Troubleshooting: Everyone’s had a bad experience with a computer at some point: either a program crashing, a slowdown, a virus, or even just computer age. Well, while manufacturers would like you to upgrade often, there’s a better way to keep your computer running for a while longer—especially if you don’t want to move to new equipment or if you’re waiting on a certain feature to come to market. We’ve got the tips you need to do some troubleshooting to your computer!
Every computer system has its fair share of problems but there are always ways to fix those or improve how they work—and slowdowns are no different. Here are a few things we think are useful to help you keep your system running the way it should:
- Rebooting is the number 1 biggest fix to a lot of problems you might have. Rebooting resets a lot of systems and frees up your system memory to be completely reallocated. While it might sound trite, your first troubleshooting task should always be to reboot.
- Keep your machine free of applications you don’t use
- The problem with applications is that they bog down your hard drive and can make things run slower than they need to—especially if your hard drive is short on space. Keep it simple: delete and uninstall programs you don’t need so your computer has less to look through.
- Don’t install programs you’re not entirely sure of
- This is basic virus safety but it applies to other applications, too. Windows apps have historically been feature-rich but this can lead to bloated programs that do 5,000 things when you only need 3 of those features. Install the right programs—and don’t let your PC bloat.
- Defragment your disks regularly
- All systems are subject to fragmentation and fragmentation means that your computer is struggling to find all the data it needs to start a program or open a file. You should be running regular defragmentation on your PC to ensure that it can find those files easier.
- Clean out the insides of your computer
- Heat and dust are big issues for computers. Besides the obvious issue of cleanliness, dust, debris, and other obstructions can hold moisture and even bugs that can short out a circuit. Even if those aren’t a problem, dust can make your system run extra hot and that heat can cause slowdowns and cause components of your computer to fail. Keep the inside of your computer clean!
While we’re sure you’ve heard more than your fair share about viruses, it bears repeating: viruses are dangerous to your security and can cause your system to run slow, incorrectly, or even destructively. Somewhere around 32% of computers have some sort of infection on them. Keep your virus scanners up to date and keep malware and adware protection on your computer. That will help solve most of the problems resulting from viruses.
Troubleshooting First, Replacement Later
Don’t buy into the idea that you need a whole new system if you’re experiencing slowdowns. The above tips can help you avoid replacement, but there’s something else you should consider: if your PC is more than 5 years old, slowdowns are not only common, they’re inevitable. The rate that hardware is improving means that 5 years is the difference between bleeding-edge and dinosaur. This doesn’t mean your PC is useless, just that it might take a little longer to run the new versions of software or to boot up. This is normal and expected, and shouldn’t cut into your workflow too much.
Either way, using these tips, you should be able to milk a little more life out of your computer, regardless of operating system. Troubleshooting can save you a lot of time and money, and it doesn’t have to be difficult.