Top Reasons Why My Computer is so Slow With Fixes
Last updated: April 19, 2018 at 2:59 am by Adam Dominik
Computers get slower over the time, no matter which brand you are using. Knowingly or unknowingly, we usually cram our PCs with dozens of programs, tools, files and folders; which gradually slows down the machine. This is the case because unfortunately this is how Windows works and operates. The more you use it the more it slows down your entire computer due to various factors like your hard drive becoming fragmented over time, a bloated oversized temp file folder, software programs running in the background eating up resources and loads more reasons (all covered below). To prevent this, you need to regularly clean up and maintain Windows. This is time consuming and can require a certain level of expertise. Not for everyone.
There are several different reasons behind your slow computer, and to permanently fix them can take significant time, effort and expert knowledge. Thankfully there are Windows software programs which have the required functionality to help your PC and permanently resolve any slow computer issues. PC Health Advisor is the one tool I personally use and take to work with me every day. PC Health Advisor performs a thorough scan of your computer and is able to resolve any issue it finds with your computer restoring its speed and stability with just two clicks of your mouse button. Read more about PC Health Advisor.
If you would rather improve your computer’s performance manually, then please find the topics below that most accurately reflect your situation and follow the instructions to put an end to your computer being so slow.
The Top Reasons Why My Computer is so Slow:
- Spyware & Viruses and other mal-ware are running on your PC using up CPU, RAM & network bandwidth
- A fragmented disk is causing slow disk access
- Your PC is full of Junk
- PC is slow start and stopping applications & the disk light is on excessively
- Your hard drive is on its last legs
- Windows registry needs a really good clean
- Your PC is over 10 years old
- You have not updated your drivers or Windows
- Your CPU might be too hot and no longer runs at 100% capacity
- You have not had a reboot in far too long
Spyware & Viruses and other Malware are running on your PC using up CPU, RAM & network bandwidth
Get a good antivirus and anti-spyware scanning program. In some cases of bad infections however it might be quicker, safer and more effective just to reformat the hard disk and re-install the compete operating system.
I would start with any free version. AVG make a decent free anti-virus. I would combine that with Malware Bytes Anti-Malware. Download, install and run each of them to ensure your computer is 100% clean of anything nasty infecting your computer.
A fragmented disk is causing slow disk access
Files can be written and read from the disk faster if they are stored in a continuous sequence of bytes on the disk. But as files on the hard disk are updated, deleted and created, they become fragmented.
In case you are un-familiar with defragging or defragmenting, in basic terms it is the process of re-arranging all the contents on your hard drive in a logical manor so it doesn’t take your computer significant amounts of time to find the file(s) it needs to complete a particular task. This significantly improves computer performance.
Over time, as data is saved and removed, information on your hard drive becomes scattered all over the place inside of it. This then takes your computer much longer to load software and programs as the read head of the hard drive has to move to multiple positions constantly picking up information and data from all over the hard drive. Once the hard drive has been defragmented, the read head doesn’t behave anywhere as erratically to find information and data.
To defragment your hard drive, click on the Start button, select All Programs and Accessories. Choose System Tools followed by Disk Defragmenter.
Click on your main hard disk (usually C:) and run. This process does take some time, more so if your hard disk is heavily fragmented.
Your PC is full of Junk
There has been a trend by software developers over recent years to have their own applications set to automatically start up when the PC is turned on. The more software programs you have running, the less memory (RAM) is available for the rest of your computer to use and the longer it takes your PC to start up because it is so busy loading program after program after program. I would recommend you remove software programs from your computer you don’t use any longer from the Uninstall Programs within Control Panel.
In addition to this, freeing up hard drive space does in fact boost your computer’s performance. The more space on your hard drive because available to your computer to use as virtual memory, the more virtual memory there is, the better your software programs run on your computer. This makes it a wise and good opportunity to go through your add/remove programs list and remove those programs you don’t or have not used in a very long time.
Simply click on Start, then Control Pan followed by Uninstall a Program within Windows.
Click on a program you no longer want and click the Uninstall/Change button to begin the removal process.
PC is slow start and stopping applications & the disk light is on excessively
As above (Your PC is full of Junk). Your hard drive is too full and your computer is struggling due to a lack of hard drive space to use as virtual memory. Windows uses a swap file on the hard drive which acts as virtual memory (additional memory to use onto of the computer’s RAM), without any available hard drive space Windows completely slows down and struggles. You can:
- Buy and install more RAM; or
- Free up hard drive space, at least have 20% free space remaining
You could also be running Windows Vista which is notorious for using all available hard drive space as virtual memory. This results in Windows Vista constantly accessing the hard drive and slowing the computer down unnecessarily.
Your hard drive is on its last legs
A dying and unhealthy hard drive is a slow hard drive which drags the entire computer system down in performance. If you feel your computer still performing slow your main hard drive may be at fault and it is time to check its health. The hard drive may contain sectors full of errors or even begin to suffer mechanical faults. Both reduce computer performance and both can be checked with a scan using the right tool.
Windows provides a built in tool called Check Disk or CHKDSK.
What exactly can CHKDSK do for you and your computer? It can find all types of hard drive errors and report on file problems. Most often you won’t realize your hard drive contains an error(s) until you run CHKDSK or any other hard drive scanning tool.
Click on Start and then do a search for “chkdsk” without the quotes.
