Is Your Computer Slowing Down?

by Guest Author on April 16, 2012

in Guest Posts, Hardware, Software

With day-to-day use, your desktop computer suffers though normal wear and tear that may eventually hinder it from functioning properly. Not to worry – most causes of performance problems can be avoided. Take note of the following 5 things that slow your PC down.

An overfilled hard drive

Generally, the more full the hard drive is, the slower it gets. When there’s too much in your hard drive, it leaves less free space for it to perform the required tasks.

What to do: The solutions is simple: free up the hard drive. It should have at least 300MB free to function effectively. Discard all unnecessary files, especially large items like graphics and videos. For things you aren’t willing to get rid of, move them to an external storage device such as an external hard drive. Also check for accumulated junk (like temp files) and delete them – be sure to empty the recycle bin afterward. Liberate more space by uninstalling all the programs you don’t use.

Viruses, spyware and other malware

Malware or malicious software are programs that mess with your computer and prevent it from functioning the way it should. Any system can be infected through normal use, particularly from untrustworthy downloads or shared storage devices.

What to do: It’s a must for every user to have a good anti-virus and spyware/adware removal program. Most of the trusted brands can be bought online. Run a scan regularly, at least once a week. And since new malware are bred every so often, make sure to update continually.

As a precaution, avoid installing disreputable applications, and resist the urge to download content from untrusted sources, no matter how cool they seem.

Overheating

Overheating corrupts the components of your PC, and leads to permanent hardware damage.

What to do: As a preventive measure, place your PC in a cool spot, far from hot devices. Maintaining cleanliness also helps a lot – since dust insulates heat, it’s beneficial to keep the CPU clean and dust-free.

If overheating still occurs, seek a technician to inspect the fans and heat sinks. Acquire new cooling hardware if necessary.

A fragmented hard drive

Hard drives manage data by breaking them into smaller pieces. As you add and delete files, spaces accumulate between these fragments.

What to do: Defrag your computer. Defragmenting compresses those scattered pieces together, arranging them to become more accessible. Schedule a time for regular defragging, at least once every two weeks.

Not enough RAM

Random Access Memory or RAM serves as temporary storage for activated programs, to allow easier data retrieval and quicker access. The more RAM your PC has, the more efficient it can be.

What to do: Add more RAM. Figure out how much you already have, how much you need, and what type works with your PC. If you’re not very tech-savvy, consult the manufacturer’s online support, or contact a computer technician.

In today’s world, we depend so much on our computers for information, work, interaction and entertainment, and it definitely pays to take good care of our devices. As a rule of thumb, contact a professional if you don’t know what to do.

I’ve mentioned 5 things that will slow your PC down. Any other things or reasons you could think of? Please tell us in the comments.

Guest post written by: Peter Lee who blogs at ComputerHowToGuide.com. Do check out his blog if you would like to know more about how to speed up your computer.

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