These days most people use computers on a daily basis and if they’re not working effectively it can be extremely frustrating. Slow computers are a common problem that computer repair workers often come up against and there’s lots of conflicting advice out there about which repairs will actually solve the problem at hand. Read on to find out the three most common repair myths and the best way to fix your computer.
Image source codinghorror.com
1. Computers need expensive antivirus protection to stay running fast
When a PC starts to get sluggish and receive lots of pop ups, people often assume that means it has a virus and spend time and money installing expensive antivirus software or backing up the software they have with yet more software to provide double protection. However, malware is not as complex an issue as most people assume. Decent antivirus protection should be enough to protect your PC from malware, provided you stick to safe browsing too. For example, avoid opening pop up ads and junk mail or visiting untrusted sites.
2. You need more hard drive space and RAM
Many people believe that in order for a computer to run as fast as possible it needs acres of extra RAM but the majority of users will only need between 2 and 4 GB of RAM, which most modern PC’s will already have. Similarly, if you have 10% or more of hard drive space left you shouldn’t need to upgrade.
3. Your hardware has worn out over time
The biggest reason why computers get slower over time is because they regularly receive updates, which means more features are present on the system and these new features need more power to work to a similar standard. Whilst hardware will eventually wear out, it’s very unlikely you’ll notice a slow demise – instead, it will probably just stop working. Your hard drive can start to slow over time but if you experience this you should change it immediately, otherwise you run the risk of corrupting important files or losing work you haven’t backed up.
Fixing a Slow Computer
If your computer is running slowly there are lots of things you can try before getting rid of it or paying a visit to the repair shop.
- Don’t run too many apps at the same time
If you’ve got hundreds of icons in your menu bar or system tray it can significantly slow your computer. When you start your computer make sure no unnecessary apps are running and uninstall anything you don’t need.
- Be careful what you install
If you’re not sure whether an app your planning to download is safe then put in plenty of research first and if you can’t find the information that tells you it’s safe don’t download it. If you’re not sure about an app you already have try running it and seeing if your computer slows.
- Don’t bloat your programs
The more work you give an app to do the slower it will run, so for example if you have a large music or movie library it will slow your computer. The more plug-ins and add-ons you install the more sluggish your apps will run become give them less work to do by avoiding add-ons.
Jason Evans works as a Microsoft specialist for Clifford Computers, a computer repairs firm based in Essex. As he spends his working days contending with pretty simple IT errors, he’s keen to teach novices about the basics of looking after a computer!