Is your computer running slow and sluggish? does it take what feels like an eternity to boot up, Viruses, Malware, Bloatware, and your settings can all play a part in slowing your computer down. Read on to try some simple fixes to resolve your slow computer.

Image of slow computer
Image of slow pc

There are not many things more frustrating than waiting for a slow computer to boot up, or even to load software you’re trying to use. Waiting on your computer to load up a simple web page, or even a software suite like Word can cause any sane person to want to pull their hair out of their head or even throw the computer out the window.

BUT…….wait there is no need to do that just yet there are some simple steps that even a novice user can try first. Malware removal and a couple of system tweaks. try some of the following tips to speed up your computer.

 

Disable Start Up Programs

the speed in which it takes your computer to boot depends on a couple of factors, including hardware that you are using, and the version of Windows. The programs that are scheduled to start up along with windows have a significant effect on your computers boot time.

These programs start up in the background, and some software you install creates a startup schedule without your knowledge. You can easily disable these programs from running at start up:

Windows 7

  • click start, type msconfig in the search bar and press enter. in the System Configuration window, click the Startup tab
  • From the list that appears, uncheck the box next to the programs you don’t want to start up. Only uncheck the programs you don’t use regularly, or know you don’t need.
  • Click Apply and then Click OK to restart your computer.

Windows 8/8.1/10

  • press and hold down Ctrl, Shift, and press Esc, this will open task manager
  • If task manager opens in a small window then click on more details at the bottom left of the window.
  • Click the Start-up, from the list that appears, highlight the program you want to disable by clicking on it, then click on the disable button in the bottom right corner of the window. Alternatively, you can simply just right click on the program you want and select disable from the list.
  • Close the task manager by clicking the X in the top right-hand corner, next time you restart your computer you should notice a difference.

 

Keep Software Up-to-Date

Keeping software up-to-date is one of the most important things you can do to improve the efficiency of a computer. This includes web browsers, device drivers for the hardware your using, and of course Windows itself. Software and hardware manufacturers will release updates to ensure their products are running to the best of its abilities. Windows releases updates to fix security issues, or glitches in the operating system to ensure the best user experience.

 

How to run windows update

Windows 7

  • Click the start button and type in control panel, select control panel from the list
  • When control panel window appears, click on System and Security.
  • When the System and Security windows opens select Windows Updates from the list and click Check for updates. windows will now go online and search the windows update center for updates.
  • If it returns updates to install just click Install Updates.
  • Windows will now download and install the updates.
  • Restart the computer if requested, for updates to take effect.

Windows 8/8.1/

  • Access Windows 8 settings, bring up the default charms by pointing your cursor to the upper right corner of the screen.
  • Go to Settings, click on Change PC Settings at the bottom of the panel
  • Select Windows Update.
  • and from the right pane click Check for updates now button to manually look for updates.

Windows 10

  • Either use the Cortana Search box or press and hold the Windows button next to the Alt button on the keyboard and press S key, in the search bar type Windows Update.
  • Click on Check for Updates at the top of the list.
  • From the Windows Update settings page click Check For Updates, updates will download and install automatically.
  • Restart the computer if requested to finish configuring updates.

 

Keeping Drivers Up-to-Date

Device drivers play a significant part in a computer system as these are the software that determines how hardware communicates with the computer. If the device driver is out of date this can cause performance issues, such as system crashes, or slow performance from the related device. Windows Updates will usually install a generic driver for hardware installed until Windows Update is run. If the manufacturer of the device has released a signed copy of the driver then it will no doubt be int Window update center. Windows Update doesn’t always install the most up-to-date drivers for devices so I highly recommend checking your device or component manufacturers website updates.

 

Check Viruses and Malware

PC with Virus and Malware Image
PC with Virus and Malware Image

Chances are if you have a good Antivirus installed then its unlikely you have a virus, but not all Anti Viruses prevent against malware. I highly recommend BullGuard Internet Security. Viruses can slow down a computer and cause data loss.

