Every day we have clients come in with slow PC's. That got me thinking; if we are helping a whole bunch of people speed up their computers, how many are we not seeing and are heading out to bust out lots of cash on a new one. So I figured I would give you some of the non-technical tricks we use to make computers go faster that only takes a few minutes. Of course, if it's still slow you are always welcome to pop in store and we can see what cost-effective options exist for your computer that cost much less than a new computer. So here are my top tips for you:
Think of Task Manager as a window into your PC's health. The app gives you insight into what's taxing the processor, how much memory something is taking up, and even how much network data a program has used. An easy way to open Task Manager is to right-click on the Taskbar and select "Task Manager" from the list of options. Task Manager's default view doesn't show a lot of information beyond which apps are currently running (handy if you already know if you want to close one out), so after opening the app, click on "More Details" in the bottom left corner.
By default, the list is broken down into Apps and Background Processes. My advice is to watch for apps that shoot up to the top of the list, then disappear a few seconds later. Look for processes that stay at the top of the list with high memory or CPU use. You can Google names to find out more about a process to see if they are important. To close an app or process that you feel may be partly responsible for slow performance, click on it and then "End Task". Remember to save any work you might be in the middle of before ending the task.
Antivirus software can slow down your system while it's actively scanning your computer for malware and viruses. Instead of letting your antivirus program scan whenever it sees fit, schedule it to run at times when you're not likely to be using your PC, such as overnight. If you don't want to leave your computer on we recommended and offer a managed solution called "Webroot" this uses the cloud to scan your computer essentially meaning Webroots computers do the processing, not yours.
If your PC is taking forever to boot up, then you probably have far too many apps trying to run at startup. You can edit the list of apps and services that begin running when you log in to your computer by opening Task Manager and clicking on the "Startup" tab. Go through the list and remove anything that you don't need on a daily basis by clicking the app name followed by "Disable". You will still have access to this app, it just won't boot on startup each time.
Your web browser could be the culprit, especially if you've lost count of the number of windows and tabs you have open. Each window and tab takes up memory and processing power and over time that will begin to slow down your PC.
You can view a breakdown of extensions and tabs that could be to blame in Task Manager by clicking on the arrow next to your browser's name. Alternatively, if you use Chrome, it has a built-in task manager of its own. Launch it by pressing Shift+Esc while using Chrome, or click on the menu button > More Tools > Task manager.
Make sure they're not running in the notification tray (next to the volume and Wi-Fi indicators). When you close some apps, such as Slack and Skype, they keep running in the background.
If your drive is running out of space this can be a big culprit. If you are full to the brim then this should be fixed quickly as you can lose data from corruption. You could try deleting some old files or emptying the recycle bin.
If you have done all this it could be that your drive is getting old and could be failing. It is a good idea to test your hard drives every two years, so if you are overdue for a test pop into King IT, mention this email, and we will test it at no charge.
Computers should be switched off every few weeks at least. Don't just restart it, but completely power it off and walk away for a few minutes. This gives your computer a chance to clear out the memory and start fresh the next time it's turned on. Note that turning it off every few hours won't help.
If you have not done this already then pop in store so we can help you do this. There are some major security concerns with older operating systems and apps may also run slower on older versions of windows.
If you have any questions about what we have discussed please pop in store for an obligation-free chat.