Is your computer running slow?

One of the most common reasons we get called out to look at computers is because the system is running slow. Desktop and Laptop computers alike users often ask why is it running so slow.

Well as computers get old they get slower, right? Well no, not at all. Then it must be the more we use them they get slower, yes. And again no, not at all.

There is actually only 3 real explanations for what is going on here.

Hardware, it is possible though a lot less likely than the other 2 options you have a hardware fault. A piece of hardware possibly a ram module, your hard disk or in some rare cases you CPU have become faulty and are causing the computer to run much slower than usual.


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Software , the computer has over time been clogged down with a massive amount of programs which start every time windows starts all taking up a tiny amount of resources to the point where there is very little left for the computer to run things at a good speed. Also and very commonly systems get viruses and malware which are constantly fighting for control of system resources also slowing things down.

Its all in your head! Is the computer actually running slower than it used to, or have you in fact become acclimatised to faster PCs, either at work, other computers in the home, friends houses and the like, using tablets and mobile devices? You see, you're the problem! :) I kid of course but perhaps this could at least in part contribute to the "running slow".
Now here the thing, a 10 year old computer today will do everything it did 10 years ago at exactly the same speed as it did 10 years ago if nothing else changes. For example lets say you only pickup up email in outlook and do your accounting in Excel, old faithful will function just as good as the day you bought it.
However, if every few year you upgraded to the newest version of Outlook, lets say you started with Outlook express, then went to Outlook 2007, and then 2010 and finally 2013. And while we are at it lets also upgrade Excel to the newest versions. What's happening here is your actually not asking the computer to do the same thing it did 10 years ago.
As technology becomes better these publishers Microsoft included improve on their software and at the same time make them slightly more "bulky" with each revision, meaning that the newer PCs on the market run them fine but the older ones have to work a little harder to keep up. I had a customer quite recently who we visited. Their PC was massively infected with virus and malware to the point where it took about 90 minutes before it was usable. After a full system cleanout the PC was running as well as it did on the day of purchase, however they commented the system did still feel a bit slow. Back when they purchased the PC they were using Aol 4.0 and are now using Aol 9.1 or something similar, versions may be slightly off but you get my point hopefully, again it's not the same job it was doing on day of purchase so the results will not always be the same.

The solutions.
Well a hardware fault is easy, replace the faulty component, if the computer is a few years old this could be a good opportunity to  upgrade the faulty component with a newer faster version to also give an increase in performance, a good example of this would be to replace a faulty hard disk with a solid state equivalent. These drives are massively faster to the point where a computer can boot from a powered off state in seconds as opposed to several minutes with a standard drive. Worth considering at eh very least.

When software is slowing a system down this can be slightly more tricky to tackle, a good and simple place to start however is with add/remove programs in control panel. Simply removing unused and unwanted programs can free up resources, a good rule of thumb if you haven't used it in several months or you don't know what it does chances are you don't need it. Be careful however not to remove anything labelled as a "driver" or you will start having other problems.

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Finally how do we tackle the 3rd reason, well you can either go back to using the older versions of software, which can cause compatibility issues with other people you share files with. Or you can consider upgrading your computer, this does not always mean replacing it, you can look to upgrade the ram, hard disk processor or a combination of them. Or simply put up with it, you have lived with it this long after all.

Should you decide to look into either a software clean out or hardware upgrade but don't want to do it yourself, our in home repair service could be ideal for you. At just £35 to visit your home and do a full system clean or install whatever upgrades you require, even if you don't wish to purchase the upgrades from us we can still install them for you,  we believe its great service and aim to make every customer 100% satisfied.