A slow computer is just about the most common issue out there. For example, your web browser takes an age to upload, or maybe you go to open an application such as Microsoft Word. The computer seems to stop, have a good think about what to do and then, in fact, not do it – leaving you with a whirly wheel going around on your screen and a (NOT RESPONDING) message.
We’ve tried everything we can think of:
- Pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete
- Staring at the screen for an indeterminate amount of time
- Talking nicely to it
- Screaming and shouting abuse at it
- Turning the whole thing off and on again
- Threatening it with a swift swipe of a sledgehammer!
And yet, nothing seems to be helping.
So what’s the problem?
Too Many Temporary Files
Whenever you are online or opening up an application to carry out one of the many tasks you use on your computer, a temporary file is created, which is stored on your hard drive. As the volume of these files amasses, so they can have a drain on your memory and subsequently the speed of your computer.
To ease this and potentially speed your PC up, you can go into your C: drive and find the Windows folder. Within here, you should be able to find a folder called ‘Temp’. Open this folder, select the files within (press and hold Ctrl + A to select all files), and send them to the recycle bin.
Too Many Applications Opening on Start-Up
Like us humans, our computers can multitask, but the more they’re asked to do it at once, the longer it takes them to do it.
Over time, it’s pretty common to find that certain applications open and begin to run automatically as we start up our PCs. Unfortunately, these are unnecessary in many cases and will drain the computer’s resources, slowing down its overall operation.
To reduce the number of applications opening on start-up, you can open your task manager file (Ctrl+Alt-Delete, yes, that old favourite) and click on the tab which says ‘Start-Up’. On older versions of Windows, you can find this by going into ‘Start’ then typing ‘Run’. Once in ‘Run’, type ‘msconfig’, which will open the start-up tab.
Once there, you will see listed all applications which automatically run. To stop those which you consider unnecessary, simply click to disable them. However, a word of caution is that some apps are important and worth keeping enabled (anti-virus software, etc.). Other apps, such as entertainment-type programmes such as music software, should be fine. A rule of thumb, if in doubt, leave it on.
Eventually, if you’ve had your PC for a few years, you are likely to use up a good proportion of the memory on your PC. The more memory being used, the slower that your system is going to operate. Why not, therefore, consider giving yourself more memory and storage?
You could potentially increase the internal memory by adding extra to the hard drive. However, an alternative to this is to consider an external hard drive to store files and media, relieving the burden on your internal memory.
Too Many Unnecessary Programmes
Another strain and drain on your PC and a cause of speed issues are that you may have many programmes installed onto your system that are unnecessary.
Often, particularly as we use the internet, we might download – inadvertently or otherwise – certain programmes or pieces of software that we either don’t need or only required one time. Of course, once on the system there, they remain, often harmless but a drain on performance just by their presence, until you do something about it.
You can uninstall such programmes by heading into your control panel and finding the list of programmes on your system. In here, you have the ability, by a simple click, to uninstall any programme you don’t need.