When you first purchase a new computer or laptop, you will find that it runs smoothly. Before long, that seamless operating system will soon start to slow down, like a car with a degrading engine. While many people are tempted to upgrade their system or purchase their new software, this is usually completely unnecessary. Fortunately, there are 10 things you can check for when diagnosing your computer’s speed issues.
1. Are your Windows updates up-to-date?
While the majority of Windows operating systems will update automatically, some people unknowingly (or proactively) set theirs to manual only. If there is a backup of updates, you need to get them installed pronto. You can check your windows updates in the control panel. If there are any outstanding, give your computer a few hours to install them slowly.
2. Are you harboring pointless software?
We are all guilty of installing those programs that we feel we may need, and then we never use them again. Depending on how large your unused software is and whether it commands memory attention from the second you start your PC up, they may be making it run far slower than is necessary. If you go to the add/remove programs section of your control panel, you will see which ones are used often and rarely. Delete as many as you possibly can to gain extra speed.
3. Are there temporary files lurking?
Every time you browse the net, temporary files will be stored on your computer. These small fragments of data may not seem like much in the short-term, but they can soon clog your PC up and make it run slower than usual. You can delete these temporary files by clearing your Internet cache. For a deeper clean, you should consider using Ccleaner, which is a free program designed for computer clean ups. Once it has done its job, things will be running smoother in the computer speed department.
4. Is there something nasty operating behind the scenes?
We all try to be careful when we are browsing the web and downloading things, but even the strongest of consumer anti-virus programs can fall victim to malware and trojans. From time-to-time, you should be using a free program like Malware Bytes to detect these trojans and fix up your PC. By doing this, you can reclaim some of the memory they are sapping.
5. Does your disc need de-fragging?
In newer editions of Windows, the de-fragmentation process is executed automatically. In older editions, it is something that you need to instigate yourself. Over time, your disc will start to fragment. As a result, your computer will have to work harder to produce the responses you need. You can defrag your disc by clicking on the start menu, going to accessories, system tools, and disc defragmentor. It may take a few hours, but your disc will run much smoother once you have done it.
6. Are you running too many tasks at once?
Even when certain programs run in the background, they take up so much memory that your computer runs slower than it should. To check whether your computer is running too many tasks, press ctrl + alt + del. Your computer will then give you the option of looking at the task menu. Once you have clicked on it, you should see which programs are running unnecessarily and exit them from there by ending the process. To enhance this, manually exit programs each time you start your computer up. You can do this by looking at your task bar, right clicking on unnecessary programs, and clicking exit.
7. Do you need to delete some permanent files?
When you first purchase your computer and see the number of GB available, you will feel as though you have access to unlimited storage space. Unfortunately, this is not the case. With videos, photos, documents, MP3s and other files building up, you will soon chow through that space. To prevent this from slowing your computer down, you should perform maintenance once a month. Move your files to an external drive or USB stick, and everything will run much smoother.
8. Are there any disk errors?
Without realising it, your computer may be running with disk errors. This is likely to be the case if you have experienced any power outages or crashes that have resulted in your PC restarting suddenly. If your computer is running slow, you need to run the check disc program to search for errors. Once they have been detected, Windows will be able to resolve them automatically. It is recommended that you do this as a maintenance task at least once a week.
9. Does Java need updating?
Almost all digital systems rely on Java in order to run properly. This is particularly the case for those that use content optimized for flash on a regular basis. Java will usually update automatically, but you may also need to head over to the website to check whether you have the latest edition.
10. Do you have too many browser add ons?
Whether you are using Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or Chrome, you may have too many browser add ons. As these add ons compete for memory as well as broadband speed, they will prevent your computer from reaching maximum efficiency. Go to Tools and then Manage Add Ons on your browser, and delete the culprits as appropriate.