High-speed internet and tablet products have gotten consumers accustomed to information-surfing without any hiccups. But if you’re a PC user, chances are you’ve encountered some sluggish performance that makes for an inefficient experience. Check out these eight common problems that can bring your productivity to a screeching halt—and how to fix them.

1. AUTOLOADING

PCs typically boot up a laundry list of programs during start-up. If too many are jockeying for memory and other resources, your interface will slow to a crawl. To clean up the menu, type “msconfig” in the Start prompt and uncheck any software you don’t want to launch automatically each time you restart.

2. VISUAL EFFECTS

Depending on your CPU's horsepower, a surplus of graphics demands can interfere with your PC’s performance: Even something as simple as displaying a shadow under your mouse pointer can take up resources. You can try minimizing some of the unneeded display enhancements by telling the computer to optimize settings for speed, not looks.

3. A FRAGMENTED HARD DRIVE

The more you ask of your PC’s storage, the more unevenly it distributes information, eventually resulting in fragmented data that can take the computer longer to retrieve. While some newer user interfaces defragment automatically, you might need to schedule your own by typing “disk defrag” in the Start box.

4. DUELING ANTIVIRUS PROGRAMS

While it’s always a good idea to have a malware or virus security program installed, it’s not so great to have two or more running simultaneously. If you’ve obtained a new monitoring service, make sure you disable the old one.

5. TOO MANY BROWSER ADD-ONS

If your slowed performance is limited to web browsing, it’s possible you’ve downloaded (intentionally or not) too many add-ons that are siphoning resources. To delete them, look for an “add-on” or “extensions” tab and disable any you don’t want.

6. THE HARD DRIVE IS NEAR CAPACITY

It’s best not to try to max out your available storage space with too many programs. Try deleting unwanted software, emptying the “trash,” or moving non-essential data to an exterior drive or cloud storage.

7. SHARED WIRELESS

Not all lagging computers are suffering from ailments inside their chassis. If browsing is a problem, check to see if someone using your internet connection is taking up bandwidth with streaming or if a neighbor might be piggybacking on your service.

8. YOUR PC IS JUST TOO DUSTY

Without proper ventilation, your PC or laptop is going to have problems cooling down. Check any exhaust vents for dust build-up. If you find any, try a vacuum nozzle or compressed air to clear the fan blades.