You don’t need me to tell you that slow computers are annoying writes Bruce Skinner, CEO of Alto.

They can cause frustration to even the most laid-back employee – but have you ever stopped to consider how something as seemingly insignificant as a slow computer might be impacting on your entire company’s productivity?

Five minutes of someone’s day lost to “digital downtime” equates to an astonishing couple of hours a month. In a team of ten people, that’s well over a month of productive time every year that your company could be losing just because of slow equipment.

So not only are they frustrating, but slow computers also risk becoming very costly to your business at a time when all of us are working hard to drive costs down.

The seemingly small amounts of time consumed by slow computers have a huge incremental effect when you step back and consider the bigger picture, therefore many business owners choose to ignore the problem thinking that their only option is to fork out large sums for new kit.

However, many speed issues can be fixed by changing some settings, removing unnecessary programmes or upgrading some (not always all) hardware.

The frequency of the challenge among our clients prompted us recently to publish a step-by-step guide on what to try before hitting the button on replacement kit. Our top tips include:

1. Update Your Operating System (OS)

Your OS is responsible for managing your computer and manufacturers are constantly tweaking operating systems – adding security patches, fine-tuning performance, removing compatibility issues and improving the way your OS handles routine tasks. Once you’ve updated, consider enabling automatic updates so that your computer will do the job for you in future.

2. Check for Viruses

Whilst traditional viruses are becoming less common, malware such as trojans, spyware, adware and keyloggers will all slow your computer down and compromise your security so it’s always worth double-checking that a slow computer isn’t hosting an unwanted guest. Along with your trusted antivirus software, Windows Defender does a lot of the work, but you can run free downloadable, trustworthy software like Malwarebytes that’ll search your files and programmes to track down any horrors.

3. Check for Unnecessary Programmes

Aside from viruses, other programmes you may not be aware of can slow your computer to a snail’s pace. They may be designed to do something fun or helpful, but can end up hogging important resources, so it makes sense to disable them wherever possible. But take care not to disable anything that you don’t recognise just in case it’s pivotal to an important process.

4. Downgrade Your Performance Settings

Believe it or not, your operating system wastes a lot of resources on minute visual enhancements that most people don’t notice, like the blur effect that kicks in when you try to drag a window across your screen, or the animations that play when you mouse-over items in your start menu. Check out our guide on how to address this.

5. Upgrade Your Computer’s Hardware

If you’ve tried everything else, it might be time to look at upgrading some key bits of computer hardware such as your hard drive, random access memory (RAM), graphics processor (GPU) – and if you’re still battling with a slow computer after having tried all these tips, give us a call!

Check out the full guide at