When you first got your computer it ran like a dream, everything was smooth and opened quickly several months later you’re pulling your hair out waiting for word to open or saving a document just seems to take forever.  One of the most common scenarios is that you go make a coffee while your computer settles in for the day.

First thing first make sure the computer is clean.

The number one cause of slowness is usually going to be a virus or malware running on the computer using up resources your computer needs.  Check that your computer is not infected with virus or malware which might have been installed accidently.  Run a full system scan and clean up any viruses that you may find.  Always use a good virus scanner and just know free usually means it lacks some of the abilities.

Another area to look at is Spyware that may be installed

Run a good Anti-spyware program to clean-up anything that is running in the background.  Spyware could be running in the background causing issues with your computers response.  Again make sure to use Anti-spyware that is reputable and again free ones do not always do everything you actually need them to do.

Cleaning your computer, with my favourite program

One of the best and is actually free is the CCleaner app, there are many programs out there that do this but I recommend CCleaner as it simple to use and very effective.  You can clean out the temporary files left behind from browsing, installed applications and other such programs.  The best way to run CCleaner is to do a clean-up of all your apps and then run the registry cleaner multiple times until it comes back with no more errors (just make sure when the pop-up to backup registry is there that you do it).

CCleaner can also be used to permanently stop unwanted apps from starting and I have often used it when cleaning computers with viruses as a tool to remove apps and start-ups from re-infecting as I am doing the cleaning.

Windows updates, third-party updates and hardware driver updates

On a regular basis you should not just to keep things up-to-date, but to ensure your vulnerabilities are reduced keep everything up-to-date.  Keeping your operating system, adobe apps etc… Patched can also improve functionality with your computer.  These updates usually address a known vulnerability or performance issue.

Do you need to upgrade

One of the key areas of your computers performance is the hardware.   Do you have enough memory is your disk speed fast and is your CPU capable of doing the work you need.  Let me make it simple if you are a financial advisor you probably use the internet open excel spreadsheets a lot switch to outlook and word.  Your best option would be to invest in memory for your computer it is by far the cheapest option, I recommend that you should have a minimum of 4GB memory and better if you have 8GB if your computer allows it.

Defrag

If you have already invested in an SSD drive we will talk about this soon then defrag means nothing.  However, for the most part people still have the traditional hard drive in there computer moving parts and all that.  Well, for the moving parts to be effective defragging your drive allows for your computer to put files where they can be easily read by the disk.

SSD best performance option

Well it needed its own Heading.  I have done countless disk migrations from standard hard drives to an SSD.  In all cases, the client has just gone WOW what a difference.  I see the performance of most machines go up almost 10X with response, and especially in start-up going from minutes to seconds.  The downside which is not so bad anymore is cost versus space.  The average 1TB traditional disk is going to cost you $70 – $150 dollars, but an SSD will cost you about that and a bit more for a quarter of the space.

To compensate this I usually setup clients with an operating system disk on the SSD and then use a traditional disk as the storage drive or we use the existing one and just move it so it is the second drive and drop in the SSD as the master drive.

Conclusion

There are many tools out there that claim they are going to performance boost your computer, well usually what they do is performance boost your computer and install a whole heap of bloat ware.  The best way is to manually go through these tasks and to control what goes onto your computer.  I have not mentioned software for virus or spyware as there is hundreds of products out there at all different costs.  With my clients I include all of the above as well as the virus software under scheduled services to ensure they always have a clean running machine.

If you need assistance with any of this please do not hesitate to contact us.  I hope some of these tips help and we are more than happy to have a chat about these options with you so you can make more informed decisions on what you may need to with your computer.

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