One day you may find the once-fast computer is now running very slow just like a tortoise, and this is undoubtedly much troublesome or even makes you crazy. Well, do you know what causes this to happen? Most people blame on hardware (like RAM, CPU, and hard disk), which might be the exact reason, but actually there are many other factors that can generate the issue. Next, 11 possible reasons will be introduced. With knowing the exact reason, users can solve the problem with ease. Of course, not all reasons are covered here, and this post just introduces those we have found so far.
Note: this post just focuses on Windows platform and does not provide solutions for Mac users.
8 Logical Factors That Can Make Your Computer Run Slow
Firstly, let’s talk about logical faults since the slow performance issue caused by these factors can be solved without users costing money.
Reasons 1: Your Computer Has Been Running for a Long Time without a Reboot
After a long-time running, your computer may generate lots of junk files, like caches and random access memory (RAM), which makes it harder for operating system to locate needed files. However, rebooting may clear all or a part of such files so as to speed up your computer. In addition, rebooting makes it possible to detect Windows update or software update. With the latest version of system or program, our computer is always running smoothly.
Tip: this solution is not suggested for server users. After all, server needs to work all the time. In addition, cold reboot is recommended only when everything fails, because this kind of boot may make hard disk or other hardware corrupted. To reboot a computer, users had better go to Start, click the triangle which is after the Shut down option , and choose Restart (in Windows 7).
However, if you reboot computer regularly rather than run it for a very lone time, the slow performance issue would be caused by other factors. Now please check the second reason.
Reason 2: Boot Partition Is in Low Disk Space
Some users may be unclear of the concept – Boot Partition. Actually, from Microsoft we know it is the partition where Windows is installed. If you install more than one operating system, there will be more than one boot partition. When this partition is running in low disk space like this:
Windows will cost much more time to locate needed files or programs, and at the same time there will be no enough space for swap files and temporary files. Thus, our computer runs slow.
To deal with this issue, users had better enlarge the boot partition rather than reparation hard disk during reinstallation. Well then, how can we extend a partition without losing data? Firstly, you can try doing it in Windows snap-in Disk Management utility (take Windows 7 for example): right click the Computer icon on desktop, choose Manage, select Disk Management, and right click the boot partition to see whether the Extend Volume feature is available:
If the function can be chosen, extend the selected partition by following instructions. However, if it is grayed out, third party partitioning program is recommended. For freeware, just try using MiniTool Partition Wizard since this program is capable of enlarging a partition by taking free space from any other place on the same hard disk and brings no damage to data. For detailed steps, please see Extend Partition.
Of course, you can also delete unnecessary files such as never used programs, temporary files, and cache files to release space, but space got via this method is always limited, and needed files might be deleted by mistake. Once files used to boot Windows are deleted, your system would crash. Therefore, to extend boot partition is highly recommended.
However, if your boot partition is full of free space, the problem might be caused by the following issue.
Reason 3: There Are Many Startup Programs
With lots of startup apps, our computer will take a long time to boot since all these programs need time to start. In addition, most programs will continue to run after the computer starts successfully, which may eat up our RAM or other resources so as to make the computer run with great efforts.
Of course, you can shut down programs which are not frequently used but hogging resources (from the lower right corner of the screen or from Windows Task Bar Manager) to free up RAM each time Windows boots successfully, but this is troublesome. And the best way is to disable unnecessary startup items thoroughly. Pease take the following operations to do the job: go to Start menu, then type msconfig in the Search box, and run this program as administrator to get the following window:
Under the Startup tab, all startup items will be listed. You can manually deselect those you do not want to run during startup. Of course, you can also Disable all, and then select those you want to launch.
However, if the computer still runs slow after disabling unnecessary startup programs, please see the fourth possible factor.
Reason 4: Running Multiple Programs Which Are Hogging RAM
Nowadays, users pay more and more attention to data security. In order to furthest prevent their private or important data from being attacked by virus or malware, they often install more than one anti-virus software or anti-malware. Nevertheless, this kind of program is always taking up lots of memory especially when they are working or updating. If you have doubts about this judgment, please open your Windows Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc or Ctrl + Alt + Delete) to see how much CPU and RAM these programs take up when they are working.
