When you first got your shiny new laptop out of the box and booted it up for the first time you were probably amazed at how quickly everything loaded. After a few years, however, you probably began to notice that everything started to slow down. Does it now take longer to open programmes? Does saving large files take minutes rather than a few seconds? Perhaps you have begun to experience regular Windows errors and crashes that interrupt your working day and make completing even the simplest task a challenge? Time to clean-up!
Owning an older computer shouldn’t mean struggling to cope with everyday tasks. If properly maintained an older computer should be capable of almost anything a more recently built machine can do. It just needs regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly.
If you find your computer slowly grinding to a halt there is no need to panic. There are several things that you can do to identify the problem and resolve the issue. The most likely cause a sluggish computer is a software problem. Follow these simple steps to identify the type of problem you are facing, and resolve the issue.
Repair your Windows registry
A common cause of frequent computer crashes is a corrupted Windows registry. Your registry contains files that are essential to the the operation of your computer. Over time these files can get lost or become damaged, this can result in frequent crashes of your computer when the computer tries to access a file that is corrupted or missing.
To see if it is a corrupted Windows registry causing your problems you will need to run a Windows Registry cleaner. If you download and run the cleaner it will identify any errors and fix them for you.
Tidy your files
Over time as you store and then delete files on your hard disk most of the computer memory gets filled up, but there are lots of gaps left in the memory where files have been deleted. To fill up these gaps the computer stores bits of your programmes in the gaps rather than storing all of the programme or file together. This means that when you ask the computer to run the programme it needs to fetch the information from lots of places in its memory rather than a single location. This can cause the system to crash or run slowly as it gathers the needed data.
To defragment your hard disk you will need to use the built-in disk defragmentation utility. You should be able to locate this from your Control Panel. This utility will show you how well organised your computer memory is. Run this utility regular to optimise your computers performance.
Is your memory too full?
You might think that your computer has a huge memory and can’t imagine how you could ever fill it up. It’s surprising how rapidly that situation changes as you use the computer each day. After a few years of use you could have filled your computer with programmes that you rarely, if ever, use. All of these unused programmes slow down your computer and could be causing it to crash as the computer struggles to find sufficient memory to run whatever task you are requesting.
Delete programmes which you do not use and clean up your temporary Internet files. You can delete unused programmes by choosing “Uninstall a program” or “Programs and Features.” from the Control Panel.
Check for Malware
Malicious software can get on to your computer as you use the Internet. Sometimes it can be a virus that you activated after clicking on a link in an email. At other times it can be adware that is downloaded bundled together with supposedly legitimate software you found online. However it gets on to your computer once it is there it will cause problems for your computer.
You need to install good antivirus software to remove the virus files from your computer and use the software to scan your computer regularly to prevent future infection. It is worthwhile checking your computer frequently to see if there are any programmes that you don’t recognise, or remember downloading. If you do discover something that shouldn’t be there then you can uninstall it by accessing “Uninstall a program” or “Programs and Features.” from the Control Panel.
Following these steps should deal with any obvious software problems with your computer and help it to run smoothly once more. If none of these steps work then you will need to look at possible hardware issues with your computer.