It has been over a year since you purchased that new computer. The once lightning fast computer is starting to slow down. Tasks are seemingly taking longer and longer. You wonder to yourself, “Will this computer ever run as fast as it once did?” Wonder no more. Here is a list of 10 ways to whip your computer back into shape:
- Clean out unused programs
- Check start up items
- Run maintenance
- Check Anti-Virus
- Run Malware and Virus Scans
- Check browsers for unwanted extensions
- Upgrade to a SSD drive
- Upgrade System Memory
- Physically Clean
- Ask yourself if it is really your computer running slow.
Clean Out Unused Programs
Programs that are not used take up space and they can be running in the background taking up system resources. Take some time to go through the programs installed on your computer and remove anything that is not needed.
Check Start Up Items
Do you really need to have your streaming music application load when logging into your computer? While convenient, it is also taxing on system resources. Using a free version of the program called CCleaner (https://www.ccleaner.com/) or a similar program makes checking what starts when you login a breeze.
We get it. You’re busy. However, taking some time to go through the basics will save you time in the long run. CCleaner is a great help here too along with Bleach bit (https://www.bleachbit.org/). These programs will allow you to delete cookies and temporary files along with checking the registry. A word of caution: Both programs have the options to delete saved passwords from browsers. Proceed with caution and make sure you know your saved passwords and auto complete history. or don’t select these options.
When is the last time you checked your Anti-Virus? Running updates and making sure you get all the issues that might lie within is a great start. Anti-Virus is a case of more is not always better. Also, make sure you are not running multiple competing Anti-Viruses. Having more than one Anti-Virus installation will cause slow performance because both will tie up drive access by scanning each other’s system files.
Run Malware and Virus Scans
Along with running an Anti-Virus scan, there are many great Anti-Malware programs. These programs are a great start: Malwarebytes (https://www.malwarebytes.com/), Hitman Pro (https://www.hitmanpro.com/en-us.aspx) and SuperAntiSpyware (https://www.superantispyware.com/).
Check Browsers for Unwanted Extensions
Some websites, along with programs, offer extensions for web browsers. These can be helpful but they can also really slow your browser’s performance. All modern browsers have a preferences section. When you are there select locate extensions. Your can either disable or remove the extensions.
Upgrade to a SSD drive
Physical spinning drive storage requires waiting for the platter to spin to the location or “sector” where your data is located. On the other hand, solid state drives use no moving parts. Until recently, these drives were quite expensive. Prices are now dropping daily and so the price to benefit ratio has aligned. You can check system compatibility with an easy to use tool like Crucial (https://www.crucial.com/usa/en/advisor).
Upgrade System Memory
More programs that are running in the background means there is more memory being consumed. While 4 gigabytes was adequate when you first started using your computer, modern operating systems typically use 8 gigabytes as the minimum. More heavy system users need 16 plus gigabytes. Crucial’s System Advisor is also very helpful here (https://www.crucial.com/usa/en/advisor).
Computers need to breathe. A computer that is not able to keep air flowing will start to overheat. The hotter a computer runs, the slower it is. This is due to protection mechanisms called thermal throttling. Computers will slow down processor speeds to lessen heat. It will help to take your computer apart and blow out any dust with compressed air. Make sure items like heat sinks (a device that incorporates either a fan or some other way to keep a hot component cooled down) are fully free of dust. You will be surprised how much dust collects in a short period of time.
If you are unfamiliar with what a heat sink is, the part should look similar to this.
Is it really your computer running slow?
Take a step back and ask yourself, “What is slow?” If it is network related or internet related, it could be items other than your computer. Is it constantly slow? Does it happen at a certain time of day? What tasks am I performing when the slow down occurs? Sometimes a customer has complained of a slow computer but it really turns out to be a slow internet connection or slow network device. Not sure? We can help you figure it out and get you running at top speed.