I've decided to take my email-answering show on the road. We get a lot of questions on the show, but we get even more in email. I'm going to start pulling some of the most common questions we get and posting them, with my answers, here, in the hopes that it will help someone out.
This question comes from James, who writes:
Is there a free program to scan my Mac and my windows Dell for bugs. Every morning I go into my office, my Dell is running. My Mac seems to be running slower than when it was new.
There are a slew of programs out there to help speed up a computer that is running slow. The problem comes from determining which are best for the job. Many programs look to charge for the work they do, while others masquarade as something helpful when they are actually malware themselves.
My first piece of advice is to do some basic maintenance on your slow computer. Check for updates for the system and for the programs you have installed. Uninstall programs you don't use anymore. Clean out old files - either by archiving them to an external hard drive or deleting them, then be sure to empty the trash.
One great idea is to see what programs load on start-up on your computer. Here's how you fix that particular problem:
Once you've done some maintenance on your own, installing and running anti-malware software is a great idea. There is a variety of software available to help, including plenty of free options. Bitdefender and Avast offer a Mac and Windows version of their antivirus software, but there are LOTS of other options out there - just do your research first!