Five fixes for a slow computer

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New computer at a snail's pace? Get it going again. (Photo: Getty)
When you're stuck with a sluggish computer that's struggling to launch or stream a video, it's tempting to simply replace it with a new laptop that comes with all the bells and whistles. Surely a brand new machine with tons of RAM and a blazing fast processor won't have a problem with something as simple as launching an application, right?
So you set up your shiny new gadget, connect to WiFi, and...your laptop is still performing at a crawl. If you're wondering, "Why is my new computer so slow?" you're not alone. Luckily, there are some pretty simple fixes, which we'll break down for you all here.
Here are the top reasons why your new computer is like molasses flowing uphill—and more importantly, how to get it running again.
System Mechanic runs hundreds of programs to scan your computer for junk it needs to clean. (Photo: Getty)
You don't have any cleaning software installed
Every computer should come with powerful tuning software to keep things running smoothly at all times, and System Mechanic is an option. It runs glitches on your computer 24/7 to identify and remove unnecessary software and files that are clogging things and fix all issues that are causing seemingly random freezes, crashes and reboots.
Try System Mechanic free for 30 days*
After a quick scan of your computer, the software is able to do things like free up trapped RAM to increase speed, adjust hidden broadband settings, defrag your hard drive, and more. System Mechanic also offers privacy and security benefits. It can identify and fix security vulnerabilities, disable Windows location services to protect your private data from third parties, and protect your browsing history from prying eyes.
Too many startup programs
Many computers come ready to use, with tons of programs already installed, and often they're set to start as soon as you press the power button. With all these programs running in the background and taking up resources, your operating system can have trouble responding to basic commands and even just booting up. Budget PCs are particularly prone to this, but no matter how demanding your specs, too many startup programs will cause performance to lag right off the bat.
This is a pretty simple fix. Click in your task manager to see a list of all the programs running on your PC, then disable the ones you don't need from startup.
The specifications are too low
There's a lot to be said for snagging a brand new computer for a bargain price, but it's important to make sure you're getting bang for your buck. Because of this, it's probably better to snag a powerful laptop when it's on sale than to buy a cheap computer at full retail. When you're paying very little, there's always a chance that your computer's memory, storage capacity, and processing speed are struggling to handle more demanding operations like video calls and streaming videos and movies that require a lot of bandwidth
Fortunately, you don't have to replace the computer again. You can actually upgrade the RAM (memory) and processor, and increase the storage if needed. It's a bit of a chore but doable, but that's also why this is more of a cautionary tale to shop wisely if you're looking for a budget PC.
When you conserve power on your laptop, you sacrifice performance and speed. (Photo: Getty)
The energy saving mode is activated
Most computers give you the ability to control your power settings. In this case, you can choose to operate in sleep mode - often referred to as "power saver" - to conserve your computer's power and extend battery life. Unfortunately, your computer has to sacrifice its performance quality for this.
Click into your computer's control panel to see if the sleep mode could be the culprit, and adjust it accordingly if necessary.
Too many browser tabs
So you've got your new computer up and running and happily surfing the web when all of a sudden it starts to freeze and choke like an old beast. What gives? Well, it could be you, not the pc. Every tab you open in your internet browser requires storage space and performance, so over-indulging in tabs will inevitably tax your system resources. Opening tons of tabs in a web browser is an all-too-common bad habit, and this one simply requires the discipline of closing tabs that you no longer need - much like cleaning a plate after eating rather than leaving it in the sink.
If you use Chrome as your browser, you can also install an extension like One Tab, which will consolidate your tabs for you so they don't overload the system.
Try System Mechanic free for 30 days*
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