Digital life | The big tech spring cleaning

Digital life | The big tech spring cleaning
Digital life | The big tech spring cleaning

It’s not just the garage or yard that needs a good spring cleaning. Your devices, particularly computers, telephones and more generally your internet network, deserve some care from time to time to regain their speed. Here are nine tips, three for each department, collected from experts.

Posted at 1:02 a.m.

Updated at 8:00 a.m.

The computer


Over time, many resource-intensive software programs that activate at startup slow down your computer. You must first locate them, with the Activity Monitor in a Mac and the Task Manager on Windows, and eliminate them if they are useless. If your computer takes a long time to boot up to get ready to work, you probably have too much software activating as soon as you log in. You will find the list in the Opening menu, in the system settings of a Mac, and in the “Startup apps” tab always in the Task Manager on Windows 11.

To optimise

There are many software programs on the market designed to make your computer more efficient. Director of cybersecurity research at GoSecure, Olivier Bilodeau recommends one in particular: Advanced SystemCare, for Windows. We’ve been using CCleaner for a long time, which does an honest job of spotting greedy software and cleaning up the registry. “Be careful, however, these software programs will often try to sell their Pro version,” specifies Mr. Bilodeau. You should resist the temptation and erase the software once performance has been optimized. » For a Mac, the choice is much more restricted and the option is even controversial, macOS does not tolerate the intervention of third-party software.


If you haven’t already done it, and if DIY doesn’t scare you, there is a mechanical intervention that can make your computer more efficient: changing its hard drive. The difference is enormous between a good old mechanical HDD, whose transfer speed rarely exceeds 160 MB/s, and SATA SSD drives, which are three times faster. “A faster SSD than the one we have can still be good,” says Nicolas Cadilhac, entrepreneur and application developer. In all cases, it will therefore be necessary to clone from the old to the new. » You can also take the opportunity to completely reinstall your operating system.

The phones


The main enemy of performance in a phone is the accumulation of apps. “On Android, you have to delete applications that are no longer used,” says Olivier Bilodeau. Unlike a PC, even if you reset a mobile device, applications are often reinstalled through the cloud profile. And clearing apps will stop them from running in the background, making the device run faster. » These small computers will also be slowed down by hard drives that are too full, especially if the accumulation of photos, videos and files does not leave free space for system files.


If your phone, despite an initial cleaning, remains desperately slow, consider a complete reset to factory settings, after obviously creating a backup copy of important files. You can save time reinstalling by using a system backup, stored on your Google Drive or iCloud. The trap here is resuming all the apps and content that were weighing down your phone. It may be more judicious to start from scratch and reinstall apps piecemeal, while keeping your documents in a cloud folder.

Time to change

Unlike a computer, it is practically impossible to upgrade your phone with components such as a hard drive or RAM. However, there is one part whose replacement can make a difference: the battery. We tested it with an iPhone which was given a second lease of life. Repairing or replacing faulty parts like the screen or camera can also have a positive impact on performance. But these devices do not lend themselves well to technological relentlessness, believes Mr. Bilodeau: “If the device is more than five years old and the advice above has been followed without success, it is time to change. »

The internet network


Placing your router in a good place is one of the basic tips, perhaps the most effective, but at the same time the most often ignored. We tend to hide it behind a piece of furniture or isolate it in a closed room. Error. TP-Link, manufacturer of many reliable routers that we have tested over the years, makes three main recommendations, supported by tests:

  • place the router, unobstructed in a central room, at least 45 cm from the floor;
  • avoid proximity to powerful household appliances;
  • find a sufficiently ventilated and cold place. Exposure to the sun, in particular, should be avoided.


Few consumers are willing to pay a little more for a router. However, our tests clearly indicate that the transfer speed, latency and handling capacity of many devices vary enormously from one router to another. Most routers provided by telecommunications companies – there are a few exceptions – fall into the mid-range: sufficient for basic users, quickly outdated when needs increase. As a general rule, avoid routers under $100. Two recommendations: the ASUS AX2700 (RT-AX68U), named “best value for money” by Protect yourselfand the Deco range from TP-Link.


If your WiFi is too weak to reach everywhere in the house, opt for “mesh network” technology. These are several routers that use an assigned frequency band to communicate with each other and relay the wireless signal. This technology is more efficient and stable than adding repeaters, which “rarely offers real gains,” estimates Jacques Bourdeau, information security engineer. “The repeater itself will only be able to share the signal it has despite what its client displays,” he specifies. Another secret: a defective or poorly configured device, an old telephone for example, can harm the quality of the network by placing excessive demands on the poor router. Unplug it.



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