How to Fix a Slow PC, in 7 Steps

By Joel Kabambi

Many of us think that when a computer starts performing slowly, it’s time to buy a new computer. Does your desktop or laptop often hang on the hourglass for several minutes at a time? Is it slow to load files or applications, and does it take a long time to boot? Even if you’re extremely careful about how you use your computer and never download questionable material, over time it is inevitable that your system will accumulate unwanted registry entries, errors, clutter and debris. It’s important to clean your computer up and get it running faster again.

Below are steps that can help speed up a Windows OS computer or determine why it is running slowly.

If your computer has not been rebooted for a long time, make sure to restart it before following any of the steps below. This is the first step of all troubleshooting.

Disable background programs
Background-running programs can also be the cause of a slow-working computer. Remove or disable any program that automatically starts each time the computer boots — programs that are not needed. How to do it? The followed link provides details:

Delete temp files
As a computer runs programs, temporary files are stored on the hard drive. Deleting these temp files can help improve computer performance. Programs like Disk Cleanup can be used to delete temp file, but there is also a way to do it manually. The following link provides details on how to do it manually

Free hard-drive space
Verify that there is a lot of space in your driver hard disk, at least 200 to 500MB of free hard-drive space. This available space allows the computer to have room for the swap file to increase in size, as well as room for temporary files.

Remove viruses
If a computer is infected, this can cause your computer to run slowly. Make sure you have antivirus software, and ensure that it’s up to date. Scan for viruses to remove. If you don’t have an antivirus program installed, you can run the free Microsoft antivirus Microsoft Security Essentials to scan for viruses on your computer and remove them. Microsoft Security Essentials can be downloaded from this Microsoft page:

Update Windows
Make sure you have all the latest Windows updates installed on the computer. If you are on the internet when your computer is slow, make sure all browser plugins are up to date. You can also try disabling browser plugins to see if one of them is causing the slowness.

Check for hardware issues
Finally, if your computer is still slow after trying all of the above recommendations, there may have a more serious hardware-related issue, such as a failing component in the computer. Examples of failing hardware could include a failing or bad hard drive, CPU, RAM or another component. This may require you to replace hardware that is causing slowness. If replacing hardware will cost too much, then it’s time to make the big decision of buying a new computer.


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