One of the most common complaints that IT professionals hear from users is “My computer is running slow”. Slowness can be related to the computer or can be related to your internet connection. If it is slow to boot up, it could be unnecessary programs running in the background at startup. If it is slow to load a web page, it could be your internet connection. Maybe the computer’s internal components are failing and need to be replaced or upgraded to increase performance. Maybe you have a virus infection. Maybe an update to Windows or some other program is to blame. Slowness can be caused by many different things. Assuming your problem is the computer and not the internet, let’s consider a few different possible solutions to get your system running as good as new again!
Check for Hardware Issues
First things first – check for hardware problems or failures. Most modern desktops and laptops have a built-in diagnostic system that will check the installed components for failure. Typically you can access this menu option when you first boot up your computer. Let’s use Dell computers as an example. When you first start it up, you will see the Dell logo displayed on a screen with a black background. In the bottom corner, you should see a message stating “F12 Boot Options”. After pressing F12 you will be given a menu of options including diagnostics. Select this option and follow the on-screen instructions. For accessing diagnostics on other computer brands, refer to Google and search your computer brand and “built-in diagnostics menu” or something similar.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re still running on a 5400 or 7200 RPM hard drive, a solid state drive will make your machine run better than when it was new. The speed and responsive is completely unmatched by hybrid or traditional hard drives.
Check for Viruses/Malware
If your hardware checks out good, next you should check for viruses. Every computer should have anti-virus software installed. Windows 10 computers come with Defender. This is a free anti-virus program built into Windows since the release of Windows 8. Other options would include Norton, Avast, AVG, and others that have a free version or annual subscription version. You should always have a working and up-to-date anti-virus program running at all times (*You only want to have one active anti-virus program. Running more than one can cause problems and conflict with one another). Open your anti-virus program and select the option to run a “Full Scan”. If the program finds any infections, call SandStorm IT for assistance with removing them.
Removed Unnecessary Software & Applications
Now if your hardware is good and you don’t have any viruses, let’s try removing some unnecessary applications and startup apps. Sometimes programs run at startup or in the background of Windows that take up unnecessary resources. SandStorm IT actually has a published guide to how you can eliminate unwanted programs running in the background.. Below are Microsoft knowledge-base articles with step-by-step instructions for disabling startup apps, removing, or repairing apps in Windows 10. For other versions of Windows search Google for your version of operating system.
Startup apps article
Repair/remove apps article
Hopefully, by this point, your computer is running like new again but if not, call or stop by SandStorm IT and we will fix you up!