When your computer, laptop or tablet suddenly slows down, it could be any number of problems, most of which aren’t sinister. Don’t jump to the conclusion that your hard drive is irreparably ruined by a nasty virus – check out these 6 quick ways to fix a slow running computer that should work wonders before you chuck out your tech.
1. Install Effective Virus Protection
Rule one: always have a top-security antivirus program running on all your devices (including your smartphone). The one that comes built into your device won’t cut it! It’s definitely worth splashing out on the best defence. Computer viruses are very sneaky and highly intelligent, and can infect your computer from the minute you start using it without protection.
However, don’t panic! They can be a nuisance, but most won’t affect your use of your devices. Just to be on the safe side, it’s well worth running regular virus removals, through antivirus software or online virus removal services. Even if your system appears to be running fine, you will be surprised by what viruses are lurking in the background and slowing down your tech! Stay safe and frequently weed out viruses from your computer.
2. Delete Temporary Files
According to the Microsoft website, you can do this quickly and easily on your PC. Simply search for Disk Cleanup on your taskbar, then select the file types you wish to remove from the Files to Delete option. Just click OK, and you’ll rid your computer of all unnecessary files.
If you need to clean it up further, select Clean Up System Files in Disk Cleanup. This will free up further hard disk space, therefore helping your computer to run more quickly and efficiently.
The same can be done on Apple devices and other systems – just check online for comprehensive guides on how to do this.
3. Uninstall Unused Programs
Have some old downloads on your computer that you no longer use, but aren’t sure how to remove them?
It’s easy! Go to your Control Panel (found on the Start menu on Windows operating systems), and there should be a Programs option which says Uninstall a Program underneath. Just go here, and follow the instructions to remove unwanted programs.
Note: when in doubt, don’t uninstall any programs you don’t recognize. These could be integral to the functioning of your computer! Google any you aren’t sure of, to see if they’re safe to delete
4. Remove Programs from Autoload
You don’t necessarily need to permanently delete programs from your system to speed it up – you can just prevent them from autoloading when you switch your device on.
Many systems autoload programs when switched on so that you can use them instantly, but you might not always want to use them.
Some websites recommend that you remove infrequently used programs from your startup processes by typing ‘msconfig’ into your Start menu search bar and select the Startup tab found under System Configuration. From there, deselect any programs you don’t wish to be automatically loaded when you turn on your device. You can still load them later!
5. Defragment Your Disk
Run a disk defragment. This helps your computer access data and files much faster by organizing them all – when data is fragmented, it is spread all over your computer and makes finding them all much harder (and slower) for the computer.
Do this by going to My Computer and clicking Hard Drive. Go to Properties, then Tools, and finally Defragment Now. This frees up lots of space and makes your systems run much quicker.
6. End Unnecessary Processes in Task Manager
To access Task Manager, simply press Ctrl, Alt, and Delete on your keyboard simultaneously. From there, select Task Manager to view all the processes your computer is currently running.
The list that pops up will show many unnecessary programs running in the background. Windows handily shows you how much of the CPU and Memory each application is using – try closing some of the larger ones that you’re not using, which should quicken up your system.
Again, don’t close any that you don’t recognize that could be vital processes for your computer. Double check any strange ones before closing.