Slow computer visualized by a snail crawling.

5 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer

Whether your computer has gradually declined over time or it’s recently come to a shuddering halt, its performance has become intolerably slow. Slowness issues may arise from a number of underlying causes, but can almost always be fixed. The five options below are among the most common and effective solutions to the problems of your computer’s poor performance and slowness.

1. Reboot

In many cases, the issues that you’re experiencing are temporary for one reason or another. It’s possible that a program is draining your resources and memory, causing your computer to be slow. A simple reboot will wipe away the current state of your system, including any problems, and start you back at square one.

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2. Remove Startup Programs

If you’ve had your computer for a while, you may have installed dozens of applications and utilities on it. Many of these programs ask permission to run each time your computer starts up, even if you never or rarely use them. These applications can clog valuable computing resources while they run in the background unannounced.

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You can disable programs from running at startup by using the Windows Task Manager, or by removing them from the list of “Login Items” under System Preferences > Users & Groups in Mac OS X.

3. Delete Viruses and Malware

Computers that are experiencing unpredictable crashes and strange messages may be suffering from the hidden presence of viruses and malware.

These programs are installed on your computer without your knowledge or permission and may be used for a number of nefarious activities: tracking your web browsing data, displaying annoying pop-up ads, or even locking down your system and holding your files for ransom.

Fortunately, there are a number of antivirus and anti-malware software tools that can help detect and remove these malicious programs. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free and well-reviewed tool for Windows PCs, protecting your computer in real time.

4. Install a Solid-State Drive

Hard drives naturally slow down with age, and the fix to your slowness issues might be to replace the drive. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are storage devices that have a variety of advantages over traditional hard disk drives (HDDs).

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HDDs consist of a metal “platter” that spins rapidly when turned on, allowing your computer to access the data. Meanwhile, SSDs store your data on flash memory chips, which retain the information even when your computer isn’t powered on.

SSDs boot your computer faster than HDDs, and can run and transfer files faster as well. In addition, because SSDs don’t have moving parts, your data is more likely to be preserved if the drive is accidentally dropped.

5. Add More RAM

RAM (random access memory) is the main space in which your computer stores, reads, and writes the data that it uses for its computations. It’s often referred to simply as “memory.”

In the event that you run out of RAM, your computer can access data from the hard drive as well, but this is orders of magnitude slower. Think of RAM as an office desk while your hard drive is a filing cabinet down the hall. While you can store more data on the hard drive, it’s not as easily accessible.

Adding more RAM to your computer reduces the number of times that you need to read data from the hard drive, which will often have a noticeable improvement on performance.

Where We Come In

Fixing your own computer is certainly doable, but it’s not exactly feasible if you’re doing multiple.

Computer repair and maintenance can be costly, depending on the problem. You must also consider the time it takes to actually diagnose the issues, and perform the repairs.

Turn to the pros. We can help you proactively manage your device infrastructure to keep your computers running quickly. In turn, it’ll keep you more productive and less frustrated.