On a day when you have a million things to do, there’s nothing more frustrating than a slow computer. Whether you have job responsibilities or schoolwork to finish, a slow computer can exacerbate the stress you already feel. But before you give up on having a productive day, slow down for a little and try to find the root cause of your desktop or laptop’s delays.
Various factors impact your computer’s speed, from the number of processing units the device has to its memory cache. If you can narrow down the possibilities to identify the culprit, you may be able to resolve the issue yourself and get right back to work—or you’ll realize that it’s time for a new device. But before you panic, consider the following elements that could be slowing your computer down.
Everything ages, but tech deteriorates (or becomes outdated and obsolete) rapidly. Before you know it, your system may not meet the demands of the tasks you have to complete. Your computer may have updates available, but those can only go so far. Sooner or later, you will have to replace your laptop or desktop altogether.
A Faulty Network or Connection
Issues with network connection can also reduce your computer’s performance drastically. Network interruptions can occur if you have limited bandwidth, if too many users log into the same server, or if your connection hardware is out of order or damaged.
If your computer seems to be running slow due to connectivity issues, you’ll want to troubleshoot each component to isolate the issue. First, try connecting to the internet with a different device and assess the speed. If that device experiences the same slowness, it’s definitely the network that’s to blame. Then, unplug, replug, and restart your router and modem. If the issue persists, it may be time to contact your service provider.
Incompatible and Competing Programs
For your job or schoolwork, you may have to use programs that aren’t optimized for the hardware and operating system you have. Furthermore, running too many programs at the same time can drastically reduce loading speed. To speed up your computer, consider uninstalling any programs you no longer use.
Disorganized File Management
Not effectively organizing your files can also hurt your computer’s performance. For example, you may have duplicates of large files, such as videos, taking up space due to disorganization. As much as possible, try and delete files and documents that you don’t use, clear the trash regularly, and use an external drive or cloud for extra storage.
Viruses and Malware
Malicious malware is one of the most common culprits when it comes to slow computers. Many viruses and other forms of malware (adware, spyware, ransomware, Trojans, etc.) come from websites that you use for streaming and downloading or through phishing attacks.
Malware can consume many of your device’s resources, apart from misusing the personal and financial information you submit. To diagnose the issue, update your antivirus software and run a full scan on your computer. Once your software (or a professional) removes the virus, your computer should return to its normal performance speed.
Simple vs. Professional Fixes
Many common computer issues you can fix yourself with a little guidance from online tutorials and forums. If you aren’t the most tech-savvy person, consider a PC repair service option, like Geeks on Site. For the quickest convenience, you can use a remote repair service. A computer repair professional will access your computer through a private connection and diagnose and resolve the issue without ever touching the device.
Preventative Computer Care
To avoid slowdowns in the first place, you’ll want to practice proper device maintenance. Regular computer care should include installing operating system updates as they come out, backing up your data, physically cleaning the device, and running antivirus scans. With preventative care, you can keep your computer running smoothly, so it’s up to speed when you need it most.