What to do if your PC’s Running Slow
How many times have you wished to kick that old contraption of a CPU for its remarkable and outrageously slow processing speed? I am sure hundreds of times. I’ve had that exact feeling every weekend for the last couple of years. The trouble? Slow PC and not enough budget to replace it!
This is a common mind boggler for people that comes up every few years or so. But believe it or not, there is more life in your PC than you imagine and replacing it is not required. At least not yet! More often than not, it is more a requirement of a couple of new hardware or a few software to be run than the need for an entire PC that slows your machine down. Knowing the following things, you can easily blow more life into your old PC without too much toil and turmoil on your wallet.
Malwares are one of the most common causes behind a sluggish pace of your device. Another possible cause might be a defragmented drive. If software approaches don’t work, then it is time to upgrade a couple of new components. If that doesn’t work as well, then you can consider a new machine.
That is what we are going to discuss in this guide: Why your PC might be running slow? What do you need to do to remedy that? So dive in these steps and run them in order to speed up a slow device.
1. Identify the problem
The first step is to understand where the problem lies. Is your computer running slow in general, or does it get slow only when you try to do multiple tasks at once? If it is running slow only when you try to perform multiple operations, that can happen because the RAM in your computer is being over loaded. A RAM’s function is to store data temporarily to allow faster and smoother operations, especially when multitasking. It is basically a storage unit so needs to be more for heavier multitasking. Try increasing your device’s RAM, which should help remedy the cause.
2. Run antivirus software
If your computer’s running slow, and the RAM is also sufficient, you should try and run your antivirus software. Also make sure that your the software is up to date, both in software version, as well as virus and spyware definitions. Some viruses attack the storage, while others use up processing resources that slows your computer down. Attacking the storage also leads to adverse effects on your device’s speed. Check for updates in your antivirus software and then run a deep scan of your system.
NOTE: Some people install several antivirus software on their system. This is not required, especially with modern OSes like Windows 10 which offer built in Windows Defender.
3. Multiple tabs in browser?
If you happen to notice a lag when you try to use multiple tabs in your internet browser, it’s also a clear sign that you need more RAM. Also, some browsers like Google Chrome are ultra heavy on RAM and resources, so you can open even less amount of tabs. First of all, try using a lighter browser like Microsoft Edge or Monument Browser. Then try reducing the number of tabs you have open. If you really need so many windows at once, it’s time to increase your RAM.
4. Disk defragmentation
If you are using a hard disk drive, it can get fragmented and slow the read speeds of data on your computer. This happens especially in earlier versions of operating systems. For users of Windows 8 and above, you don’t need to worry much, but in any case, you should run the disk defragmentation tool present in your operating system.
To learn more about defragmentation, you can go through this post on lifehacker. They have provided a brilliant explanation.
DON’T, I repeat, DON’T download and install a third party defragmentation tool. Your OS provides you with one and another software is merely a waste of resources and could even be a virus!
5. What are your computer specifications?
If even the defragmentation tool did not work, it is time to check on all your computer specifications.
- How much memory do you have?
- How much memory are you using?
- What processor are you using?
Remember, a processor upgrade is a tough call to make. A newer generation processor with the same clock speed as an earlier generation one is going to cost high. But the performance gain will not be substantial enough to justify the price. If it really comes to your processor, research properly, and upgrade only if you are sure you need a newer, more powerful processor. In most common cases, doubling the amount of memory can give you substantial speed gains.
6. SSD or HDD?
One final step is to understand what are your computer needs. If you’re a casual user with just a few websites to browse, and a few word processing requirements, you do not need that much resources and you can speed up your device simply by uninstalling and stopping unnecessary tasks and softwares. For power users, students and professionals, with multimedia editing and intensive multitasking requirements, as well as for gamers, an HDD is a slow accessory. Consider using a solid state drive for much faster data read and write speeds.
However, remember that SSDs are also very expensive so you should buy one only for a single partition. Consider buying a 64/128 GB SSD for installing your OS and/or a few graphic intensive programs. Store your files on your HDD only. You don’t need to spend that much for storing images.
The PC is still slow!
Now this is sad. If you have considered all the above mentioned steps and your PC is still running slow, it might be time for you to consider a new PC in your wish list. In such a case, we recommend you research on the internet and ask some trusted friends so you don’t end up buying extra accessories, peripherals, etc. Some companies offer exchange programs for your old devices and there are discounts available near festive seasons. Happy buying!