Scan your hard drive and make sure to tick the box to automatically fix all errors.
Windows registry needs a really good clean
The Windows registry is an essential component of how the operating system works. It is a small database consisting of critical Windows settings. If the registry ever disappears or becomes corrupt, Windows will stop working and a complete re-install will be required. Everything you do on Windows, is essentially recorded within the registry. For example, installing software will leave behind settings within the registry. The settings may tell Windows how to effectively run the software on the computer.
The Windows registry is read and written to very frequently; there is a huge chance for a bug or error to occur within it. Quite often, there are literally thousands of registry errors – even on brand new systems. Registry errors tend to occur when a program has not install or been uninstalled correctly.
PC Health Advisor is the ideal tool to really give the Windows registry a good cleanup, check it for errors and get it performing once more.
Your PC is over 10 years old
Let’s face it; if you have had your PC for this long, it is time for a new one. Your hard drive mechanically will be close to its life cycle and already be running extremely slowly. Any new program you want to install will run terribly simply because your hardware is so far out of date.
It is quite possible you could still improve the speed of an old computer system using the fixes mentioned above, but it will never run as well as it did the day you first bought it, the hardware (especially the hard drive) is well and truly tired by now.
You have not updated your drivers or Windows
By not having updated your drivers or your version of Windows, you are missing out on crucial improvements and software advancements. Especially when it comes to hardware drivers, if you are running old and outdated drivers, you may quite possibly be missing out on obtaining maximum performance from your hardware and the entire computer system.
Here are some of the most commonly known problems caused by old drivers:
- If you upgraded your operating system, for example from Windows XP to Vista or Windows 7 to Windows 10, the drivers you had installed might no longer work or function correctly. This may reduce the performance of your hardware, resulting in reduced computing performance. Or your hardware may even no longer function correctly under your new operating system
- Hardware manufacturers also ad new features to their drivers, so it is important to have the latest drivers or you might be missing out on some awesome new features
- Technological advancements in programming. Technology never stops improving, becoming faster, smoother and more efficient. Computer drivers are no exception
Updating to the latest available computer drivers is an easy way to secure top computing performance and reduce the number of errors and crashes. To make the process as easy and safe as possible, consider using advanced software like DriverFinder. DriverFinder connects to a database of drivers for all computer hardware manufactures and will let you know when updated drivers are available for your hardware, and guide you through the updating process from start to finish.
Your CPU might be too hot and no longer runs at 100% capacity
The CPU (central processing unit) or processor stops running at full capacity once it reaches a certain temperature. If the temperature continues to rise the computer will crash or randomly restart. This is to preserve the lift of the CPU. Make sure the CPU fan is clear of any dust. Use a can of compressed air to blow out any dirt and stubborn dust.
Dust, dirt, and hair can also constrict proper airflow inside your computer, not just the CPU fan. This can cause other components such as the video card to overheat as well. Make sure your computer case is clean and any fans are not obstructed (don’t forget about the power supply fan!).
You have not had a reboot in far too long
Each time you use your computer it generates junk files and leaves behind cached data and settings within the memory (RAM). After a period of time if you have not performed a proper reboot (or restart) these settings just sit in the background taking up memory leaving less and less resources available for your computer to use. However, restarting may clear all or a part of such files so as to speed up your computer.
Why is restarting your computer so important and effective? A restart gets rid of the current state of any software or program you have running. Anything that happens to be misbehaving or stuck will also disappear after a restart. When you restart, the computer or device will bring the system up from scratch, restarting all the software from scratch so it will work just as well as it was working before.
Use PC Health Advisor to fix Everything Currently Broken with your Computer
Vastly improved and easier to use PC Health Advisor has just been released. Read more about PC Health Advisor here.
Sometimes it is best to leave it to the professionals or specialist software to get the job done right the first time around. In this case I would highly recommend using PC Health Advisor to quickly diagnose and repair everything that is currently wrong with your computer. PC Health Advisor is the easiest method to repair and fix your computer of errors and everything that is slowing it right down. PC Health Advisor is able to search and repair the junk files, repair damaged or broken registry entries and the errors which cause your computer to slow down. The end result is a much improved and faster computer. PC Health Advisor features a class leading intelligent engine that is able to detect all computing issues which cause slow performance, find solutions for each of the problems and then automatically resolve them requiring only a few simple clicks from you. What really makes PC Health Advisor work so well and able it to be a class leader is the simplistic nature of the software. Literally, PC Health Advisor works in a two click approach, one to scan your computer followed by a second click to fix all the issues detected. Finish off the process with a reboot and your Windows machine will be fixed and performing nice and fast. Click here to learn more about PC Health Advisor.
Time for You to Take Action
The next course of action is of course to get these issues resolved and have your computer running smooth and faster like it once used to. If you are not confident in your abilities to fix your computer’s issues then that is understandable. In your case I highly recommend using PC Health Advisor to completely fix all the reasons for your computer running slow and to speed it back up. PC Health Advisor is the Windows optimization tool that currently leads the industry; it is an all-in-one tool that has been speeding up computers since 2006! It is a powerful Windows optimization tool that makes speeding up and fixing reasons for slow Windows computers incredibly simple.
Lead editor here at Fast PC Life, I’m a proud desktop support analyst since 2006, helping co-workers, clients, family and friends & now online readers resolve slow computing issues.