5 Reasons Your Computer Is Running Slow and How to Fix It
Whether you use your computer for gaming, work or entertainment, there will come a time when it slows down. It will take longer to startup or shut down, open programs, run programs, perform tasks, and in some cases, it could even just freeze.
A slow computer can be caused by having too many tasks running at the same time, a failing hard drive or a virus. Fortunately, you can easily fix all of these problems, especially if you use a professional service.
Running Too Many Programs at Once
Random Access Memory (RAM) is your computer’s ability to switch from one program to another or run programs simultaneously. The larger your RAM, the better your computer’s capability to do this. No matter how large your RAM is, it will come to its limits. So having too many programs running at the same time can slow your computer.
Another thing to think about is that software companies want you to use their programs; one way they do that is by making their programs automatically run from startup. As soon as you turn your computer on, all these programs are continuing to run in the background, even if you are not using them.
A simple fix to this is to go to the Startup tab (Microsoft ) or Login Items (Apple) and disable programs that you do not need to start automatically. For example, an antivirus is necessary, while an audio player isn’t necessary to have running in the background. Disabling the programs does not mean you have uninstalled or blocked them; you can still start them up the usual way.
Failing Hard Drive
Hard drives have moving parts in them that will continuously run while it is on. In two to three years, this can cause wear and tear resulting in the hard drive not functioning at its best. To keep a hard drive functioning for longer, you want to make sure you avoid throwing, dropping, or letting it experience any impact.
Fixing a failing hard drive requires you to run a hard drive check by:
- Windows: right-clicking the drive, select Properties, click on Tools, click Check Now. You can prevent your computer from accessing bad areas of the hard drive by selecting “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.”
- Mac: go to Applications, choose Utilities, click Disk Utility, then select the intended hard drive and click First Aid.
There will come a time when you will have to replace your hard drive. You will want to get a solid-state drive (SSD). An SSD has no moving parts and has a longer lifespan, up to four times longer.
Too Many Browser Add-Ons and Open Tabs
Browser extensions can add to your website browsing experience by providing convenience or productive features. Nonetheless, they also take up processing power, so eventually, too many of them will slow your computer.
To fix this, go into the browser’s menu and select Extensions or Add ons. Once there, you can either disable or uninstall extensions and toolbars.
Sometimes we try to save links by leaving the browser tabs open. Each browser tab you open takes up RAM. So if too many tabs are open, your computer will start to slow down. You will aggregate the problem if you have multiple browsers open or if any of the open tabs are auto-refreshing.
Hard Drive is Almost Full
A 95% full hard drive can become up to 50% slower. This is because programs will no longer have space to operate. For programs to function at their optimum, they need to create temporary files, so without space for temporary files, programs won’t know what to do.
You can create space by deleting unnecessary files like updates to programs, downloads, temporary files, and associated files of deleted programs.
Your Computer Has a Virus
Malware takes up RAM and can be used to push ads, notifications, mine cryptocurrencies, and so on. This inevitably slows down your computer, so it is crucial to have an active antivirus software running in the background.
Keep in mind that an antivirus itself can take up RAM, especially while it is running a full computer scan in the background. Since it’s job is important, rather than disabling the antivirus software, try to schedule it’s full scans to times when you are not busy on the computer.
When in Doubt, Find a Computer Repair Service
If none of the above fixes work, then you may need to get professional help. Computers are complex with both hardware and software components that you will need to hire an expert to inspect.
The fix may need your hardware to be opened up, cleaned, repaired or replaced. Software may need to be reprogrammed, reinstalled, or completely deleted. These are highly complex fixes, and if you don’t ensure they are not done correctly, they could cause more harm than good. That is why you should consider using a reputable computer repair service. You can learn more about repair services for your laptop here.
Put Your Computer Back on the Fast Lane
A computer becoming slower over time is a natural process. It can come from long, varied, and extensive use of its features. Good habits and the above fixes should keep it running fast for longer. If you can’t fix it yourself, then get a professional to have a look at it.