A new computer is shiny and fresh — no folders full of random junk, crud in the keyboard or lagging when you try to watch a video or join a meeting.

Then life, and time, happens, and things slow down. Before you toss your computer into the junk pile, consider a little TLC. Your wallet will thank you.

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Your browser is one of the biggest culprits

Tab hoarders, I’m talking to you. Once you’re done with an article, site, or whatever, remove it.

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Pro tip: Press Ctrl + W on Windows or Cmd + W on Mac to close the tab you’re in. If you’re 25 tabs in, hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Cmd (Mac) and click on multiple tabs to select them all at once. Now hit Ctrl + W or Cmd + W to make them all vanish.

Now let’s look into settings for a little extra help. Hardware acceleration is the term for speeding up your browser using the hardware available — memory, processor and whatever graphics card you’ve installed. Most browsers offer this helpful little tweak.

If you use Safari on a Mac, Apple’s already switched on hardware acceleration.

Clear the clutter

I’m willing to bet your computer is full of files you don’t need anymore. They’re eating up space, which slows down almost everything you do. Here’s a simple place to start.

Be picky about what gets priority

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A classic problem with older computers: The startup process takes forever. We can’t fix all of that in one go, but adjusting what starts each time you boot up does make a difference.

Here’s how to see which apps load during Windows startup:

The Startup panel displays all the apps installed on your machine. If Windows has measured the impact of that app on your PC, you will see a rating next to it. Options include No impact, Low impact, Medium impact, and High impact.

An app with a high impact can slow down your startup time. Go through the list and determine which apps you don’t need immediately after startup. Toggle each slider next to the app to turn it on or off.

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Pro tip: Filter apps by impact.

On a Mac:

Here, you’ll see a list of the applications that open automatically when you log in.

To prevent an app from running automatically, click Remove a login item. Then select the app’s name you want to block and click the Remove button below the list. You can use the checkbox to hide items you want to launch. To add a new item, hit the plus symbol under the list and find it on your computer.

Keep your tech-know going

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

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Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”

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