Why Is My Computer Running So Slowly?

slow running computer

It can be annoying when your computer begins to drag, especially when you use it day in, day out. Simple tasks like opening a file or application suddenly seem to take ages. Your productivity has ground to a halt and you might wonder what the problem is.

In our article, we discuss some of the most common reasons your computer or laptop may be acting slow, as well as what you can do to give it a jump start.

Your hard drive is full

When you first get a shiny new computer, everything tends to run super-fast as there is hardly anything on it. Yet over time, you are filling up space with files and installing software while also accumulating junk and temporary files without always being aware. All this excess baggage puts a strain on your hard drive and has a knock-on effect on your processing speed.  

The first step should be a spring clean to remove all these unnecessary files, as well as clearing your cache and browsing history. If you have had your computer some time, you might have old software you no longer use – so uninstall it. For files you want to keep, transfer them to online cloud storage instead, especially if they are excessively large. Or, if needs be, invest in additional ram or a bigger hard drive.

Too many applications open at once

Trying to multi-task? When we take on too much at once, we eventually suffer burnout – and the very same applies to your computer. Running multiple applications puts your computer under pressure, forcing it to redirect resources to keep up with the proverbial spinning plates. An example would be trying to open large sheets of data whilst simultaneously streaming video.

Where possible, only open the applications and browser tabs you are using and close anything open for no reason. By getting out of the habit of multitasking, you should see a noticeable improvement in your PC’s performance.

Excessive programs running on start-up

Your computer might have too many programs configured to run when you boot up your computer first thing in the morning. For certain programs, like anti-virus software, this is beneficial and saves you from having to remember to open it. However, you might be oblivious to other programs running, and too many will make it much longer to boot up first thing.

When changing your PC’s start-up log, it’s best to speak to a professional. Some start-up programs are necessary for your system to function correctly. The experts at PC Computers are experienced at PC repair and can help you disable any unnecessary programs running in the background.

slow running computer

Too many automatic software updates

Every so often developers release new software updates, and depending on your settings, many will automatically be installed on your computer. Although it is wise to make sure you have the latest anti-virus and security updates, too many can cause serious lag. One step you can take to help is to ensure that any software you do not use has automatic updates switched off.

You might have a virus

Certain types of malware remain dormant or run in the background of a computer, performing nefarious tasks like sending out high volumes of junk mail or installing software to log your keystrokes. All this activity uses valuable ram, which will have an impact on your PC performance.

A PC running slow for no obvious reason is one of the first signs of malicious software, especially if your machine is relatively new. Invest in quality anti-virus software, including a firewall and always follow safe online practices. If you suspect you may have a virus, PC Computers can run diagnostics to establish the issue. We also offer malware removal services to clean up your computer if the cause of the problem is a virus.

Your PC is coming to the end of its life cycle

If you have followed the above clean up tips, uninstalled redundant software and scanned for viruses, it might simply be the case that your hardware has run its course. You could increase your RAM or invest in an external hard drive for extra space. However, nothing lasts forever, and the same applies to tech. So, if you have had your PC or laptop for several years – it could be time for an upgrade.

Slow-running computer: Final thoughts

We hope the information in this piece has shed light on why your PC may be stuck in the slow lane. Hopefully, by following some of the hints and tips available, you will free up valuable resources and extend the life of your computer.

From PC repair and laptop repair to malware removal – the experts here at PC Computers are available to help, so do not delay getting in touch.  

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