Using a slow and often unresponsive computer is very frustrating – programs take ages to open, applications hang and you can feel the plastic getting warmer as the processor tries to keep up as best as it can. You don’t necessarily have to fork out for a brand new device, as there are some steps you can take first to see if you can solve the problem.
Over time, your computer gathers up a lot of junk and unused files, settings and programs, taking up valuable space and requiring increased processing power and memory. Consider using Piriform’s CCleaner to clean up unused files and settings, with other features including browser clean up and quicker start up settings.
Make a change
Depending on the antivirus you use, as well as your computer’s capabilities, switching to a different antivirus provider could ease the strain. TechRadar has a handy guide to top free antivirus solutions for 2016. And remember, running more than one antivirus can also cause some performance problems.
If you’re a confident user, you may wish to change some settings within Windows or whatever operating system your computer is running. For example, from limiting start up programs to defragmenting your hard drive, Microsoft has a list of recommendations to help optimise your computer’s performance.
Switch but save
If you’re thinking of investing in a new device, and you tend to use your laptop more for online browsing and listening to music rather than document creation, a Chromebook might be a good option for you. Chromebooks, which run on Google’s operating system, are generally cheaper than their regular counterparts, partly because they feature very little onboard storage, and are designed mainly for use while online, offering extended battery life. You can still use documents online via Google’s suite of applications, and access popular apps such as Spotify, WhatsApp and Skype.
Top tip: Don’t simply Google ‘clean my slow computer’ and download the first suggestion – you may be getting a legitimate program, or it could be malicious software. Always ask an IT professional for their opinion!