5 Reasons Your Computer Might Be Running Slow

Thanks to the growth of technology, it’s now possible to work at home and find success. However, it can be hard to achieve that success if your work computer is not running at peak performance. In fact, if your tools of the trade are lagging, it can be crippling to your online business.

There are few instances more exasperating than a new laptop or PC which takes all day to run programs or execute tasks. While you may be tempted to pull your hair out and purchase a new machine, your slowdowns may be preventable. To that end, we will discuss several avenues you can pursue that very well may be the cause for your computer’s slow performance.

Your Hard Disk Space is Full

As time goes on, you will inevitably download programs, applications, photos, files, and other types of data to your computer. These things take up memory, with some filling up more space than others. If you are making your living in graphic design, you will no doubt use up more memory and hard disk space than would someone who merely uses their computer for internet browsing. For this reason, it is advised that you purchase an external hard drive.

Eventually, as more and more files are saved, your central processing unit will inevitably run out of space or grow dangerously close to that capacity. Memory is necessary for programs to run smoothly and it’s recommended that you leave at least 15%-20% space of hard disk available for your computer to be able to run at peak performance. Consider downloading a program like WinDirStat in order to view disk usage statistics and then use it to remove some unnecessary files. If you wish to manually check your disk space, take the following steps:

  • Hit Start
  • Open Windows File Explorer
  • Click on your PC
  • Look below the Windows (C:) to see the percentage of hard disk space available
  • If the hard disk is full, remove programs that take up space

Programs are Running in the Background

A common culprit for computer slowdowns is background programs that automatically and continuously run without your directive. Such programs like ESET are necessary to protect you from malicious software but should be set to scan manually by your command, rather than on a continuous loop. Continuous scans use up a ton of space and processing power, which in turn lead to slower speeds. In order to see background programs and the CPU percentage they require, take the following steps: 

  • Open up Windows Task Manager
  • Go to Processes
  • Click on hidden and visible programs
  • Double click the programs you no longer want to run in the background
  • Hit “End Task”

Monitor Refresh Rate

The refresh rate of a monitor can have a marked impact on input lag. For designers, such issues can seriously throw off your ability to operate at peak levels. Your time management might be thrown entirely out of whack by this small but annoying slowdown. Read up on your monitor refresh rate, including what it is, how to view it, and ways to change it.

Stop Auto Launch

Many programs to try and launch automatically every single time you turn on your PC. While our four productivity apps for students are fantastic, if they are set to auto-launch, they can lead to lags by diverting memory and processing that should be working elsewhere. If you wish to stop the auto launch, take the following steps:

  • Open up Settings
  • Hit “Applications”
  • Click “Startup”
  • Uncheck apps you do not want set to autorun

Remove Browser Add-ons

Browser extensions are fantastic tools that can improve your time on the internet. That said, they may be responsible for slowdowns, especially if you have a lot of them running at one time. Sometimes extensions crossfire and send out conflicting commands that affects speed while browsing. By clicking on “manage extensions,” you can see which add-ons you are running and how much space they take up.

Last Word

Computers are very sophisticated tools so there are several explanations for why they may be running at a snail’s pace. Carefully go through all of these suggestions to see if they are, in fact, the cause underlying your computer’s laggy performance before buying a new device.

Featured image by RawPixel

Michael keeps himself busy by writing about design, arts, psychology, and how they intertwine. He grew up in a small town in Montana and now resides in Austin with his wife and dog, Bailey.