Having a slow computer can make even the easiest of tasks drag out for what feels like forever. And, unfortunately, it can make some simple things like downloading a file or viewing a video on social media next to impossible.
While slow computer issues are a problem any time, they can be especially problematic now that around 60 per cent of employed people are working from home. A slow computer can mean the difference between making and missing an important work deadline — and you need a fix fast.
Most slow computer fixes come down to working out what's causing the issue in the first place, tech and cybersecurity expert Chuck Brooks, president of Brooks Consulting International, tells Yahoo Life.
"There are a variety of causes that can slow down operations on computers," he says. "It could be due to misconfiguration issues, malware infections, spyware, overload on the individual computing capacity because of too many apps, too much data compared to storage limitations and connected devices, lack of updating or patching or possibly mining by crypto currency 'hackavists'."
Basically, there's a lot that can be causing your computer to act sluggishly.
The good news: There are slow computer fixes available, and many are easier than most people realise. Try these the next time your computer moves at a snail's pace.
1. Slow computer fix: Get a software tune-up
Installing system utilities software packages that include tune-up tools can help you resolve the issues behind a slow computer.
These tune-up tools can optimise your computer by removing internet junk, improving WiFi connections and system responsiveness, and freeing up storage space.
System Mechanic is a software package that improves your computer's performance by hunting down and troubleshooting the causes of your PC issues — and that includes a slow computer. The software also helps clear out the junk from your computer, checks for internet connectivity issues, and opens up storage space so your computer can get back to running efficiently again.
For just £3.90 a month, System Mechanic will perform comprehensive scans of your computer and ultimately help it run faster.
2. Slow computer fix: Update your operating system
Your computer's operating system is the main software that manages all the hardware and software on your computer. Updating it regularly is important, Brooks says. Usually, your PC will send you a notification when it's time for an update, and you should actually do it.
3 Slow computer fix: Clear out junk you don't use
This is important, Brooks says, adding that this includes "regularly cleaning files and applications that you do not need or are too encumbering."
To do that, pull up your main hard drive (it's usually called your C drive) and hit "properties."
There, you can see a list of items that can be removed, such as temporary files. Go ahead and delete the ones you don't use or no longer need.
4 Slow computer fix: Review your privacy settings
If your privacy settings are low, you're opening yourself up to all kinds of web gunk that can slow down your computer.
"You may want to review your privacy settings to see who can send notifications and popups that can be both intrusive and slow down web searches," Brooks says.
A quick and easy way to do that: Pull up your computer's privacy settings and change them to the highest possible option.
A slow computer is annoying, and it's not something you should have to live with. Try these fixes if your PC is being clunky — they can make a big difference.
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