A slow computer is extremely annoying. Tasks that used to take a few seconds seem to take ages, while you tap your fingers and watch the clock. There are plenty tricks to speed it up, but before you open it up to try some DIY surgery, or reinstall the OS, or call IT support in desperation, here are some basic things to do that should boost computer speed and performance.
If you’ve had your computer for a while then you’ve probably seen a lot of new applications arrive and then becoming redundant or outdated. It’s very likely that you have a number of old applications that you’ve more or less forgotten about installed on your computer. These may automatically boot up every time you restart the computer. They use up your all-important RAM (random access memory) and can make a big difference to computer speed.
Check your system tray or task manager to see what applications your PC is running at any given time. You’ll probably find programs that you haven’t used for ages. Apps you thought you’d got rid of might still be there. If you disable or completely uninstall these apps you could see an immediate improvement. There are a couple of ways you can start to deal with the problem. In Windows 10 you can go to the Start Menu and search for ‘Startup Apps’, which are located under ‘System Settings’. Here you have the option to toggle off apps that you don’t need or use.
Alternatively, you can uninstall the programs. To do this, go to the Windows Control Panel, and then to ‘Programs’. Now you’ll see a list of programs and the option to ‘Uninstall’. A word of warning is necessary here, especially if you’re dealing with a work computer rather than your own device. You need to make sure you don’t uninstall a program that’s critical to the computer’s operations, or that might affect other users. You might want to get advice from your in-house IT department staff or another IT support professional before performing any irreversible action.
Have you seen the film of Jules Verne’s classic novel ’20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’? A giant octopus attacks a submarine and coils its tentacles around it. There are programs on computers that do something similar. They have multiple tentacles that unfurl in your PC and access masses of files in order to keep the program open and functioning. The end result, just like the octopus that disabled Captain Nemo’s submarine, is that your computer becomes seriously impaired and slows down drastically. iTunes is one such program. It’s a giant that not only manages large media files but (so it can send you to the Apple Store) is also always connected to the internet. Programs like this should be closed unless you’re actually using them, so space is freed up.
If you use an app or program regularly over a long period it may grow and take up unnecessary space. There’ll likely be various add-ons and extensions that you don’t use and don’t need. These can be a considerable drag on your computer speed because they sometimes use a lot of processing power. As with other unused applications, checking what’s there and deleting things that are now surplus to requirements can help reduce the load on your computer and speed it up.
If you don’t maintain your computer regularly then it will get messy and accumulate stuff that stops it operating as well as it should. You dust, tidy and vacuum your home and take out the trash. Similar chores are needed for computer maintenance. Some tasks you should perform regularly to prevent the annoyance caused by a slow computer include keeping your software updated, and your antivirus protection in particular; getting rid of programs you don’t need by uninstalling them; and deleting temporary files that just sit there doing nothing. These chores don’t take long once you get into the habit and will help optimize your computer’s performance.
Quikteks can carry out these maintenance chores for your computer remotely. That’s just one of the services Quikteks offers. We can maintain all your workplace computers every night, according to best practice principles. When you sit down and login the next day to resume work on an important project you can be confident that you won’t have to wrestle with a slow computer before you can get moving. Proper maintenance means minimal downtime too.
For a free network evaluation and assessment of what might be dragging your computer speed down, call Quikteks at (973) 882-4644 and we’ll show how to enhance computer performance and make sure your IT is running optimally.