There is nothing more annoying or counterproductive than a slow computer. It holds you back, stopping you from completing the simplest of tasks and leaving you ready to give up on technology. This can be so frustrating, especially if your computer isn’t very old. Fortunately, there are some quite simple steps that can be taken that you can do if your computer is slow to get it back up to speed again. 

First Things First…

Reboot. Yes that’s right “Switch it off and on again”… it really works! If you haven’t rebooted your computer for a while, make sure that you do this before carrying out any further steps. Switching it off and back on again is usually a great fix for a lot of minor irritating computer problems, plus it’s one of the easiest things that you can do. When we say “reboot” we mean, actually shut the machine down, completely off. Then turn it back on again… this will clear any extra programs running in the background that might be using resources. 

Check Which Programs Are Running In The Background

One of the most common reasons for a computer being slow is the programs that are running in the background. Programs that automatically start each time a computer boots, such as terminate and stay resident programs (TSRs) and startup programs, can really slow a computer down. To combat this, open your Task Manager to see which programs are running in the background and how much memory they are using. You can then end any tasks and processes that you do not want running, but be careful to only end processes that you recognise. You can also disable programs from opening during start up, leaving your device with less to load, enabling it to run more quickly. 

Delete Temporary Files

Temporary files are stored on the hard drive of your computer. These can take up space and slow your computer down. If you have a Windows computer, you can use their Disk Cleanup tool to delete these temporary files. However, this might not delete all of your temporary files, so you can also search for %temp% in your start menu. This will bring up your Temporary folder, and you can delete files directly from there. 

Check Your Hard Drive

Your computer may be running slowly because of a problem with your hard drive. If you have Windows, you can use CHKDSK or ScanDisk (depending on if your Windows version is Windows 9x, but you should consider upgrading soon to Windows 10) to check for errors and correct them for a working hard drive.

To find CHKDSK and ScanDisk, you can search them in your start menu.

Scan For Viruses And Malware

Viruses and malware can cause all sorts of problems, including making your computer run more slowly. If you have antivirus software, run a scan to check for any infections. Always ensure that your antivirus software is up to date, otherwise it can’t fully protect you against viruses and malware, especially new, more complicated forms. 

Update Windows

Having an older version of Windows can significantly slow your computer down, because Microsoft don’t update older versions as often – and sometimes stop altogether (example, Windows 7 stopped updating). Ensuring your laptop or PC is on the latest version of Windows or IOS is essential.  Try not to procrastinate and use those “Remind Me Later” buttons. 

My Computer Is Still Slow…

If you have tried all of the above and your computer remains slow, it can still be fixed. Our experienced technicians here at Acrylic PC Repairs can diagnose your computer’s problem and advise you whether a repair is possible or whether your machine is just not fit for the task. Just contact us today!