Using a computer that runs slow is a bit annoying. It takes time to open an application or software, and some programs cannot run at all. Sometimes you might even wonder if it’s time to replace your computer or if your computer has been hacked.
Don’t rush into changing your computer immediately. Even the fastest system will degrade due to some factors. There are reasons why you are experiencing a slowing down of your device.
In this article, we will talk about what are the causes of a sluggish computer. Also, we will provide tips on how you can boost your PC’s performance.
Reasons Why Your Computer is Slowing Down
There are plenty of reasons why your device runs slow. An operating system has to manage all of the resources of a computer, from its memory, drive space, and processor. So, there is no doubt that your operating system will get exhausted.
- Your RAM (Random Access Memory) is running out.
- Your disk drive space (HDD or SSD) is full.
- Old hard drive.
- Many programs are running during startup.
- Windows or drivers are outdated.
- Presence of malware or viruses.
- Too many tabs are open.
- Too much cache and cookies on browsers
- Animations and visual effects.
- Unwanted files or junk files.
Running Out of RAM
Your RAM is a space on your computer that provides programs to run or execute their actions. As a program execution takes place, it will occupy your computer’s memory space. So, the more programs you run, the more space it occupies and utilizes more memory. When your PC’s memory has been occupied, it leaves less space causing your OS to slow down.
Disk Drive Space is Full
Having too many programs or files saved on your hard drive can slow down your PC. These programs take too much space, not permitting other programs to function well.
Outdated Hard Drive
When your hard drive is old or outdated, it starts to functions slow and unable to work alongside other programs. A weak hard drive will slow the speed of your PC and fail at some point.
Too Many Startup Programs
A startup program is a software application that automatically launches once your computer boots. When you have multiple startup programs running, it will consume a large amount of space on your PC’s memory. With limited memory left, you’ll experience slow performance of your operating system.
Presence of Malware or Virus
Downloading files that are unsafe or clicking on links from untrusted sources are ways how viruses and malware can get into your device’s system. The presence of threats can affect the performance of your PC. Malware can manipulate files, change the directories of your system, and more.
Too Many Open Tabs
Even opening multiple tabs in your web browser can affect the speed of your PC. Multiple opened tabs can consume the memory of your device.
Too Much Cache and Cookies
Every time you visit a web page, your browser will save it on the cache memory for future use. Even the cookies are stored in your system’s memory, which means it takes up space of your drive.
Animations and Visual Effects
Animations and visual effects can also take up space from your system, slowing the speed but not that of a massive impact compared to other issues mentioned.
Unwanted Files and Junk Files
Junk files are created by the PC’s system and other applications when running or during installation. These temporary files are created for programs to function well. However, like your apps and programs, junk files take up your hard drive space too.
Knowing what causes your PC to slow down will help you limit activities and boost your PC’s performance. Here are simple tips you can follow to make your PC perform well and function like a brand new computer.
How to Improve or Boost Your PC’s Performance
Restart Your Computer
When you keep your system running for a long time, it will eventually consume all your RAM and slow down your PC. If this happens, your OS will start using swap files to keep running the program.
Swap files are files used by the operating system when the memory is utilized to help a program run on your device. Once your system uses swap files, it starts to make your PC run slow.
When you restart your computer, it will help stop programs running in the background, permits your PC to install updates, and clear the memory.
Upgrade to SSD or Faster Drives
SSD or Solid-State Drive helps old hardware or drives to increase their performance. Since it doesn’t work like traditional hard drives, which are steady, it reads and writes data faster. However, SSDs are expensive and have less storage capacity. But despite that, you can run your apps faster than before.
Upgrade Your PC’s Memory
Upgrading your RAM brings a whole new difference to your PC’s performance. Since your operating system uses your memory to store information from running programs, extending your memory will help avoid slowing down your system.
When your system has used up all of its memory, it resorts to using swap files. Swap files slow down the performance of your computer. So, the only way to prevent this is to upgrade your memory, especially when you are often using programs that store a lot of information.
When upgrading your RAM, consider whether you are using a laptop or a computer. Changing your RAM is easier on computers than on laptops.
