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5 Common Causes for Computer Slowdowns and How to Fix Them

All computers inevitably slow down at some point. The more we use them to download programs, store files, install extensions, and fill up the hard drive with files, movies, and photographs, the slower they get.

Fortunately, keeping your computer running at a rapid pace is relatively straightforward, providing you develop some basic electronic housekeeping habits.

Here are the top five reasons computers slow down and how you can fix them.

  1. Your hard drive is failing: Hard drives fail eventually, so make sure you backup your files on a regular basis. Some users claim that solid state drives (SSDs) are more reliable than hard drives because they don’t incorporate moving parts. However, that’s nothing more than a myth and the data stored on them can still be corrupted.

    The fix: Check your hard drive regularly. Try HDTune, a great program that diagnoses hard drive issues.

  2. You operate too many programs simultaneously: In this day and age, we expect computers to be able to do many things at once. But if you put too much pressure on them, computers will falter. Essentially, if the demands of all the programs you have open outstrip your computer’s processing and memory capacity, the device will slow down.

    The fix: Make sure you shut down any programs you’re not using.

  3. Your antivirus program is working overtime: You need to have an active antivirus program to protect your data. However, if your antivirus program is running scans at inopportune moments, you may find them sucking up all your processing power.

    The fix: Adjust your antivirus settings so that the scheduled scans run late at night or at a time when you’re not using your computer for other tasks.

  4. You have too many programs launching at startup: If you have many programs set to launch on startup, they will compete for resources as they attempt to be the first up and running when your computer boots up. This will most definitely have an impact on the speed of your computer.

    The fix: Disable programs that you don’t use from starting up automatically.

  5. You have insufficient memory: If you’ve taken all the actions outlined above and your computer is still very slow, it may be that you simply don’t have enough memory.

    The fix: Make sure your computer has a minimum of 2GB of RAM. If you perform -heavy tasks on your computer, you’ll need at least 4GB.