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8 issues that slow down your computer — and how to fix them

If you find your laptop or computer bogging down to a crawl, here’s some helpful tips on how to speed things up.

hands typing on a laptop - Computer Literacy

If you find your laptop or computer bogging down to a crawl, here’s some helpful tips on how to speed things up.

There are a few things worse than dealing with an incredibly slow computer. Whether you’re making an urgent report for your boss or writing a school essay that’s due in a few hours, you’ll definitely want to speed up your PC or Mac and get your task done ASAP. For an easy fix, you can call on trusted tech support like HelloTech, which provides 5-star rated in-home or online computer tune-ups and computer repair services.

If you’d rather go the DIY-route, though, it’s important to find what exactly is making your computer run slower than a turtle. We’ve listed some of the possible reasons below along with several fixes:

Leaving your computer on for days

Asus Chromebook

Image: TechRadar

It’s surprising how a lot of people simply let their computer sleep when they leave the office or turn in for the night. If you do this, it’s time to kick the habit. Leaving your computer on can shorten its lifespan and make it more prone to problems.

The rebooting process also helps improve the speed of your device since it loads a fresh, new copy of the Windows Registry — which is akin to starting over with a clean slate (the same process works on Macs as well). It’s no surprise why most IT customer service reps ask if you’ve tried turning your device off and on: restarting an electronic device does solve the problem at times.

Opening too many tabs at once


Doing this is an excellent way to have all the information you need at hand, but it’s also a great way to slow down your computer. Instead of opening numerous tabs, why not bookmark the webpages you’re going to use, close the tabs, then reopen the pages as needed? It’s definitely a longer process, but it’s worth a try especially if helps your computer speed up. An added bonus: you no longer have to trawl through tens of teeny tiny tabs, which can be frustrating.

Having a lot of extensions and add-ons

google chrome plugins

The availability of thousands of useful extensions in Firefox and Chrome can tempt you to click on as many as you can. However, this habit can bog down your browser and make it run slowly. Go through your browser extensions, remove those that you don’t really need, and keep only the important ones that you use on a daily basis.

This problem goes beyond unnecessary browser extensions. When you download programs, some of them come with browser toolbars and other kinds of add-ons, which can slow down your computer. You can opt not to download these add-ons but, in many cases, you might not notice that they’re there and end up getting them anyway. To remove them, inspect the installed programs on your computer, look for those that have the word “toolbar” in their name, then delete them.

Using too many programs at the same time

We’ve all made this mistake: having Microsoft Word on one side, a couple of web browsers on the other, a music streaming application in the middle — and maybe Solitaire or Minesweeper for good measure. There’s nothing wrong with this, but using several applications at once can overwork your computer and make it slower than normal. Limit yourself only to the programs you really need and see if it helps make your computer run faster.

Keeping numerous files

If your computer is several years old, it’s highly likely that you’ve stored many photos, videos, PDFs, spreadsheets, word documents, and other types of files on it. This can slow down your computer, especially if you have extra-large files (videos and movies are usually the culprits). If this is the case, you’ll want to clear these files from your device. Delete those that you no longer need, and save important ones in an external hard drive.

Not having enough memory

Small and cheap computers are great if you just need to surf the web and make word documents. But, if you plan to use heavy software (such as photo- and video-editing programs), you have to make sure that your computer has enough memory to handle them. If it doesn’t, you’ll most likely experience lag times, which prevents you from finishing tasks in a quick and efficient way. If you already have this problem, the best thing you can do is to check if you can expand your computer’s memory.

Getting malware

Mac Malware Macro

When your computer gets infected with a virus or other types of malware, one of the signs it exhibits is slow processing. You might also notice that your browser homepage has changed (even if you didn’t do anything) and/or you get pop-ups advertising software even when you’re not using a web browser. When these happen, scan your computer using your antivirus program, or download one if you don’t have one yet. In many cases, the antivirus can eliminate the threat and clean up your device.

Having an old computer

Just like humans, computers can reach the end of their lives. When this happens, you’ll notice that your device no longer speeds up no matter what you do. You can try to repair it but, more likely than not, you’ll run into the same problem and/or other issues down the road. It’s best to replace it with a new one that won’t give you a headache.

When All Else Fails, Call Tech Support

Unfortunately not all computer problems can be solved by restarting your computer or removing programs and transferring files. That’s why it’s good to remember computer support companies like HelloTech can help you out as soon as you need it. They have techs nationwide and were recently called “the best, cheapest way to get good tech support” by USA Today. Their expert technicians can solve any computer problem that arises to keep your device working fast and safe. Learn more about how they can help here.


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