Scan for Malware and Viruses
Threats can cause your devices to slow down. Sometimes it can go unseen or undetected.
When malware gets into your computer, it consumes a substantial amount of memory of your device. Hence, competing with other programs that need to function well. Another cause of malware, it damages files and programs. When files and programs are disrupted it causes it to crash or freeze.
That’s why it is advisable to scan your computer for the presence of threats.
You can use any antivirus software to scan your device. But it is best to purchase software that can perform a deep scan and detect hidden threats undetected by free applications. There are affordable paid antivirus software applications in the market that won’t break your bank – Bitdefender, AVG, and Malwarebytes.
Disable Startup Programs
There are programs that run on startup. Some programs on startup aren’t required, yet they run in the background. Hence, taking up space and memory.
You can simply disable these startup programs or applications to avoid slowing down your computer.
If you are using a Windows 10 PC, here’s how you can disable startup programs.
- Launch Task Manager by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-ESC, right-click lower right of your screen and select Task Manager. Or, you can search for it on the Search Box.
- Click more details if Task Manager has no tabs shown.
- Click on the Startup tabs.
- You’ll see a list of programs if they are enabled, and their startup impact.
- Choose which programs you want to disable. Disabled apps don’t mean you can’t use the program anytime; it only prevents it from running on startup.
Defragment Your Hard Drive for More Space
Cleaning your hard drive to get more space is not simple. When you delete files, it leaves fragments. These fragments will pile up and create files and documents in numerous locations on your system.
You can avoid this by defragmenting or defragging your hard drive. This process organizes the bits of data scattered in your disc into a location that is accessible. Using programs with large files size can cause your hard drive to fragment. So, defragmenting it will help boost your PC’s performance.
Clean Your Hard Drive
If your hard drive space starts to become full, your operating will function slow. So, your only option is to delete unnecessary files and programs.
Here are simple ways to free more space on your hard drive:
- Empty your Recycle Bin. When you have deleted your files, make sure to get rid of them in your Recycle Bin folder.
- Get rid of unwanted programs. If you have programs or applications you are no longer using, you can remove them from your system to free up space to help your computer function well.
- Delete unnecessary files and folders. Similar to applications and programs you don’t use, you can get rid of unimportant files. Remove download files, images, and other content when it serves no purpose.
- Get rid of temporary files. These files are used by programs to store data temporarily. Locate and delete them from your device’s system.
Cleaning your hard drive can take time, especially if you need to locate files that are unnecessary or programs that aren’t used for a long time. However, you don’t have to take hours doing such. There are tools available to help boost your computer’s performance.
One of the best-known performance cleaner and booster in the market is Iolo System Mechanic. It is packed with features that will improve your PC’s performance. It locates unwanted programs, temporary files, and others to get rid of them from your system. Furthermore, it fixes issues or errors on your drives and gets the latest updates. It gets rid of browser history, bloatware, and provides online protection.
Do your computer a favor and get a copy of Iolo System Mechanic to help you simplify cleaning and keeping your computer at its best. There are plenty of Iolo System Mechanic reviews you can read online that proves its worth.
Iolo System Mechanic supports PC only, so if you need to manage your Mac computer, there are also programs for that, such as MyCleanMac.
Disable Apps or Programs Running on the Background
Some apps run in the background even when not in use, taking up more memory and slowing down your computer. Sometimes these apps can automatically start when you boot your computer. So it is advisable to disable these apps so they won’t take up space from your computer’s memory and drive.
When your operating system or an application is requesting an update, do not hesitate to apply them. Updates are ways to fix problems or patch security vulnerabilities of a system or program. In addition, it fixes bugs or issues that cause the system to slow down.
Choose a Better Browser
Some browsers take time to load and even lag. So, choose one that can manage your activities like opening web pages or downloading files. You can check for browser loading speed to determine which will work for you.
Furthermore, check on your cache and cookies, as they can accumulate and take up space. Clear cache and cookies on your browsers if not needed.
If you are having issues with your computer’s speed, you can perform minor adjustments to boost your PC’s performance. Or, you can use a performance booster software to manage all problems on your computer.
When your PC’s overall performance is at its best, you can work smoothly without interruptions at all.