My PC is slow, should I buy a new one?

If your PC is running slow, there are several steps you can take to improve its performance before considering the purchase of a new one.

Whilst your computer won’t last forever, it could however keep going a little longer with some TLC and maintenance. There are 2 areas that could be affecting your computer, the computer hardware and the software that runs on the computer.

Firstly, considering the software, here’s a systematic approach to address the issue:

  1. Analyse Performance
    • Use Task Manager from Windows to identify any tasks that are hogging the CPU, disk, memory or network resources. From the Task Manager Window change to advanced mode to see the resources being used and the software hogging the resources. If you feel comfortable and confident you an end the task that is monopolising the resource.
      Task Manager
  2. Back Up Important Data:
    • Before taking any drastic steps, make sure to back up your important data to prevent data loss during troubleshooting.
  3. Update Your Operating System and Software:
    • Ensure your operating system is up to date, this includes bug fixes, enhancements, driver updates, new features and security updates. These can all improve the performance of your computer. In Windows this can be done from Windows Update. Regular Windows updates are available each Patch Tuesday (second Tuesday of each month).
      Windows Update
    • Check that all drivers are up to date. Drivers are small pieces of software that allow the operating system to communicate with the computer hardware.
    • Check all software applications are up to date, as updates often include performance improvements and security fixes. Microsoft applications can be updated through Windows update at the same time as any operating system updates. For all software applications there will be a “Check for updates” command that can be used at any time.
  4. Manage Start-up Programs:
    • Disable unnecessary start-up programs that launch when your PC boots. This can be done through the Task Manager (Windows).
      Task Manager Startup
  5. Scan for Malware and Viruses:
    • Perform a thorough malware and virus scan using reputable security software to rule out any infections that could slow down your PC.
  6. Adjust Visual Effects (Windows):
    • Reducing visual effects and animations in Windows settings can free up system resources and improve performance.
  7. Clean the Registry
    • The Windows Registry is a centralised database that stores configuration settings and options for the Windows operating system and installed software. Cleaning the Windows Registry should be approached with caution, as it can be risky if not done correctly. It’s not a recommended routine maintenance task for most users. However, if you believe that your registry needs cleaning due to issues with your system, then back up the registry, identify any unnecessary entries with a reputable registry cleaning tool, and delete the entries using the tool.
  8. Consider a Fresh Operating System Installation:
    • If your PC is still slow after trying various optimizations, a clean installation of your operating system can often provide a fresh start and improved performance.

If you’ve tried the abovementioned steps and your PC is still running somewhat slower than you expect it may be time to looking at the computer hardware. We’ll look at the hardware in the next article.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.