Amid all the chaos in the world, and people gradually adapting to Working from Home (WFH), having to deal with a slow or unresponsive computer would be the last thing anybody wants to deal with. With the advent of COVID-19, most users no longer have the luxury of asking their IT staff for help or get the system replaced like it was before the pandemic.

Dealing with unresponsive systems can be frustrating and annoying especially when you have a deadline to meet. In the course of my profession, I have seen a couple of users who have encountered this challenge at some point and you will be surprised how this frustration took a toll on their emotions. Thus, I decided to come up with a few tips to help users speed up their computers or at the least determine why it is running slow:

Step 1 – Reboot your Computer

  • The first thing to do is to forcibly shut down the computer, press and hold down the power button until the computer turns off. Once the computer is off, wait a few seconds, then turn the computer back on and let it start as normal. To avoid data loss, you must back up important files once the system is back on in case there are lingering issues.
  • When your computer comes on and freezes again, try restarting and disconnect any other devices (Flash drives) connected to the system, if the system works fine, it could be that one of the devices is affecting the system’s operation.

Step2 – Background programs

  • If the problem persists after opening one or two applications you should force-quit unresponsive or resource-consuming applications, some applications consume a large amount of CPU, memory and disk space, you have to stop these applications to do this press CTRL + ALT + DELETE, select task manager, right-click the application and select end-task.

Step 3 – Scan for Viruses and Malware

Your system may have malicious files like viruses, run a virus scan on your system with the Windows 10 virus and threat protection app. To use the app, click on the Windows button, type “windows security”, open the open, select virus and threat protection, click scan options, select full scan, this might take some time to complete. You can also decide to use third-party anti-virus apps to perform a scan of your system.


Step 4 – Check the hard drive for errors and optimize

  • Sometimes the hard drive might be corrupt, try to check for errors and fragments with the disk management tool. Click the Windows button, type “Defrag” select defragment and optimize drives, select “Analyze” this will give you information about your drive if it is fragmented If fragments are discovered them click on “optimize” to defragment your hard drive.
  • You can also use the chkdsk command here in checking and repairing disks. To do this click the Windows icon, type “cmd”, select Run as administrator, log in as an administrator, on the screen type the following command without quotes “chkdsk C: /f /r /x”, The parameters for this command are: /f option will attempt to fix any found errors /r option will locate for bad sectors and recovery any readable information /x option will force the volume you’re about to check to be dismounted before the utility begins a scan If the C: drive is in use, type Y to run a scan at your PC’s next restart. If so, exit Command Prompt and restart the computer.

  • Free up more disk space when the disk is getting filled up, low disk space can cause your computer to freeze. You can do this by manually removing unused files on your hard drive, or by using the disk clean up wizard, to use the disk clean up, Click the windows icon, type disk cleanup, Select the drive (usually drive C), select the folders you want to purge from and click OK.


Step 5 – Check for Updates

Software updates do a lot of things, they often include fixing computer bugs, updating old drivers and adding new features that will help optimize your computer’s performance and protect your computer from malicious software. To check for updates on your Windows 10, Open Start Menu and click on Settings > Update & Security settings > Windows Update.

At the end of it all, ensure you restart your computer. If all the above tips fail,  this is the time to reach out to your IT team for help or might have to start all over by backing up your data, format your computer and reinstall your OS, and restore your backed-up files.

Author: Abayomi Ibrahim

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