We all face this periodically. But what are the reasons why the performance of your laptop or desktop drops over time?
The Windows operating system naturally becomes sluggish as you download programs, install extensions, surf the web, create files and fill your hard drive with movies and music.
For non-geek, this would make one wonder what went wrong. Could it be a virus? “Did I download some software a while ago that could have caused it?”, “Did I corrupt some system files unknowingly?” Well, the answer is more or less – Yes, but the truth is it depends most on you, the user. The better you keep your computer maintained, the faster your PC could be.
First, ask yourself two questions:
- Does your computer have a good anti-virus software?
- How often do you scan your system for viruses?
If you haven’t done these already, start now. Beyond these, here are some whys that could be the reason for your slow computer:
- Your browser is piled up with add-ons: There are numerous browser extensions that are created for useful tasks, but many of them are bad apples that make your browser sluggish. These add-ons may proclaim to be popup blockers or search protectors and all that. However, many plugins, and extensions can hog a lot of precious RAM in the background, leaving a lot less for important tasks such as multiple tabs and other programs to run efficiently. Alternately try using a browser which uses lesser resources.
- Having too many tabs on: You might be able to do a zillion things at a time with the super system that you have. But browsers today do a lot more than they used to, and hence are resource hungry. When you browser is running, there might be instances when your computer might not be capable of handling multiple programs. Programs while starting up usually need a good amount of free RAM, which when unavailable, can cause system instability. Close those tabs you are done with! Bookmark tabs which are to be revisited later on.
- Your PC requires a memory upgrade: These days a minimum of 4 GB is found in all new computers. But many of us have laptops & desktops running Windows 7, 8.1 or even Windows 10 with 2GB Ram! In the Task Manager, under the Processes tab you will be able to see what programs are using how many resources. Under the Performance tab you can see an overall picture of all the system resources. Do a quick check if your device is using over 90% RAM consistently. If your computer is over 2 years old or if your usage is stretching the installed RAM, the simplest (& cheapest) thing to do is to upgrade your computer’s memory.
- Rebooting your system once in a while: There is some ‘unfinished business’ going on within the PC, especially when multiple updates, patches, and ignored restart requests are being mounted on top of each other. Some of the changes require a force restart, while others just “request” a restart now versus a restart later. A healthy practice is to “Restart” once a day, as this can keep your computers functionality unaffected.
- Keep your Windows updated: Sometimes you may ignore the platform that you are using. But it is vital to keep your latest OS update installed, and you might notice the change with a better performance. Operating Systems are continually optimised for better performance, resource usage and added features.
- Housekeeping: There are a bunch of good tools available, over and above your antivirus software that can keep your device running clean and happy. Tools such as CCleaner, RegCleaner, among others help you do this with ease. Just run these once a week to weed out potential buggy files, dead registry entries, browsing history, dead links and the like; and you will see a noticeable difference in the performance of your device. Windows has several built-in tools such as Defragmenter and Disk Cleaner which are meant to be run by the user from time to time.
If your computer is slow despite running all these checks, try using a registry cleaner (with caution!). If the problem persists, just call Gapoon.