Eight Reasons Why Your Computer Is Running Slower

If your computer is running slower than it normally does, it can be one of the most frustrating things about your day. You try to open a website or create a spreadsheet, and you find yourself twiddling your thumbs while you wait for your computer to respond. You think to yourself that there must be something wrong with your computer. There usually is!

Unfortunately, there isn’t one culprit. A computer running slowly could be the effect of a variety of issues. Here are some top reasons why your computer is running slower than normal:

1. Low on Random Access Memory

One reason your computer might run slower than it should is because it’s low on random access memory (RAM). RAM stores information that you’re working on without committing it to permanent storage. If you’re low on RAM and have multiple programs open, there simply isn’t enough places to temporarily hold your work.

This makes it harder for your computer to run the programs and hold your work at the same time. Depending on your system, there are ways to see how much RAM you’re using. When your computer is running slowly because you don’t have enough RAM, a professional can install additional RAM, or you can delete large applications you no longer use.

2. Low on Disk Drive Space

Your computer might running more slowly because you’re running out of disk drive space (HDD or SSD). As you’re working on a few software programs, the computer is constantly moving information between your RAM and your hard drive. If you’re running low on space, the computer is having difficulty moving your work between the two, and this slows down your computer.

When your hard drive is more than 85 percent full, it slows the performance of your computer. You can improve the speed of your user experience by deleting unused applications. You may need to buy a hard drive with more storage space and have a professional install it.

3. Visual Effects and Special Effects

If you spend a lot of time playing games on your computer, then the visual and special effects of the game may slow down your computer’s performance. It takes a lot of memory, both RAM and disk drive space, to view these types of graphics. The performance of your computer may become even slower as the RAM and hard drive have programs that take up more space.

Gaming computers are the best option if you’re serious about playing programs with heavy graphics and special effects. You might consider hiring a professional to add additional RAM to your computer.

4. Programs Running in the Background

Sometimes, you’re using a program for spreadsheets or playing on the internet, but you also have a dozen or more programs running in the background. Just because you aren’t currently working in a program doesn’t mean it isn’t running and eating up your RAM.

If your computer is running slower than usual, one of the first things you should do is check to see how many programs are running in the background. It’s easy to close the programs running in the background once you identify them. Once they’re closed, your computer should begin to run quicker and more smoothly.

5. Uninstalled Updates

Whether it’s a Windows update or an update to one of your drivers, an uninstalled update can slow down the performance of your computer. Most updates are created to fix bugs or other issues with your software, operating system, and drivers. These updates are designed to help these programs run more smoothly and faster.

In some cases, you can set your computer up to install the updates automatically. If your computer is running slowly, and you have a lot of uninstalled updates, you can go ahead and install them to see if it helps the running speed of your computer.

6. Fragmented Hard Drive

Sometimes, your computer places different pieces or fragments of the same file in different places on the hard drive. When you start to run a program or access a file, the computer has to pull these fragments together to run it. It takes time to find and put the fragments together. If it’s been a while since you’ve defraged your hard drive, this may be the program.

If you know how to defrag your hard drive, you might want to try this when the computer is running slowly. A professional can also defrag the hard drive for you. During a defrag, the computer locates and places all the fragments of a file in one location in a continuous line, helping your computer to run more quickly.

7. Too Many Startup Programs

When you first turn on your computer, does it seem to take forever to get to your homepage? This could be because you have too many startup programs. These are programs that open up and run each time you turn on your computer. The computer uses RAM to open and run each of these programs.

If there are too many startup programs, then it’ll slow down your computer. You can ask an IT expert to check out your computer and limit the number of start up programs, so that your computer runs faster.

8. Virus or Malware

Viruses and malware are always running in the background when they’ve infected your computer. It eats up large portions of your RAM. When the RAM is in use by the viruses, your other programs run more slowly. You might think that this is an easy fix that you just need to install virus protection software.

However, some of these programs run in the background. You need to consult a professional to free your hard drive of viruses and malware and get them to install the virus protect that they recommend.

At BWS Technologies, we want to help you keep your computer running quickly and smoothly. We can help our clients with most computer issues. Our skilled technicians can identify the reason your computer is running slowly and fix the issue. Contact us today to learn more.