PC not running like it should?

What to do when your PC just isn’t running like it should

Mark Hendricks, Science & Technology Editor Ω

CollegeDegrees360/Flickr Commons

CollegeDegrees360/Flickr Commons

Everyone knows the pain of a slow computer, when your once fast computer turns into a sluggish beast it can be incredibly frustrating.

Here are some tips for you on things you can try if your computer is running slow before taking it in and handing it over to tech support.

1. Check for unwanted programs

Many times when you’re downloading free files they’ll come with attachments, even when declining all the optional extras with a download sometimes unwanted programs will still appear. Having too many of these can really throttle a computer’s performance. Try AdwCleaner for a good free adware cleaner than should help remove any unwanted programs.

2. Clean your registry and cookies

Temporary files, like cookies, which are designed to track where you’ve been on the internet, can eventually bog down your computer. A regular cleaning of your cookies and your registry can help keep things like new. CCleaner is a good free cleaning program that can remove these files easily.

3. Defragment your hard drive

Defragmenting your hard drive regularly is important. You can think of defragmenting as your computer doing a sorting of its files. Your computer will reorganize your files’ position on your hard drive into the tightest space, removing all the excess space between that can be caused by files being added and deleted. This will help your computer more quickly access the needed files. Defraggler is a good free defragmentation program that works faster than your computer’s default defragmenter.

4. Get rid of your startup programs

Your computer has a large list of programs that it will launch at startup. Each of these programs will not only slow down the startup process but also rob a bit of your computers performance when running. To stop this from happening, run msconfig and go to the startup tab. From there you can uncheck anything you don’t want running. Most of these programs are safe to remove, especially updaters which will run when you launch the application anyways.

5. Clean up your desktop

This won’t help your computer run faster, but will help it start up faster. Every icon you have on your desktop is one more thing your computer has to load every time it boots up. Even organizing your desktop files into folders will help your computer start faster.

6. Regularly shut down your computer

Leaving your computer running constantly can eventually result in a build up of background files which will eventually drain your system performance. It’s not a guaranteed fix, but it’s a good habit to get into to keep your computer running well.

These are just a few things that are easy to try yourself before resorting to bringing your computer in and paying for someone to look at it. You can also find detailed tutorials of how to do all of these suggestions online if you’re still confused. Google is your friend.