Technology

PC running slow? 5 helpful tips to increase performance

Yes I know it’s a sad fact but computers just don’t get any better with age. Applications are hanging, the computer taking an age to boot, error message after error message. We hear you, and we would like to help.

Here are five steps to help improve your PC’s performance.

1 – Looking at the start up programs.

“My PC takes forever to start up”. If only I had a Euro for every time I heard this being said.
Well, have you considered exactly what you have been installing on your PC over the past
months and years for that matter? Only so much one’s hardware can take before it impacts
performance significantly. Having a look at what exactly is loaded up once your PC boots is a
great starting point. For most programs starting them when Windows boots is simply just a
waste of time, you may not require them for use, yet they sit in memory. Such a waste.
If you do not require the program to be loaded into memory immediately once your PC boots
then simply just disable it! Be careful though, don’t go unselecting everything. Only disable
what you are sure you don’t need running. Make sure the anti-virus software is left enabled.
On Windows 8 and 10 this is how you edit the startup options:

1. Open up Task Manager by right-clicking on the Taskbar.
2. Select the “Startup” tab.
3. Use the disable button on unwanted start-up services.

On Windows XP, Vista and 7 this is how you edit the startup options:

1. From the start menu Type MSConfig in the search box and hit enter. Click the
msconfig.exe.
2. Click on the “Startup” tab.
3. Unselect the startup item boxes that you would like to prevent from starting when
Windows boots.
4. Click OK and restart now or wait until you are ready for a reboot.

2 – Free up some disk space.

The more free space that you have on disk, the
better your Operating System (OS) will function. Besides your files, folders, videos, etc.
remember that your system is regularly downloading updates for operational and security
purposes as well as read/writes. The recommendation from Microsoft is to keep a minimum
of twenty percent of your disk space free for maintaining performance.
How can I free up some disk space quickly in three steps?

1. Go through your installed programs and uninstall those that you know longer require.
Think all those apps and games you never play anymore or software where the trials have
expired.
2. Run a disk clean-up. Once it runs a calculation, it will tell you exactly how much space
you can free up by deleting temporary/system files that you may no longer require. It's fast
and efficient way of quickly freeing up some space.
3. Download CCleaner. It’s a more aggressive method of cleaning out temporary junk files
and has been around for some time and is a well-trusted piece of software. CCleaner will also
delete those junk files you know longer require from any third party applications that you
have installed, something which Microsoft disk cleanup would not do.

Here is the download link: CCleaner

3 – Check for updates and more.

Two fundamental steps are coming up. Firstly, check that you have the latest operating
system updates installed. Are automatic updates enabled? Unsure well this is how to check:

  • How can I check for system updates on Windows 10?

1. Select the Start button, and then go to Settings icon.
2. Select Update & security than Windows Update.
3. Select Check for updates.
4. If Windows Update says your device is up to date, you have all the updates that are
currently available.

  • How can I check for system updates on Windows 7 and 8?

1. Click the Start button in the lower left corner.
2. In the search box, type “Update”, and then, in the list of results, click Windows Update.
3. Click Check for updates.
4. If you see a message telling you that important updates are available, or telling you to
review important updates, click the message to view and select the important updates to
install.
5. Choose the check boxes for any updates that you want to install, and then click OK.
6. Click Install updates.

Secondly, check for malware. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the
very nasty types of malware, but you could have some annoying software that’s just eating up
all your memory and slowing things down to a halt.
Consider running a scan with an application such as Malwarebytes (Jon.ie only
recommend programs that we have personally tried and trust). Malwarebytes will scan your
system and report back on the following. It has the following features which come with a free
14-day trial.

  • Real-time protection – Detects malware automatically, before it can infect. (14-day free
    trial).
  • Anti-exploit – Shields vulnerable systems and software from exploit attacks. (14-day free
    trial).
  • Anti-ransomware – Stops ransomware attacks before your data is held, hostage. (14-day free
    trial).
  • Malicious website protection – Prevents access to and from known malicious web pages.
    (14-day free trial).
  • Anti-malware/Anti- spyware – Detects and removes malware and advanced threats. (FREE).
  • Anti-rootkit – Removes rootkits and repairs the files they damage. (FREE)

You can download and learn more here: Malwarebytes

4 – Consider a reinstall.

If you are running Windows 8 or Windows 10 then this option could be the one for you. With the reinstall and refresh options built in you
could save yourself a lot of time and bother and just sit back have a coffee and wait. You’ll
have the options of keeping your important files such as pictures, documents and videos, etc.
or what could be the better option of backing up those files yourself first and then doing the
complete reinstall of windows. It sure does save time as it will do all the leg work for you,
getting rid of those troublesome programs, junk files and malware, etc.
If you want to go for the "Refresh" option this is what you do:

1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
2. (If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse
pointer down, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)
3. Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Recovery.
4. Under Refresh your PC without affecting your files, tap or click Get started.
5. Follow the instructions on the screen.

If you want to go for the “Reinstall” option this is what you do:

1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
2. (If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse
pointer down, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)
3. Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Recovery.
4. Under Remove everything and reinstall Windows, tap or click Get started.
5. Follow the instructions on the screen.

5 – Add some new hardware.

If all else fails, you could always add some hardware! Hardware for laptops and desktops is
getting cheaper and cheaper, and you don’t have to spend the earth to add a few upgrades.

Some hardware update considerations could be:

RAM. Standing for Random Access Memory. Adding more RAM will help deliver an instant
performance boost for slow running PC’s and help feed those memory hungry applications
that like to use it up. The more, the better. We recommend first though a visit over to this
website: http://www.crucial.com/. It will tell you the max amount of memory that your
system supports and then suggest some suitable upgrades.

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