Wondering why you suddenly have a slow computer or perhaps you have noticed it declining over the last few months. There can be many reasons why this could be happening, and we investigate some of the more common issues and how these could be resolved.
How old is your computer?
With the speed at which technology moves now, it doesn’t take long for devices to become outdated.
Software and operating system updates often begin to push the limits of the hardware elements of computers. This causes the machine to slow down as it’s running out of power and memory to run efficiently. The average age of a computer before it begins to show signs of ageing now is around five years old. If your devices are starting to cause you trouble, it could be time to upgrade.
Are you running out of storage space?
Another common issue is the hard drive being too full. Without enough spare room, the operating system can struggle to run properly.
Uninstalling any old programs that aren’t of use anymore can free up some space quickly and easily. Another option is to move files from your hard drive over to the cloud. This means they are still secure, plus can be accessed from anywhere, all while freeing up space on your computer. Ideally, you want at least 500MB free on your computer to allow the operating system room to do what it needs to do. Windows also recommends having at least 15GB free for future updates.
Is a new hard drive needed?
Your computer or laptop could be using an older style mechanical hard drive, but more modern alternatives are available.
Classic hard drives are mechanical and use a disk to read and write the information. Due to it having moving parts, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to wear, which slows down the running of the computer. Upgrading to a Solid State Drive (SSD) or an M.2 SSD can greatly increase the speed of the PC without having to pay for a whole new laptop. SSD’s are without any moving parts, and therefore don’t wear in the same way as a mechanical hard drive.
Do you have too many programs running?
A quick thing to check is how many programs or windows you have open at once. Do you have several heavily intensive programs open at once? Do you have a lot of browser tabs open?
Everything you have running on your computer uses RAM, which is the short term memory of the computer. It is how the PC is able to switch so smoothly between programs. If the RAM is in too high of demand, the computer will begin to slow down as it can’t retrieve data as quickly as it should be able to. Closing programs you aren’t using and any browser windows or tabs you no longer need can make a big difference in speed.
Have you checked everything is up to date?
When did you last check for system or software updates? Many of us a guilty of not updating things as often as we should.
Regularly checking and installing new updates, whether it’s for the operating system or individual pieces of software. A previous update could have held a bug or been poorly optimised, which may have been fixed soon after. It is a good idea to check if you are running Windows 10 too. If you are still on Windows 7, it is worth updating to Windows 10. This is due to Windows 7 no longer being supported by Microsoft, which means no more security updates. In turn, your device is vulnerable to security threats which leads to the next point.
Could there be a virus?
If you notice your computer has suddenly become slow, this could be the sign of a virus or malware.
Once a computer is infected, it can be tricky to undo what they may have done to your device or network. Investing in reputable anti-virus software can prevent this from happening in the first place, as well as ensuring Windows Defender (if on a Windows Machine) is enabled and working correctly. If you do have anti-virus software installed, make sure to run full scans regularly to ensure there are no viruses. It’s important to keep an eye on Macs too, as these can still be infected with viruses and malware, despite people thinking it’s an uncommon occurrence.
There are many reasons why a computer could be starting to slow down to where it’s affecting productivity. Our technicians can look at your machines and prescribe the best set of solutions to bring your machines back up to speed again. Contact us to find out how we could help you today.