to speedtest.net to ensure your speed matches the provider’s promises. If not, call customer service.

Speed Up Your Smartphone or Tablet:

Clear it out. Each app has a memory cache, which grows over time, hogging space.
For an Android: Run the free CleanMaster app (on Google Play) to see which caches are bloated and clear them.
For an iOS: The free PhoneClean app (imobie.com) flags oversized caches you can then remove.

Sources: Dan Ackerman, section editor, CNET; John A. Burek, editor in chief, computershopper.com; Lex Friedman, senior contributor to macworld.com; Dan Graziano, associate editor, CNET

More From All You

5 Must-Have Smartphone Apps for This Summer
Spring-Clean Your Social Networks
It’s Not Just You—The Scientific Reason Why Headphones Always Get Tangled