Why Is My Computer So Slow?

There are many reasons why your machine may be slow. Here's some possible causes along with solutions:

When Was It Turned Off Last?
The longer your computer is turned on, the more "junk" builds up in memory. Sometimes so much stuff accumulates that nothing will run, and you can even get the "blue screen of death".

Turn your computer fully off, then back on and see if that cures it. Wifi Midwest Inc. recommends you turn your machine off every night, which clears the memory, prolongs the life of the Hard Drive, and prevents night-time viruses and worms from infecting your computer.

Not Enough Memory:
Click on Start - Control Panel - System. It will give you the amount of RAM memory you have. If it's 128 Mb or less, you should add more. Adding memory is the single best thing you can do for your machine, and it's cheap to buy! Consult your owner's manual for instructions on how to add memory to your computer.

Too Many Processes Started:
When you first turn on your machine, several programs will load, all of which eat memory and use processor time, and slow you down. Some of these are just junk and you don't need to load them at startup. Click on Start - All Programs - Startup and go through the list. You can right click on those you don't want and delete them.

Spyware is Running!
This is the most common cause of a slow computer. If you've clicked on Pop-Ups, they've loaded programs on your computer that will run in the background, collecting information and using your internet bandwidth. You'll need to run an anti-spyware program to find and delete these bad boys. Be sure to do the updates before running it so you'll get the latest spyware removed.

You May Have a Virus!
Run your Anti-Virus program. And be sure to do the updates first!

You HAD A Virus
Maybe you had a virus recently, and your Anti-Virus program found and deleted it. Great! However, even though the virus is gone, the file or files that the virus infected were damaged by it's actions, and may still be. If this recently happened, you can try restoring your computer. Click on Start - Help and Support - look for "System Restore" and click on it. When the wizard comes up, click on next, then look for a highlighted date on the calendar. If you click on it, the window to the right should say "system checkpoint" - if it does not, choose another, earlier date. You may have to go back to last month to find one. Click Next and Next again, and your computer will now shut down. When it comes back up, it'll think it's that earlier date, and will hopefully perform better.

Still Running Slow?
If after you've done all the above, it's still running slowly, and not up to it's usual self, you may need to have it professionally cleaned.

Your Computer is Old!
Any machine that's more than 5 years old is probably running a 1 ghz processor or less. As the internet has matured, more pages are designed to be graphically oriented, and your old machine just can't load those pages quickly. You've seen the ads on TV and been to the store - it may be time for a new machine, and they are priced quite reasonably these days. Get one with the most RAM and biggest Hard Drive you can afford, that will make your new machine perform well and last longer.