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Improve Your Computer's Speed with These Tips...

 Computers have a tendency to slow down for a number of different reasons, but the primary one is using them. The more programs and files that proliferate on their hard drives, the more extensions we add to their web browsers, and the more they’re turned on, a slow-down is inevitable. With that being said, these ill-effects can be diminished or mitigated completely by adopting better habits for treating our computers. Here are 11 reasons why your computer has slowed down, and what you can do to remedy its sluggishness:


1. Your web browser has too many add-ons

When surfing the internet, you’ll sometimes get asked whether you want to add an extension to your browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari et al.) to give it some added functionality. While some of these extensions are legitimate, you should always be wary of what you say yes to, and this is because some of them are not what they claim to be, and just serve to slow your computer down. In a worst-case scenario, such browser extensions can even infect your machine with a virus.

How to remedy

The only way around this browser extension problem is to disable any extensions that you’re not using or suspect may be harmful. You can also consider uninstalling them entirely. Here’s how to go about it:

If you use Firefox

Point to the Menu button on the far-right of your web browser, then select Add-ons/Extensions. Select Disable or Remove to remove an extension of your choice.

If you use Chrome

Right-click on the extension button pertaining to the extension of your choice, or Manage Extensions. Using the latter option, all you need to do is uncheck the box pertaining to the extension you wish to remove, or click on the trash can icon to delete the extension for good.

If you use Safari

Point to the Safari button in the top-left of your web browser, then click Preferences - Security - Extensions. Select the extension of your choice to uninstall. Note that you also have the option to turn off the extension rather than delete it.

If you use Internet Explorer (or Microsoft Edge)

Point to Tools in the drop-down menu, followed by Add-ons. Once you’ve done that, select Show All Add-ons. Select the offending web extension, then select either Disable or Remove.


2. Your hard drive is on its last legs                  

Seeing as hard drives consist of many moving parts, they’re prone to failure sooner or later. The only way around this is to ensure you back up all your important files and photos in a secure location, such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

How to remedy

The first thing you need to do, to see if your hard drive is on its way out, is to run a hard drive check. There’s a handy program called HDTune that you can download to run a “health check” on it. This software will give you a clear indication of whether you’re going to need to replace your hard drive in the near future, or whether you currently have no cause for concern. If the program does tell you that you’ll need a replacement soon, use the aforementioned Google Drive or Dropbox cloud services to back up your most precious files.

3. Close some of your programs, already!

It’s true that we all own computers precisely for their ability to do multiple things at once, however that doesn’t mean that they don’t get overloaded when we put too much strain on them. This occurs when we have many different programs and applications open at the same time. The more Random Access Memory (RAM) a computer has, the greater its ability is at running many programs at once.

How to remedy

Simply close down any programs or applications that you don’t happen to be using.


4. Close some of your browser tabs, already!

Referring back to the point made earlier about RAM, this type of computer memory is also affected by having a million (and one) web browser tabs open at the same time. Don’t worry – there are other ways of keeping track of the tabs you have open.

How to remedy

Close down the tabs that you aren’t using, and make better use of the Bookmark function by bookmarking the tabs you want to refer back to a later stage.

5. A rogue program is sucking up all the processing power

Sometimes, programs or computer system processes can get stuck in a loop or stop working altogether.

How to remedy

If you want to check whether there’s a malfunctioning program on your computer, you need to point to the Task Manager. You can do this by holding down the Ctrl, ALT and Delete keys together if your use a Windows computer, or selecting Applications - Utilities if your use a Mac. Regardless of the kind of computer you’re using, you then need to point to the CPU tab. Check which programs are using the most processing power. If there’s a program that you aren’t actively using, yet it's at the top of the list in terms of the memory it’s using up, simply select it to quit the process.

6. Your antivirus software is a little overzealous

Having antivirus software installed on your computer is a must to protect it from viruses and malware, however there’s a chance that the one you’re using is running hardware scans at the least opportune times, sucking up a lot of your computer’s processing power.

How to remedy

If you want to ensure that your computer is getting scanned regularly without sapping precious processing power while you’re using it, simply point to your antivirus software and schedule routine scans for when you aren’t (such as when you’re asleep).


7. Yikes! Virus alert!

Some viruses infect computers without any warning whatsoever. They can do anything from mess around with system processes, to hijacking your web browser or stealing sensitive information such as passwords. They could even make your system prone to crashing.

How to remedy

Run a malware scan with your antivirus software to determine if there is actually a virus on your computer. Your antivirus software should be able to clear up the problem on its own, if it isn’t too serious, however you might want to consider calling a computer repair technician if you don’t seem to get anywhere by doing that.


8. Too many programs loading on startup

You should always ensure that you uncheck the box giving a newly-downloaded program permission to load when you switch on your computer. This is because having too many programs loading on startup saps processing power. You can disable programs such as Microsoft Office or iTunes from loading on startup, however you should always leave your antivirus and firewall software turned on.

How to remedy

Windows 7 and previous

Point to the start button, then System Configuration. Go to the Startup tab, then uncheck each of the programs that you don’t want to load on startup.

Windows 8 and 10

Press the Windows and X keys simultaneously. Select the Task Manager from the Menu, then point to the Startup tab. Right-click on the programs that you want to remove, then select Disable.


Point to Applications - System Preferences - User Groups - Login Items, and uncheck all the programs you want to prevent from loading on startup.


9. You hard drive is almost full

If you only have minimal space available on your computer, then this could prevent it from starting up properly. In addition to files and programs you have installed, hard drive space is taken up by programs, program updates, downloads and temporary files.  

How to remedy

Run a Disk Cleanup on your Windows computer to get rid of all the unnecessary files and programs it may have floating about on it. You can do this by pointing to the My Computer icon on your Desktop, then right-click on the icon pertaining to your hard drive once you’re in My Computer (usually this will be C: ). Click on the Disk Cleanup button to begin. If you have a Mac, simply use CleanMyMac3.

10. Your operating system is too flashy for its own good

Visual effects are all well and good to make things look really nice when you’re using your computer, but all they serve to do is slow it down in the long run.

How to remedy

Windows 7 and previous

Point to the Start button, then Control Panel. Select Performance Information and Tools, followed by Adjust visual effects. Preferably, turn off all the effects, but you can leave a couple on if you like.

Windows 8 and 10

Press the Windows and X keys simultaneously. Select System, then point to Advanced System Settings - Performance Settings. Preferably, turn off all the effects, but you can leave a couple on if you like.


System Preferences - Dock, then, for minimizing applications, change that super-swish Genie effect to a utilitarian Scale effect (basically just disappearing). Also uncheck Animate Opening Applications.

11. Your computer needs a restart

Instead of going into the Task Manager and other things, as mentioned above, you could always give your computer a restart to clear up any issues you may be experiencing. This will “flush out” your computer system from any processes that have stopped working correctly.

How to remedy

Simply bite the bullet and restart your computer. First, make sure you close down anything important that you have open.

Content Source: Techlicious

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