Your Computer is Slow — How to Fix It?

A new computer is a thing of beauty. It's fast, it's clean, and everything runs as it should. But as time goes on, that PC that was once so slick and fast now feels like it's trudging through molasses. Programs take forever to start up, and when they finally do, they run slowly.

How can you get the magic of a fast PC back again? Here are a few steps you can take to fix a slow PC.

Reboot

"Have you tried turning it off and on again?" is often the first line of defense for many a PC support tech when a customer calls saying "my computer is slow, fix it now!"

While it might seem obvious and unlikely that a reboot will fix your PC computer, it can actually solve some slowdown issues — applications can keep running even after the window is closed, for example, and bugs in the software can cause runaway memory usage. Rebooting isn't the catch-all some techs might think it is, but it's worth giving it a try.

Scan for Malware and Viruses

While this might seem like another obvious solution, there are many good reasons to scan your computer regularly for malware and viruses. Malware can use up memory and make your computer slow, but it can also do real damage over time, corrupting applications, or even wiping critical files from your machine.

The last thing you want is to head down to the shop to have a tech fix your PC computer at a high cost. If you don't have antivirus or anti-malware software, get some.

If you're trying to fix a PC slow down, it also may be worth checking to see if your computer is running an automatically scheduled antivirus scan. A virus scan uses up loads of PC resources, and can easily slow your computer down.

Check Your Hard Drive

If you check your hard drive and see you have a few megabytes of storage space left, or worse, are getting warnings about running out of drive space, it's time to do something about it. A full hard drive can make a computer slow. Fix it by emptying your recycling bin, deleting temp files, or uninstalling programs you don't use anymore.

Check Running Software

Sometimes, a PC is slower than it needs to be right out of the box. It may already be loaded down with bloatware applications from third-party vendors, leaving you with the responsibility to fix it. These programs run in the background, often serving no useful purpose, and eat up system resources. Checking your startup menu and uninstalling software you don't need can help fix a slow PC.

Add Memory

Adding more RAM is another way to fix a slow computer, but depending on how computer-savvy you are, it can be both expensive, and time-consuming. If you're not comfortable opening up your PC and adding components, you'll have to take it to a tech and have them fix it. Computers can be fragile devices, and it would be a tragedy to try to fix PC slow down, only to break it entirely.

Defrag Your Drive

Heavy use can fragment your hard drive, and slow your PC down. Fix it by running a defrag overnight to clean up the drive — just don't expect to use the computer for a few hours.

Get AOL Computer Checkup

But what if you jump through all these hoops and you still can't fix a slow PC? It may be time to get AOL Computer Checkup. Computer Checkup makes can help speed up your slow machine, automate disk defrag, clean up unwanted files, and optimize your system's performance. And with a 30-day free trial, you have nothing to lose.