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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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rashmi Sinha @ TechInitio April 16, 2012 at 23:45

What most people forget is the third thing you mentioned : Overheating. Especially when the dust inside the computer is a lot, you electrical devices can malfunction or be completely destroyed so make sure you computer is in top shape.
Rashmi Sinha @ TechInitio recently posted… News on the New Xbox

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Peter Lee April 17, 2012 at 12:40

Couldn’t agree with you more! Oftentimes when overheating occurs, it’s already too late and caused permanent hardware damage. Thanks for reading Rashmi.
Peter Lee recently posted… Technology : Are We Too Plugged in to it?

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Dave April 17, 2012 at 02:50

Recently, I bought a top end computer just to play a simulator game Pro Flight Simulator. Luckily pc prices are coming down and I get to enjoy the excitement as a ‘pilot’

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Lea April 17, 2012 at 15:25

You should consider adding more RAM to your computer every couple of years or so to keep up with developments. It’s not that expensive and it will save you minutes on loading and processing time every single day. Over the course of a year those daily minutes really add up.
Lea recently posted… BMA calls for active stand against health bill

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Peter Lee April 19, 2012 at 20:12

Yea I agree with you on that. Especially computer programs nowadays are so RAM hungry! Thanks for the comment Lea.
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Amy April 18, 2012 at 00:18

Thanks for your useful tips, I’ve checked my computer with the mackeeper app, and since it has foxed some problems, my mac is muhc more faster!
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Nikolay April 22, 2012 at 09:40

By the way if you did not have an antivirus and you install one your computer may get pretty slower :) . Of course you have no choice, you just need an antivirus. But pick one that does not use so much processing power. For example avast free is a good choice.
If you have below 1 gb ram the first thing to do is to add more. This will be most noticeable. If your browser is slow you can clear the cache. This helps a lot.
Regards.
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Peter Lee April 22, 2012 at 12:50

Yea I’ve heard Avast tends to use less resources too. Thanks for adding that Nikolay.
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Nikolay April 24, 2012 at 09:08

Yeah, it is pretty good. I really like it and I have been using it for long time. But now I am thinking about the norton internet security 2012. I just realized I have paypal information, bank account passwords and so on on my computer and I need to use a paid antivirus. I made a quick comparison. I started a scan with avast and watched my 4-core processor. The load was jumping from 10 to 40% mainly staying around 15 or 20%. Then I installed norton and made a scan on the same folder. The load was around 20% – 30%. In both cases it was going up and down a lot so it is hard to see the difference, but norton was a little more hard on the CPU. Still I will probably choose it. For users with slow PC and without online banking and paypal stuff on the PC I would recommend avast though.

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