As you know from my book Save BIG, I love to save big chunks of money from time to time rather than pinching pennies day in and day out. Well, I just found a new way to do that: by rejuvenating your current computer instead of buying a new one. A top notch new machine could cost you hundreds —even thousands— of dollars, but if your current computer is less than five years old, you may be able to gussy it up and save a pile of dough in the process. Here’s where to start:
Delete Your Old Files
Problem: After years of use, your computer collects tons of unused, unwanted programs, apps, documents and downloads. So make the time to delete unnecessary items to make space and improve performance.
Solution: The biggies are what you’re really after and you can find them on a PC by searching “size:gigantic” in Windows to display all files larger than 128MB.
Clear Your Search History
Problem: When you visit a website, chances are it creates temporary internet files or “cookies” and stores them on your computer. These stored files are meant to help you access information faster, but can take up valuable computer disk space, which gradually slows your computer down.
Solution: Clear the computer’s Internet cache and browsing history to free up space and help it run faster.
Power Off at Night —Only
Problem: Never powering off your computer or powering it off to often. Personally, I need to turn my laptop off more often, so it has a chance to accept software updates and reset itself. But many people power down completely too frequently. When you turn your computer off then on, the internal hardware changes temperatures rapidly, ultimately shortening the life of the device.
Solution: Turn your computer off at night and only at night. At other times, put it in sleep mode.
Upgrade Your Computer’s Memory
Problem: Your computer runs slowly and has trouble opening lots of applications at once. Sound familiar? You may need more memory.
Solution: Add more memory or “DRAM.” Memory upgrades start at just $50 apiece and only take about five minutes to install. You may even be able to do it yourself. What type of memory do you need? Crucial.com offers a free online tool that quickly scans your computer and lets you know the exact type of memory you need.