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Is Your Computer Running Slow?

Let’s face it, computers slow down over time. It’s annoying and if you are running a business, it can cost you precious time and productivity. But you might be surprised just how easy it is to make your computer run faster. Below we have provided six of the most common reasons your computer runs slower and how you can fix it.

1) Too many programs and/or browser tabs are open. Yes, it’s a wonderful thing that we can do a million things at once using today’s technology. Unfortunately, there is a point where your computer’s memory and processing speed will throttle down and slow the process of switching from one open program to another. Open tabs in browsers often integrate news feeds and live streams and this will cause a serious difference in computer performance. In addition, popular music apps like Spotify can store data and use bandwidth all of which will slow you down.

How to fix it: Shut down or quit any programs you aren’t actively using and try to use just one browser window if you can. Instead of open tabs, just place bookmarks or favourites on those sites for when you need them.

2) Your hard drive or memory could be maxed out. The biggest surprise here is that your hard drive or memory performance will start suffering long before it is 100% full. IT experts estimate that even at 85% capacity, your computer’s efficiency and productivity can be reduced to a crawl. Programs, application updates, Internet downloads, and temporary files are the main culprits for taking up a hard drive and memory space. Graphic image files especially in the architecture, and engineering fields take a lot of space and may need more resources to view. For example, you can’t run the latest version of Photoshop on an entry-level or old computer.

How to fix it: Start simple by emptying your computer’s trash or use the built-in utilities such as disk cleanup to get rid of temp and no longer needed files. Then consider moving those large files to the cloud. These are things that a trusted IT provider can help you navigate safely and securely at the same time. And if an upgrade to increased RAM or even a solid-state hard drive is necessary, working with a technology expert on installation and implementation will save you time, frustration and money.

3) Third-party software updates. Many programs and applications come pre-installed with automatic updates activated, they run all the time in the background and use your computer's resources, tax your hard drive and memory. There are good reasons to get software updates on time, primarily because they provide fixes to security

vulnerabilities and they also oftentimes make the program work better in an ever-changing operating system.

How to fix it: Consider a proactive monitoring and maintenance solution like one that is offered by EDM Automation, which keeps your computers running 24×7, handles all updates and patches for you, and deploys software upgrades during off-hours so that your employees are not affected.

4) Programs at startup. Similar to how some applications come preset to install updates without warning, many are programmed to automatically load upon startup. This can be a massive drag on your computer’s processing speed, both when you first start it up in the morning and throughout the day. Most people, of course, are not aware that these programs are running.

How to fix it: Altering a computer’s startup configuration is more of an advanced procedure recommended only for IT experts. If you run a business this can be critical for you and your staff’s productivity so we suggest that you work with a trusted partner, who can disable those that aren’t necessary and redirect precious operating speed to those that are important.

5) Your computer could be infected with a virus or malware (or running an ineffective anti-virus solution). Usually, the presence of a computer virus makes itself immediately known through the encryption of files, a demand for ransom, or other nefarious pop-ups. But some viruses just run in the background, collecting critical information like usernames, passwords, financial information, and health care data. Most consumer-grade anti-virus solutions cannot detect such illicit operations, which is why it is important to have a security solution that is multi-layered and proven effective. A security solution is a must for any business in the 21st century.

How to fix it: Never entrust your business’ critical data and computers to free anti-virus or anti-spam solutions — these no longer work in today’s environment, they just give you a false sense of security. A real security solution will keep you and your employees safe from data breaches, ransomware, malware, phishing and other forms of cybercrime. Online security is complicated, and threats are constantly changing. What worked yesterday oftentimes does not work today, and hackers work tirelessly to stay one step ahead of basic security protections.

6) Windows 10 Privacy options

Not everyone uses Windows 10 but 90% of businesses do and there are some real drags on the performance that are part of the default setup in Windows 10.

How to fix it: Go to “Settings” then “Privacy” and turn off the first four options. Then go to “Background app” and turn off everything that you do not use. Keep in mind that this only has to do with privacy, it won’t delete or turn off your app or program but by stopping the constant monitoring of these privacy options you free up more resources in your computer for more important things.

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