It is a very frustrating affair when your PC is slowing down. In this article, we’ll run through how to fix a slow computer. It may start doing that gradually or just spring up suddenly, but all in all, no matter the level of maintenance you do to your laptop or PC, they can just spring up few surprises when you least expect.
When computer lags, it can do any of the following:
- it might open programs slowly
- trying to save files might take more time than expected
- windows might open very slowly
- it takes a longer time for the operating system to load or shut down
- applications and games will start to delay or stutter
- there would be file writing error popping up constantly
- graphics will start to stutter and flicker
- download speed or upload internet speed connection will decrease.
As it stands, the different reasons why systems slow down can be down to a lot of factors, either caused by hardware or software. Some of the reasons for system lagging are:
- CPU with poor performance
- Corrupted or insufficient RAM
- The hard drive is damaged
- Outdated drivers
- Old graphics card
- Insufficient or malfunctioning power supply
- Internet-related issues
- Virus infection
Most of these troubles are always noticed among people running their laptops or PC on either Windows 7, 8 or 10. Fortunately, before you consider dumping your system, some steps can be taken to get the system a kind of performance boost needed.
#1. Stop Programs that Run on Startup
Some programs start running immediately you boot your PC. These applications can slow down your system. There are some that you may want them running, but others, unnecessary.
To disable these startup programs, Windows 10 users will:
- Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager or press Ctrl+Shift+Esc on the keyboard.
- Scroll to the startup tab and all items that run on startup are displayed.
- Go through them and decide the ones you don’t need to run automatically. Be aware though that some need to run for Windows to work perfectly. Those are mostly listed with Microsoft as the publisher and are best left alone.
- Right-click on any application that should not run automatically on startup and click disable.
Windows 7 users will need to search for System Configuration instead of accessing the Task Manager.
#2. Cleaning Temporary Files
When you browse the internet on your system, all the browsing history is kept in a folder on your PC. Also, when you run an OS or install an application, some temporary files are stored in the same folder within the system. This folder is called the Windows Temp Folder.
To help with system lagging, you can free up space on your system by deleting those temporary files using Disk Cleanup (Windows 10 does not have Disk Cleanup, but an alternative tool is available called Storage Sense). To use Disk Cleanup, so these:
- Open either My Computer or This PC.
- Right-click on the system partition C and choose Properties
- Scroll to the General tab and click on Disk Cleanup
- Scroll down the Files To Delete list and tick the Temporary Files box
- Click on OK and confirm the deletion by clicking on Delete Files.
#3. Uninstall Unused Programs
Most of the time, when you buy a new laptop or PC, there is a high probability that there are a host of programs pre-installed on it. Most of these programs might not be needed. There are a lot of them that during the entirety of the usage of the system, you might not even open them for once. They’ll just run in the background without you knowing, thereby slowing down your system. You could do well to remove these programs from your PC.
To remove unwanted or unused programs:
- Click Start
- Then select Control Panel
- In the Control Panel window, click on Programs and Features
- Scroll through the list displayed and uninstall the ones you probably know nothing about or do not plan to use.
If confused about which programs to leave and which ones to remove, there is a program that can help you out with that. It is named PC Decrapifier. It will recommend worthwhile apps and those that are not.
#4. Find Programs That Use Up Resources
If you suddenly noticed that your system started to run slower than it used to, there is a high chance that there is a program somewhere on your computer that is using up the resources. You will do yourself and your computer a world of good by putting away the program for good.
To do that:
- Open Task Manager
- Click More details to get information about all the programs that are running on your computer.
- You can click the header to sort the running applications according to how they are using up the resources.
- If you find any application that needs to be closed, close it.
- If it won't close, come back to Task Manager, click on the name of the application on the list and choose End Task.
For Windows 7 users remember you’ll need to access System Configuration instead of Task Manager.
#5. Check for Malware
Malware is a term used broadly to mean malicious programs that can harm the computer. They come from various sources which may include downloaded software, links in emails, or some ads. These programs can cause permanent damage to the computer, and at other times, can make the system to run slower than usual.
Installing a strong antivirus will go a long way to protect your system against malware and other threats. There is a lot to choose from out there; Norton, Avast, and so on.
Now you know how to fix a slow computer. Whether it’s yours or a friend’s or family member’s you can apply these steps as carefully explained above. You’ll end up a feeling like a tech geek when you successfully solve their PC related problems.