In 2019, there was twice more malware invasions in Apple computers than Windows. Apple computers had an average of 11 detections, while it was only 5.8 in Windows devices.
Still, the number of actual infected Windows devices exceed Apple computers. That’s because more people use the latter — in the US alone, two-thirds of computers run Windows OS. That’s in comparison to the 27.31 percent that have OS X.
Malicious programs, however, are not the only cause of computer problems. Inadequate memory, legit software, and stored files can be behind your woes.
As such, we’ve rounded up the top computer troubleshooting tips for both Windows and Apple. Use this computer to help guide to resolve common issues that affect these devices.
There are certain apps designed to launch as soon as you turn on your computer. On Windows devices, you call these the “startup items,” while on Mac computers, these are the “login items.”
Either way, these are programs that start without asking you for further permission. These can take the form of anti-malware programs, messaging apps, or even browsers.
When you force your computer to load too many of these apps, your device will start to slow on startup. That’s because they consume random access memory (RAM) from the get-go. The longer your startup or login item list is, the more RAM gets used at the very beginning.
That said, startup items may be to blame if your computer now takes several minutes to turn on and load the desktop. To counter this, start with the following troubleshooting steps.
For Windows Computers
Right-click on an empty section of your Taskbar panel and choose Task Manager. You can also press Control (Ctrl) + Alt + Escape (Esc) to bring up Task Manager.
On the Task Manager window, select the Startup tab to bring up the list of your startup items. Right-click on each app that you don’t need to run as soon as you turn on your computer and then select Disable. As for your anti-virus or anti-malware, it’s wise to keep it enabled.
For Mac Computers
Open your System Preferences, select Users and Groups, and maneuver to the Login Items tab. This will bring up your list of login items.
To disable the ones you don’t need, highlight each item on the list. Then, click the minus (-) sign at the bottom of the window. This will prevent them from starting up when you turn your Mac on.
Isolated Incidents of Freezing Apps
You most likely have outdated apps, or some of their essential patches are missing. Update these programs ASAP, as they can be a severe security flaw. More than 20 percent of high-risk cyber threats are a result of outdated software or missing patches.
To resolve app-specific freezing situations, follow these troubleshooting steps.
Run the End Task or Force Quit Command
If you have an app stuck on your screen, force quit the software. On Windows, invoke the Task Manager and then select the End task option on the frozen app. On a Mac, hit Command + Option + Esc, then choose Force Quit to close that app.
Update the App
Check the settings of each problematic app to see if there’s any available update. Download and install these and then restart your computer. This should fix slow-running or constantly-crashing apps.
Most apps also provide an option for automating updates, so consider enabling that. This will help lower the risks of running software that cybercriminals can exploit.
Entire Computer Is Slow
This is a solid sign that you’re running out of RAM. You’ll notice that the slowdown often happens whenever you operate simultaneous programs.
If you really need to run all those programs simultaneously, you’d need more RAM. You don’t have to buy a brand new computer, but you have to upgrade your existing device’s volatile memory. It’s easy to do this by investing in one or two extra RAM sticks.
However, do note that slow performances may still occur even if you don’t have too many apps running. Here are some of the most common culprits (and how to combat them).
Too Many Open Browser Tabs
Opening too many browser tabs can also cause a slowdown of your computer. The amount of RAM used depends on the specific browser, as well as the content that each browser tab loads. However, opening 10 of them all at the same time have shown a RAM consumption of 750 MB up to three GB.
So, as much as possible, you should only open browser tabs when you need them. Then, close each tab as soon as you no longer need them. This will help ease up your computer’s RAM consumption.
Unknown or Unwanted Background Processes
Rogue or unwanted programs may also be running in the background. That doesn’t mean they’re already a type of virus or malware, but that doesn’t mean you need them to run.
To check for these “background” processes, open your Task Manager or Activity Monitor. Carefully examine the list and be on the lookout for names that you’re not familiar with. Do a quick Google search for unfamiliar names to verify if they’re essential or if they’re malware.
End or quit the tasks that you don’t need at the moment. If you encounter a virus or malware, download a virus or malware removal program. You’d want to go for an anti-virus or anti-malware that offers 24/7 protection and screening, too.
Start Mastering These Computer Troubleshooting Tips Now
There you have it, your comprehensive guide on computer troubleshooting tips and tricks. Do note that most of the steps on this guide are for basic or minor computer woes, though. If none of them work on your device, then you most likely need expert computer trouble help.
In that case, we here at Computer Revival can help! If you live in or near Tucson, AZ, please feel free to ring us up and tell us about your computer concerns. We’ll be happy to answer all your PC- or laptop-related questions.