Is Your Computer Running Slow? Here Are 5 Reasons Why — And 5 Ways to Speed Things Up
The new year is in full swing and everyone is motivated to work hard after enduring the post-holiday break. But as you rush from task to task trying to finish that to-do list before 5:00 p.m., you may have noticed that your computer just can’t seem to keep up.
First things first, don’t panic. Slow desktops and lethargic laptops are more normal than you think — unless you’ve started working on a new computer at some point in the past few months, you’re probably using one right now. But that sluggishness is also simply due to your normal activity: running programs, surfing the web, and slowly filling up your hard drive.
Below we’ve compiled five of the most common reasons your computer drags, followed by five ways you can fix these problems and keep your desktop or laptop up to speed with your work ethic.
5 reasons why your computer is slow and how to fix it
1) Too many programs and/or browser tabs are open. Yes, in today’s digital world it’s possible to get a million things done at the same time. But at some point, your computer’s memory and processing speed won’t allow you to seamlessly switch from one open program to another. As for opening multiple tabs in your browser for future reference — if one of them auto-updates (think news sites and live streams) or keeps downloading and rotating ads, you’ll see a world of difference. Additionally, popular internet-connected music apps like Spotify can store a large cache of data, which similarly slows you down.
How to fix it: Quit or quit all programs you are not actively using and, if possible, stick to a single browser window. Want to save multiple tabs or links for later reading? Use the handy bookmarks option in Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari or Chrome.
2) Your hard drive or memory may be full. The biggest surprise here is that your disk or storage performance will start to suffer long before it’s 100% full. IT pros estimate that even at 85% utilization, your computer’s efficiency and productivity can slow down to a crawl. Programs, application updates, Internet downloads, and temporary files are the major causes of disk and disk space demands, along with large industry-specific files for people in graphic design, architecture, and engineering. In short, you can’t run the latest version of Photoshop on an entry-level or old computer.
How to fix it: Get started simply by emptying your computer’s Recycle Bin. Then consider moving the above large files to the cloud or deleting files that are not in use. The support of a trusted IT vendor can help you navigate these changes safely and securely. And when an upgrade to more RAM or a larger hard drive is required, working with a technology expert to install and implement it is critical to continued success.
3) Unnecessary software updates overload your computer. This ties in with the previous point, but requires reiteration and additional exploration. Many programs and applications come pre-installed with automatic updates enabled, but these can take up valuable hard drive space and interfere with normal functionality if auto-installers are enabled. They can also confuse computer users and compromise your company’s security.
How to fix it: Consider a proactive monitoring and maintenance solution like CMIT Marathon that will keep your computers running 24/7, handle all updates and patches for you, and roll out software upgrades after business hours so your employees aren’t impacted.
4) Too many applications open automatically when your computer starts up. Much like some applications are preset to install updates without warning, many are programmed to automatically load on startup. This can prove to be a massive drain on your computer’s processing speed, both when you first start it in the morning and throughout the day when you are unaware that these programs are running.
How to fix it: Changing a computer’s boot protocol is an extremely advanced procedure that is only recommended for IT professionals. However, if you work with a trusted partner, you can turn off the ones you don’t need while freeing up precious operational speed for the important ones.
5) Your computer could be infected with a virus (or loaded with an ineffective antivirus solution). Usually, the presence of a computer virus is immediately noticeable by encrypting files, demanding a ransom, or other nefarious pop-ups. However, some viruses run unknowingly in the background and collect vital information such as usernames, passwords, financial information, and health records. Most consumer antivirus solutions cannot detect such unauthorized operations, making multi-layered, ever-evolving security software a must for any 21st-century business.
How to fix it: Never trust your company’s critical data and computers to free antivirus or anti-spam solutions—and don’t expect just one layer of security to protect you and your employees from data breaches, ransomware, malware, phishing, and other forms of cybercrime. Online security is complicated and threats are constantly changing. What worked yesterday may not work today, and hackers work tirelessly to stay ahead of basic security precautions.
That’s why you need a trusted IT partner by your side. Is your computer running slow? Are certain programs limiting productivity and efficiency? Want to learn more about improving cybersecurity while increasing productivity without breaking the bank? Turn to CMIT Solutions – we’ll take care of the IT so you don’t have to.
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