There is a very common scenario that occurs in computing, people buy a new computer and it runs fine and dandy for the first few months, gradually it becomes slower and slower and eventually the speed is unbearable. Why does this happen? The most common cause is a build up of extra processes and software running in the background that consume all of your system resources, leaving very little free for programs that you want to use. Of course there are other reasons behind a computer running slow so let’s take a look at them and what you can do to speed it back up again.
System Resources – These are typically defined by your memory and processor. The available system resources are used when you load up a program. If the amount of available resources is low then this is when you will notice slow response times and even system crashes. If this happens you are going to need to free some up. Firstly go to add and remove programs and delete any old ones that you no longer use, a lot of the time programs will auto-load when Windows starts up and therefore consume system resources. If you never use the program then this is a waste.
A very handy tool is the task manager. If you right click in your windows taskbar and choose task manager you can use the processes and performance tabs to keep an eye on how much memory and CPU usage your system is using. By using the processes tab you can identify which programs are using the most system resources and consider removing or disabling them if you don’t use them.
Finally a great way of freeing up valuable resources is by using the msconfig tool (you can type msconfig in the search or run box in windows to load it). The startup tab will show you what programs will load when Windows starts up, you will usually be able to identity which ones are needed and which aren’t, disable the ones you don’t use. After doing this you should notice a definite increase in available resources when you next restart your computer.
Hard Drive Maintenance – Your hard drive is where all your data is stored so ensuring that it is running properly is key to fast loading data. Slow response times on your hard drive are a very common cause for slow loading programs and files. To ensure this doesn’t happen you should regularly perform a clean up on your drive. This means going through your files and removing old files and folders you no longer use. Also try to do a disk cleanup to remove old temporary files. Depending on how much usage your hard drive gets, a disk defragment can make a big difference in drive response times, so try to run one of these every few weeks.
Spyware and malware checks – Spyware, malware and adware can not only put your data and privacy at risk but can also take up those valuable system resources that your computer needs, you need to ensure this doesn’t happen if you want your computer to run at optimal speeds. Make sure you have an up to date anti virus and anti malware solution and run frequent scans to ensure you’re free of anything that could slow your computer down.
Follow these simple steps and you should notice an increase in performance and speed on your computer.