As the owner of EZ Computer Repair, an Orange County, California computer service company specializing in everything from virus and spyware protection to system upgrades to wireless network setups, Todd Alcock is often hired to address the issue of slow personal computers. According to him, there are certain types of software and user habits that can work to slow down a computer.
Maybe this type of scenario sounds all too familiar to you: Your fingers are busy typing away on your computer, but your machine doesn't seem to be responding. You try using your mouse to move to a different program, and nothing changes, despite your persistent double clicking. You then come to the disappointing realization that taking a bat to your computer, therapeutic as it may be, is not going to solve the problem at hand.
When it comes to computers, the one thing with which computer users across the board can commiserate is the frustration involved in slow, non-responsive computers. And to make matters worse, the issue of sluggish computer response time is not limited to older machines. Even some of the latest and most expensive models on the market can slow down due to a variety of factors.
Regardless of how old your computer is, you may encounter the same problem that it takes its time when responding to your commands. But what can you do to prevent computer slowdowns? As a seasoned IT whiz, I have faced the inquiry many times before. There are certain types of software and user habits that can work to slow down a computer. Therefore, it's important to get a good sense of just how much running software on your computer can handle in order to maximize its efficiency.
Antivirus Software: When it comes to slow computer issues, antivirus software is often the culprit. On the other hand, antivirus software is also something that no user should ever go without (unless, of course, he's willing to run the risk of losing his data and the use of his machine to a malicious virus). So the key is to limit your antivirus software to one program only. In my experience, people tend to get a little crazy with antivirus software by putting three or four different programs on their computers at the same time. The problem with doing this is that multiple programs end up competing with each other for memory, slowing down your computer even more. So if you're looking to speed up your computer, you should limit yourself to just one form of antivirus software, and preferably one that is known not to drain computer memory. If you're not sure what type of antivirus software is best for you, then an IT consultant such as Alcock can help.
Temporary Files: Aside from antivirus software, other aspects of computer usage can also work to slow it down, including the creation of temporary files. Also known as "temp files," temporary files are files that most programs automatically create for backup purposes. Let's say you're working on a Microsoft Word document when the program suddenly crashes. Chances are, you'll be able to recover the version of the document you created, even if you didn't save it, because a temp file was automatically generated. While temporary files serve an important purpose, they can also accumulate on your hard drive and cause your computer to slow down over time. To combat this problem, go through your computer and try to delete all of your unnecessary temporary files. If you are not sure how to do this, contact an experienced computer service professional for help.
Running Programs: The presence of too many running programs tends to slow down computers as well. Most people don't realize that there's a difference between installing programs and having them set to run. When you add a new program to your machine, it may have components (such as update features) that are set to run automatically upon startup. To avoid this problem, you can simply remove any unwanted or rarely-used programs from your startup menu. This won't uninstall such programs. Rather, it will simply prevent them from unnecessarily draining your computer's resources and slowing it down for no good reason.
Dealing with a slow computer is far from fun whether you rely on your personal computer for business or for pleasure. Now that you're aware of the factors that will slow down your computer, you can take steps to fix the problem and improve your user experience on a whole.