We’ve all been there: our new PCs work just fine until they don’t anymore. The lunge and sprint of the first few weeks (or months, if we’re lucky) turn suddenly to a crawl. Startup time slows down from a few minutes to forever, and when our PCs are finally s the turn of browsers and programs to take all the time in the world simply to load.
While no PC is exactly the same as the next, given the range of functions they serve and their various uses for different users, PC speed problems are universal. And almost always, PC slowness could be attributed to only a few reasons. Identifying these reasons and issues is crucial to remedy the problem. Because we’ve all been there, we have made things easier for all of us by listing down the following 10 tips to help us all improve the performances of our respective PCs.
- Check for Programs that Slow PC Down Using Task Manager. Some processes and programs just hog PC resources. Get rid of these. This is the first thing to do when your PC starts slowing down. At Task Manager, arrange processes by clicking on the CPU tab to know which ones take up precious PC space. Processes will be sorted based on memory use, with the ones at the top those hogging PC memory the most. It would be easy to figure out what process is linked to which program. Terminate this process (or processes) and if possible, avoid its use in the future.
- Manage Software and PC Processes. Most of the time, if not always, newly purchased PCs come with already installed applications and software. Save for the really important system files (these are clearly labeled Windows), most of these you don’t use and probably won’t need, ever. Uninstall these programs and you get more PC space for the programs you do use and need.
- Manage Hardware. Unused software are not the only cause of poor PC performance. One also has to check hardware usage. Managing PC hardware helps speed up startup; hardware and drivers, like Bluetooth devices for example, which are not used should be disabled so one’s PC does not waste time loading these during startup. As for those drivers that are in fact being used, keeping them up to date is important for any PC to improve functionality.
- Check for Malicious Files and Processes. Are you being bugged by pop‐up ads that you did not sign up for or ads that totally were not there before? Do your browsers act weird and suddenly slow down when you access particular websites? A malware infection might be causing your PC’s speed bumps. Although majority of malware are designed not to attract attention, there are still some that actually slow PCs down and cause poor PC performance. Malicious processes that come with the installation of malware may interfere with legitimate computer processes. Always perform regular system scans to detect malware and remove them as soon as they are detected. Also, be wary of spam and exercise caution in visiting unfamiliar links to avoid malware infection.
- Set Your PC to Automatically Install Updates. Updates. We are always reminded to install these. Software and program updates are relatively easy to install, individually, that is. They take a few minutes to finish, sure, but the next time you decide to pass on installing ll surely waste in the future as a consequence of stalling instead of immediately installing: the files pile up and download time alone could take hours. Worse, outdated programs might start acting up and update is always the best bet to make sure programs respond and work at maximum capacity, and bugs, if there are any, are immediately fixed.
- Reboot. Why reboot and waste time when you could just continue working on and on on a PC turned on forever, right? No, wrong. Taking time to actually restart and reboot your PC would greatly improve its functionality and reduce problems of slowness. Some programs, when closed, do not fully release memory and continue running. Rebooting will take care of this.
- Disable Programs that Run at Startup. Some programs, like Skype for example, upon installation, run immediately when you turn on your PC. You always have the option to disable them from opening at startup. That way you decrease startup time by lessening your PC burden. Only open these programs when you need them.
- Defragment Regularly. This is important especially when one’s PC is heavily used. Poor PC performance may sometimes be a result of fragmentation, which is what happens when gaps exist in the allocation of space for files. File and program deletion, large files and large amounts of files contribute to fragmentation. The solution is to defragment so PC disks and drives function s Disk Defragmenter is the tool for PC fragmentation analysis and subsequent defragmentation.
- Go Light. Try switching to lightweight programs. Seriously, this will help a lot in maximizing PC functionality and minimizing speed problems. Find out first what programs are being used for which purpose; there might be programs out there t take up much computing power for reasons of being better coded or others. VLC, for example, is a lightweight alternative to Media Player. Firefox and Chrome are faster browsers than Internet Explorer.
- Upgrade. Of course, at the end of the day, heavy use of the PC will ultimately lead to it slowing down at some future time. Installing more RAM always helps. Upgrading to a newer operating system does, too. The thing to remember here is to be aware of the specific uses of one’s PC and one’s goals to find the best upgrade that would help one reach that goal.