Malware infections are not just a security concerns! Contrary to popular belief, having malware on your computer doesn’t usually directly affect your computer performance. However, much like with programs, having an overabundance of malware installed will slow down your computer. Malware is often installed without user knowledge, and runs in the background, at all times, using up memory that could be otherwise dedicated to desireable operations. Sometimes, it’s even software that will interfere with your web browser in order to track your browsing patterns and serve up additional advertisements. Virus can also affect system performance, so it’s important to periodically run malware and virus detection software.
It is also possible that over time, that one or more of your system files has changed or become corrupted, which may decrease the speed of your system performance. Thankfully, Windows has a utility program built in specifically for dealing with these issues called “System File Checking.”
These days, it’s rare that a user will have to manually defrag a hard drive, but it remains one of the most well known solutions to computer performance issues. Not all of us are lucky enough to be running on top of the line computers with automatic defrag sequences or SSD drives. For example, users running Windows XP or Windows 7 who turn their computer off every night will need to run their defrag program periodically in order to maintain optimal performance levels.
These, of course, are not the only options for improving your computer’s performance, but they certainly are cheapest (being mostly if not 100% free), and they can easily be done by anyone.
Other options include:
Defragmentation reorders files into a sequential order, to improve seek time. Courtesy of Wikipedia.
- Upgrading to a solid-state start-up drive
- Adding more RAM to the computer
- Uninstalling and reinstalling your operating systems
These processes, however, add increased time, money, risk, and skill requirements to execute effectively, and are generally not considered the first line of defense.
If you have any questions about how to perform these operations on your computer, please leave a comment and we’ll be happy to help you out!