If you don’t have any viruses then a malware scan should be next on your list. I recommend using Malwarebytes free version.

Malware runs undetected if you don’t have a good antivirus or malware protection on the computer. Spyware is the most common form of malware and this can cause a security breach as it continually monitors your activity and collects information about you. Malware uses a lot processes in the background and usually come in the form of PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) these are usually attached to your web browser as extensions causing your CPU and Disk usage to become erratic which in turn slows down the performance of your computer.

Clear your Cache and Cookies

When you visit a website online your web browser caches it as a file in your temporary internet folder. As well as stockpiling files called cookies, these contain information about your browsing history and personal details.

After long these files can build up and slow your browser down, Clearing them on a regular basis will ensure your web browser load web pages faster.

To delete cookies and clear cache, this can be achieved in most web browsers by going to the settings menu and selecting Clear browsing data or Clear cache and cookies.

 

Uninstall Unwanted Programs

Freeing up HDD space and RAM by uninstalling unused programs/applications from your computer. These may include Games you no longer play, unused software, out of date Antiviruses or Trial versions that came with the computer.

Windows 7

Click start > control panel > uninstall a program

From the list, click the program you want to uninstall and then click Uninstall.

Windows 8

To begin, access the Start Context Menu:

  • Windows 8: Hover the cursor in the bottom-left corner of the screen until a small image of the Start Screen appears, then right-click on the icon to open the Start Context Menu. Select Programs and Features.
  • Windows 8.1: Right-click on the Start icon in the lower left-hand corner to open the Start Context Menu. Select Programs and Features.
  • Select an application and click Uninstall to remove it.

Windows 10

  • Use the Cortana search box or Press and hold the windows button, and press X.
  • Types control panel into the search bar.
  • Click on control panel from the list.
  • Under the heading Programs click uninstall a program.
  • From the list select the program you want and uninstall it.

 

Delete Temporary Files

Windows has a utility called Disk Cleanup that can help boost the performance of your computer, by removing temporary files and unwanted system files.

Disk Cleanup

  • From the Start button menu, choose All Programs > Accessories > System Tools >Disk Cleanup.
  • If prompted, choose the mass storage device that you want to clean up.The prompt appears only when you have multiple storage media on your PC. You probably want to choose drive C, the main storage device.
  • In the Disk Cleanup dialogue box, place check marks on all the items you want to remove.

It’s okay to place check marks on all items. Those things wouldn’t be listed if they were crucial to the computer’s operation.

There’s one exception to placing check marks on all the items, however: Hibernation File Cleaner. Do not remove that item if you use hibernation on your computer.

  • Click You’re not quite there yet.
  • Click the Delete Files button to begin the cleanup process. Wait while the disk is being cleaned. When the process is complete, the window goes away.

In Windows, you can click the Clean Up System Files button to remove unneeded bits and pieces of various Windows updates that may be littering the hard drive.

Identifying Bloatware

Bloatware is a term giving to the unnecessary software that comes installed with the computer. If you find there are programs on the computer you have no intention of using such as; disk burning software, free games, free trials to software like Antiviruses, Windows Office Suite (OpenOffice is a great free alternative to Office)

Uninstalling these programs is relatively easy just follow the instructions above on how to delete unwanted programs.

Install a Solid State Drive (SSD)

Traditional hard drives use a needle to read the data from a round metallic disc, much like how an old record player reads music from a record. Unlike traditional hard drives, SSDs have no moving parts making them more efficient and ultimately faster. this can be quite a costly upgrade to make tho. You should be expected to spend between £50 and £250, depending on the capacity of the SSD, usually between 32GB and 1TB.

Be warned this is not an for the faint of hearts as it can be quiet a daunting process, not only do you need to remove the casing and fiddle with cables, but if you want your computer to be the exact same as before then you will be required to clone your HDD to the SDD. This can cause major problems with the system. I would highly recommend getting a professional to do the job for you.

If you require any assistance with this or would like to book our PC Service for only £25 please contact us.

Post content originally from our friends at TLC Computer Repairs.