When you’re in a rush at work with deadlines at every turn, the last thing you want is a slow PC or laptop. If you’ve found yourself desperately hitting every button on your keyboard to get your laptop unfrozen or loading faster, then there could be a problem with your device.
The important thing is not to panic. Slow computers are an annoying but solvable issue.
These are 5 of the most common reasons your PC or laptop is running slower than normal, and what you can do to fix it before seeking expert IT support.
1 - Too Many Programs Running
Are you someone who has a minimum of ten browser tabs and multiple applications open all at once? Sometimes your job means you need to switch between programs quickly and frequently, but having too many things open at once will lead to your device slowing to a snail’s pace.
The fix - Close any unnecessary browsers or programs when you don’t immediately need them. Don’t be afraid to bookmark those web pages for reference and close Chrome or Safari once in a while! If this is the issue, you’ll notice a speed improvement instantly.
2 - Memory Maxed out
Your hard drive doesn’t need to be maxed out at 100% capacity to cause slowness. Even at around 85% full, you’ll notice your PC or laptop becoming slower to open programs and load files.
The fix - Moving the majority of your larger files to the cloud is the most efficient and simple way to save on memory. Remember to empty your ‘trash’ frequently, as this can be a hidden memory hoard.
3 - Viruses
If your device is infected with a virus, you will most often notice popups, ransom messages and encrypted files appearing. Some more sly viruses operate in the background secretly gathering your data, and this will cause your laptop to slow noticeably.
The scary fact is that many consumer-level antivirus software options are not able to detect these types of smart viruses, so a slow device may be your only warning sign.
The fix - Do not rely on built-in firewalls and free antivirus software to protect your files and data. All businesses today should be ensuring they have a multi-layered antivirus solution. Upgrading your cybersecurity is the only way to keep your device and data safe, and to avoid viruses that slow your entire business down.
4 - Apps Auto Opening On Start-Up
When you first start up your PC or laptop, do you notice a lot of programs automatically opening? Is your device also annoyingly slow to start up and sluggish to open new programs?
You might have a scheduling program, a video call program or a browser opening automatically, but this can be a real problem for loading speeds, as your device is busy opening these programs simultaneously.
The fix - Removing some of the programs that open automatically in your computer’s startup log is the best solution. But this should only be done with the help of a trusted IT professional, so you can be sure you’re only removing the unnecessary programs and not the essentials from the startup process!
5 - Updates In The Background
Many programs are set to automatically update periodically, and when you have multiple programs updating in the background, your PC’s performance will suffer.
Some updates will even automatically force your device to shut down and restart, which could cause you to suddenly lose whatever you were working on. With automatic updates turned on, you’ll often find that your hard drive space is being taken up unnecessarily too.
The fix - With proper IT monitoring from a professional, you can ensure all of the important updates are done when they should be. It’s possible to schedule updates so that they happen during regular downtimes, such as at night or weekends, so your PC performance is uninterrupted.
Slow Device Still Causing Problems?
These are the most frequent issues and their fixes, including maxed out memory, too many tabs, unwanted auto opening and frequent updates. The solutions here are simple and effective, but not every problem can be fixed unaided.
If you’ve tried these fixes but you still need help with your PC, laptop, software or cyber security, then speak to us here at Data Innovations. We have the IT expertise and solutions to get any device working speedily and securely.