One of the most frustrating things PC users can experience is slow performance or freezing while using their normal programs. It can make even the simplest tasks take several times longer and greatly slow down your work day, which impacts patient care as well. While it will sometimes mean there could be hardware issues and your PC needs an upgrade, there are several steps that you and your IT support can take to speed up the performance of your PC through cleanup tools, anti-virus and anti-malware scans, or optimizing settings.
The first thing you should check if your PC is running slowly is how long it has been since your PC has been restarted. Do you restart your PC once a week or do you only reboot your PC once every few weeks or months? Restarting your PC is a great first step to allow your PC to clear out old processes and refresh itself. Some users will opt to set a schedule for their PC to reboot over the weekend, or at night while not in the office.
If a simple restart doesn’t resolve the slowness you are seeing, you can try running your anti-virus or anti-malware program to see if there are any potential threats hiding away inside your hard drive. If you’re not sure of how to run these scans, or need some help understanding the results you should be able to reach out to your IT support technicians. These scans will ideally be set on a schedule to run nightly or weekly, but if you open the software on your PC you can run a manual scan as well. If your PC detects any malicious items, you can them Quarantine them to prevent them from affecting your PC any further.
If your PC takes a long amount of time to boot up when you power it on, there may be lots of programs trying to start that are slowing down the bootup time and preventing you from seeing a usable desktop. Ask your IT support to help you disable any unneeded startup programs on your PC to help speed up the bootup process.
There are several other methods and tools you can utilize to help speed up the performance of your PC from registry repair software, clearing out temporary files and running a Disk Cleanup. It is highly suggested that you get your IT Support technicians to perform these items for you. Performing these cleanup methods and monitoring your computer’s performance can help your IT Support in developing a plan for resolving the issue for you.
Let’s say all the above was completed but you are still having issues with your PC performing slowly or freezing when trying to run programs. The next step would be analyzing your PC’s age and hardware to make sure it is able to keep up with the ever-increasing demands of your software. Normally you will want to make sure that both the physical memory, processor, and hard disk in your PC are powerful enough to handle many different software programs and processes without “bottlenecking” and restricting the speed of your PC.
For memory, the typical software requirement is about 8GB. This allows your PC to handle more processes and run more programs at once without restraining your operating system. If your PC only has 2GB or 4GB, your operating system will need to use a majority of that amount to just run idle without any programs open, and your PC will struggle to handle anything else. Once the memory usage gets above a certain threshold your PC will struggle to swap between software programs, resulting in slowness and freezing issues.
Sometimes your PC’s hard disk will suffer and will struggle to perform. There are several scans that can be run against your hard drive and logs that your IT Support can analyze to evaluate the health of your hard drive, and then the drive can either be repaired or replaced as needed.
If the drive ends up needing to be replaced, you simply need to know what type of drive to replace it with. You can obtain either a standard hard-disk drive (HDD), or a much faster solid-state drive (SSD). An SSD offers much faster speeds and will greatly improve the time it takes to boot up your PC. The downside to SSDs are that although they are becoming more available and the price is coming down, they are still quite expensive compared to normal HDDs, but if speed is the main issue then the investment would be well worth it in the long run.
All in all, there are many reasons and causes that could be the determining factor in why your PC is running slowly or freezing up. In many cases it could be a software fix that could be repaired without much trouble, but if there are hardware issues that can quickly become a more daunting project to take on unless you have good PC hardware knowledge. We recommend contacting your current IT Support company and get their expert opinion and help in making these determinations. At Keep IT Simple our technology consultants all have great experience and knowledge that results in a quick diagnosis of the issue and can inform you of a plan to resolve the issue and work to resolve the issue to your satisfaction.
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