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We all know how frustrating it is when our computers are running sluggishly. In the present day’s high tech, fast-paced world, if we’ve to hold on more than a couple of seconds for something on our computers to load, we get frustrated and feel like we’re wasting our time. Not surprisingly, Business Wire reported that 66% of Americans say that one of their biggest frustrations is staying on a system that they know works swiftly. More importantly, for businesses, one study conducted in the UK revealed that slow computers can cost organizations up to 5.5x days of lost productivity per person per year.

Fortunately, there are ways to make your computer run speedily if you find that it’s running slower than it should be. Whether you have a Mac or a PC, here are 10 tips to try before you resort to taking a hammer to your computer.

1. Prevent programs from automatically running when you start up your computer.

This is one of the main reasons computers can run slow. Many computers automatically run programs in the background, which uses your computer’s memory and slows your computer down. While some programs, such as antivirus and firewall software, should be allowed to run automatically, you can close others ( similar to iTunes or Microsoft Office) until you actually need them.

2. Remove/ uninstall programs you don’t use.

Numerous new computers come with pre-installed programs that take up space and run background processes automatically. Go into your control panel and uninstall the programs you don’t need, being careful about those that you need to keep.

3. Clean up hard disk space.

Check out how much free space you have on your computer. However, your computer could slow down, if you have lower than 15GB free space. Remove old programs and files you do not require or compress some of your files (especially large ones). Note that if your computer is running slow and the storage drive isn’t completely loaded, your operating system may be having problems.

4. Save old pictures or videos to the cloud or external drive.

This technique helps in freeing up a considerable amount of space from your PC’s memory. Eventually, that will also speed up your computer. Storing old pictures of videos on a cloud server or on an external drive is surely a better way to back up old yet important content & memories that you don’t want to lose.

5. Run a disk cleanup or repair.

Your computer generates a lot of temporary files each time you boot up and/ or use software. These temporary files, like internet history, cookies and caches, take up a considerable volume of space on your hard drive, further slowing down your system. A disk cleanup/repair can recover up hundreds of megabytes by deleting temporary files & unessential system files. This happens even if you just end up clearing your recycle bin.

6. Changing the power plan of your desktop computer to High Performance.

Computers have different power plans (generally Balance, Power Saver, and High Performance) to control how the computer uses power. Some settings optimize battery life by lowering performance, but High Performance will increase the speed and performance of the computer. Note that this will only work on a desktop as the high performance setting on a laptop will drain the battery.

7. Make sure you have anti-virus, spyware scanner, and anti-malware installed.

Your computer will be fit to run smoothly if it’s not spending time trying to manage bugs and viruses. This is also an added layer of protection to keep your computer safe.

8. Run a disk defragment to optimize your hard drive’s effectiveness.

When data is fragmented, your computer has to search for the fragments of files that could be spread throughout your hard drive. Defragmenting will organize your data and free up space so your computer can process data quicker.

9. Add additional RAM to your computer.

RAM is a form of temporary storage memory used by computers to run programs and software. The amount of RAM required by your PC is proportional to the number of programs you run. If you don’t enough RAM, your computer will slow down. You can painlessly add the extra amount of RAM required by buying an additional memory stick. You may also consider replacing or buying a fully new RAM if necessary.

10. Update your computer’s software.

Software updates will fix problems and bugs that slow down your computer. For checking whether your software is up-to- date at the moment, follow the steps below –

Launch Windows & click the Start Button> All Programs> Windows Update> Check for Updates. On a Mac, go to Apps under the Apple icon menu and click on About this Mac.

You don’t need to go out and buy a new computer or spend a lot of money to improve its speed & performance. As soon as you start noticing your computer is slowing down, try the above tips before getting bogged down & losing your patience.

Still having problems? Contact Virtual Touch Pro today!

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