There are many reasons why your Windows PC runs really slowly but they usually boil down to inefficient use of PC resources. It’s worth knowing some of the basic reasons why this could be happening. There are various problems you can fix on your own by going to the Task Manager, controlling how many programs open at startup, and using various other tips and tricks.
- Your hard drive memory is almost full
When your hard drive memory is full, it means your operating system doesn’t have enough space to work properly. It needs at least 500MB of disk space to create temporary files etc. Make sure you empty your recycle bin regularly and delete unnecessary programs that are just taking up space. Empty your downloads folder and delete any temporary files.
To safely remove temporary files, it’s easy to use CCleaner, a free optimization tool that will do it for you in one click. If you get a CCleaner error code ‘91613,’ you can find solutions at Errorwise on how to fix it. Your cache and the cookies on your web browser can also take up a lot of space and you need to clear them regularly.
- Your hard drive needs defragging
Over time your hard disk may contain different pieces of data that are related but spread out so it takes longer for the system to find each piece of data. Defragging your hard drive organizes all the disorganized bits of data on your hard drive into more accessible and ordered blocks.
This will speed up the performance, especially for programs with large file sizes, like games. To defrag your hard drive, you will find Defragment your Hard Drive under Windows Administration tools.
- You have too many programs running at once
When too many programs are running simultaneously, this can take up processing power and slow down performance. If you open your Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Alt + delete, you can find out what background programs are running.
You may not be aware of them because they may start up automatically when you boot up your computer. See how much of your computer’s resources programs they are using and you can close them directly from the Task Manager. If you are unsure what a program does, find out first or you may close something your operating system needs.
- You don’t have enough RAM
Your computer uses Random Access Memory (RAM) to store information the operating system and programs need to run. When programs have to compete for a share of RAM, it causes your computer to slow down. When the RAM runs out, your computer uses the swap file on your hard drive instead and hard drives are much slower.
You may need to store large amounts of information in memory for quick access, such as when you want to play games. Most games recommend having 16GB for high-performance play. Upgrading RAM on a desktop computer is fairly easy but you need to check to see whether upgrading your RAM is possible on your laptop.
- Antivirus scans are running
Having active antivirus software is a vital part of computer hygiene and can prevent viruses from slowing down your computer. However, the antivirus software itself can slow down performance as it actively scans for malware and viruses in the background.
Some programs may be set to scan weekly, which can take a few hours and use plenty of processing power. It helps if you schedule scans to run at times when you’re not using your computer, such as overnight. Changing the scan schedule can usually be done in settings.