We all have been there. You fire up your trusty computer and get to work. However, your computer seems slower than ever, slowing your productivity to a crawl. The good news is that you don’t have to live like this forever. Before lugging your PC to a technician, try our easy suggestions to fix slow computer problems and make your computer run faster!
If you don’t have the time to delve very deep into computer problem solving, try these tips first to make your computer run faster. Read on for quick solutions to fix slow computer problems:
- This may seem obvious but completely exit all unused apps. Some minimize to the notification tray instead of closing, while others run processes in the background that can slow your PC down. Use Task Manager to see what hogs your PC’s processing power, and close it.
- Pause or close programs that upload/download data, e.g. OneDrive, Dropbox, Backup, and Sync from Google, etc.
- Shut down (or restart) your PC. Your PC cleans out its memory and ends background processes you might now be aware of. When you turn it on again, you can start anew.
- Got more than one antivirus/malware security app? Shut one down, or uninstall it. Experts do not recommend running more than one antivirus at the same time.
- While working with a browser, close unnecessary plug-ins, or add-ons.
- Clear caches and temp files on your hard drive by running the Disk Cleanup utility. Navigate to This PC > right-click on the drive icon > Properties > Disk Cleanup. Carefully mark the boxes for the files you want to clear and click on OK.
- Update your PC. Go to Start menu > Settings > Update & Security > Check for Updates. Sometimes, updates fix bugs or other issues, which helps your computer run faster.
Taking a Deeper Look to Fix Slow Computer Problems
If you continue to have a slower computer, then you need to find out where the issue lies. Problems with software and hardware can pop up from time to time without your knowledge. But fret not, with our guide you can pin down the problem and make your computer run faster!
1) Errors in the Hard Drive
Nothing is invincible – including your hard drive. A faulty hard drive can cause your PC to run into a host of issues. Remember to always back up your valuable data regularly, and check your drive for problems as well using the built-in utilities. Scandisk and Chkdsk are one of many tools you can easily use to check your drive. You can find Scandisk in the properties of your drive, while to run Chkdsk, you can use Command Prompt.
- Press Windows Key + X, and select Command Prompt.
- Select Yes on the next dialog that asks for permission. A black window with white text opens i.e. a command-line interface, a familiar sight for power users.
- Now you can enable the Chkdsk utility with the command “chkdsk d:”, where c stands for the letter of the drive you want to check.
- To find and fix errors, enter “chkdsk d: /f /r /x”.” Here, you can replace d: with any drive letter.
Some other helpful tools to fix slow computer problems and other issues are TestDisk, Seagate SeaTools, and HDD Health. HDD Health can show statistics for the physical state of your hard drive, e.g. its general fitness, temperature, and so on.
In the end, run the Defrag tool from the drive’s properties to ensure your data’s best arrangement. If these tools show errors in the physical state of your drive, consider replacing it.
2) Look for Malware and Viruses
You might think your security program easily nails down viruses, but you may be surprised! If you need to fix slow computer problems check for an infection. Even with active antivirus programs, some sneak into your computer through unverified downloads, bad links, or hitch a ride with portable storage devices. Think back – perhaps you used someone else’s memory stick in a hurry, or downloaded a program from an unauthorized uploader.
Spyware and malware can also hog your memory and slow down your computer. To make your computer run faster, delete suspicious files and programs, and run a deep scan using your antivirus program. To remove malware, try Malwarebytes or AVG.
3) Reduce the Number of Startup Apps
If your computer is slow to boot, look for a culprit among your startup apps. While it might seem efficient for an app to open automatically, consider whether you need it to fix slow computer problems. Windows allows you to manage what services and apps run as you boot your PC. Simply right-click on your taskbar to open a menu > select Task Manager > click on the Startup tab. Here, you can see what runs during startup and disable it as you wish. You can also access Task Manager by pressing alt+ctrl+delete buttons and then select Task Manager from the options.
4) Curb Your Browser Usage
It happens to the best of us – you surf the internet for some (or no particular) reason and end up with dozens of tabs and windows all over your desktop. Oh, and there’s music playing somewhere too online. If your PC feels laggy during web browsing, perhaps your browser is to blame. Lots of open tabs suck up RAM and processing resources. Keep track of your tabs and open the necessary ones, or try a more lightweight option such as UR Browser, Midori, or Opera.
Another reason for slow PCs could be your installed browser extensions or add-ons. You can check the impact of your extension or tab using your browser’s task manager. Launch Chrome’s task manager through the More Tools option in the menu on the top right corner on the browser window, or using the keyboard combination of Shift+Esc. If you have no hardware issues, this can help your computer run faster and fix slow computer problems!
5) Other Hardware Issues
If your hard drive receives the all-clear, some other hardware could be the cause of your slow computer problems. Using the Device Manager, check for possible conflicts and solve them as necessary.
Increase RAM: If resolving device conflicts does not help, your system might need more memory. Older computers run slower compared to their modern counterparts, with limited hardware. Provided your computer has the option, increase your PC’s RAM to at least 2-4 GB. Users running media-heavy programs will require more RAM than others since the system swaps data between the computer memory and its drive.
Increase Your Processor’s Speed: A better CPU or processor can help your computer run faster. Depending on the specifications of your CPU, you can either overclock it or physically upgrade it according to your motherboard. This requires expert help, and you need to make sure the resulting processor won’t overheat. Upgrading older hardware usually helps fix slow computer problems.
6) Consider a Fresh Windows Install
If you cannot upgrade your PC, go for a fresh Windows install. Remember to back up your data before installing a new Windows version. Not only will this fix possible slow computer problems, but you also get an updated system that makes your computer run faster!
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