If you are struggling with a slow computer and want to know the reason behind it or want to fix it. Then keep reading this article to discover how to fix a slow computer.
Common reasons for a slow PC
There are several things that can reduce the speed of your PC/Laptop. It could be infected with malware or you might have an outdated OS.
Too many temporary files or too many startup programs also could be the reason for a slow system. Here are most Common reasons which affect the speed of your PC/Laptop:-
- Too many programs running in the background
- Too many Startup Programs
- Don’t have enough RAM (Random access memory)
- Running out of disk space (Read only memory)
- Outdated Operating System
- Infected with Malware or Virus
Now, let’s discuss how to identify the reason behind your sluggish computer and find out a solution for your problems.
If too many programs running in the background
If you notice that your laptop or pc is running slow then one of the first things you should check is “Task Manager”. In most cases, there are some programs which can run in the background even after you close them. These programs take your system’s processing power and reduce the performance.
To check which programs are running and how much memory and power they are eating, you need to open Task Manager.
You can press CTRL+ALT+Del to open it. Another way to open Task Manager is simply right click on the taskbar and click on it.
After opening it, you will see an interface like this.
Sometimes, you need to click on “More details” at the bottom to see which programs are using up your pc’s CPU, memory, disk and more.
You can end any task from here. To end a task click on any program and then click on “End Task” in the right bottom corner.
Now, you can decide and close unnecessary programs. However, be careful if you don’t know what an app does, because some apps are necessary for your operating system.
So, you should Google it, to check so you don’t accidentally quit a program that your OS needs.
If your PC/Laptop have too many startup programs
If your PC/Laptop slows down after turning it on, then it might be possible that you have too many Startup apps when you turn on your computer.
Some of these programs request to run when you boot your computer and there are also some programs that will automatically run every time you turn on your computer without even any permission.
If you are using Windows 7, you can find and manage these programs from the System Configuration tool.
While on Windows 8 and 10, you no longer need to use this tool. You can do it from the “Task Manager”.
To find out which programs run automatically on starting your Laptop/PC, go to Startup tab at the top of the Task Manager window. Here, you can see the name, status and impact of a program on your pc’s performance.
To disable a program from starting up automatically, select that and click on “Disable” button in the right bottom corner. Make sure to not disable an app which is necessary for you and for your pc like antivirus and drivers.
If Your PC’s RAM running low
The temporary storage of computers, which keeps all the things your computer needs on stand by called RAM (Random Access Memory).
When your pc needs to do any task, it can quickly pull the information and send it over to the processor.
For basic tasks like web surfing and word processing, 2-4 GB RAM is enough and for multi tasking or heavy apps like Adobe Photoshop, you might need 8-16 GB RAM.
So, It may be possible that your RAM is not enough for your apps and you might need more than that.
To check the RAM of your computer, select the search box in the left bottom corner. Then type “About” and search. You will see how much you have, under device specifications.
If you want to upgrade your RAM, you first need to check if your Device allows you to swap out the RAM cards. In some devices, mostly in Laptops, the RAM cards are fixed and can’t be swapped.
Another thing, you need to check your device’s capacity from the manufacturer’s website to see how much RAM can be installed to your system.
If your PC running out of disk space
If you are still using a traditional hard disk drive (HDD), it is possible that you are facing the issue of slow laptop/PC.
An HDD uses magnetic disks to store data and typically work fine for three to five years. In a hard disk drive, a disk spins around to allow data to be read from it.
On the other hand, an SSD doesn’t have any moving parts because it is made up of flash memory chips. As compared to HDD, it can read and write data several times faster.
Additionally, it is less noisy and consumes less power than HDD.
If you are using a desktop PC, you can easily find guides on installing and choosing the right SSD. If you have a laptop, changing your disk drive will be hard.
Lots of new laptops these days come with SSD, but if your laptop doesn’t have one, you can keep this in mind when you decide it’s time to upgrade your laptop.
If your Operating System is outdated
You might be missing out on new driver updates and software patches, if you haven’t updated your OS in a while.
This can slow your system and your system could be hacked because of security vulnerabilities.
Usually, Windows rolls out major updates twice a year and patches for fixing bugs, improving security are released monthly. If you feel that your laptop/pc is running slow, make sure that your computer is up-to-date.
To find out if your system is not updated, click the search box in the left bottom corner and type “Update” into the search bar.
You will see a window update page and where you can check if their updates are available for your system. After any update, you need to restart your computer for the changes to go into effect.
Infected with Malware or Virus
If programs are randomly crashing or you are seeing pop up ads, your laptop might be infected with malware.
Your system can get infected with malware if you open unknown emails or download files from suspicious websites.
Usually malware slows down your computer for different reasons. Some malware targets your system’s memory and spreads to other programs and files. Attackers use malware to steal your bank details and other personal data.
To scan and remove malware from your computer, you can use the Windows Security system.
Type “Security” in the search bar to open the Windows Security of your system. Then click on “Virus & Protection” and then click “Quick Scan”.
For more protection, you can install an antivirus.