Tech Tip #96: How to Add Zip to a Slow Computer

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: How to Add Zip to a Slow Computer

Category: Maintenance, Security

Q: I have a netbook (or a PC, a desktop, or a laptop—pretty much any computer except for a Chromebook) that starts incredibly slowly. What can I do to speed it up?

A: Here are ten suggestions:

  1. Run malware programs.
  2. Uninstall unnecessary programs.
  3. Uninstall unnecessary fonts.
  4. Get rid of documents you don’t need anymore.
  5. Empty the trash.
  6. Clean the junk off your desktop.
  7. Clean up your Start Button.
  8. Clean out your subscriptions.
  9. Slim down your start-up process.
  10. Add more RAM.

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What’s your favorite tech tip in your classroom? Share it in the comments below.


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.

5 thoughts on “Tech Tip #96: How to Add Zip to a Slow Computer

  1. Great tips as always, Jacqui. When I replaced my old, slow laptop, I chose one with a solid state drive as I was told it would be much faster. Which it is, and I’m thankful for that. Although it is now a few years old and it is slower than when it was new, it still only takes a couple of minutes to be ready, as opposed to the 15 minutes or so of my previous laptop. The downside is that I sacrificed storage for speed. However, I’ve managed so far. Have had to do a few major deletes of unused files. The only problem with that is the time it takes to choose what I won’t need any more. 😂

    1. I save most of my files on external drives, so I can never lose them. When I switched to a SS drive, I thought it would cause that trade-off but I barely noticed!

      1. You’ve mentioned external drives before. I’ve never been convinced. They always seemed so cumbersome. They can crash too, can’t they? Perhaps I should reconsider.

        1. I’ve never had one crash–or become corrupted–in decades of computer time which doesn’t mean they couldn’t. They have some huge advantages over an internal or cloud-based drive. You can airgap them–remove them from your computer so no viruses and malware can touch them. You can grab and go–mine all fit in a pocket. Then, wherever I am, without WiFi or internet, I can access my files (can’t do that with cloud based storage). They’re inexpensive. Even my 2T external drive was only about $150. 540G drives are $30ish (maybe–haven’t bought one in a long time).

          1. Wow. That’s interesting, Jacqui. Thanks for the information. I’ll have to check them out. I haven’t looked at any for years. 👍

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