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Top 5 causes of a slow computer

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A slow-running computer can really torpedo your work day - or any time, for that matter. But experts say there are easy ways to get your PC back up to speed without spending lots of money.

Adam Camp is a Geek Squad "double agent." He's the guy that comes to your house when you can't fix your computer on your own. He's noticed some common themes when it comes to slow-running systems.

Number one: Running too many applications at once.

"They kind of run in the background, hidden from you, and when you download and install programs you may use or may have used in the past, those things build up over time and eat up the system," said Adam. 

If you click the arrow in the right bottom corner, it'll tell which programs are running. Right click the icon and hit close. 

Problem number two: Too many toolbars. 

"Toolbars slow down Internet Explorer a ton," he said. 

Adam suggests closing out any toolbars you don't use consistently. Click the X beside the toolbar and hit 'disable.'  

Issue number three: Viruses and malware. 

"Viruses nowadays are typically doing a lot of stuff in the background, so the virus manufacturer can use your computer to make money," Adam explained. 

When it comes to antivirus software, Adam says you get what you pay for. Paid programs are more up-to-date than the free ones. Plus, several free internet downloads are actually viruses in disguise. 

The fourth slow-down: Too many programs installed on your computer.

Hit 'start,' then 'control panel.' You'll find an option to uninstall a program. Remove anything you don't use. 

"When in doubt, if you don't know what it is, leave it alone," Adam said. 

The last thing slowing your computer is not having enough memory. 

"The more programs you run on your computer, the more memory your computer needs," he said.  

Installing more RAM is a quick fix to speed it up.

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