Slow computers are the worst. In an age where we all move at a rapid pace, having a slow computer can cause a loss of efficiency, a loss of productivity, and extreme frustration and stress.
A slow computer can be caused by many different things (viruses, old hardware, etc.), but the most common cause for a slow computer is lack of maintenance. Here are 4 ways that will help keep your computer running as fast as possible. If you and your IT professionals make sure that these maintenance steps are done consistently, you will eliminate much of the slowness, and therefore stress, from your life.
1. Enough RAM?
It is really important to make sure that you have enough RAM for your computer, and that the RAM is at the highest speed possible for your machine.
RAM (Random Access Memory), is how your computer quickly accesses information that is used often, or that was recently used. Think of RAM as your computer’s short-term memory. By storing recently used information, RAM allows you to access this information much faster than if you had to access it directly from the hard drive (which is basically your computer’s long-term memory).
If you don’t have enough RAM or your RAM is not fast enough, it can cause your computer to slow down. Also, if your RAM gets too old, it may need to end up being replaced, so be sure to keep an eye out.
2. Defrag Hard Drive
When you defragment your hard drive, you are basically organizing your computer’s long-term memory, making it much easier for the RAM (the short-term memory) to access information faster and more efficiently.
If you don’t regularly defrag your hard drive, it can become very disorganized and messy, which makes it much harder for the RAM to find the data you need, which can cause your computer to run slowly.
Most IT support companies these days (including Network Depot) will automatically run defragmentation for clients’ computers on a regular basis. However, it doesn’t hurt to double-check with them, just to make sure it’s happening.
3. Only One Anti-Virus
Viruses are very scary for computers. The idea of losing all your data, or of someone being able to access your information, is enough to keep anyone up at night. Fortunately, there are some great anti-virus programs out there to help you sleep easy.
One mistake that many people make is putting more than one anti-virus program on their computer. In theory, this means you will have double, or even triple, the virus protection right? Just like if you put on an extra pair of socks your feet will be that much warmer?
Wrong. It doesn’t actually work as an extra layer. Instead, the multiple anti-virus programs will start competing with each other, which not only causes your computer to slow down, it actually causes them to cancel each other out, so you have less protection against viruses.
Just stick with one anti-virus program at a time. If for some reason you don’t feel that it’s working well enough, talk to your IT support professionals and have them recommend a different one.
4. Keep up with Updates
Major software companies (including Microsoft) send out updates for their programs on a pretty consistent basis. They are always working to improve their products, even by fixing little bugs or issues that you might not even notice. The majority of the time, these updates are so small they take only minutes to be applied, and they won’t cause any noticeable changes for users.
That doesn’t mean that these updates aren’t important though. Even though you probably won’t notice any changes if you consistently apply the updates, you will likely notice changes if you don’t- one big one being your computer might slow down.
Your IT support company will likely handle applying all the updates to your computer, but they need you to do something in order to finish the application process- reboot. If you reboot your computer once a week, it will allow the updates to apply and keep your computer running as efficiently as possible.
While you still might experience some computer slowness, if you keep up with these maintenance points consistently, you are going to help your computer last much longer. Eventually, your computer will slow down, but wear and tear on the hardware is normal over many years.
How long did you have a computer before you noticed any slowness? Did you keep up with these maintenance points? Let us know in the comments!