Category: Info

How can I speed up my computer?

One of the questions we get asked all the time is “Why is my computer so slow”.

Well, to quote a long used phrase “it depends”. When you first purchase a PC or Laptop it seems fast but then, over a period of time, it gradually gets slower and slower. There are many reasons for this such as, the free space available on the disk, the number of temporary files, the software installed, background tasks and processes that may be running (these may include unwanted items such as spyware or malware), updates and patches being installed, the amount of free memory available, the condition of the hard disk and the fragmentation of the files system.

In some cases there are also external factors that can affect the perceived speed such as wireless, network and broadband speeds and even links to external file shares or network drives.

So how can you speed up your computer?

Here are series of steps to complete.

Check the free space available for your main disk (C:)

When the free space becomes less than 15% to 20% it will struggle to allocate space to allow it to store files without breaking them into many parts (Fragmentation). This will have a large affect on the time taken to read and write files.

Check the spin speed of your hard disk.

Cheaper hard disks operate at 4200rpm whilst more expensive ones will operate at 7200rpm. The spin speed has a direct affect on the number of read/write operations that the disk can perform in a given time. As a general rule faster is better.

Check the amount of RAM installed into your device.

RAM is used as a buffer between the disk and the processor. If you have insufficient installed RAM the processor will have to offload the stored data to the hard disk to free up space to allow other files to be processed. This puts a much greater load onto the disk and the processor and has a major effect on the perceived speed. Microsoft will tell you that you need as little as 1GB of RAM for running Windows 10 (32 bit) and 4GB RAM for Windows 11 but as soon as you want to do anything serious with your computer it will struggle. For Windows 11 we recommend at least 8 – 16GB.

Ensure that your PC has no Virus or Malware.

Often there may be items running on your PC that you are unaware of and hadn’t installed. They arrive by ‘piggy backing’ on other programmes, from email attachments or from infected sites. Use a reliable anti-malware program to scan and remove any suspect items. One such is Malware Bytes ( which has a free version and can be used to perform manual scans on demand. Other Anti-virus software vendors such as Avast or AVG also have free versions available and can be used.

Remove any applications that you no longer require.

By removing items that you no longer use you do 2 things, you free up disk space and you prevent the application from affecting the performance of your PC. Often these applications load into memory when you start your PC and can link to online content or updates, so removing them will prevent any unnecessary activity.

Ensure that your Operating System and Drivers are kept up to date.

Microsoft as well and other software and hardware providers are constantly updating their software, drivers or settings to improve security and to better support hardware and interactions. Use Windows Update to check for new items and allow the system to update them for you on a regular basis.

Consider replacing your traditional hard disk with a faster Solid State Drive.

Solid State Drives (SSD’s) operate much faster than traditional hard disk. Here are some typical speed and cost examples.

TechnologyRead/Write SpeedTypical Cost
Hard Drive130MB/s£40/500GB
SATA SSD Drive500MB/s£65/500GB
NVMe SSD Drive3500MB/s£100/500GB

Is it time to retire your fax machine?

You may have heard that Ofcom (the regulator for the communications services that we use and rely on every day) is proposing changes to the rules which could render the fax machine obsolete.

Parliament has recently removed fax services from the USO (Universal Service Obligation) legislation. (The USO ensures that a minimum set of telephony services are available at an affordable price to people across the UK.)

The consultation, which is running from 1st November to 1st December 2022, proposes that the fax be removed from the USO for BT (UK communications and IT services provider) and KCOM (based mainly around the Hull area). 

What does this mean?

The current USO was set out in 2003 when fax machines were widely used and before email and instant messaging were used everywhere. At that time, it was important for BT and KCOM to provide fax services.  Almost 20 years later the migration of telephone networks to internet protocol (IP) technology means that fax machines can no longer be guaranteed to work in the same way.  However, Ofcom believe that the use of fax machines in the UK is now limited and there are a range of free, or low-cost alternatives available.

Ms Nadine Dorries – Secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) wrote in her statement to House of Commons on 5 September 2022:

“Ofcom noted the low usage of fax, as well as the availability of reliable alternatives (many of which are free of charge). DCMS officials conducted further investigations with the healthcare, tourism, legal, and energy sectors, and found that use of fax was minimal and alternatives are being sought where its use still continues.”

You may wish to re-evaluate if and when you use your fax machine (if you still have one!) and whether you need to retire your machine in favour of the emerging technologies.

Online fax services, (fax apps) are convenient to use, easier to work than a physical fax machine, and sometimes come with added bonuses, such as digital signature tools or the ability to send a fax by sending an email.

PC Performance – 4 ways to improve your Windows PC

PC Performance can be interpreted in several ways such as; the time it takes for startup, the time taken to open a particular program or the time it takes to browse the internet.

You may experience some or all of these symptoms and it can be difficult to know where to start. There are many factors that influence each of these which you can investigate individually.

There are also some very common items that will slow your PC to a crawl and leave you tearing your hair out waiting for something to happen. Below I have described 4 simple steps that will help to improve your computer without spending any money. Continue reading “PC Performance – 4 ways to improve your Windows PC”