There are several strategies you can use to speed up a slow computer and boost your productivity at work. Problems that cause a PC to slow down often occur over time. Finding which culprits are most to blame for the slow-down can be difficult, so we’ve created the following list of speed-boosting strategies to help troubleshoot your slow computer:
How to Speed Up Your Computer
1. Free Up RAM Space
Get rid of duplicate and junk files on your PC. Scan your computer for programs that take up the most space on your hard drive or RAM (Random Access Memory). Surprisingly, you may not even remember installing some of the programs, let alone use them on a regular basis.
Many computer systems come pre-installed with “bloatware” that can take up space and slows your system. When looking at unused files or software, identify rarely used programs and delete them. If you’re worried you may need to access those files or programs in the future, consider moving your data to an external hard drive or onto the cloud.
2. Streamline your System Startup
The startup menu is intended to pre-load popular programs so you can start using the system as quickly as possible. Most users, however, don’t regularly use the programs set to automatically load during the startup.
These programs run constantly in the background – slowing down both your startup, and the rest of your time on the system. Check your Startup folder and trim it down to the essential programs that must be there for you.
3. Scan for Malware
Malicious software can creep in to your system via browser toolbars, email scams, and visits to unsafe websites. Often, the result isn’t a total shutdown but rather an insidious slowing of the system. For this reason, it’s recommended that you complete regular scans for malware using one of several free tools.
4. Keep Your System Software Updated
Install Windows and software updates as soon as possible to patch vulnerabilities and keep your overall system running at optimal speed. Often, these updates are available online and take just a few minutes to install.
Activate and pay attention to the notification system alerting you of the availability of new updates. To see if you are current, check the Windows Update setting in your Control Panel. Third-party apps, like FileHippo, will let you check other programs to keep your system up-to-date.
5. Upgrade Components of Your System
A small investment can make a big difference in computer speed. When “time is money”, money can buy you some saved time! If you’re a designer or gamer, consider bumping up the quality of your graphics card. For as little as $150, you can also add more RAM, hard drives, or paid access to cloud storage systems.
For desktops, consider replacing the fan if it’s making a lot of noise or the system seems hot. This inexpensive upgrade can increase the speed of your system and save it from failure.
Performing a Full System Back Up to Prevent Data Loss
For most people, these simple tips will result in a noticeable increase in computer speed. If you’ve followed these steps and are still faced with a sluggish system, restoring windows is the most drastic way to improve system speed and efficiency. Before performing any of these steps, we urge you to complete a full system backup in the event data is lost during the update/upgrade process.
If you’ve lost data, we can help. Get started by submitting an online help form today!