Computers slow down for a variety of reasons but most of them boil down to one thing–we use them. When you download programs, install extensions, surf the web, create files and add video and music to your hard drive, you will inevitably build up virtual waste that affects the performance of your PC. So if you ask yourself, “Why is my computer so slow?” those are the most common reasons why your computer slows down-and the simple steps you can take to get it going faster.
1. You have too many newly downloaded programs to weaken their way into your Startup (Windows) or Login Items (Mac).
You could have tens of unnecessary programs ready and running when your computer boots up if you did not uncheck the box, as if that were soon to happen.
“A too many startup programs are the most common cause of a slow computer,” says Aaron Schoeffler, Laptop ® computer repair physician. “90% of the programs want the permission to start at the start of your computer to use them, so that they can take between five and ten minutes to boot. When it finally begins, a lot of programs are already running in the background, and if you don’t use a newer computer that might slow it down. “While some softwares, such as firewall and antivirus software, may run from the start-up; others, like iTunes or Microsoft Office, may remain closed quite easily until you actually have to access a file from their digital depths.
Correct it Mac, uncheck unneeded programs, apps / systems preferences / user groups / login items. Delete desktop icons that you don’t use to trash them, or reorganize to the relevant folder if you saved files to your desktop for convenience.
Windows 8 and 10: Windows Key+ X / Task Manager / Startup tab and right-click Deactivate programs to delete.
Windows 7 and older: Start button and then look for System Setup. Go to the Startup tab and uncheck each program if you don’t want to start when the system starts.
2. A hard drive close to the end of its lifetime is a common problem
Hard drives consist of moving parts that spin thousands of times a day and wear, “says Schoeffler” Generally there is a strong likelihood that a hard drive will fail after two to three years. In comparison, solid-state drives (SSD) do not suffer the same type of degradation as physical hardware, and they last for eight to ten years. “Solid state drives are ten times faster than a standard hard disk, and you are looking for three to five minutes to 15-20 seconds from boot time,” Schoeffler says. However, SSDs are costly per gigabyte–which is not an issue if, say, you have a 2 TB drive, but can be expensive if you need a drive to store large photo or video files.
Fix it Run a hard disk check: Windows 7, Vista: Windows Explorer / PC / right-click drive / properties / tools / check now. Fix the hard drive check You can choose “Scan and try to recover bad sectors,” which prevents your computer from accessing “bad” areas on the hard drive but can also increase the scanning time to a couple of hours.
Mac: Go to apps / utilities / disk utilities, then highlight your hard disk and click First Help on the top of the screen.
Generally, do not drop, throw or otherwise affect the hard drive to extend its service life. Sometimes you may consider upgrading your drive as well: “We tend to recommend upgrading to stable drives,” says Schoeffler.
3. If your hard drive is 95% full, computers can slow down by 50%, Schoeffler estimates
Your hard drive is 95% complete. “There is no space at this point to store the temporary files necessary for operating programs, so it is as if the operating system is unable to operate properly,” he says.
Hard drive space is occupied by programs, program updates and downloads, as well as temporary files and associated deleted program files, allowing you to clear a good deal of space simply by emptying your waste. Check the situation of your harddisk by clicking (Mac) on the apple and selecting Start / Computer or (Windows) and right-clicking (usually C:) on the primary hard disk, then go to Properties.
Fixed Deep clear your computer from unused programs unnecessary files and temporary files to defunct downloads. This can include bloatware which is preloaded by manufacturers on computers to run utilities or clean-ups. System backups and restoration points can also take up a lot of space and do not maintain more backup versions than you really need. You may also want to move files to a cloud storage service to optimize the space. The free program CCleaner (Mac / Windows) is suggested by Schoeffler to easily remove unnecessary files, including the glut of temp files created by browsers, for example.
Wondering about the old ritual defragging computer cleaning? This only applies if you still use Windows XP or older for whatever reason— newer Windows PCs and all Macs do not need manual defragging.
4. Your browser has too many add-ons
Your browser extensions (like an ad blocker or a unit converter I use) can help improve your web experience–however, they can also blame you for slowing down your computer by eating up processing energy. Even though some add-ons may proclaim popup blockers or search protectors, they may be browser adware that can slow down your computer by downloading ads and popuping ads every time your browser opens.
Firefox: Hit the menu button on the right side, select Add-ons / Extensions, then select Disable or Remove for each item on the list. Fix it Disable or remove extensions and tool bars you really do not need:
Chrome: Right click any extension / manage extensions, then uncheck the box to uncheck or click on the trash button to say goodbye to it. You can also check the amount of storage each extension uses by clicking the top right menu button (three vertical points), then More Task / Memory tools, where you can sort all browser processes by used memory. The extensions are preceded by an icon for puzzles.
Safari: Hit Safari / Security / Extensions, then choose the item to uninstall. Hit Safari (top left). All extensions can also be switched off here.
Internet Explorer: Tools / Manage add-ons / Download all add-ons, then chooseoffender(s), then click deactivate or remove.
Edge: setting and expanding and removing anything you don’t need. Edge:
5. You run too many programs at once
That’s why we have computers at once, but at some point your little bundle of artificial intelligence will fail. The ability of your computer to run several programs at a time depends in part on your RAM (random access memory), enabling it to switch to a different program with seemingly smooth processing but if the demands of the open programs overdo the memory and processing power of your computer, you will notice a slowdown.
Fix it in Task Managing (Windows; Strl+Alt+Del) or Activity Monitor (Mac; Cmd+Space, type in Spotlight Bar); recommend Schoeffler to look for which programs are open and suck up processing power. You can close programs from the file menu for Macs, Windows 10, Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows. In Windows 10 and Windows 8, programs are designed to run background for a while and then shut down automatically. But, if you want to manually shut one down and make sure all related files are shut down, drag and hold the icon from the top of the screen to the bottom.
6. Too many browser tabs are open
If you’re in tens of open tabs camp (“all the best to never lose a connection,” you say), your browser will probably hog far more than its fair proportion of RAM. “It’s saved in RAM when you open a new browser tab. If you have only a little RAM left out, then it does not take time for all that is active, so the computer slows down, “Schoeffler says,” Multiple open browsers can also slow down the work, and if tabs are automatically refreshing, you get extra slow points (say, a live Blog). Moreover, having a glut of browser tabs full of supposedly important information does not help our performance or awareness precisely.
Fix it Bookmarking the “needed” links (for the sake of the organization, in the “To Read” bookmarks folder) and shut down those tabs. Even better, One-Tab for Chrome and Firefox works for you, compiling your open tabs into a simple list on a single tab and accessing them if necessary.
7. Rogue programs hog all processing components
It’s not always a hard-working video or music app that consumes the processing power of your computer. Certain systems or programs may be stuck in a loop or have an error.
Fix it Check how much power and processing software is being used by heading to Task Manager (Windows) or Activity Monitor (Mac). Click on the “CPU” tab to order the programs for both to see how much processing power they use. If you still have a program you are not using actively in the top few programs, you can choose to stop the process.
And Internet Explorer is particularly heavy on your computer when it comes to browsers, says Joe Silverman, CEO of New York computer help. Most of us don’t use itanymore–with Chrome and Safari used by the majority of U.S. network users–but keep on gently uninstalling before you start:’ You don’t have to run Internet Explorer but don’t remove it [ if you have your Windows PC bundled with it]–it could cause some problems because it’s very tied to the operating system,’ he says.