Here at my shop in Louisville, KY I have lots of people call with a “slow computer” complaint. Any person who owns a computer knows that the speed often slows over time. While some can easily overcome these problems, many cannot. My computer, because of my heavy use, often requires daily maintenance. Thankfully for me this is almost always only a software issue (I did upgrade my ram when I purchased my laptop and I have upgraded my Internet Service twice). However, hardware can also be causing a problem. Below I have listed some of the reasons your computer might be running slowly and some tips on how to fix it.
Your Computer Is Out of Tune
Computers have a habit of getting “out of tune” I call it as time goes by. By this I mean that your computer becomes bogged down by fragmentation, partial uninstalls, software glitches and conflicts, registry errors, temporary file buildup, toolbars, browser add-ons and other clutter and problems. Windows has built-in utilities to solve some of these problems but others require aftermarket utilities and some computer know-how. For starters, pay attention to your browser and make sure toolbars haven’t been installed inadvertently (I avoid most toolbars altogether). Look in your control panel and uninstall software you’re not using anymore or any that looks suspicious. If you don’t know what a program is “Google” or “Bing It.” Run the free utility CCleaner from Piriform to fix your registry and clean up your temporary files. It’s also a smart idea to take your computer to a qualified repair shop for a tune-up on an annual basis. The computer repair professional should be able to give you insight on how you’re doing with keeping your PC in good running condition and should be able to tell you, based on examining your machine, how often you need to bring it in for a tune-up in the future.
You Don’t Have Enough Mbps (Megabits Per Second) From Your Internet Service Provider
Ever been in a situation when you are trying to catch up on your favorite soap, online documentary or YouTube Video and all you get is “buffering.” It’s frustrating isn’t it? Do you have endless “hour glassing” every time you try to do something on the web? You might not be getting what you’re paying for from your Internet Service Provider. Or you might not have enough service for your computing needs. For example, it takes about 3-6 Mbps service to stream a YouTube Video without buffering. Today’s busy households require, in my opinion, at least 10Mbps Service. Once you upgrade your service you also need to test your Internet Speed to make sure you are getting it. You can do this by going to speedtest.net and using the free on-site utility. And you shouldn’t have to download anything to do it. Simply hit “begin test.”
You Need More Random-Access Memory (RAM)
RAM is a type of data storage in your PC which directly affects speed. When you launch an application or software on your computer, RAM is responsible for running the software. If you do not have RAM your computer might not be able to open and run multiple applications or meet the demands you place on it. This problem can easily remedied by purchasing and installing additional RAM for your computer. When you purchase RAM, it is important to check with the salesperson which type of memory is compatible with your PC. If you don’t know how to upgrade your RAM call a qualified computer repair shop in your area.
Your Processor is Out of Date
Another hardware component closely related to computer performance is the processor. As new programs and software are created and take more and more updates, they requirements to run them increases. Often, people are trying to run newer or resource intensive applications on older machines with a processor that can’t handle the new software efficiently.
You Have Infections
People are often shocked to learn that computer viruses are almost inevitable. And, you can even get them while browsing on sites that you think are safe. I can’t tell you how many times people are stunned when I tell them they have over 100 infections on their machine . . .or I tell them I can see infections from across the room. They have no idea they have computer viruses. The best way to prevent this is to use anti-virus software with “real time” protection and research articles on “How to Prevent Computer Viruses.” There is an article on the blog about this subject and also many articles online about virus prevention. Learning better, safer, web browsing habits on a regular basis is nice addition a computer user’s skillset. And definitely a skill you will want to master if you want your computer to run better . . . and faster.