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Ask a Computer Specialist About Your Slow Computer


Ask a Computer Specialist About Your Slow Computer

There are few day-to-day occurrences that are more frustrating than a slow computer — especially if it’s a newer piece of equipment. There are numerous reasons that your computer can be periodically or chronically slow. While a computer support specialist usually has the experience and resources to tell you what’s causing the lag, there are a few things you can do to prevent or fix slow performance yourself.

Why is Your Computer Slow?

Before you run out and buy a new machine or several machines, or sit online with a computer support specialist who may or may not be able to help you with your issues, you may want to try to see if any of these seven common problems are at the root of your slowdown::

1. You Haven’t Updated Your Operating System or the Software You’re Running

Check to see if you are running the latest version of your operating system. If you have a Mac, follow these steps. If you use Windows, follow these steps. OS updates often contain fixes for bugs that slow down your system’s performance. If you notice a particular program or app that is performing slowly, see if there’s an update. Many programs and apps coordinate their updates to coincide with operating system updates to avoid compatibility issues.

2. Programs and Applications Running in the Background

Many programs turn on automatically when you log in, even if you’re not using them. You can detect and turn off running programs through your activity monitor on a Mac or by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del on a Windows system. You can also disable or remove these types of programs to increase speed.

3. Your System Has Contracted Malware

If you routinely surf the web, click on ads, or conduct nearly any other sort of business on your computer, and you don’t run anti-malware software regularly, this may be at least part of the problem. Malware can slow your computer’s performance significantly. Run a reputable anti-malware program on a daily basis and make sure that you update it when prompted.

4. You Have Insufficient RAM

Random Access Memory, or RAM, is the active memory in your computer. If you’re running too many programs or apps that require a large amount of data, it can cause your computer to perform slowly.

5. Your Internal Hard Drive is Full Or Nearly Full

In order to run smoothly, your computer should have at least .2 to .5 gigabytes of free hard drive space. Check your hard drive to see how much space you have. You can free up space by deleting programs or files or by moving them to an external hard drive.

6. Your Computer is Obsolete

It’s entirely possible that your computer has outlived its best days. In addition to the normal wear and tear on both internal and external hardware, your processor may be outdated — especially compared to newer versions.

7. Your Internet Service is Causing Your Slowdown

If you’re experiencing slowdowns when it comes to loading pages, transferring data, etc., it may not be an issue with your computer at all: you may have a connection problem. There are a number of free programs that will test the speed of your network and make a recommendation as to whether or not it’s adequate.

How to Know When It’s Time to Upgrade Your Computer

Just because your computer is running slowly doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to be replaced, but replacing your system will probably result in a speed increase. If you’ve tried going through computer support and services and have not been able to identify the issue causing your slowness, you can either try to upgrade your computer’s components or buy a replacement. Most computer manufacturers now have buyback programs, which can help offset the cost of a newer unit.

How Can an IT Company Help with Upgrading Infrastructure

If you own a business that has multiple workstations, the question of upgrading might not be quite as cut and dried as it would be for an individual experiencing a slowdown with one unit. Additionally, your slow-down issue may not be related to your hardware or software but rather due to connectivity issues. A computer tech support company can do a full assessment of your hardware, operating systems, wired connections, and wireless connections. They can make recommendations about how to achieve greater speed, and they can help you better secure your network and data. Whether you are having issues with slow workstations or a slow network, the professional managed service providers at Flagler Technologies can help you identify the nature of the problem, help you improve your speed, and discover ways to help you save money.

Things To Think About Before Upgrading

Computer replacements and upgrades can represent a substantial investment. That’s why we created a checklist that should help you troubleshoot your units and your system:

  • Advise all of your employees to run system and software updates on their computers.

  • Check to make sure your anti-malware software is running on all devices.

  • If you have individual computers that are slower than others, check to see if there are programs that are running in the background. Then check the hard drive memory on each system.

  • Check the age of individual units if they are performing more slowly than others.

  • Check all physical connections.

  • Determine the wireless speed of your network.

  • Ask your IT department to run a full diagnostic analysis on your system and any hardware that’s not operating at an acceptable speed.

If you don’t have an internal IT department, Flagler Technologies can perform all of the functions of an internal tech department at a lower cost to your company. We can also work with your existing IT department to troubleshoot the issues. Call Flagler Tech today!

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