During the many years you’ve owned a computer, you’ve likely experienced performance start to decline over time slowly. You wait longer for your apps to open, web browsers take longer to load pages, and it takes significantly longer to start up after shutdown. Before you sit down and start shopping for a new computer, try these tips and tricks to help with performance and possibly eliminate the need to purchase a replacement.

  1. An abundance of startup programs

    If your computer takes longer than usual to start up, you might have too many programs opening when the operating system starts. Right-click the taskbar and choose “Task Manager” and select the “Startup” tab. You’ll see a comprehensive list of programs starting up and how much of an impact it has. Disable those that aren’t essential.
  2. Background processes

    Too many programs running at once consumes RAM and processing power. Bring up Windows Task Manager once more and click the “Processes” tab to see what is running. Close programs that aren’t necessary to increase overall speeds.
  3. Lack of hard drive space

    Always try to keep at least 20 percent of your hard drive free. When you have too many programs, it takes longer to find the files needed to run. Under “Settings” select “System” and then “Storage” to see a list of drives and how much space is available on each. Uninstall programs that you don’t need anymore.
  4. Malware and viruses

    Malware or spyware runs in the background and can create a massive slowdown since it tends to eat up resources while stealing personal information. Go through your programs and uninstall anything that seems unusual and install a virus program if you don’t have one already. The built-in Malicious Software Removal Tool can also detect suspicious activity running in the background.
  5. Add RAM

    If you’ve tried the above solutions without a boost in performance, you might want to consider adding more RAM. Adding a stick or two will make your computer seem like a new machine. Aim for 4 GB or more for optimal speeds and improved overall performance.

These tips and tricks might fix your issues, but if they don’t, you may want to look into getting computer repair services to fix the problem instead of buying a new one. You could keep using the same one for the next couple years with the proper diagnostics and repair.