Computer Cleanup: Why Your Computer is Running Slow and What You Can Do to Help Prevent It
One of the most common problems that people call us at Geeks on Site to solve is a slow-running computer. When your computer is not running at optimal speed, it’s easy to get frustrated. Often, the cause is programs running in the background, but bad computer habits can also contribute to slowing your computer down.
Here are some steps you can take to keep your computer running at peak performance:
- Restart your computer at least once per day.
Rebooting your computer ensures the latest software and OS updates have been applied and gives your computer a “fresh start,” per say.
- Make sure you have minimal programs load at startup.
Open the Task Manager to see what programs are running in the background and how much memory and CPU is currently being used by each program. You may see your antivirus; spyware protection program or other security program is running in the background. While a scan is running, it is common to notice a decrease in the overall performance of your computer but it’s important to allow the scan fully.
- Don’t run multiple security programs on your computer at the same time.
Running multiple security programs on your computer at the same time can cause these programs to conflict with one another so it’s best to use one comprehensive program.
- Remove browser plugins and extensions, especially those you don’t use.
In your browser, click the menu icon “≡” at the top right of the browser window, select “Tools” or “Settings” and then select “Extensions” to open a new “Options” tab. Uncheck “Enabled” to disable an extension/plugin or click “Remove” to delete it completely. These can often be helpful but they can also slow down your browser quite a bit.
- Delete temporary and unwanted files.
Freeing up space on your hard drive is easy and very important. Ideally, you should have at least 200-500MB of free space in your hard drive to give your computer the space it needs to run properly. Click on the Start button, select the “Find” option and then click on “Find Files for folders”. In the named box, type “*.tmp” to search for any files with a “tmp” file extension. Make sure the “Look in” section of the search box is pointing to the C: drive and not your document folders. Click “Find Now” to start the search and delete all files found.
- Run Windows® updates at regular intervals.
Windows updates keep your computer performing at optimal levels so you may need to take a few moments to ensure all of the latest updates have been installed. Depending on the version of Windows you are running, you should be able to easily find the necessary updates online or click on the Start menu, select “All Programs” and “Windows Update”. Then, select “Check for Updates” and click “Install”.Keep in mind that if you are on a corporate network, you may need to contact your administrator, you may be unable to perform Microsoft updates.
- Update all your programs regularly.
Typically, software programs will prompt you to allow them to run updates. Allowing these updates ensures you are running the latest version of the software that has had all issues resolved.
- Defragment your hard drive regularly.
Fragmentation makes a hard drive do extra work that can slow down your computer. Removable storage devices, USB drives, for example, can also become fragmented. Disk Defragmenter in Windows rearranges fragmented data so your disks and drives can work more efficiently. Click on the Start button, type “Disk Defragmenter” in the search box and then select the disk you want to defragment.
While all of these tips are helpful, they may not solve the problem. If that’s the case, you may want to have your device evaluated by a professional.
Geeks on Site Can Help
Geeks on Site is ready to diagnose why your computer is running slow and take the steps necessary to fix it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re a team of computer technician professionals who are able to connect to your computer remotely to evaluate the problem.
Give Geeks on Site a call right now at 1-888-360-4335, we’re here 24/7.