My computer is running slow, How do I fix it? - BNA iTech

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My computer is running slow, How do I fix it?

Speed up computer

Below are steps for Windows users that can help speed up the computer or determine why the computer is running slow.

Windows PCs don’t have to slow down over time. Whether your PC has gradually become slower or it suddenly ground to a halt a few minutes ago, there could be quite a few reasons for that slowness.

As with all PC issues, don’t be afraid to give your computer a reboot if something’s not working properly. This can fix quite a few problems and is faster than attempting to manually troubleshoot and fix the problem yourself.

Your PC is running slow because something is using up those resources. If it’s suddenly running slower, a runaway process might be using 99% of your CPU resources, for example. Or, an application might be experiencing a memory leak and using a large amount of memory, causing your PC to swap to disk. Alternately, an application might be using the disk a lot, causing other applications to slow down when they need to load data from or save it to the disk.

To find out, open the Task Manager. You can right-click your taskbar and select the “Task Manager” option or press Ctrl+Shift+Escape to open it. On Windows 8, 8.1, and 10, the new Task Manager provides an upgraded interface that color-codes applications using a lot of resources. Click the “CPU”, “Memory” and “Disk” headers to sort the list by the applications using the most resources. If any application is using too much resources, you might want to close it normally, if you can’t, select it here and click “End Task” to force it to close.

Task Manager

Be patient. Don't click anything too fast or try to refresh the page. This will just confuse the computer and it will run even slower. Don't overreact; just leave the computer alone, don't click anything, the best thing to do is just to let it load.

Avoid opening up several tabs at once. Opening up more then two or three of those aforementioned tabs will discombobulate your computer. Clicking back and forth between several tabs probably won't happen either. Save everything you work on several times. Everything! The last thing you want is to have your computer crash as you top off that 10-page essay.

Delete temp files. As a computer runs programs, temporary files are stored on the hard drive. Deleting these temp files can help improve computer performance.
First, we suggest using the Windows Disk Cleanup utility to delete temporary files and other files no longer needed on the computer. 
Windows 10

Temporary folder. Unfortunately, the Disk Cleanup may not delete every file in the temp directory. Therefore, we also suggest deleting temporary files manually. To do this, open the Start menu and type %temp% in the Search field. In Windows XP and prior, click the Run option in the Start menu and enter %temp% in the Run field. Press Enter and a Temp folder should open. You can delete all files found in this folder and, if any files are in use and cannot be deleted, they can be skipped.

(Bad, corrupted or fragmented hard drive)
Run ScanDisk, chkdsk, or something equivalent to verify there is nothing physically wrong with the computer's hard drive.
Run Defrag to help ensure that data is arranged in the best possible order.
Use other software tools to test the hard drive for any errors by looking at the SMART of the drive.

(Scan for malware)
Today, spyware and other malware is a big cause of many computer problems, including a slow computer. Even if an antivirus scanner is installed on the computer, we recommend running a malware scan on the computer. Use the free version of Malwarebytes to scan your computer for malware.

(Scan for viruses)
If your computer is infected with one or more viruses, this can cause your computer to run slow. If your computer does not have an antivirus program installed, you can run Microsoft Security Essential utility to scan for viruses on your computer, as well as remove them. It is also recommended that you install an antivirus program for active protection against viruses.

(Hardware conflicts)
Verify that the Device Manager has no conflicts. If any exist, resolve these issues as they could be the cause of your problem.

(Reboot computer again)
If you have done any of the above steps but your computer is still acting slow try rebooting the computer again at this point.

(Memory upgrade)
Computer memory aka RAM If you have had your computer for more than two years, you may need more memory. Today, we suggest computers have a minimum of 1GB of memory (RAM) for 32-bit system and 2GB for a 64-bit system. By having enough memory for programs to run within memory, your computer will not need to swap information stored in memory to the swap file. If the hard drive light is constantly active, it can be an indication the computer is frequently swapping information between your memory and hard drive.

(Update Windows)
Make sure you have all the latest Windows updates installed on the computer.
If you are on the Internet when your computer is slow, make sure all browser plugins are up-to-date. You can also try disabling browser plug-ins to see if one of them is causing the slowness.

(Update your drivers)
Make sure you have the latest drivers for your computer hardware, especially the latest video drivers. Having out-of-date drivers can cause an assortment of issues, including slow performance.

(Run Registry cleaner)
We normally do not recommend Registry cleaners. However, if you have followed all of the above steps and your computer is still slow, try running a Registry cleaner on the computer.

(Computer or processor is overheating)
Make sure your computer and processor is not overheating. Excessive heat can cause a significant decrease in computer performance because most processors automatically reduce the speed of the processor to help compensate for heat-related issues.

(Erase computer and start over)

If none of the above solutions resolve your issues, another option is to either reinstall Windows or erase everything and then start over.

Erasing everything and starting over can increase performance by getting rid of old software or drivers that may be on the computer and causing the computer to be slow. Installing a fresh copy of Windows, software programs, and the latest drivers help verify there are no software related issues causing your computer to be slow.
Hardware issues

Finally, if your computer is still slow after trying all of the above recommendations, there may have a more serious hardware related issue, such as a failing component in the computer. Examples of failing hardware could include a failing or bad hard drive, CPU, RAM, motherboard, or another component.

You can run hardware diagnostic tests using the (Partition Magic or PC Diagnostic utility).
This utility provides many diagnostic tests that you can run and determine if your computer has a bad piece of hardware.

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