Why is my PC So Slow?

Many people take their PC slowing down as an inevitable thing that happens over time, but it doesn’t have to be this way. What are the main reasons your PC might be lagging?

It’s easy to get into the habit of simply letting your PC go into sleep mode, and not restarting it for days or even weeks. This can lead to your PC becoming slow and lagging while trying to perform even the most basic of tasks. The more programs you use, the more strain your CPU will be under. If you’re using multiple pieces of software that uses a large amount of memory – like a creative program with a large file open – your CPU is going to be under a lot of stress. If you haven’t turned your machine off in weeks, you could have loads of programs running at once in the background. To find out if programs are causing your machine to run slow, open the Task Manager, and click the ‘CPU’, ‘Memory’ and ‘Disk’ headers to sort the programs in descending order. Close any programs that are using a lot of memory, and remember to restart your machine when it’s not in use. Something to look out for upon start-up is the system tray. Many Windows applications run in the system tray or notification area, and are launched automatically at start-up. Click the up arrow icon in the bottom right, and right click and close any programs that you don’t need running at that particular time.

Animations on your PC are nice, at least for the first few times. But after the novelty has worn off, you might want to think about disabling them – they can slow down your PC. Windows makes disabling animations easy. Just open the Control Panel, click ‘System and Security’, and then ‘System’. Click ‘Advanced System Settings’, and under ‘Performance’, use the checkboxes to select which animations you want to use. You can check ‘Adjust for Best Performance’ to disable them all quickly. Disabling animations on modern PCs won’t make a noticeable difference, but it all counts.

Your web browser is probably one of the most used programs on your PC. But imagine how many extensions you’ve installed over the months or years, with some barely being used, and others installed without your knowledge as part of another software package. You should definitely consider going to your web browser’s extension or ad-on manager and remove any plugins that you don’t use. You should also consider enabling some plugins – like Flash – to be strictly click-to-play, which means they will only run when you tell them to.

Malware is a top culprit for lagging computers, and if your PC is slow, there’s a good chance there’s some malicious software running in the background. This might not necessarily be a huge threat; it could be a program that tracks your viewing habits in more detail to display adverts to you. On the other hand, it could be a ransomware program copying your data to a server. Either way, you should scan your PC with an antivirus program and remove any malicious software it finds.

If your hard drive is nearing full capacity, it can have a negative effect on your PC’s speed. Even if you haven’t completely filled up your hard drive, your computer still needs to room to work, such as somewhere to store temporary files. Windows includes a built-in tool called Disk Cleanup, that deletes temporary files and other unimportant data. Disk Cleanup can be accessed by right clicking on the C: drive and clicking the Disk Cleanup button under the ‘General’ tab. Here, you can select the type of files you want to delete, such as downloaded program files, temporary internet files, setup log files, and the recycle bin, and delete them all at once. Disk Cleanup will show you how much space you’ll free before you go ahead, too. In addition to this, you should also consider storing larger files - like videos - on an external hard drive or in the cloud.

Data Recovery