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Ask Arthur

Ask Arthur: How do I fix a slow computer?

A reader wants to know if they should get rid of their slow computer. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK says he’s been there…

Q: My computer is sooo slow. I want to get rid of it. Is there a way to bring it back to life?

A: I’ve been there. A laptop that looked too good to replace, yet was holding me back because it was so slow. 

In fact, it is a far more common problem than you would imagine. It is most often the result of using up your disk space, but can be caused by anything from a malware infection to too many startup programs.

Here are the most common tips for fixing a slow computer, with a little help from Google Bard:

Scan your computer: Malware can slow down your computer by consuming system resources and interfering with system processes. You can use an antivirus program to scan your computer for malware and remove any infections that are found.
Disable startup programs: Startup programs are programs that start automatically when you turn on your computer. Too many startup programs can slow down your computer’s boot time and overall performance. You can disable startup programs by going to the Task Manager and clicking on the Startup tab.
Free up disk space: A lack of disk space can cause your computer to slow down. You can free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files and programs. You can also use a disk cleanup program to remove temporary files and other junk files from your computer.
Upgrade your hardware: If you have tried all of the above tips and your computer is still slow, you may need to upgrade your hardware. This could involve adding more RAM, upgrading your CPU, or installing a solid-state drive (SSD), or a bigger SSD.

If none of that helps, and you spent a sizeable amount on the machine, contact a tech support professional for assistance. Oh, and, keep backing up all your data, as it may soon come crashing down around you.

Here are some additional tips for preventing your computer from slowing down:

  • Keep your operating system and software up to date.
  • Avoid downloading software from untrusted sources.
  • Install a firewall and antivirus program.
  • Be careful about what links you click on and what emails you open.
  • Regularly back up your data.
  • By following these tips, you can help to keep your computer running smoothly and avoid the need for tech support.
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