90% of the time when a customer brings their computer into our retail repair facility in Broomfield, Colorado the first complaint they have about their machine is “My Computer is So Slow.” We feel you.
When you have a computer, a laptop, or a Mac there could be a wide array of issues that would cause that computer to run slowly.
Top Reasons Your Computer Might be Running Slowly.
Programs running in the background. Many times your will have programs constantly running in the background or launching at startup that don’t really need to be.
Reboot. How long has it been since you have rebooted your computer? There are updates coming at your computer from many applications daily. Truth be told most of us if given the option will choose to reboot later and well just never do. There are a lot of processes running in the background at any given moment on our computers. Give yourself and your computer a break every so often and shut it down. If you computer is running slow go the start and turn off computer route to see if that doesn’t help to improve performance significantly.
Memory. Our computers require a lot of memory to perform at the optimal level. What was required when you purchased the computer may not be the same as what is required now. If you are doing any sort of graphic intensive work at all you are going to need a minimum of 4GB RAM to be able to do that. Many computers do not have the memory maxed out and this is one of the least expensive upgrades that will significantly improve your computers performance.
Hardware or Software Issues. The cause of your computer running slowly could be a hard drive that is malfunctioning and is about to fail, or it could be that your computer is overheating because the CPU fan needs to be replaced, or you may be running your computer on an old version of Windows or for some reason updates on your machine are not up to date. As a lay person unless you are taking your computer in for checkups many of these types of issues simply won’t be discovered until you are at mission critical.
Insufficient Hard Drive. There are a few things that could be happening here you may have a hard drive that simply is at capacity or not big enough for your storage needs. If that is the case you are going to have to purge or upgrade to larger hard drive. You may have a computer you have had for a few years, with an older processor and a standard hard drive. What you can do here fairly inexpensively is to add a SSD (solid state drive) this is the one upgrade that we can do in our shop that will turbo charge your computer. You will go from a start up running 3 minutes to 20-45 seconds.
Is Multi Tasking Your Middle Name? Okay, let’s get real here. How many programs do you really need to have open at the same time? Are you really updating a spreadsheet, writing a Word document, updating your Quickbooks file, and editing a video at the same time? Your head would explode if you tried to do all of those tasks at the same moment. Periodically, when you do this between active open tabs and the ones you have minimized your computer is at max capacity. Try shutting some programs down and see if that helps your performance issues.
How Many Browser Tabs Do You Have Open Anyway? The more tabs that you have open the more resources it requires from your computer. Do yourself and your computer a favor and just let some of those go and see if it doesn’t speed up performance.
Are You Dirty? When was the last time you had that computer opened up and cleaned internally? Here is the truth. The fans that help keep your computer cool are also pulling dust and dirt inside your computer. If your vents become obstructed that will cause overheating and will lower the lifespan of your computer or laptop. You wouldn’t believe the years worth of dirt and grime that we find when we open computers up in our repair facility. The computer should be cleaned out at least once a year.
Viruses. The #1 reason that customers are saying “My Computer is So Slow” is viruses. You may have anti-virus installed on your computer or you may have an expired copy of an anti virus running on your machine. Anti-Virus programs are much like the flu shot. They will get 90-95% of the viruses out there but on occasion there will be some that slip through. Viruses, Malware, and Adware can be slick. You could have a computer virus and not even know that you have one.
If One Anti Virus Program is Good Two is Better? No. We see this quite a bit in our shop as well. We have people that have downloaded a few different anti virus programs on their computer. This is never a good idea? Why? Well, because the two programs are going to be fighting one another, each thinking the other is malicious software. Another thing to watch out for is that some anti-virus software programs are notorious for absorbing a ridiculously high portion of your system resources. You want to choose a program that performs well as far as catching viruses while at the same time is not significantly downgrading the performance of your machine. In the end, do your research and choose the best anti virus for your needs and keep that choice to just one.
What Should I Do?
A computer is a piece of machinery much like your car. To perform at its best levels a computer should have a checkup or a tuneup 1-2 times per year. Find a reputable, local computer repair shop that you trust. Make sure that they perform all repair work right there, in shop. Let them help your get the best performance possible out of your computer. Many shops even have maintenance plans where they are able to monitor your computers performance year round and will notify YOU of an issue, not the other way around for a nominal fee.