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For many of us, it sounds like a blessing to be employed during a pandemic – but it can also feel like a curse when your computer freezes in the middle of a Zoom call for the umpteenth time, It takes an eternity to connect to your VPN or, worst of all, presents you with a rainbow circle of doom when you’re just trying to load a web page.
Simply put, a slow computer has a strange way of spoiling your work-from-home style. And without a skilled on-site IT team in an office like yours, you’re probably pulling your hair out by now. In a recent surveyPoor Internet bandwidth was a major concern for 49 percent of remote workers. Another 51 percent experienced what they call “IT pain” after working from home. Technically speaking, we were not ready for this.
So the question becomes, how do you reduce those slow-computer problems, especially if other members of your family are sharing the network? In addition to keeping your personal IT specialist on speed dial, you can try one (or all) of these strategies to speed up your PC and increase your professional productivity.
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1. Close All Those Extra Tabs in Your Browser
There are two types of people in the world: those who close the tabs in their browsers while working and others who don’t. If you’re in the latter category, it should come as no surprise that your computer is sluggish. And if you use more than one browser at a time, well, it’s time to clean up your work!
Each tab you open takes up precious memory and processing power. Over time this can affect the performance of your PC… even if you think each of these tabs is absolutely necessary. The best way to break this habit is to be completely disciplined.
2. Uninstall programs you are not using regularly
“A lot of applications will install other software on your computer that can take up resources. If you haven’t used it in more than a year, you probably don’t need it and you can always reinstall it as needed,” Cyber security expert Adam Levine says, Founder of CyberScout.
“It goes double for removing startup programs – if you have a lot of applications starting every time you boot up the computer, it’s time to turn on the power and when you’re actually able to use it.” can add a lot of time between.
Trial versions of software pre-installed on your computer, old anti-virus programs and old computer games you never play fall under the category of apps that no longer have the right to call your computer home – Especially if they’re dragging it down.
3. Uninstall Unnecessary Web Browser Add-ons
Web browser add-ons you’re not using “can add to the overall bloat on the Web browser and slow it down, giving the impression that the whole computer is running slowly,” Levine says. “Many people are just spyware in disguise. Keeping your computer in good working condition not only enhances your online experience, but it can help make attacks from malware, viruses, and spammers more obvious.”
Memory-sucking browser extensions can usually be seen as a list — You may not even know that they are installed on your computer. In some browsers you can view them in a list to see how much memory is being used and make a wise decision when it comes to deletion.
Remember that computers have a habit of collecting a lot of programs that you never actually use. Before you rule out a bigger problem like a virus or spyware, try cleaning the house.
4. Uninstall Additional Startup Programs
It’s in the program’s best interest to set itself up as the startup program after you’ve downloaded it – it’s like forcing you to the front of the line. Some programs default to startup until you opt out. It can deal with an extra boot time of up to 10 minutes – and how frustrating is it when you have a Zoom first thing in the morning?
When you have multiple startups running in the background, your PC gets distracted, and it can’t devote all its power to just one thing. That proliferation of memory can make your computer frustratingly slow to work.
Take inventory and decide what you really need to start automatically every time you power up.
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