With the digitization and automation of today’s business, technology and knowing how to navigate it is becoming a necessary skill. Perhaps an IT company such as ourselves shouldn’t be giving out DIY solutions, but we are committed to making our customers’ lives as easy as possible. And sometimes, it’s not calling your IT team – it’s just restarting your computer.
These technology tips will hopefully help the people out there who aren’t as tech-savvy, or simply don’t have the time to start searching for answers and end up slumped dejectedly at their computer. So here are some go-to ideas when your computer is acting up.
RESTART YOUR COMPUTER.
This may seem like the obvious “turn it off and then turn it back on again,” but shutting down your computer can actually be really helpful. Why? It can be because…
- Your computer needs updates. Restarting often automatically triggers your computer to install all those updates you’ve been pushing off. Updates may seem annoying but they’re necessary for your computer to work optimally.
- Something malfunctioned/froze/encountered an error, causing your computer to stop working. If your computer is running a program that had any sort of error that it can’t resolve, it tends to just get stuck. Restarting your computer will restart any malfunctioning program as well, allowing it to move away from that error and start at the beginning.
- A malfunctioning program is slowing your whole computer down. Just as said above, malfunctioning programs get restarted along with the computer.
- Some software continually store memory if not closed, slowing your computer down. In this case, a restart will also close these programs and free up computer memory space, allowing your computer to work faster.
CHECK HOW MUCH SPACE YOU HAVE ON YOUR HARD DRIVE.
This can easily be done by opening up your computer menu and checking your “Local Disc C:.” If your space is maxxed out, chances are your computer’s performance will suffer. Your computer needs adequate space to run updates, create files, and other things to maintain the level of performance you started with.
How do you clear space? Either go through your files and delete those you aren’t using (focus on big space takers like programs and applications you don’t use if you don’t have time to sort through individual documents and pictures) and delete them. If you can’t be bothered to do this, or you need everything on your local disc, get an external hard drive to increase storage space without sacrificing performance, or think about using cloud services for storage.
MAKE SURE YOU’RE UPDATING.
Usually, your computer will prompt you when there’s an update available. As tempting as it is, don’t push it off. Updates are important to keep your computer running optimally, protect itself from malware, prevent malfunctions, and keep you bug-free.
CHECK YOUR INTERNET.
Your computer may not be at fault. Internet connectivity is often the culprit in slow performance. If you’re noting that your computer is only slow when using internet-reliant programs, try restarting the router or checking your connectivity speed.
GET A GOOD ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE.
Or really any. So many people operate without any sort of protection. Sometimes, all you need is something that can perform a basic scan and get rid of malware that is taking up space and slowing down your computer.
If you’re a business, you should probably invest in something a little more than basic protection. That’s something an IT company can definitely help you with, as well as with safeguarding information and other web content.
But business or individual, make sure to educate yourself on malware and how to prevent it from attacking your computer. You can read more about that here.
CLEAN YOUR COMPUTER.
This is so basic, yet so many people don’t even think of cleaning their computer. Dust buildup and other dirt directly contribute to problems like overheating, unstable parts, or breakdown of parts. Tools like canned air, fine brushes, microfiber cloths, and all-purpose cleaners are useful.
If you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself, talk to an IT expert.
And as with anything here, if you feel uncomfortable dealing with issues yourself, know when you need an expert. That point may be different for every person based on their own experience and skills, but don’t risk making a problem worse.
These tips are all basic and in most cases, will not further a problem. But don’t start clicking around and deleting or installing unfamiliar software. If you think a problem is outside your range of expertise, don’t try and guess at a solution. Software and hardware are often finicky things and they don’t leave much room for guesswork.