6 Reasons Your Laptop Might be Running Slow
Updated: Jun 27, 2019
#1: You have an overzealous startup
It’s only natural to download programs onto your laptop. In fact, that is probably the very reason you invested in your computer in the first place. Laptops give you the lightweight portability of taking all of your favorite songs, applications, photos, and files wherever you go. However, each and every time you download a new program, it joins the battle for a slot in your computer startup. Unless you have manually unchecked the permission box to disable a program’s self-start at every power-on, your startup is likely clogged with too many applications firing up at the same time. Tasked with getting each program up and running as quickly as possible, you feel the reverse effect and are left watching the clock as your computer struggles to reach your home screen.
Quick fix: Pare down your start up protocol to only the necessary programs. Start everything else up only as you need them.
#2: You’re out of memory
Knowing how much RAM (random access memory) your laptop has is valuable information so you can properly gauge what programs can be run on your PC. The more RAM, the more capacity for running memory heavy programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Signs pointing toward low memory include incredibly slow processing when more than one program is open. Most modern computers handle multi-tasking without missing a beat, but dated or overworked PCs won’t be able to handle many memory intensive programs running at the same time. Even if you’re not actively multi-tasking, you could have a number of programs running in the background slowing your laptop’s performance down. This could be anything from anti-virus programs conducting scans to Dropbox silent syncing files.
Quick fix: You should check on the status of your laptop’s memory usage. Access your PC’s task manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL, and under the processes tab, you will be able to view which programs are hogging your RAM.
#3: Your laptop has a virus
Anytime our computers start to behave out of the ordinary, we immediately assume that malware has infected our device. Although at times our assumptions are mere overreactions, sometimes our suspicions are justified. Malware is designed to corrupt computer processes, effectively slowing down everything on your PC. The many signs of an infected device include :Programs opening and closing by themselves, blue screen of death notifications, overworked hard drive filled with suspicious files, increased amount of pop-ups, sudden slowdown
Quick fix: Run virus and malware scans to find and remove anything suspicis
#4: Your laptop is too old
The prices of our most valued pieces of technology can cost us hundreds to thousands of dollars, so it’s only fair that we expect them to last us years and years. However, with big tech giants like Apple openly revealing that they intentionally slow down old devices to push consumers to upgrade to newer models, tech obsoletion is an unfortunate reality of the digital age. Computers running Windows XP, Vista, or even Windows 7 generally perform far slower than their more contemporary successors with Windows 8 and Windows 10 laptops. With the rapid development of modern computers, older operating systems simply cannot keep up with the many updates most of your favorite applications require in order to run. No one likes settling, so it may be your time to look into a laptop upgrade soon.
Quick fix: Look into a new laptop from a reliable and affordable company.
#5: Your hard drive is full
Think of your hard drive as a refrigerator. Although you’d like to fill it to the brim with goodies and a slew of treats, it could never work in practice. Getting what you need out of it would prove near impossible without things breaking and falling. Your hard drive is the same in a sense. If it’s too full, you’ll find that getting what you need out of it can take too long and be too much work. When you download and install programs, files, photos, and extensive music libraries onto your PC, all of it gets saved onto your hard drive.When your hard drive capacity starts to veer into the 90% range, your computer could be left to perform up to 50% slower than its original speed. Need to check on your hard-drive capacity status? Open “File Explorer” which is accessible by clicking the Windows key and E. Click “This PC” located on the left panel to view the available free storage listed under Windows (C:).
Quick fix: Delete or move files you don’t need on your laptop to other storage, like the cloud or an external drive.
#6: Your browser is overloaded
Whether you depend on your laptop for work or play, you rely on your internet connection to get you through those long days.However, it may be your internet surfing habits that are slowing your laptop down. Since we don’t operate with one track minds, we outsource our many thoughts and ideas to the opening of a new tab. Before you know it, 12 separate tabs are open. Some are playing YouTube audio, some are self-refreshing content, and some are open for reasons you already forgot. When your browser is overloaded with multiple tabs, proper operation becomes difficult because your PC is trying too hard to accomplish too many things at the same time. This also applies to browsers with too many add-ons and extensions. These silent performance hogs slip under the radar, leaving you in a state of distress wondering why your laptop is so slow.
Quick fix: Close those browsers. You may want to go to your browsing history and delete cookies and cached items as well for even more of a boost in laptop speed.
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