Nothing frustrates me (and I’m sure you) more than a slow-moving computer especially when I’m working on deadline. Not surprisingly, a slow computer is the number-one complaint from computer users. But before you bash your screen in frustration, know that most of the time, you (not your computers) are at fault. Before you go out and get a new desktop computer, buy an external hard drive or turn to your tablet or other mobile tools in desperation, let me dispel a few myths.
According to Iolo.com the top five myths about slow computer performance are:
- Worn-out computer components
- You need to re-install your software
- You need to upgrade your software
- Only new computers are fast
- Spyware is to blame
With a few simple steps, you could gain back some of that speed you’re missing. Try:
Checking your startup programs.
If your computer is slow to start when you first turn it on,you might have too many programs set to launch at startup. Try disabling everything but your syncing program (if you’re syncing to your smartphone or tablet) and your anti-virus program. Where to find it? On a Mac go to System Preferences/Users & Groups/Login Items; on a PC, search for System Configuration. Also check to see if programs like iTunes or Acrobat have installed unneeded extra services.
Checking your operating system.
Are you running the most current version of the operating system? Are you set to get automatic updates? Make sure you have the latest service packs and security patches installed.
Checking your browser.
If you have Explorer, you need to run a Windows Update; Google Chrome updates automatically. Firefox updates can be checked by clicking Help and then Check for Updates.
Clearing your browsing history and temporary files.
Make it a point to clear out some unneeded history files from time to time, and you’ll immediately see faster speeds. Your computer has programs to do this for you or you can use third-party software cleaner like CCleaner.
Checking for multiple anti-virus software programs.
Sometimes you get so many offers for virus protection you go overboard and have more than one program installed. Stick to the one you’re paying for, the one that will give you the most protection and the one that will update your system to protect against new viruses.
Finally, check your computer’s suggestions on how to improve your performance by adjusting visual effects and power settings.