At home, work, and even school, computers are all around us. These machines are integral part of our society, and having one that isn’t working at optimum efficiency can inhibit a person’s productivity. Thankfully, fixing a slow computer doesn’t require a degree in computer science.
There are many reasons a computer may get slow, ranging anywhere from software issues to hardware issues. Software refers to the programs on the computer, while hardware refers to the actual mechanical parts that make the computer function.
Fixing Hardware Issues
The first thing to consider is a problem with the hardware. Equipment that isn’t cleaned occasionally or is under too much stress can create a bottleneck for your computer’s speed. For instance, if you are trying to run a program that takes up more processing power than your computer can handle, you might have to upgrade your hardware.
According to CRSS, which does computer repair in Sutherland Shire, you should give your computer at least an annual cleaning. Dirty computer hardware can inhibit your computer’s functioning. Dust buildup can cause a great deal of heat that can eventually shorten the lifespan of your computer’s components.
The first step you need to do when cleaning any electronic item is to shut off the power. For improved safety and decrease the chance of any shock, also unplug the computer from the electrical outlet. From here, you just need to carefully open up your computer’s case. Using a can of compressed air, try dusting off the internal components with a small burst at a time. Try to stay at least a couple inches away from the surface of processors, video card, motherboard, and so forth.
Also, try to hit the power supply as it has a tendency to accumulate dust pretty fast. The fan itself is what is doing most of the work, so make sure to hit this as well. You should also use some sort of thermal grease and lint-free cloth to wipe around the processor and heat sink.
Fixing Software Issues
Another possible issue can involve the software. There are many reasons why a computer can be slowed down by software, with the most common being that there are too many programs working in the background, taking up the memory or RAM of the processors.
One of the easiest ways to cut back on the number of programs that are running to occasionally reboot your computer. This will reset all the programs so they’re not constantly going in the background. You can also manually do this by opening up your system’s task manager and shutting down each program one by one.
If you have a lot of programs opening at startup, open up your computer’s control panel and go to the system startup menu. From here you should be able to change which programs open up at startup. While you shouldn’t have too many programs up and running at startup, a basic virus protector is recommended.
Also, be sure to check your temporary files. These files are stored and kept on the hard drive as your computer runs programs, and too many of these can cause a decline in your computer’s performance. One of the best ways to cut back on these files is to run a disk cleanup at least once a week.
If you’re still having issues, a hard system restore can work, but that might delete more than you want. It’s best to take a little bit of time and work through your computer’s files to see what you might want to keep and be sure to back those files up before reinstalling the operating system.
How Do I Know If a Virus or Malware Is Causing the Problems?
You need to use some sort of program, such as Malwarebytes or Windows Defender, to scan your system’s hard drive. You can set these programs up to scan your computer at periodic intervals to cut back on viruses in the future.
In addition, make sure you are downloading and installing system updates regularly. Operating systems need constant updates to run efficiently and fix weaknesses that can be exploited by malware, so it’s best to accept these updates when your computer suggests them. Drivers will sometimes need updates too, especially video drivers.
A slow computer can be an absolute drag to your daily productivity and just generally an annoyance. Spending a little bit of time sorting through the programs, running a virus scanner, and getting into the guts and cleaning it out can improve your computer’s efficiency.