Why is my PC running slowly?

March 12th, 2013 - Category - IT Blog, Tips & Best Practices

For many of us it’s an all too familiar nightmare. Before you bought your new laptop or PC you spent ages reading up on all the techie jargon, latest models and recommended specification requirements; yet three months down the line it’s running like its ancient. The natural reaction for a lot of people is to assume your computer is running out of free space and go out and buy more RAM. However, this can be pretty expensive, and might not even be the real cause of the problem. We’ve put together a few tips to get your computer up to speed.

Malware and viruses

The first thing you should check is that you haven’t picked up a virus. If your computer is new, this is unlikely to be the case, especially if you purchased antivirus software. You can download tools online to scan your computer for problems and malicious software. If you are unsure about doing this, it’s always safer to get expert help rather than risk making things worse.

What are you using your computer for?

The speed at which your laptop or desktop will operate is partly determined by what it is you’re using it to do. The number one way to slow down a computer is gaming. Installing games onto your hard drive takes up a lot of space, and uses  a lot of memory to run. If you want to use your PC for gaming it’s really something you need to consider before you buy, as you will need a powerful machine with a high processor speed and  good graphics card. If your computer doesn’t possess these, then you might find uninstalling games will improve its speed.

Some applications and programs are quicker than others too. Firefox and Google Chrome, for example, are generally considered better browsers than Internet Explorer in terms of how quickly they open and load web pages.

Regular Maintenance

The best way of preventing your computer from slowing down is to get into the habit of regularly checking some simple diagnostics to make sure everything is working as it should be. Firstly, it’s a good idea to clean the registry. This is where a record of practically everything you do in Windows is housed. If you find your registry is full of errors, cleaning it will improve the speed of your PC. However, messing about with the registry can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re looking for, so it’s also worthwhile seeking a professional’s opinion.

Temporary cache files can build up on your PC and these prevent it from using RAM effectively. It’s easy enough to delete these files from the internet options section in your computer’s control panel. This will help your machine make the most of any free space available.

If your computer takes a long time to boot up when you turn it on, it may be that you have too many programs scheduled to open automatically. You can fix this by deselecting the ones you don’t need from the start up tab on the system’s configuration menu.

It is important to reiterate that messing around with your computer can make things worse if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re unsure, ask an expert. As London based IT consultants, we provide advice and IT solutions to businesses on a daily basis. Got a question about how to get the most from your computer set up? Get in touch with our team today.

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