(This is a contributed post)
Having a slow running laptop or computer can be frustrating at the best of times, but even more so if you are having to use it for work and you are up against a tight deadline. If your spinning wheel of death is making you want to throw your device out of the winder then here are 5 things you can try yourself at home or in the office before taking your device to an IT technician.
If your device is running slowly then the first thing you should do is check your browser. Do you have a million tabs open? Do you have 10 browser extensions that you aren’t using? If you’re the kind of computer user that likes to have dozens of tabs open then it’s time to make better use of your bookmarks bar. Every tab that you have open is using up a part of your computers CPU and just like a human brain CPU’s can be overloaded, especially if they are having to auto-refresh pages that live update. Similarly, unnecessary browser extensions can also cause your browser to run slowly, so have a clear-out and delete any that you no longer use.
In terms of device speed every byte of RAM matters so it’s time to put your device on a diet and free up some of that important space. Almost everything you do and store on your computer uses up RAM, (Random Access Memory), so clear out any old downloads you don’t need, put some of your files on the cloud and delete any old applications you don’t need or use. For more information on how to reduce your memory usage, read this article.
Applications and programmes like to be ready at a moments notice in case you want to use them, so they often manage to find their way into your start-up programmes list. Startup programmes fire up as soon as you turn on your device regardless of whether you want to use them or not. Having 10 startup programmes opening at the same time whilst your computer is also trying to wake itself up is a sure-fire way to run at a reduced speed, so go into your application and programme settings and turn off any which you don’t need to start-up straight away.
If you have separate anti-virus software installed onto your computer then it could be doing more harm than good to the speed of your computer. Some antivirus software can be a little too keen and may run a scan at the most inconvenient time causing your device to slow right down. To stop this from happening, log into your antivirus and check to see when it schedules it scans and if you can, change this so that it happens when you aren’t using your computer.
Finally, the last thing you want to check is your task manager to see how many programmes you are trying to operate at once. In the same way that you can’t spin too many plates at once, neither can your computer, and you may need to shut some down in order to improve your performance. If you find that you regularly need a lot of programmes to run at the same time then you may need to upgrade your device to one which has more processing power.