At some point, you may start to realize that your computer is running slow or not as fast as it once was. This is very normal and happens to most computers that are used to connect to the internet. This issue may be caused due to several reasons; however, there are a number of things you can do to keep your computer speed optimized.

1. Hard Drive

One of the things that can slow your computer down is overload. Your computer has a limited amount of memory and if it is used up, or even almost used up, it can seriously slow things down.
Go to “My Computer” and check how much memory you are using in your hard drive. You will probably see it in red if you are almost out of memory, in which case you should consider removing files to an external source or uninstalling software.

2. RAM (Random Access Memory)

RAM is the computer’s internal memory and loads data being used now. So if you have too many programs running at once, especially those that require a lot of RAM, like advanced video editing or graphic tools (e.g. Photoshop), it may slow down your computer’s performance. You can check how much is being used in the Task Manager and if it is too much, simply close a few running programs.

3. Malware

Certain types of malware can slow your computer down because they are running in the background. It is best to have a strong security suite that prevents these files from being downloaded and does regular scans in case one is already on your computer.

4. Start Up Menu

Type “msconfig” and check the startup list. Most of the time you will see a long list of programs that you don’t necessarily need right when your computer starts. Having all of these on the list slows your computer’s startup time significantly so make sure only programs you absolutely need on startup are on that list.

5. Temporary Files

Temporary files are being saved on your computer all the time. Make sure to erase them from time to time to prevent them from using up your memory space and make your computer running slow.

6. Clutter

There are all kinds of unnecessary files cluttering up your computer’s memory and slowing it down. If you know where to look, that is great. But if not, you can use Windows’ de-cluttering tool or one provided by your antivirus program to remove these files and speed up the computer.

7. Dust

Dust can make your computer work really hard in order to operate, and while you should have a fan or two to ensure this doesn’t happen, it’s always best to check if your computer is very dusty, thus slow.

8. Unnecessary Programs

You may have many programs running in the background that you’re not using or don’t need. Make sure to go over all of the installed programs on your computer from time to time and remove those you don’t use anymore.

9. Two Antivirus Programs

One antivirus is great, it can keep you safe from virus infection, and help speed your computer up. Two, however, can slow things down if they are not meant to work together so make sure to only choose one strong security suite.

10. Toolbars and Plugins

A lot of free software out there comes with baggage, namely toolbars, plugins, and even adware. These may force your computer running slow, so avoid installing them and try to remove those already installed.

A slow computer is not the end of the world. Taking these steps can drastically improve things. You can also install a security suite with PC optimization features that speed things up for you.