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Fact Check

Does refreshing your PC make it run faster?

3 Mins read

It has become some sort of a habit for a lot of people to press the F5 button when their computer is not running as fast as they want it to.

To make it even more interesting, I bet there is no one that presses the F5 button ones. By impulse, we press it a few times, only to see the screen flash for our pleasure.

The F5 button is the shortcut for the “refresh” function on the PC. It is one of the many shortcuts on the Windows computer, other shortcuts are the likes of CTRL-C to copy, CTRL-V to paste, CTRL-Z to undo a command, etcetera.

The refresh function on the PC is quite handy, but, does it actually make your computer run faster?

Well, I hate to break your heart, but the answer is NO!

Using the refresh function when your computer is dragging is one of the myths that have become a tradition knitted into our subconscious.

The refresh button, as the name gives away, is meant to refresh the work area of the computer where you use it on.

When you use the F5 function on the desktop, the icons on the screen would flash. This adjusts the desktop to the newest command, if there is any.

For example, if you move or delete a file from a directory, a thumbnail of the file may still be visible there, making it seem like the file was not moved or deleted. In this case, when you use the refresh function, it would update the directory to show the real state of it.

It doesn’t matter if you press F5 a million times, it still does the same thing – refreshing the directory you use it on.

How can you speed up your computer?

Quite a number of factors can make your computer run slowly. But, the good news is there are both technical and non-technical ways to make it run faster.

Let’s stick to the non-technical ways:

Free up disk space
It is recommended to keep at least 20% of your hard disk space free. This would make room for system functions to work at its peak. The more free space, the more efficiently system runs.

You can free some space by deleting duplicate, and junk files. When you delete a file, it would be moved to the “Recycle bin,” ensure you delete the files from there too.

Read also: Does Incognito mode really keep you anonymous?

Remove unwanted programs
After getting a new PC, we are usually tempted to install all the programs we think we might need. However, we end up never using some programs. Uninstalling those programs would reduce the pressure on the Random Access Memory (RAM).

Turn off animations
Animations are cool on the PC, but, not so cool on the speed. Turning of the animation would help your system run faster.

Keep your system free of virus and malware
Viruses are supervillains. They run on the background, and slow your PC down. You can scan your computer with an updated antivirus software, and remove the virus and malware.

Disable startup programs
When you put on your PC, all startup programs run by default. Some of these programs are necessary, while a number of them are not. Simply open Task Manager, click startup, and disable the programs that shouldn’t run at startup.

Defrag your hard drive
Defragging re-arrange files on the hard drive so that they can be easily accessible.
Recent Windows operating system does that automatically. If you have an older version, you could get a defrag software to run defragging for you (IObit’s Smart Defrag is a pretty chill option).

P.S.: Do not defrag if your PC runs a Solid State Drive (SSD). Only use on Hard Disk Drive (HDD).

Okay, there you have it. Let the F5 key rest, guy is old and tired. However, if you are like me, and you use F5 just for the fun of it, I don’t think the guy would complain.

À bientôt.

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When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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