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What to do when your Window PC Begins to Slow Down

Windows PC slow down

We all do experience those times when we feel frustrated as our PC begins to slow down like an aging grandmother. We feel like getting things done on the computer really fast especially when we are constrained by deadlines only to be disappointed by the computer’s seemingly non-cooperation.

Those are the times when we feel betrayed by our PC. The slowdown seems like the machine is conspiring against our efforts at getting things done. Sometimes when our PC begins to slow down we begin to loose time and money which happens to be the big problem.

Why Your Window PC Begins to Slow Down

Only a few people are observant enough to actually know when PC slowdown has begun. For this reason, the cause of slowdown may never be known and most likely to reoccur in time even the PC is replaced with a brand new one.

  1. Most PC begin to slow down over time when the user continues to find more and more useful and not so useful applications to run on it. This problem is compounded by the fact that there is too many software we install that tend to take more than their decent share of computer resources thereby causing Windows to become overwhelmed and run slow.
  2. There are a lot of people out there who seems to have the mindset that the abilities of a PC are unlimited and ought never to slow down. The computer is expected to be able to do any and every task thrown at it no matter how resource intensive the task may be. Good news - your computer has a lot of limitations especially in its processing power, memory size, storage capability, and programming flaws. Expecting magical performance from you PC always could mean a tough time for you and your PC whose only natural response to begin to slow down.
  3. If you buy the wrong machine for your line of work, do not expect miracles to happen. I have seen people that believe that any computer can do anything. Frequent frustrations happen when the computer is expected to spend no time processing anything from startup to program loading or even to downloading
  4. The presence of Malware in the computer can be responsible for the sudden slowdown of a PC. This usually happens when an installed program is gotten from a source which is not legitimate. Malwares are primarily servants of the owner’s bidding and would execute codes that attempt to subvert the standard routines of your PC in order to achieve the owner’s intent.

Avoid Whatever Can Slow Down Your PC

Very many people fail to understand that just as eating one bad (wrong) meal can ruin the stomach, one bad software installed can cause our PC to slow down in a way that it literarily grinds to a halt.

The kinds of programs that usually do this are those that are poorly written that ends up using computer memory and resources in a way that do not follow the laid down rules.

Warez or Cracked Software

Reverse engineering is a software alteration technique aimed at bypassing the security and copyright (protection) feature usually found in commercial software. The software thus modified can have malicious code embedded with the intent of subverting the standard operation and routine of the host computer.

First Line Action to Restore a Slowing PC (Optimizing Performance)

For an end-user to being to experience a slowdown in the performance of user PC, it thus means that once upon a time, the PC was performing optimally. This is probable the first few months after unboxing the PC.

The following considerations can help the PC end-user to keep the computer working optimally once it is noticed that the machine is beginning to slow down.

Graphics and Animations

Fancy Graphic User Interface (GUI) animations tend to use a lot of computer resources. If performance becomes really paramount, these should be turned off since they usually do not provide critical functionality to the end-user.

Remove unwanted files from hard disk Drive (HDD)

The hard disk (Not SSD – Solid State Disk) is usually a mechanical device that requires time to “seek and find” files stored in it. There is a difference between the time it takes for Windows to find a file or resource stored in a virtually empty disk and one Terabyte(1TB) disk that is 98% full.

For optimal performance of your hard disk endeavor to maintain a maximum of 50%  full HDD and use external or cloud storage as a backup for storing large files like audio and video files. Also, remember to empty the recycle bin. It is the default location for deleted files on Widows machines.

Do house cleaning on your HDD at least once a year. January is a good month of the year to do this chore for many people.

Remove non-useful Programs

Uninstall image -PC Begin to Slow Down

Windows Uninstaller

Programs that are no longer in use or programs not likely to be used for a long time have no business taking up space in the PC. Get rid of them and re-install them whenever the need arises.

The problem with unused programs is not usually the space they occupy but the background services they run which has no benefit to the end-user or the operating system. Uninstall them to lighten the load on Windows.

Reduced the number of start-up programs

Startup Apps -PC Begin to Slow Down

Windows Starup Programs

Whenever Windows starts, there are a number of programs that get started with it automatically and begin to run in the background. Some of these programs use a lot of processing power and memory resources. They can slow down your computer beyond your imagination.

Identifying and removing programs that you don’t need at startup will further improve PC performance

Run hard disk Defragmentation Program

I am not a fan of this operation but Microsoft recommends it. Fragmentation happens when through time there is storing and removal of store resources on the hard disk which can affect the response time to seek data by Windows.

Disk Defragmenter rearranges fragmented data by closing “gaps” created by fragmentation thereby improving performance. I would usually do this once in a year at a time when my computer is idle because defragmentation takes time to complete especially for modern high capacity hard disks

Check the performance Monitor

This shows how the programs you run affect your computer performance. The monitor measures the percentage of processor resources used over time. Lower values translate to less work for the processor or fewer programs being executed, and consequently better performance

Target: start button then type in perfmon.exe in the search box (or Win + R then type in perfmon.exe in the search box).

Remove or disable unwanted Browser Add-ons

My web browser is probably the most tasked software on my machine. I usually open up to 20 tabs sometimes. Then more tabs mean more demand the computer resource.  Added to this are the many add-ons while I also keep a lot of browser add-ons as a web developer.

Avoid opening up to 20 tabs on Mozilla Firefox as that much tabs on Firefox can cause your system to hang not to mention Internet Explorer. I find Google Chrome more stable with many tabs

For best performance, keeps open tabs to less than 10 across all browsers

Target: Settings -> Extensions

Install Anti-virus and Anti-malware

Windows machines continue to need the services of anti-virus software as malwares can significantly cripple Windows single-handedly. Get a well-rated product for your machine.

Restart the Computer

This is perhaps one of the most neglected tips for getting your computer to work optimally. I use a computer that I cause to run a dozen programs at the same time and in order to keep tabs with the myriad of activities on the machine, I tend to avoid closing important stuff I would like to return to sooner or later.

Restarting the machine whenever it seems not to be living up to expectation can do a lot of good. This should be done at least once in 7 days especially if the computer is used regularly. A lot of programs run services and processes that fail to terminate whenever owner programs have long been closed. Restarting the computer refreshing the system by closing all programs and freeing the computer memory.

On Failure to Correct a Slowing Down PC

When all hope of rejuvenating a slowing down PC has been lost, it just may be time to start slowing down the rate of lost time.

Backup Important Files First

While Windows may leave your personal files intact after the factory reset, it is important that a failure in this task may mean that you may never get important files back.

Do Factory Reset

At this point, a factory reset for the slowing down PC just might provide the needed solution required to restore a slowing down PC back to health. Every manufacturer seems to have its own custom method. Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for doing a factory reset or get help from a professional.

Warning: Factory reset might erase all the files on your disk. It is important to take necessary precautions before embarking on factory reset


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