Is your computer running “slower” than you think it should? If you ask any IT service provider about the most commonly reported problem they encounter, it’s going to be a “slow” or underperforming computer.
Computers can start to get sluggish for a variety of reasons, and the best way to keep them running smoothly is reliable and capable computer managed services—but here are some steps you can take on your own to improve computer performance:
Defrag Your Hard Drive
Your computer has built-in utilities that can help you clear off junk and increase performance. First, if you’re on a PC, defragment your hard drive. This arranges files on your hard drive in such a way that your computer can access them more readily. The operating system on Macs make defrags unnecessary, but Windows users may see increased performance. Many IT service providers schedule computers to do this automatically.
Clear Up Some Disk Space
A lack of available memory is responsible for many computer performance issues. If you’re using a PC, you should run the disk cleanup utility, which will delete many unnecessary files. On a Mac, you should use the disk utility. On both Macs and PCs, you should take some time to go through and delete files and applications you don’t use or need anymore.
See What’s Running
Very often, having too much running at once can slow your computer to a crawl. Open up your Task Manager or Activity Monitor (on PC or Mac, respectively) and see what programs you have running and how much memory and processing power they are taking up. Make sure you kill or stop programs that you are not using that take up too much of your program’s time or attention.
In general, the more free memory your computer has, the faster it will be able to move. An external hard drive or cloud storage can help here. Take any files you need to keep but may not use often and store them off of your computer.
Lose Junk Programs
Many “helpful” utilities, plugins and toolbars do much more harm than good, so think twice about installing them, and find ways to get rid of the ones you have that are junk. Your IT service provider can help you distinguish between useful programs and non-useful programs.
Get Rid of Malware
One of the most common reasons for poor performance is malware clogging up your machine. Macs are less vulnerable to malware than PCs, but both can get into trouble. For PCs, we recommend Malwarebytes, which sports a free trial. PC users should talk to whoever handles their computer managed services before installing or running any anti-malware software.
Call for Help
Sometimes, poor performance can be indicative of a bigger problem, like hardware issues or damaged programs that need a professional intervention to solve correctly. If you hit a wall, take the time to let your IT service provider truly solve the issue. After all, a slow computer kills productivity.