DATA DOCTORS

Here are maintenance tips for glitchy computers

Mar 2, 2024, 6:30 AM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

Q: I’m using Chrome which has gotten very glitchy. What are the possible causes?

A: I’ll assume that by ‘glitchy’ you mean you’re experiencing noticeable performance issues while using the Chrome browser.

The potential causes are many, so I’ll start with some of the more common reasons.

Start With a Reboot

There’s a reason virtually every tech support discussion starts with a request for you to reboot your computer, as it can solve a couple of common issues.

If you haven’t restarted your computer in a long while, the available memory resources can become diminished to the point it impacts how your computer responds.

Every program you open and run takes a chunk of your working memory (RAM) and, in theory, is supposed to give it back when you close it. Often, a small piece of memory isn’t returned, or if it’s poorly written software, a substantial chunk remains taken when you close the program.

Over time, this slowly removes the available working memory which will impact just about everything you do on your computer.

Rebooting it replenishes the entirety of the available working memory and allows updates that have been downloaded automatically to complete their installation process.

Browser Cache Is Full or Corrupted

A regular process performed by all web browsers is to keep a copy of elements of previously visited websites in a local storage area called the ‘cache’.

This allows your browser to load frequently visited websites faster because it can pull much of the structure of the website from the cache instead of having to download everything from the Internet.

When your cache fills up or contains outdated or corrupt files, it can cause a website to load improperly. Occasionally clearing your cache (https://bit.ly/3I7cEJz) is the best way to avoid this scenario.

A way to quickly test whether your cache is causing a loading or formatting problem with a specific website is to tell the browser to bypass it.

Most browsers for Windows will do this if you hold down the Ctrl button and click the reload button. Mac users can use Command+Shift+R to tell Chrome and Firefox to do the same.

Too Many Open Tabs

Most of us have become ‘taboholics’ because we constantly open new tabs but don’t close the old ones when we’re done with them.

Each tab requires working memory, so if you regularly keep dozens of tabs open, it’s going to have an impact.

Malware, Notifications & Extensions

Another common impact on browser performance can come from hidden malware that has infiltrated your browser. If you are experiencing lots of annoying pop-ups or your browser gets redirected to a strange search engine, a full virus scan of your computer is in order.

You should also check to see if you have unnecessary or corrupted extensions running or unwanted notifications setup.

Regular Maintenance

If you haven’t done anything for a long time or ever to maintain your computer, a good comprehensive cleanup may help immensely.

Some form of cleanup performed every 6 months will go a long way to keep your computer’s performance from becoming a constant irritant.

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Here are maintenance tips for glitchy computers