You’ve noticed that your computer just isn’t performing the way you expect. Perhaps it’s running slower, lagging, or freezing. Maybe it won’t connect to the internet or loses it’s connection regularly. You’ve had it for a while now, and maybe you think it’s time to get a new machine.
Often when a computer is slowing down or not performing as expected, there are some general steps we can take to improve your overall experience. These steps are by no means exhaustive, but more of a short list and worth attempting before deciding to purchase a whole new system.
The average life span of your chosen technology is approximately five years. There are many factors of course but, generally speaking, five years is a decent primary baseline.
That said, just because your computer is five years old and is running slow does not necessarily mean it is time to recycle it and get a new one (unless you want to, of course). Before you go out and make a purchase, here are five steps you can take to try and get your computer functioning as expected again, regardless of its age.
1.Hard Drive Space
Is your storage filling up? How much space do you have left available on your hard drive? Generally speaking, it is advisable to keep at least 10-15% of your disk space free for optimal function. The more room, the better, and if you find that your storage is full you’ll want to look at either clearing some space out or swapping out for a bigger HD or even an external one.
When was the last time you checked for malware or ran an antivirus scan? More importantly, when was the last time you updated your defence system? A scan is only as good as its latest update, and if you’re running old definitions, you may not be capturing everything. Another thing to consider is that no single defence software is capable of detecting everything. If I find an abundance of malware on a system, I often run a second scan from another provider just in case.
3. Long Uptime
Have you restarted your computer recently? Believe it or not, sometimes a system that has been running for a long time may need a refresh. Give it a reboot and see if that helps resolve anything. Do you have many programs that boot up at login? It might be beneficial to disable them from booting at startup, opting instead to begin them as needed manually.
Is everything up to date on your computer? You may have updates sitting there waiting to install. Even if you have things set to update automatically, it’s an excellent place to begin.
5. Corrupted or Fragmented Hard Drive
If your disk has become fragmented, it will take longer to locate and organize the data it needs. Running a defragment, and a check disk scan can go a long way to telling you what kind of shape your hard drive is in.
*On a side note, defragment does not apply to an SSD drive. SSD drives do not benefit from you defragmenting them manually so if you currently have one installed, I would advise against actioning this step.
Again, this is by no means an exhaustive list. Many factors can lead to a machine slowing down but, trying these steps can often help speed things up for you. If you don’t feel comfortable working these options or would prefer to have some assistance with this, I am happy to help. I have a lot of experience with slow computers and will do everything I can to get you up and running again.