Want to boost the speed of your digital devices and increase their efficiency by 50 percent? Read on to discover the easy ways to do it in mere minutes.
Clear out ‘cruft’ if you have constant viruses.
The average computer slows down within just three years, and one of the biggest culprits is a buildup of “cruft.” “That’s files your computer no longer needs,” says Therese Schachner, cybersecurity expert at VPN Brains.
“Deleting cruft not only helps your computer run 50 percent faster, it also frees space for security updates that protect against viruses.”
To clear out “junk” on a PC, go to “Storage” and select “Free up space now.” It’ll show programs you’re no longer using. For Mac users, go to “About This Mac,” then “Storage,” then “Manage,” and select “Review Files” for a list of programs you can delete for space.
Optimize your photos if you’re out of storage.
Digital photo albums eat up a whopping 25 percent of the average smartphone’s memory. While you know that you can save space by uploading photos to the cloud, you may be surprised to learn that you can keep images saved on your phone — and free up memory at the same time — simply by reducing image resolution.
“Most cellphones automatically take high-res images, which is why they consume so much space, but you likely don’t need those versions on your phone,” says Schachner. Just go to “Settings,” then “Photos”, and check “Optimize Storage.”
This will tell the phone to upload all hi-res photos to the cloud — but leave smaller versions behind, so you’ll still have instant access to them.
‘Sweep’ away apps if your devices are slow and glitchy.
The average person has more than 40 apps on their phone but uses only 18 of them. Depending on their size, they could be taking up 80 percent of the space on your device, slowing it down significantly.
If it’s been a few years since you’ve tried to, say, reach a new Candy Crush level, there’s a chance your phone is in need of an “app sweep.” No need to go through every app individually: “For Androids, Google has the Files App that lets you sort apps based on the last time that they were used,” says Eric McGee, network engineer at TRG Datacenters.
Select those you want to clear out, and click the uninstall button. For iPhones, under “Storage,” click “Off load Unused Apps.” Just click on an app, and the option to off load it will pop up.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.