Discover the top 10 reasons why your computer is running slowly and how to fix various user, hardware, and software issues for immediate PC performance and speed improvement.
1) Too many startup programs
Unless you opt out, many programs automatically run when you start your computer. The majority of these programs (with the exception of your security software, for example) do not need to open right when your computer finishes booting up - hence the longer startup time.
2) Gaps in time between reboots
Shutting down or rebooting your computer clears out the memory cache, which will usually result in a faster, more responsive computer. If it has been a few days since you last powered down completely, it might be a good idea to give your computer a little break.
3) Too many background programs
Programs may be running in the background and using up a significant amount of processing power - without you even realizing it. Review how much processing power each program is using and close the ones that do not need to be running.
4) Hard drive is almost full
You may notice performance issues long before your hard drive is full. Files that are needed for programs to operate are stored on the hard drive, so as the storage space on your hard drive fills up, it may cause your computer to operate at a slower pace.
5) Not enough memory
Depending on how long you have had your computer and how you are using it, you may need to increase your memory (RAM). In general, 8GB is sufficient for most users, but again this may vary for different use cases.
6) Processor is overheating
As your processor performs its normal functions, it is going to heat up. That is why your computer has a fan - to cool down the processor. If your processor is overheating, check to make sure the fan is not obstructed, that it is clean and free of debris, and that it is functioning properly.
7) Fragmented hard drive
When files are written over to free up space on your hard drive, the newly saved files may become fragmented. This means that pieces of the file, or fragments, can exist in multiple places, so when you open a file, the processor (CPU) has to retrieve all the individual fragments from different sections of the hard drive. If opening a file is taking longer than usual, disk defragmentation may help.
8) Hardware failure
It is possible that your computer is running slowly because one of your components is failing. Whether it is your hard drive, RAM, CPU, or some other component, there are some cases where you may be able to replace or upgrade. However, it is likely that the best course of action is buying a new computer.
9) You have a virus
A virus or malware can cause your computer to function more slowly. If you have antivirus software installed, scan your computer. It is also advisable to run a malware scan in addition to a virus scan.
10) Software needs to be updated
There are various software platforms that you use throughout the day, and it is important that you ensure you are using the latest version of each. If your computer is running slowly, you may need to download the latest version of Windows and also whichever browser you use.