What to Do When My Computer is Slow?

Written by Terry

Updated: January 18, 2023

Do you have a slow computer?  A slow computer may make even the simplest tasks seem difficult. Fortunately, there are numerous things you can do to speed up and improve the performance of your computer. Let's look at what you can do to help speed up your computer.

Why is My PC So Slow?

Several things can cause a slow PC. Because your operating system must manage your computer's resources (processor power, storage space, memory) among all the programs running on it, many factors may be affecting its performance. However, the most common causes of a slow computer are poor use of your computer's resources. Here are some of the causes that may have caused your computer to become so slow:

  • Visual effects and special effects are overloading the computer's resources.
  • Viruses or malware
  • Failure to keep up with Windows or driver updates.
  • There are too many startup programs.
  • Too many programs are running in the background.
  • We are running short of hard storage space (HDD or SSD).
  • RAM is running low 

Restart your computer

If your computer's speed is slow, the first thing you should do is restart it.

As programs run on your computer, your operating system allocates RAM space. Your RAM will ultimately run out, causing your computer to slow down as your operating system begins to use the swap file instead. Because hard drives, even the much faster SSDs, are slower than RAM, your computer will dramatically slow down when it resorts to using the swap file.

Simply closing down programs that are active on your computer helps. But restarting your computer allows it to be refreshed in various ways. It guarantees that programs do not run in the background. It will enable Windows updates to be installed and can cure a variety of issues that you may be experiencing, such as memory loss, which cause programs to consume far more RAM than they should.

Clean Your Hard Drive

When your hard disk memory is full, it slows down your computer since the operating system doesn't have enough free capacity to perform efficiently. In addition, your operating system requires space to create temporary files, prevent fragmentation and use the swap file.

To ensure that your computer isn't slow due to a full hard drive, check that there is at least 500MB (megabytes) of disk space available. To see how much free space you have, open File Explorer and select 'This PC' from the left navigation bar. Your primary drive will generally be called 'Windows (C:),' but if you have other drives, you may also view how much space they have from this page. Even if you have many drives, be sure that each one has a 500MB buffer to better assist the operating system in managing the files on the drive.

Things You Can Do to Improve Computer Speed

  • Clear out the trash or recycle bin.
  • Remove any unwanted programs that you don't use. It is common for new computers to come with programming that you never utilize.  
  • Delete any files that you might not need any longer. This will free up space on the hard drive.
  • Clear your downloads folder.
  • Clear all cache and cookies in your web browser.

If you still need help making room on your hard drive, think about putting your data and documents on the cloud to free up space on your disk. Onedrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive are some of the more popular options. You could also get an external hard drive to store files on. These services not only allow you to clean your hard drive of data and enhance the speed of your computer, but they also allow you to access your files from any computer or phone with an internet connection. This is very similar to when you clear photos off of your phone. They are stored in your cloud for easy access so that you won't lose anything.

Call Geeks 2 You

Some other things you might want to try are to stop programs running in the background, defragment your hard drive, be sure that your drivers are up to date, and, if your internet is slow, be sure that your router and modem are not super old.  

However, if nothing you do helps, you might need to upgrade your computer or add some additional RAM or other components. We at Geeks 2 You would be happy to look at your system and see what we can offer and recommend.

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