Quick fixes for a slow running computer

Is there anything more frustrating than a slow-running computer?

keyboard snail

There’s almost nothing more frustrating than a slow-running computer – especially when you know it still has years of mileage left in it. If you can make a cup of coffee in the time it takes to boot up, then it’s running too slow. A slow computer can be caused by many things and usually there’s a simple fix to the problem. Here are five things you can do to speed up your slow PC or laptop.

1. Delete temporary files
Temporary files get stored on your computer through your everyday use, such as browsing the web and playing online games. They can remain on your hard disk and slow down the computer. Sometimes, speeding up your computer can be as simple as freeing up space by deleting these files, including your internet history and cookies.

Learn how to delete temporary files on your PC or Mac computer.

2. Uninstall unused programs
Computers these days come pre-loaded with a number of programs that you will probably never use or don’t even know about. They can take up a lot of valuable space on your hard disk and slow it down by running background processes, even when you don’t use them.

Remove unused programs on your PC or Mac computer.

3. Bust out the vacuum cleaner
This might sound a tad odd but giving your computer a spring clean can actually help it run faster. Dust that gets caught in the hardware’s nooks and crannies can impede airflow, causing the computer to overheat and slow down. You can vacuum out the dust, crumbs and debris by removing the computer’s exterior. First check to see this is possible with your model and that it will not void your warranty. Make sure your computer has been switched off for at least 30 minutes, all cables have been removed and it has been completely disconnected from all power outlets before removing the outer casing.

4. Scan for viruses/malware
If your computer is infected with a virus it can run more slowly than usual. It’s strongly recommended that you install an antivirus program when you first set up a new computer. If your computer doesn’t have an antivirus program installed, you can run a free online utility program called HouseCall to scan for and remove viruses (for PC and for Mac).

Along with doing an antivirus check, try running a malware scan on your computer using this free version of Malwarebytes.

5. Update your operating system
A final simple thing you can do to keep your computer up-to-date and running efficiently is to update your operating system. For PC computers, Windows 10 is the latest version. You can check which operating system your PC is running and then update it if necessary. For Mac computers, the latest operating system is macOS Sierra. Mac computers introduced in late 2009 or later can be upgraded to Sierra. Older models may not be able to support all the latest features of the new iOS and you may be better off keeping an older operating system. All operating system upgrades are free.



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    12th Jun 2017
    I often wonder why it is that all the Super , Marvellous , Wonderful computer programmes that do such wonderful clean ups and speed ups do not advise you of the costs involved when they advertise their product at the beginning of the installation and not at the end just before you do the final click
    14th Jun 2017
    Download CCleaner, it is freeware, it does a good job and when you first use it it will ask which cookies you want to keep (e.g. your bank, your anti-virus etc.)keeping them saves having to type their addresses into your browser again.
    It cleans out temp. internet files, internet history and also all those hidden temporary files Microsoft operating systems loves to store on your system.
    Last time I used CCleaner it freed up a few megabytes of hard drive.
    I have never had a problem with it.
    14th Jun 2017
    AVG is also free and an excellent program. You just have to make sure you "read the screen carefully" (something I was taught at TAFE) to make sure you are selecting the free version, even during updates. This probably applies to other programs as well, as there are some that ask if you want other programs installed during installation. If you happily click "Next", "Next" without looking you can end up with lots of odds and ends you don't want, mostly search bars. So the "Read the Screen" advice is good for so many things. Hope you find one you like. If you go to download.com and only search for free programs, you'll find lots to choose from, and the ones that are downloaded a lot or have good Editor's reviews you will find are reputable.
    14th Jun 2017
    AVG just slowed down my computer, maybe it is to old for it. Took me ages to get rid of it on my computer and all it's files, then my computer really sped up.
    14th Jun 2017
    Yes good idea to uninstall some programs - but knowing what is still needed is another thing - understanding whats what can be tricky. I do not even know what some programs do !
    14th Jun 2017
    You need to use google and find out, it is really interesting to find so many unused programs you don't need.

    Check out; https://www.shouldiremoveit.com
    14th Jun 2017
    I found Revo unistaller excellent, you can try it before you buy it, they have a standard version and premium. Even if you just use the free version once it works well.

    I don't and won't use Windows 10, not suitable for me or my old computer.

    I only use windows defender, tried many anti-virus programs, they just slow up my computer and keep advertising to me.
    15th Jun 2017
    I just got a message from my internet service provided to clear out my cookies so I did but since I only did a clean up a week earlier I did wonder what was going on.
    I also deleted off a few programs - it was like saying goodbye to a good friend. I did check the size of the files first. No point in getting rid of anything less than 100 MB. My favourites are all big though.

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