It is the end of the month, and you have a deadline for a project for an important client. But your computer is so slow to respond even with the latest Operating System and the newest hardware, making you want to smash your computer against the wall.
Just like a car, your computer needs maintenance periodically. And there are essential maintenances that can eliminate many problems, like slow startup times, before they even arise.
Here are the top 11 issues that cause computers to slow down and how to resolve them for a visible improvement in efficiency and speed.
- Preventive maintenance can save you from a lot of headaches.
- Plan well in terms of requirements before setting up your computer.
- Don’t ignore the updates.
- Simple techniques for quick wins.
1. Unnecessary applications at Startup
You may have installed many applications over time. These applications tend to add themselves in the startup folder to start when you boot your Operating System automatically. It can save you some time if you have a few applications, but having too many of them at Startup can greatly slow your performance. As a result, the Operating System requires significantly more CPU and memory.
To know how many applications are in your Startup, go to Settings – Apps – Startup – Start apps and turn them off as required. Startup was created with this concern in mind to make it simple to control apps at startup.
2. Last reboot
How often do you restart your computer? You don’t remember? Well, you may have many applications opened in the background, using up your computer’s memory and processing power.
Your computer will function more smoothly if you reboot it, which clears the memory and halts any RAM-hungry processes. Rebooting can also resolve hardware and peripheral problems.
3. Hard disk space is almost full
Particularly in the C:\ partition where the Operating System is installed, we need at least a few GBs of free space for applications to write logs and create temporary files. If all the disk space is used up, storing and reading the data will be more complex.
There are many ways to prevent this from happening. You can purge the temporary files and logs—or, if you notice that there are a couple of applications that you are not using, uninstall them.
Sometimes, you can have an application that has become unstable, and it keeps crashing, generating thousands of logs that can eat up all the hard disk space within hours. It can become a tedious task to analyze each folder manually. A straightforward, free tool called TreeSize can help you find the folders which are getting enormous.
4. Out of physical memory
Your computer’s processing capability is closely associated with the quantity of RAM. Applications such as video and photo editing software or having 40 tabs open on your browser consume a significant amount of RAM, slowing your overall system performance.
So close any applications or tabs on your browser which are idle for a long time. Unfortunately, if your RAM is at its limit, you’ll want to consider adding more RAM to your system.
If you want to look at how you are doing regarding resources, click on the start menu, type Task Manager, and then click the Performance Tab.
5. Power mode
What type of power plan are you using for your computer? It often depends on what kind of performance you want. You can opt for the best battery saver, best performance or balanced.
Balanced automatically speeds up your CPU when your computer needs it and slows it down when it is not. Since this is the default option, it should be fine for most users.
Power Saver tries hard to conserve power by, among other things, decreasing screen brightness and the CPU’s speed.
High Performance keeps the CPU running at higher speeds most of the time. Additionally, it makes the screen brighter. It’s also possible that other parts, like your network interface card or flash drives, won’t enter power-saving modes.
Select the Battery icon on the taskbar, then move the slider to the desired power mode to easily change the power mode.
6. System overheating
Several components in your system can overheat, such as the CPU, the memory and the graphics card. The computer’s performance might suffer from excessive heat since most operating systems automatically limit the processor’s speed to mitigate heat-related problems: a fan not functioning correctly, dust accumulation on the chipset, or the heatsink not installed properly.
A trained professional can use a blower to remove all the dust, replace the faulty fan, or reinstall a heatsink that was improperly mounted to the CPU.
Did you install some freeware on your computer recently? Or did you accidentally click on a random popup on a sketchy website? If so, there is a high possibility that your computer is infected with malware, software made expressly to interfere with, harm, or allow illegal access to a computer system. You might also become a victim of cryptojacking. It is the unlawful use of another person’s computing power to mine cryptocurrencies. This attack does digital currency mining for Bitcoin and Ethereum using the stolen computing power of the victim’s computer.
First of all, you should never blindly trust freeware on the internet. You can never be sure that the freeware is safe. And you should never click on weird popups that want to install programs or browser extensions. Your antivirus is your best friend and should be kept up to date.
Here is an interesting article from Interpol concerning cryptojacking.
8. Software bugs
Vendors constantly update applications mainly to correct bugs, remediate security loopholes, improve the overall performance or add new features for the customer. But you might be so busy that you keep delaying the update.
To keep your installed programs operating efficiently and securely, you must regularly update your software. But it would be best if you kept an eye on the backward compatibility with your existing files and database once you migrate to a new version.
9. Driver update
A driver is a group of files instructing a piece of hardware how to interact with an operating system on a computer. Every piece of hardware, including your network interface card and graphics card, needs a driver to work.
Always check to see if your device drivers have been appropriately updated. Disregarding device driver updates is a frequent root of complex computer issues like sluggishness.
10. Performing a full antivirus scan
The antivirus on your system does different types of scanning to detect and block any threats. Specific options are needed to be set correctly so that the antivirus does not conflict with other applications or the operating system and which causes the computer to lag. For example, a full scan thoroughly examines every component of the computer. Because it does so, it takes longer to complete than a quick scan.
The full scan option should not be set during a period when you are doing the most on your computer. During a full scan, the computer will considerably be slow as it needs lots of computer resources to perform this activity. We recommend setting the full scan during lunch hour or late at night.
It’s imperative not to interfere with an application or the operating system’s stability and performance. The lack of correctly set antivirus exclusions can result in conflict or file locking, which makes virus scanning a common source of performance problems. Real-time scanning is also a standard feature of most virus scanning software which might result in decreased performance.
11. Fragmented disk
Data fragmentation happens when files are physically not written close to one another on a hard drive. Data fragments are those broken up, isolated portions of data. Another cause of data fragmentation is when data is written where there were previously deleted files.
The Disk Defragmenter reorganizes fragmented data to improve the performance of your disks and drives. Disk Defragmenter can run automatically, or you can manually inspect and defragment your hard drives.
Click Start and type “defrag” into the taskbar search box. Click “Defragment and Optimize drives”. Select the disk drive you want to optimize. Select the Optimize button.
You don’t always need to make significant upgrades to boost a slow computer. You may get quick and long-lasting outcomes by making a few simple changes, saving time and money.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. Other issues include hardware failure, outdated firmware, rogue applications, etc.
Consider the recommendations above if you find that your computer is starting to lag to look for probable causes before the problem becomes worse. You can get all these nicely covered with the right IT strategy.