4 Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Home Computer — and 4 Fixes for Increasing Longevity
The desktop computer you keep in your home office has been tried and true for years now. Through thick and thin, you have been able to rely on it for research projects, work-from-home days, event planning, gift buying, recipe finding, game playing, and countless other computer-based tasks. Yet, recently, you’ve started wondering: is it time to ditch your tech best friend for a later and greater model?
If you have suspicions that your computer isn’t performing as optimally as you might expect, this guide will help you determine whether you need to invest in a newer device or merely whip your old machine into better shape.
You Only Need to Fix Your Computer If…
A brand-new, state-of-the-art desktop computer will set you back a pretty penny, so you should try to tinker with your system to fix any problems before you shell out for the latest and greatest model. Some common, easy-to-remedy complaints include:
It Is Running Slow
In the Digital Age, most everyone expects results now, so when your computer causes delays of minutes - even seconds - you probably want to scream. There are dozens of relatively simple causes of lagging, so you should try some of these solutions before you throw out your computer:
Run a cleaning software. You should be certain that the cleaning tool you choose will work on your machine; the best Mac cleaner won’t work on PCs, and vice versa.
Stop startup launch. So many programs trying to start at once is bad for your processing power, so you should stop them by whatever means necessary.
Uninstall unused programs. By removing the programs you don’t use, your computer will have more space and energy to devote to the tasks you need.
It Doesn’t Have Enough Space
This issue is one that might also affect your computer’s speed, and it is an issue that is perhaps the easiest of all to fix. If your computer is running low on space, you should start by moving as much as you can to the cloud or an external hard drive. You probably don’t need to keep a lifetime’s worth of pictures and videos on your computer, and storing that kind of data off the device will likely keep it safer. Next, you should increase the space on your device. You can probably add more internal storage and memory to your computer for much less than the cost of a new rig, but you can also invest in cloud solutions or external drives to meet your needs.
It Is Glitching Oddly
Pop-ups, altered settings, missing files and more aren’t merely glitches; they are serious signs of malware. If your device is plagued by a digital bug, you likely only need to get rid of the infection to return to normal performance. Before you invest in a new device, you should acquire a strong antivirus software, which will scan your computer for malware, quarantine and erase malicious files and offer enhanced protection against future attacks.
It Heats up Too Much
A hot computer can be disconcerting, but most likely, your device is overheating because it is physically dirty. Unplug and take apart the CPU. Then, using a clean, anti-static, microfiber cloth, gently wipe away any dust or debris that might have settled in and around your hardware. When you plug everything back in, you might also verify that your computer’s fan is functioning properly; if it’s not, you can install a new case fan, easy-peasy.
You Need to Replace Your Computer If…
While most computer issues can be resolved with little fuss and less expense, there are some problems that do necessitate a new machine. You should rush to the nearest tech store if you endure the following issues:
You Can’t Install the Newest OS
New operating systems, as well as OS, updates not only add new features to your computer; they also patch vulnerabilities that might allow cybercriminals access to your device and data. Once your computer can no longer install the latest OS or update, you need to say goodbye for good.
You Can’t Run Certain Apps
If there are programs you need on your computer to do work (or to play), you should always have a machine that can efficiently run these apps. Eventually, your computer might not be able to handle the newest app updates; when this happens, you should splurge on a device upgrade. The reason for this is because outdated software is as big a security risk as an outdated OS, but also you should have access to the most up-to-date features in the software you need.
You Don’t Have the Right Hookups
As tech evolves, new hookups often come with it. However, your old machine might not have the ability to connect with all your hot new toys. If this happens too often, it might be worth your time and energy to invest in a state-of-the-art computer, which should come equipped with enough HDMI, USB, micro-USB and all the other ports you could ever wish for.
You Notice Loud Sounds
If you can hear your computer whir, grind and click from another room, your device is likely on the verge of catastrophic failure. Hard drives and other elements of computers wear down as they age, requiring them to work harder and make more noise to perform adequately. The louder the sound gets, the closer the computer is to death, so you should probably get a replacement rig and transfer files before it’s too late.