In a previous blog, we talked about how to speed up your server. We talked about programming your server, choosing the right hardware, and making sure your server has enough RAM.

But even if you follow these guidelines, little things can sneak in and turn your computer’s lightning pace into more of a slow jog.

Let’s look at some of the most common factors that bog down your computer—and how you can avoid them.

1. Spyware

If your computer’s slow pace came on quickly, your computer might have accumulated spyware. When you regularly use the internet, you can attract spyware. Spyware tracks your actions so it can give you customized ads (which everyone wants, right?).

One of the simplest ways to prevent spyware from slowing down your computer is to install an anti-spyware program. You can also reduce your spyware risk by:

  • Avoiding Internet Explorer (the most vulnerable web browser to spyware)
  • Avoiding program downloads if you’re unsure of the source
  • Installing network firewalls to block unwanted spyware in your office network

2. Bloatware

Just like you feel bloated after eating that chocolate doughnut, your computer can feel bloated from too many programs it doesn’t need. For example, you’ve likely downloaded different software over the time you’ve had your computer. Did you know that a lot of software comes with features you never use? Talk to an IT technician for help locating the programs that are crowding your computer. You can also use an uninstall software tool to help you locate this bloatware.

3. Viruses

Ah, viruses. You probably expected this one. If you notice programs starting or shutting down automatically or messages popping up, you likely have a virus. Back up what you can and talk to an IT technician immediately. They can help you save your computer before the virus causes further damage.

You can avoid viruses in a way similar to avoiding spyware:

  • Don’t download things from sources you don’t recognize.
  • Don’t click on pop-up ads and banners.
  • Don’t visit questionable websites.

4. Anti-Virus Software

You know viruses can slow your computer down, but did you know that the very thing that prevents these viruses can also slow your computer down? This software can interrupt you at any time, updating and scanning your computer. Instead, turn it on only when you want it to do its work.

5. Temporary Files

When you do something as simple as look at a webpage, your computer stores a temporary file so the webpage will load faster next time. Unfortunately, these files slow down your computer. You can go into your temporary folder and delete files you don’t need. You should also regularly delete your browsing history, as this can slow down your computer as well.

6. Automatic Updates

Is your computer constantly updating? Sometimes these updates can be more harmful than helpful. If you don’t follow the risky behaviors we talked about in the “viruses” section, you don’t need every little update. You can turn off automatic updates and choose when you want your computer to update. But pay attention—important updates can keep your computer up to speed.

7. Crowded Start-Up

Does your computer take forever to start up? If so, it might preload things it doesn’t need to. Take a look at all the programs set to launch automatically. Do you use all these programs? If not, remove them from the preloading option. This will help your computer start faster.

8. Crowded Trash Bin

Moving files to the trash bin is like intending to throw away the junk in your house, but never taking out the garbage. You might throw files in the trash to save your computer space, yet you don’t have the heart to delete them from the system entirely. Items in the trash are still taking up room on your server, so delete the ones you don’t need.

9. Crowded Desktop

Each item that appears on your desktop is represented by an image, and each image uses part of your computer’s memory. You can move some of these desktop items to other folders, so your computer does not have to generate so many images.

10. Time

Sometimes, computers just reach old age. While they are super quick when you first get them, years of downloading and storing takes its toll. A typical computer will last only about three to five years without showing signs of age. If you use your computer for complicated processes, like editing photos or producing videos, it may have an even shorter lifespan.

If your computer is reaching the end of its lifespan, it may be cheaper and smarter to replace it than to repair it.

 

If your computer is running slower than normal, chances are one or more of these factors is slowing it down. Talk to an IT professional and get your computer running quickly again.