Nothing is more frustrating than switching on your computer and then having to wait for many minutes as it attempts to boot or open up essential programmes. If you’ve been asking yourself “why is my computer running so slow?” on a daily basis, our 5 easy ways to boost your PC speed might help.

1.   Make sure everything is up to date

One simple reason why your computer might be running more slowly than it should is that your software is out of date. If you’ve been pressing “remind me later” for as long as you can remember, it might finally be time to let your computer install its updates. Your speed issues could be a kink that has been worked out in a recent update of your operating system, or even a problem within one particular programme. Ensuring that you’re running the latest version of all your software reduces the likelihood of things slowing down.

2.   Scan for viruses

Viruses or other malware could be causing your computer to run slowly or even compromising your security. Update your antivirus software, run a complete scan, and then set the software to perform scheduled scans on a regular basis. Windows comes with its own security system pre-installed, but there are also a number of free and paid antivirus suites on the market. Most personal users find that free antivirus software meets all of their needs, but if you are a business user then investing in a fully comprehensive service may be a better option. Look for added extras such as a free customer support hotline or online chat with an IT support worker.

3.   Clear out your computer

Viruses aren’t the only things you want removed from your disk – superfluous files and programmes can also take up a surprising amount of space and slow down your machine. There are the obvious ones, such as programmes you don’t use anymore, but there are also some hard to reach files that you might want to delete. Free programmes such as CCleaner can be used to clear things such as your computer’s cache, cookies and temporary files. It is also worth looking into hosting files and photographs in the cloud, rather than on your own hard drive. Some users choose to keep their hard drives almost entirely empty, and use web apps such as Google Docs for their day-to-day work. This may not be practical for everyone, especially if you are not always connected to the internet, but hosting important documents and photos in the cloud is a great way to improve your computer’s speed.

4.   Reinstall windows

If tips like the above aren’t making much of a difference to your computer’s speed, it may be necessary to reinstall Windows. Fortunately, this no longer means losing all of your files and starting from scratch; the newest versions of Windows (8 and 10) have a “reset” option which reverts its settings and programmes back to default whilst keeping your files. You may need to reinstall some programmes, but you’re likely to see a big enough difference in speed and performance to make this worthwhile.

5.   Replace the hard drive

Sometimes, the reason why your computer or laptop is slowing down is simply its age. However, this doesn’t mean you need to shell out hundreds or even thousands of pounds on a new model. The problem can often be solved just by replacing the internal hard drive, which can be done at very little cost. Unfortunately, this does involve removing the casing of your machine and is not a task for computer novices.

If you think that your hard drive needs to be replaced, the best option may be to call up a specialist company, such as Syntax IT support London, who can perform the replacement for you. They should also be able to give you personalised advice in extending the longevity of your machine and keeping it running quickly.

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