In an age where many of us require instant gratification, a slow-running computer can be the bane of our existence. Windows has been a cutting-edge operating system since Bill Gates introduced it to the world back in 1983. From Windows 1.0 to Windows 95, and Windows XP to Windows Vista, this operating system has changed dramatically throughout the years.
With each update came innovative technological features that were never before seen, but also came with drawbacks as well. Today, Windows 11 is the current installment that many users agree is the best yet. However, some are still facing a slow running Windows computer. If you fall into this category, here are 5 reasons why this may be happening and how you can fix it.
You have a failing hard drive
Your hard drive is the place where all of your photos, documents, music, files, and downloadable resources are stored. If you open your computer and notice your apps won’t open, the system isn’t responding at the startup or noticed your computer isn’t performing well, you may have 100% disk usage. The less capacity your computer’s hard drive has, the slower it will perform.
How to Fix This: If your hard drive is at or above 90% capacity, it’s time to make some changes. Here are a few ways to clean up your hard drive and how to speed up Windows:
- Uninstall unused apps or programs.
- Delete pictures you no longer want, the music you no longer listen to, and files you no longer need.
- Use the Disk Cleanup utility that helps you clean out useless files.
- Store your files, photos, and other documents on an external USB hard drive.
You’re running out of memory
Random Access Memory, or RAM, is where data is stored before being processed. RAM is short-term memory, often described as volatile, that only works when your laptop or computer is turned on. Once you power off, all your RAM memory is forgotten. Your RAM is responsible for keeping your computer running smoothly by loading data for every task you’re doing. Are you editing high-capacity photos on photo-editing software? Or maybe you’re playing a downloadable video game that requires a fair amount of storage. Whichever the case may be, you could be out running your RAM capabilities.
How to Fix This: To free up some RAM space, here are some tips to get you started:
- Use a USB Flash Drive as RAM
- Increase your Virtual Memory
- Disable or remove unused software
- Review your RAM Usage
Too many programs are running at once
As previously mentioned, RAM is what stores data in real-time. RAM is what helps your computer make decisions and run smoothly. However, if you notice your Windows computer is running slowly, you may have too many programs running at once. Are you someone who likes to keep 20 tabs open on your web browser? If so, this could be one reason your computer is running slowly. RAM helps your computer process. With a bunch of tabs opened, such as your Netflix account, Spotify, and Facebook, your RAM might not be able to keep up.
How to Fix This: To give your computer a break, try these tricks to limit the number of programs running at once:
- Restart your computer to reset programs and clean up apps running in the background.
- Get a web browser extension that consolidates the number of tabs you have opened.
- Use lighter apps that take up less space to free up memory.
There are too many add-ons
Add-ons are a great way to improve the user experience when navigating the web. However, having too many add-ons can bog down your computer. Add-ons such as ad-blockers are extremely convenient and can make browsing the web easy and enjoyable. However, did you come across web extensions that seemed awesome at the moment, but you don’t really need it? Maybe downloading a celebrity replacer extension that changes the names of celebrities in headlines to other celebrity names was a funny gimmick, but if your computer is running slower than molasses, it’s probably time to say goodbye.
How to fix this: To throw those unwanted add-ons in the trash, follow these steps:
- Google Chrome: Right-click on your unwanted extension button then click the “Remove from Chrome” button.
- Firefox: Click the menu button, select add-ons/ extensions, then simply delete the add-ons you no longer need from the list.
- Internet Explorer: Click on tools, go over to manage add-ons, click on show all add-ons, and then remove the ones you don’t want anymore.
A virus is plaguing your computer
Lastly, you may, unfortunately, have a virus or malware that is plaguing your computer. Viruses, malware, and other harmful security breaches can spread like wildfire if not taken care of. Malware can cause many problems, such as stealing your personal information, redirecting you to phishing sites, and pushing advertisements onto your screen.
How to Fix This: If you suspect your computer may have a virus, here’s how you can cure the problem:
- Download Anti-Virus software that can detect fraudulent sites.
- Bring your computer/laptop to a professional computer service.
- Reboot your computer and go into Safe Mode
The Bottom Line
A slow computer is never any fun. If you use your computer regularly for school, business, or pleasure, having to wait for a page to load or a file to download can cause unwarranted anger. To increase your Windows computer’s speed, look into these potential problems and cures that could be your next lifesaver!
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