My computer is running slow, what steps can I do to fix it?

Tip: This page only covers an overall slow computer and not a computer that has a slow boot up or slow Internet.

If your computer has not been rebooted recently, make sure to reboot it before following any of the steps below.

Background programs
One of the most common reasons for a slow computer are programs running in the background.

Tip: To see what programs are running in the background and how much memory and CPU they are using, open Task Manager. (The Task Manager is opened by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc on the keyboard. You can also open the Task Manager by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting "Task Manager.") If you are running Windows 7 or higher, run Resmon (From the Windows desktop or Start Screen: Press the Windows key on your computer's keyboard, or type in resmon.exe in the Windows Search Box or, merely start typing if you use Windows 8 and press Enter.) to get a better understanding of how your computer resources are being used.

If you have an antivirus scanner on the computer, spyware protection program, or another security utility, make sure it is not scanning your computer in the background. If a scan is in progress, it will decrease the overall performance of your computer. If this is the case, allow the scan to complete, and the computer's performance should improve.

Scan for viruses
If your computer is infected with one or more viruses, it may run more slowly. It is also recommended that you install an antivirus program for active protection against viruses. We recommend Webroot.

Memory upgrade
If you have had your computer for more than two years, you may need more memory. Today, we suggest computers have a minimum of 2 GB of memory (RAM) for a 32-bit system and 4 GB for a 64-bit system. By having enough memory for programs to run within memory, your computer will not need to swap information stored in memory to the swap file. If the hard drive light is constantly active, it can be an indication the computer is frequently swapping information between your memory and hard drive.

Hard drive upgrade
One of the biggest bottlenecks of a computer is the hard disk drive. Upgrading from a standard hard drive to a Solid State Drive (SSD) will drastically improve the performance of a computer.

Computer or processor is overheating
Make sure your computer and processor is not overheating. Excessive heat can cause a decrease in computer performance because most operating systems automatically reduce the speed of the processor to help compensate for heat-related issues. Dust, dirt, and hair can also constrict proper airflow inside your computer, which can cause a computer to overheat. Make sure your computer case is clean, and that the fans are not obstructed. Our Annual Service of your computer can fix this.

Hardware issues
Finally, if your computer is still slow after trying all of the above recommendations, there may have a more serious hardware related issue, such as a failing component in the computer. Examples of failing hardware could include the hard drive, CPU, RAM, motherboard, or other components.

Old computer
If your computer is more than five years old, it will have slower performance than a new one. As more advanced software programs are released, they are optimized to run more efficiently on newer computers. Older computers are not able to run these new programs as well, which can cause them to perform more slowly. Furthermore, new software tends to be more demanding in general, which is another problem for old hardware. We recommend that you consider purchasing a new computer or upgrading your current one.