Painfully slow computer? Try this expert hack to speed it up

Fed up of having a slow computer? Try these tricks. (Getty Images)
Fed up of having a slow computer? Try these tricks. (Getty Images)

If your computer seems like it’s been extra sluggish and crashing a lot lately, it’s probably not your imagination. You aren’t the only one feeling over-extended during the pandemic—your computer is feeling the burn, too.

Internet usage has skyrocketed by 70 percent since many of us started staying home back in March 2020. Think about it: You’re connected all day long on platforms like Google Classroom, Google Hangouts, and Zoom. Then when you’re done for the day, you queue up Hulu or Netflix or spend the evening shopping online.

Your computer collects lots of data and files that quickly clog up its system with such frequent use. You also might be picking up some poor computer-hygiene habits along the way. Of course, hackers are watching all of this, too, and just waiting to pounce on vulnerable WiFi connections—and vulnerable people.

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to live with a frustratingly slow computer.

System Mechanic is a software package that improves PC performance by identifying and troubleshooting the root causes of your computer troubles—up to 30,000 of them, actually. The award-winning software clears out all the junk from your computer, fixes shaky WiFi connections, and frees up lots of storage space so your device functions like (almost) new again.

For just £3.90 a month, System Mechanic will keep a constant eye on everything going on inside your computer, and keep it running smoothly 24/7.

Wondering what kinds of problems System Mechanic addresses specifically? Here are five likely reasons your computer is under-performing right now.

Reason 1: You’re working from home

System Mechanic runs hunndreds of programs to check your computer for junk it needs to clean up. (Photo: Iolo Technologies)
System Mechanic runs hunndreds of programmess to check your computer for junk it needs to clean up. (Technologies)

Pretty obvious one, eh? Maybe you usually go into an office or a classroom every day for work while your computer rests peacefully at home. But now your computer is under constant demand to handle Slack chats, Microsoft Office tasks, teleconferencing calls and more—all day long. All your neighbours are probably doing the same. The nonstop activity can weigh down your broadband connection significantly.

System Mechanic has a feature called NetBooster that optimises your internet connection and maximises speed. After installing the software, just restart your computer, connect to WiFi, and enjoy a smoother surfing experience.

Reason 2: You’re using a VPN

A VPN protects your internet privacy. (Photo: Getty)
A VPN protects your internet privacy. (Getty Images)

A virtual private network (VPN) provides a private and secure internet connection, hiding your IP address and preventing the sites you visit from tracking you—but you probably know this if you’ve already installed one. It’s wise to protect your connection with a VPN now that you’re using the internet so much, and especially if you’re working from home or shopping and paying bills online.

But a VPN has to work extra hard to route you through an additional server, so it takes a little longer than going VPN-less. This can slow your connection to a crawl. To troubleshoot a slow VPN connection, choose a server in a country closer to you, restart your router or modem, or upgrade to premium VPN services.

Reason 3: You’re Zooming a lot

Zoom with ease thanks to System Mechanic. (Photo: Getty)
Zoom with ease thanks to System Mechanic. (Getty Images)

Zoom is great. It lets you communicate face-to-face with colleagues, catch up with friends, and even watch live entertainment, especially during a pandemic. But Zoom also uses a lot of internet bandwidth, and if your broadband connection is already lacking, it can slow things down further and lead to glitchy video conferencing—making the name “Zoom” pretty ironic.

A few ways to speed up your Zoom connection are to disable HD video, mute your microphone (but don’t forget to unmute when you need to speak!), close other applications, and pause any downloads in progress. With System Mechanic running in the background, you’ll also have junk deletion and optimum online connectivity running on autopilot.

Shop now: System Mechanic | try for 30 days free*, then £3.90 a month

*to avoid being charged the recurring subscription fee, cancel before your free trial ends

Reason 4: You’re watching Netflix in bed

Keep your computer off soft surfaces. (Photo: Getty)
Keep your computer off of soft surfaces. (Getty Images)

If your computer feels hot or its fan sounds like you live on a helipad, that means the machine is overheating. This first causes your computer to slow down, and can eventually lead to long-term damage. In the short term, it might even randomly crash or shut itself off.

A few ways to address an overheating computer before it’s too late are to clean out dust and other debris blocking airflow by using a can of compressed air. You also want to encourage air flow by keeping your laptop on a hard surface at all times. Plopping your laptop on the bed—or any soft surface that blocks air—while you stream shows in bed is not just a bad habit; it’s dangerous.

Reason 5: You’re full of cookies

Too many cookies is not a good thing. (Photo: Getty)
Too many cookies is not a good thing. (Getty Images)

Every time you visit a new website these days, you get that dreaded pop-up asking you to accept cookies to proceed. With all the time you’re spending online lately, your computer is collecting more cookies than a bakery window. Computer cookies let websites remember you, track your activity, and possibly try to sell you stuff down the road.

But cookies are essentially little digital files, and as each embeds itself one by one in your system, your computer eventually has a “belly” full of cookies and is too “full” to perform properly.

System Mechanic will scan your computer in real time and use a feature called Privacy Guardian to clear out cookies on a regular basis. Of course, not all cookies are bad—some are designed to keep your shopping cart up to date or remember passwords for frequently visited sites, for instance—so System Mechanic will also let you white list any cookies you don’t want it to touch.

Shop now: System Mechanic | try for 30 days free*, then £3.90 a month

*to avoid being charged the recurring subscription fee, cancel before your free trial ends

Watch: 5 easy ways to improve your WiFi