Fed up with your slow computer?

There isn’t much that’s more annoying than a slow computer, especially if you use the device for work purposes. It can slow down your progress, hinder your productivity and put you in a bad mood for the rest of the day.

If you’re wasting many minutes at a time waiting for web pages or office programmes to load, you have probably reached the point of wanting to throw your computer at the wall. But before you take this extreme measure, first try these simple steps for speeding up your computer.

Check for malware & viruses

First things first, you should always have antivirus software installed on your computer and kept up to date. That’s a must. Viruses and malware can wreak havoc on your device and slow it down considerably. Launch your antivirus software and select the option to run a full scan to make sure that there aren’t any threats. You should also be able to alter the settings to set regular, scheduled scans to run automatically so you won’t forget to do it manually in the future.

Keep all of your software up to date

Many people forget to keep all of their software up to date, perhaps because they don’t have automatic updates selected in their settings. But failure to update software can slow your computer down. If your device is running slowly, check whether all of your software is up to date. This includes applications, web browsers, drivers and your operating system itself. Microsoft, for example, issues regular updates to fix glitches or patch security holes in their operating systems. If you’re using an older operating system version, perhaps consider upgrading to the latest version as this can improve your PC’s performance somewhat.

Defrag the hard drive

When large files are saved to the hard drive on your PC, they are broken down into smaller parts and stored across several different locations. The hard drive takes longer to access these files when they accumulate over time. With the use of a disk defragmenter tool, this data can be reorganised in a more logical way, which leads to a faster performance. It should be noted, however, that with SSD’s (solid state drives), Windows defrags the hard drive automatically in the background so it’s not necessary – nor recommended – for you to do it yourself.

Clear cookies & cache

Whenever you visit a website, your browser caches it as a small file, which is stored in your temporary internet files folder. It also stores cookies, which are small files containing information on your personal details and browsing history. These files build up over time and can eventually begin to slow down your browser. Regularly clear your browser cache to free up valuable disk space and ensure that your browser doesn’t get slowed down. To do this, go to the settings menu in your web browser and select the option to clear browsing data/ clear cookies and cache.

Limit Startup Programs

Having a large quantity of programs starting up when you power on your computer can cause problems, such as a prolonged startup time and potential software crashes. If you don’t need all of these programmes to start automatically, this setting can easily be disabled by doing the following:

  1. Click Start and enter ‘msconfig’ in the search bar.
  2. Click the startup tab in the System Configuration window.
  3. A list of programs will appear, showing you everything that’s scheduled to start automatically. Simply untick the boxes next to the programs that you don’t need to start automatically when you switch on your device.
  4. Click apply and then click OK.
  5. Restart the system.

 

Remove unnecessary programs

Having too much stored on your device can slow it down significantly. You can free up memory and storage space easily by removing any programs that you no longer need or use. This could be anything from software trials and antivirus programs that are out of date, to games you haven’t played for ages or old software programs that never get used. You can uninstall programs by clicking the Start menu, going to the control panel, clicking uninstall a program and selecting those you want to uninstall from the list.

If you’ve tried everything and your computer is still running slowly, you may need to take it to a professional and have it checked over. If it’s an old device, it may be time to consider upgrading to a newer, faster machine.

 

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