Working with a slow computer can be incredibly frustrating. The minutes you spend waiting for your computer to load can add up to hours—or even days—of wasted time. Moreover, the unnecessary stress and inconvenience of dealing with a machine that keeps lagging and freezing don’t help when you have other commitments to face.
However, before you hurl anything at your computer and potentially damage it or go out to buy a replacement, first find out why your computer is running slow. Several reasons may be causing your computer to perform slower than usual, ranging from outdated software to hardware failure.
It’s worth the effort to determine why your computer is slow. A few easy tricks and modifications may significantly improve the performance of your computer and ensure your personal and work hours are spent productively.
Many people can benefit from a faster computer—from virtual assistants working from home to top-notch Angular programmers and developers working for corporations. A faster computer often translates into increased levels of productivity and efficiency, leading to improved performance and results.
Continue reading to find out the most common causes of computer lag and what you can do to remedy them.
Need To Restart
If your computer’s speed isn’t up to par, the first thing you should try is restarting it. The many processes operating in the background may be one of the reasons your computer is slow. When a large number of these background processes are not terminated, they use a large amount of RAM on your computer, causing it to slow down over time.
Solution: Close all applications and files on your computer, then restart it. Flushing the RAM and deleting temporary files can help prevent computer cobwebs from collecting, allowing your computer to run at full performance.
Additionally, whenever a software update or installation prompts you to restart now or later, always choose to restart your computer immediately.
Too Many Apps Running at Login
If you find that apps start automatically after you restart your computer, your machine’s performance may be affected by startup programs. Almost every program you install on your computer will prompt you for permission to launch it when your computer boots up. This is how many of your computer’s apps and programs automatically load and run in the background as soon as you switch it on, and this overload may be one of the reasons your computer is running slowly right from the start.
Solution: Always exercise caution when downloading a new program and, unless it is required, uncheck the box permitting it to run when your computer boots.
Additionally, you may modify the list of apps and programs that start automatically when you log in to your computer by hitting CTRL+ALT+Delete, clicking on Task Manager, and selecting the Startup tab. Go over the list and disable any apps that you do not require to be loaded and running when your computer starts.
Too Many Open Programs and Browser Tabs
Check how many apps are running simultaneously and how many tabs are open on your browser. Each active program and tab consume a certain amount of RAM. If you run too many apps and programs concurrently, you risk overloading the system and reducing the memory and processing capacity available to your computer.
Solution: Only open apps and programs you are currently using, and then terminate each program once you’re done. To ensure that no unnecessary programs are active, you may check the Notification Area (or System Tray) located on the right side of your taskbar.
Similarly, only open the tabs on your browser that you require at the time. To save a page for future reference, you can simply bookmark it before closing it.
Outdated Software and Drivers
If you consistently skip or postpone software updates, your computer’s performance may suffer. Older versions of software may include bugs or security issues that cause them to run far slower than designed, even if your computer is virus-free.
Outdated drivers can also contribute to computer lag. Your computer communicates with linked hardware devices via drivers. If you are using outdated drivers, communication may be faulty, causing your computer to take longer than necessary to get linked hardware devices to operate correctly.
Solution: Update your software as soon as new versions are released. Software vendors issue updates regularly to optimize the way these programs run and address security vulnerabilities.
Search the internet for the most recent drivers compatible with your computer hardware and install them, or you can use driver updater tools to download and update device drivers for you.
Viruses or an Ineffective Antivirus
If everything else on your computer is in working order, a virus or an inferior antivirus program that fails to detect and prevent viruses from infecting your computer may be causing your computer’s slowness. Viruses can appear in a variety of forms, from Trojans disguising themselves as legitimate software to ransomware designed to encrypt your files and block access. Some other viruses run in the background, using your resources without your knowledge.
Solution: To provide a degree of cybersecurity protection, download a trusted and well-known antivirus product. Run it regularly to detect and remove any infected programs.
The hard disk, CPU, and RAM of your computer are all susceptible to damage. If none of the issues mentioned above is causing your computer to run slowly, then a hardware problem might be the culprit.
Solution: Use the Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) tool to conduct hardware diagnostic checks and test your hard drive, CPU, RAM, and other components. This tool will help determine if you have any defective hardware component that needs replacing.
While resolving computer lag issues may appear intimidating, it is not. You do not have to make drastic adjustments to boost your computer’s speed. A few simple, manageable modifications can improve your computer’s performance in a matter of minutes and guarantee lasting results.