A study by the American Community Survey (ACS) revealed that about that 89 percent of U.S. households had a computer in 2016. That figure has increased over the years as computers become a common feature in homes and workplaces.
Today, people use computers for many different purposes, including entertainment, online banking, socializing, accessing health care, and so on. Of course, every computer experiences certain problems over time. A common issue is slowing down.
If you’ve been asking yourself, “What could be the reason my laptop is slow?”, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we outline nine reasons computers slow down. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Too Many Startup Programs
The programs you download and install on your laptop will always try to find their way into the Startup menu. If you use a Mac, these programs will find their way into Login Items.
It’s the reason you need to uncheck the box for permission, so you don’t have unnecessary programs trying to run in the background whenever your laptop boots up. Of course, there are programs that you should allow to run from startup, such as firewall software and antivirus. Others, such as Microsoft office, should remain closed until you need to use them.
Disable or delete any unneeded programs, and your computer should become faster.
2. The Hard Drive Is Failing
Another common reason for a laptop running slow is a hard drive at the end of its lifespan. Your computer’s hard drive has many moving parts that wear down with time. If your computer’s hard drive is two to three years old, there’s a good chance that it’s already failing.
One way to deal with this problem is to invest in a solid-state drive (SSD), which lasts up to ten years. SSDs are also a lot faster than a standard hard drive. The only challenge with SSDs is that they’re a little more expensive than conventional hard drives, but the upgrade is well worth it.
3. The Hard Drive Is Almost Full
As soon as your hard drive is 95% full, your laptop will start to slow down. At that point, there’s hardly any space to save the files needed to operate programs. In other words, your laptops operating system (OS) won’t know how to run correctly.
Hard drive space is usually occupied by programs, downloads, updates to programs, temporary files, and so on. Therefore, a good solution for computer slowdown is to clear space by deleting any unnecessary files and programs. Be sure to empty your trash too.
4. The Browser Has Excessive Add-ons
Browser extensions such as ad-blockers often enhance the user’s web experience. However, these extensions can also significantly slow down your laptop since they eat up a computer’s processing power.
There are some add-ons, for instance, that download and popup ads whenever you open the browser. The obvious solution is to remove or disable any toolbars and extensions you don’t need.
5. Running Many Programs at the Same Time
Of course, one of the reasons you invested in a computer was so you could do as many things as possible at once. However, running too many programs at once will make your bundle of artificial intelligence begin to falter.
A laptop’s ability to run many programs at once depends greatly on its random access memory (RAM). When the demands of the running problem start to outstrip the memory of the computer, you’ll start to notice a computer slowdown.
Check your laptop’s task manager and disable any open programs that you really don’t need. Depending on the OS you’re using, you may have to shut down any unnecessary programs manually. If you’re wondering, “How do I update my operating system on my Mac?” you’ll be happy to know there are many online resources to direct you.
6. Having Many Browser Tabs Open
Many computer users love to keep multiple tabs open, often because they don’t want to lose links. The result is that the browser hogs up more than its share of RAM.
All new browsers you open are saved in your laptop’s RAM. When you have too many browsers open, you’ll only remain with a little bit of space in your RAM. The result, of course, is that you may have too little room for processing all active programs, which in turn slows down your computer.
The best solution here is to bookmark the links you deem necessary and shut the tabs you don’t need.
7. Overzealous Antivirus Software
Computer hygiene starts with having a reliable anti-malware software. However, some antivirus programs keep running background scans when you least need it. Every time your virus runs a scan, your computer slows down.
The best way to deal with this issue is to configure the antivirus settings so that the software scans late at night when you’re not using the laptop. If you use a free antivirus program that doesn’t come with this feature, you may want to upgrade.
Your Computer Has a Virus
Sometimes, the issue isn’t your anti-malware software; it’s the virus. Most viruses and spyware interfere with how your computer runs. Some hijack the browser, push advertisements, or even crash the computer.
To fix the problem, start by running a malware scan. Invest in a reliable anti-malware tool. Also, avoid downloading suspicious material that might have viruses.
Your Memory Is Inadequate
You may have deep-cleaned your laptop, but notice that it’s still slow. The issue here might be that you don’t have enough memory. Consider upgrading by getting additional RAM.
Certain programs take too much RAM to run. If you have programs that involve huge files, for instance, video editing software, consider getting at least 4GB RAM. The good news is that it’s fairly easy and affordable to upgrade a computer’s RAM.
My Laptop Is Slow: You Can Fix It
Now that you know the reasons why computers slow down, we hope you won’t need to grapple with the issue again. But even if a day does come when you find yourself thinking, “Why is my laptop is slow?”, you’ll know how to fix it.
Would you like to read more great content on laptops? Please keep visiting our blog.