Slow computers are the worst. Seriously, the worst.
But most of the time, getting your computer from being as slow as dial-up to Chuck Norris fast is a fairly easy fix!
Here’s a list of the 8 most common PC-slowing offenders and how you can fix them:
1. Startup Overload.
- The more programs you have loading at startup, the slower your computer is going to be.
- Don’t worry, this one is super easy to remedy! Just remove the programs that aren’t necessary to start when you boot up. Don’t know what they are? Open Task Manager and you’ll see all the problems running in the background and how much memory and CPU they are using. If your security program is a culprit, use a schedule to run it for when you have low activity on the computer.
- Click here for more ways to speed up your computer’s start time.
2. You haven’t rebooted in… a while.
- First, let’s go over the differences in rebooting:
- When you boot/star, you just turn your computer on after it had been off for a while. This process loads an operating system and starts the initial processes, from the powered-off state.
- Reboot/restart is when you manually reboot it while it’s been on. Reboot, after you install, uninstall, implement a Windows update or make changes to the PC’s registry.
- Cold reboot/cold restart happens when you hold the power button until your computer shuts off. Only cold reboot if everything else fails! It can cause disc corruption.
- Warm reboot/warm restart is when you click “restart” on your taskbar. You should wait between 10-20 seconds before you start up again. Warm restart will clear the cache, RAM, and force a new registry read.
3. Badly Fragmented Hard Drive
- Over time computer files become scattered over the drive, which is called fragmentation. You can usually tell if this is the case because your file searches will be incredibly slow.
- Search “Defragment and Optimize Drives” and you’ll be able to analyze your computer drives and then optimize them.
4. Spyware, Viruses, Malware, oh my!
- Most of you are familiar malware, but here’s a short vocab lesson for the most common types:
- A virus is a program that self-replicates after hooking itself onto something running in Windows.
- Trojan, much like the Trojan horse, is a tricky software that you believed was something benevolent and it turns out it’s not so good.
- Drive-by download usually occurs from visiting a web page and takes advantage of a weakness in your browser to infect your system.
- The four perpetrators are adware, spyware, ransomware, and scareware. Adware is a software that is used to track you or get you to reveal more information about you, it’s usually easily removed by uninstalling whatever it was attached to. Spyware, on the other hand, monitors your computer and collects information to give to the interested parties. It can vary from just tracking your web usage to monitoring your entire system. Then you have the real big scaries: ransomware, and scareware. Ransomware alters your system so you can not able to get into like normal, and demands payment to have the computer unlocked. Sometimes the cyber-criminal will delete files slowly to get you to pay faster. Scareware tries to scare you into buying a software — it pops up messages claiming your computer is infected or broken and tries to get you to purchase a software to “fix it”.
- Run a spyware program and remove them immediately as they can lead to damage to your operating system and applications.
- Not all security systems are created equal. Poor security software can end up making your computer run slow, too, as some programs are bloated and use a lot of system resource and memory. Need advice on what you should look for? Check out our blog post.
5. Losing your memory.
- If your computer is older, it might not meet memory requirements. The recommended is 1GB of memory. If you are running low, you can add new memory in open slots or replace the existing memory with a higher capacity model.
6. You’re neglecting Windows.
- Make sure you have all the latest Windows updates installed on the computer.
- If you are on the Internet when your computer is slow also make sure all browser plugins are up-to-date.
- Get the latest version of Windows here.
7. It’s getting hot in here!
- If the heat gets high enough, devices may fail to function or suffer permanent damage. Fortunately, most computers are designed to automatically shut down at a certain temperature to prevent the CPU from suffering permanent damage.
- The optimal temperature range of a CPU is generally 158-194 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The smaller the computer, the higher the temperature.
- Flawed or obstructed fans can easily overheat your device. Fortunately, you can buy additional fans if that’s the problem.
8. Your computer is old.
- A computer older than 3 years is just going to be slower. As program updates are released, the minimum requirements increase, which will slow down older computers.
- If your computer is older than five years, it’s probably just time to replace it.
Hopefully, this list helped speed things up or taught you a little something about maintenance so you can avoid a sluggish computer. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments!
Tried it all and still having trouble? Friendly PC will help get your system back to where it should be. Stop waiting on your slow computer and schedule a service call today.