The one trick you need to speed up a slow computer

To speed up a slow computer, turn it off and back on again. That’s right, you heard us. We’re reclaiming the stereotype that as IT professionals that’s all we tell people to do all day. If your computer’s running slow though, it’s the best place to start – honest!

Just have a think about your workday, and how many tasks you carry out on whatever device you’re working on. How many tabs do you have open in your browser? How many programmes do you have open? Microsoft Word? Outlook? Excel? Calculator? Several browser windows with multiple tabs?

Then, it gets to the end of the day, and you realise you’re going to need it all again tomorrow. So instead of shutting down your machine, you simply choose the ‘sleep’ option and turn your screens off ready to start from where you left off tomorrow. 

The longer your device is left on, the more memory it uses and the more temporary files it amasses and so the sluggish it gets. 

In extreme cases, 20 minutes of wasted time a day waiting for your computer to load means 1 hour 40 minutes per working week lost to rolling your eyes and tutting at the screen, definitely not productive.

If you think about it in terms of humans, this makes sense. If you finished work, then had to go home and continue staring at the same documents and spreadsheets all night before getting up and getting ready to head into the office again, you’d probably be a bit sluggish and all! 

This phenomenon then compounds as you increase the number of days your machine hasn’t been rebooted for, and you end up with a frustratingly slow machine that messes with both your productivity levels and your sanity! 

Why is it important to reboot my computer?

As well as simply just speeding up performance, there are actually a number of very good reasons we suggest regularly turning your PC off and back on again. 

Clearing the memory

Programmes and processes all take up their bits of space in your computer’s RAM (Random Access Memory). As more of the memory gets used, it can become a bit of a jostle for resources, and this can cause a frustrating slowness to load. By just hitting ‘restart’, you can clear the memory and start again, so it doesn’t take five minutes to open that important email you’re trying desperately to read.

It also stops something called memory leaks. This is when a programme closes incorrectly and despite no longer needing to use memory, it continues using it anyway. This won’t be immediately apparent if you look for things to close in Task Manager, either. 

Fixing connectivity problems

If you’re struggling to connect to the internet, or pair your computer with wireless devices like a mouse and keyboard, before you try drop-kicking the router in frustration – restart your computer. It solves the problem fairly often, saving you a whole lot of stress and messing about. 

Making sure software updates apply properly

You’ll usually get a message on your device about this, but if you install an update, most of the time you need to restart your computer in order to properly allow it to take effect. This is especially important in the case of updates that contain security fixes, as you could still be vulnerable to threats if you haven’t rebooted, even if you’ve finished installing the required update.

That said, it’s not always the magic solution we joke about it being. If you’re trying to speed up a slow computer, or you’re having issues that can’t be solved by turning it off and back on again, please do get in touch, that’s what we’re here for. You can book a call straight into our calendar here:

Want to find out how we can brighten your day? Get in touch.

You’re a busy person.

We’re here to do the IT so you don’t have to. If you request a call, there’s no pressure to become a customer – we can just have an informal chat about what you’re looking for and go from there.