Have you noticed that your system isn’t fast as it used to be? Is it taking longer to boot your computer, start programs, and browse websites? Well, before you head down to your favorite retailer to buy a new machine, you could try cleaning up malware from your system.
Are Viruses and Malware the Same Thing?
Many computer users believe that viruses and malware are the same things because some people use the terms interchangeably. The truth is that they’re not quite the same thing. A computer virus is just one type of malware. And while not all malware affects system performance, many do.
Detect and Remove Malware
Several different unwanted programs can slow down your system and even your Internet connection. Here’s a brief list:
- Computer viruses can delete your critical files and slow or crash your system.
- Computer worms can also delete your files and folders and affect performance. Worms may also drop more malware in your system, like dangerous ransomware strains.
- Adware hits your screen with popup ads, tracks your browsing activity, and slows your browser and Internet connection.
- Browser hijackers negatively impact your browser and computer with unwanted installations.
- Spyware may affect your computer’s speed while spying on you.
- Rootkits allow hackers to attack your system, impacting its performance.
You can download a free malware scanner to stop different types of malicious software from slowing your computer. Please keep in mind that your computer’s default antivirus software won’t protect you against all malware, especially emerging threats, with unknown signatures. Proactive antivirus software with anti-malware technology that utilizes pattern detection and signature detection is your best bet.
Get Rid of Bloatware
It’s not just malware that can hurt your computer’s performance. Unwanted programs that come preinstalled on your machine, like bloatware, can also hurt your computer and devices. Such programs usually offer little value and only temporary licenses. Some bloatware is like malware and can also invade your security and privacy.
To remove bloatware, visit your list of installed programs and remove unnecessary apps. On your computer, press the Ctrl Alt and Del keys together to open your Task Manager. Investigate software that’s using your system resources without offering anything of value.
Free up System Memory
After removing unwanted programs from your system, you can try freeing up your computer’s memory to get a performance boost. Check your Task Manager to see what programs consume your computer’s memory and either uninstall them or prevent them from booting with your computer. To check, click Startup on the Task Manager. You can also lower your operating system’s visual effects to ease the strain on your computer hardware.
Alternatively, try upgrading your computer’s memory. Nowadays, 4GB of RAM is insufficient even for light computer usage. That’s why many new systems today ship with 8GB or 12GB of RAM.
Adopt Safe Computing Habits
Your computer will slow down again, even after optimization, if you continue to follow risky computing practices. For example, you should avoid unsafe websites and programs that can infect your computer with malware. Similarly, don’t push your computer to its limits by overloading it with apps if you want it to run seamlessly.