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My computer is really slow, what is wrong?

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Article SummaryIf your laptop or computer is running slow, there are some basic questions that need to be answered.
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If your laptop or computer is running slow you can investigate the following fairly easily on your own before coming to ITS with your laptop.

Have you performed your operating system (Windows, MAC) and driver updates recently?
Windows updates fix many little problems and security holes. If you update windows and the drivers for your devices, you will have the latest and greatest software - all parts of your computer will be running at their best. For more information, see How can I tell if my Windows is up to date?

Is everything slow, or just 1 application?
For example if everything you do in your web browser is slow, but Microsoft Word runs normally, then the problem is likely with your web browser. If everything is slow, then it is more likely a system-wide problem.These have different solutions.

Do you have an anti-virus program installed and do you run it regularly?
Anti-virus programs can help protect your computer from viruses and malware that can slow your computer down to a crawl. However, if you never run a scan the software can't do its job. For more information, see How do I know if I have a virus on my computer? or Where can I get free anti-virus and anti-spyware software for Windows? For more information on Information Security issues, see the ITS InfoSec website.

Have you installed any new software recently?
Any changes to your computer or laptop recently may be the reason things are not working normally. Sometimes new programs are not setup correctly, or they may be malware disguised as a legitimate program. If this is the case, try removing the new software (if possible) or disable it / turn it off. This will let you see if it was in fact causing the problem.

These are the most common and easily performed troubleshooting steps. There are many others, but these help find most of the common problems.

If you are still experiencing problems, you should take your computer to the ITS Service Desk for assistance - How can I contact ITS?
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