We don’t really expect a lot from our PCs. They have to be fast, productive and trustworthy – But for some reason it always feels like our PC meets only one or two of our requirements. Well as for speed, we can now tell you where to get started.
1. Outdated hardware
As strange as it might sound – a lot of people don’t realise that aging computers do actually get slower – not because the hardware actually gets older, but mostly because of the modern applications we start using on our computers. Computer hardware actually have a longer lifespan than most people think, sadly applications just got more resource-demanding than they were when you first bought your computer.
So how do you fix that problem? There’s 2 approaches to this: Either upgrade your hardware or get a new PC. There’s one thing to keep in mind though: Sometimes upgrading is just not worth it. For example, installing more memory won’t be a problem most of the time, but if your processor is something from the 1900’s, it’s probably time to start saving.
2. Outdated Operating Systems
By now we know the facts: You like Windows XP because it’s woked well for you from day number 1. Maybe you’ve never seen a reason to upgrade or you have but you just haven’t had the time yet. Well take it from us: There’s no better time than the present.
Why? Well if it hasn’t already, your operating system might soon start lagging, giving you errors and telling you that it doesn’t support certain applications. That’s where the trouble begins.
If anything, a lot of people treat their operating systems like cars. They love them when they get it, drive it around for a couple of years and when something breaks, they just get it fixed. A spare part here and a new pair of tyres there. Sooner or later the manufacturer will stop making the car and shortly after that- the spare parts. Exactly what Microsoft does every now and then.
The problem is that eventually getting a new car would just be the next logical step. At first you’d be against it, but before you know it, you’d love your new car just as much as your previous one; you just have to get used to it.
3. Hard Drive space
Although we’ve got it as number 3 on our list in this article, a full hard drive is probably one of the most common culprits when it comes to slow computers.
This is because without realizing it, our computers use a small amount of space on the hard drive as a temporary storage space when it’s performing tasks. This process is called “paging”. When our hard drives get full, the computer can no longer make use of that space and loses one of its “super powers”.
This means that it’s either time to delete some stuff, get a bigger hard drive or even start loading your data onto other drives. If you’re quite tech savvy, you can even perform a disk cleanup, which should give you a nice head start.
4. Hard Drive Fragmentation and Errors
Do you still remember when you had to “Defragment” in the days of Windows XP? If you do, you’ll probably also remember the impact it had on your computer and how much it helped.
It’s important to keep in mind that computers aren’t perfect. Errors are not uncommon in the world of IT and your computer often needs to be serviced to prevent these errors from becoming problems. Some of these errors are often linked to the hard drive and it is for this reason that defragmenting and checking the drive for errors is extremely important (especially when it has aged a bit).
5. Outdated device drivers
Every device you have connected to your computer (like your screen, mouse and keyboard), has a small piece of software on the computer that helps the device interact with the operating system. This small piece of software is called a device driver. As with any software, bugs are not uncommon and these pieces of software need to be updated regularly to iron out these bugs.
Unlike other programs, most drivers won’t let you know when they need to be updated and updating them is a complex process. Nevertheless, it has to be done to let your computer move full speed ahead.
6. Malware, anti-virus software and problems with the system files
So called “PC Optimizers” and other malware often infect our computers. 90% of the time we don’t know it before it’s too late. Most of the time these programs will alter or delete important files your operating system uses. This will ultimately slow down your PC and may lead to critical errors.
Most people don’t know it, but the software used to prevent malware, often also causes slow PCs. This is simply because anti-virus software is extremely resource-demanding. Rated the anti-virus software with the lowest perfomance impact on PC’s, you might want to look BitDefender for your slower PC.
In this case prevention is actually more important than treatment. Chances are that by the time you figure out there is a problem, it might be too late. Keep your anti-virus up-to-date and get a technician to help the first time you receive any errors.
Finally – The Mix
It is highly uncommon for only one of these things to be a cause of a slow PC, it is usually a mixture of a few. This is why it is probably best to have a slow PC checked out by a qualified technician before it becomes a critical problem.
Have more questions or suffering from a slow PC yourself? Why not get into contact with us via live chat or ask us your questions in the comments? We’re always here to help!