One of the most common computer questions asked, “Why is my computer SO slow and how do I fix that?” Well, the correct answer that any Computer Tech should reply with is, “There are too many things that could cause your computer to be slow.” So let’s give you some of the most common reasons:
- Your computer has too many programs in it’s startup list — There are a lot of programs that load automatically when you start up your PC – too many can really make your computer slow.
- Your computer has too many programs installed — A clean machine is a fast machine. This means your best option is to uninstall all the programs you don’t use. Remove things like trial software, older versions, and anything else you’re never going to use. Remember, you always want your security and antivirus programs, but make sure you’re only running one of the same kind of program.
- Your computer is running too many instances of the same programs — If your PC slows down while you’re working, check to see how many programs you have running. All programs take up your computer’s memory and in some cases, having multiple instances of a program (such as several open Word documents) or multiple versions of a program type (more than one antivirus program) can quickly use up memory. If you remember to save documents and spreadsheets, respond to and close email messages, and keep open only the programs that are necessary for the work you’re currently doing — and you’ll see a boost in speed.
- Your computer might have a virus — Viruses, today, are designed to infect your computer without you even knowing it. If your PC is flying merrily along and then suddenly slow to a crawl, run a virus scan.
- Your computer’s hard disk might be fragmented — The more you use your PC, the more programs you use and the more services you’re running. Closing a program doesn’t always close the service. This is why restarting fixes so many problems — it flushes the memory. You should also make a habit of cleaning your hard disc to remove temporary files, emptying the Recycle Bin (you take your garbage can out to be emptied regularly), and put the files back in order. A Defragmentation — Defrag for short — is like playing the game “52 Card Pickup” for your computer.
- Your computer’s hardware might be too old for the program you are running – New programs are released every year. They are designed to go faster and do more than the version before. If you have Windows 7, take a look at the Windows Experience Index, a method of rating your computer based on five key components. Depending on your particular hardware, you might need a new PC or some hardware upgrades.
- Your computer might not be up to date — One of the best things you can do to protect your computer is also one of the easiest. Make sure you are set up to get automatic updates from Microsoft. If you use Windows and other Microsoft software, you should use the Microsoft Update service.
- Your computer might look too pretty – “Beauty is only skin deep.” This quote wasn’t referring to computers, but the concept still applies. Windows has some very beautiful themes and effects, but if you need more speed consider changing the settings you want to use for the appearance of Windows on your computer.
So how do you make your computer faster?
- Limit how many programs run at startup
- Uninstall, uninstall, uninstall
- Run fewer programs at the same time
- Run a virus scan and see if your computer has a clean bill of health
- Clean and Defragment your hard drive
- Check your hardware
- Keep your PC up to date
- Adjust visual effects
You can find the step by step instructions on how to make your computer faster in [web]Neighbor’s How To section or if you would like someone else to speed up your computer, Schedule a System Cleanup.