Actually, there is no need to run multiple anti-virus programs at the same time, because most of them work with the same principle. Please try closing extra apps to see whether the low computer issue is fixed. If this also does not work, there might be fragments on your hard disk.
Reason 5: There Are Lots of Fragments on Hard Drive
If users store and delete data on hard disk frequently, fragments are easy to emerge. If the disk is with a lot of fragments, it will do much extra work to seek data, which definitely slows the speed of our computer.
Under this situation, the best solution is to defrag the disk, which is the process of making fragmented data saved continuously, and users can try using Windows Disk Defragmenter to do the job: click Start button, type disk defragmenter in the search box, press on Enter, and run this program as administrator. Then, choose the needed drive (partition) to defrag. For details, please see our previous post Defrag Hard Drive.
But if this is also not the culprit for your slow performance issue, the computer might be suffering from virus infection.
Reason 6: Your Computer Is Attacked by Virus or Malware
Our computer might be attacked by virus or malware even if anti-virus and anti-malware have been installed. There are 2 possible reasons: we forgot to start the program; new virus hasn’t been added to virus database. Attacked by virus or malware, the computer is always running slow or even crashes. Therefore, it is very necessary to run a full virus or malware scan if your computer runs slow after you visited a unknown website.
Reason 7: Partitions Are Misaligned (Especially for SSD)
If you are running Windows on a solid state drive (SSD), take this factor into consideration when your computer is running with great efforts. In general, running system on SSD will be much faster compared with running it on mechanical hard disk (HDD), so lots of people who are seeking for speed have upgraded their system disk to SSD. But this should be on the base that partitions (specially boot partition) are aligned correctly. If users operate partitions on SSD frequently or partitions on SSD come from other disk via copy, they may become misaligned. With unaligned partitions, the computer will cost much more time to boot Windows and access data.
Well then, how to check whether our partitions are aligned or not? With the help of MiniTool Partition Wizard, you can do it with ease. Launch the program and we can see the following interface:
Here, please select the solid state drive and choose “Align All Partition”. Then, the program will detect and show how many partitions to align. At this time, please confirm the operation and click “Apply” button. Afterwards, MiniTool Partition Wizard will align partitions automatically, which brings no data loss.
If all solutions above fail to speed up your computer, most probably Windows is out of date
Reason 8: Your Windows OS Is too Old
Any program should be updated timely to add new functions or fix bugs. When an operating system is out of date, lots of problems like slow computer issue may come. At this time, it is highly suggested that users reset computer to its factory settings or reinstall Windows, and detailed steps can be found from the internet.
However, both reset and reinstallation may lead to data loss. If there are files you need, please backup them in advance. To backup data saved in one partition, try using the “Copy Partition” feature in MiniTool Partition Wizard. To make a copy for data stored on the whole hard disk, make use of the function “Copy Disk”. Both of them will help you save much time.
These are all logical factors and solutions we found. If none of them works for your situation, you may need to think about hardware issues.
3 Hardware Issues That Can Slow down Your Computer
1.Not Enough RAM
RAM (Random Access Memory) is a type of storage for computer systems and comes with the computer. Generally, the more programs you run, the more RAM you need. With enough memory, you are able to access data at a very fast speed. However, if the RAM of your computer just meets a software’s minimum requirement, the computer is very like to run slower and slower until crashes frequently. Therefore, when your computer slows down every time you are running or processing large files, you can try adding more memory for your computer, and this may make your computer faster again.
Tip: different computers may require different types of RAM, and some computers have reached the maximum amount of memory. Therefore, users had better consult professionals before purchasing.
2.CPU Is Aging or with Poor Performance
CPU, which is short for Central Processing Unit, is the electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logical, control and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions. The better performance CPU has, the faster your computer runs. Therefore, when CPU of a computer has been used for a long time or is with poor performance, try replacing the old one. However, a good CPU is always quite expensive for common people.
3.Hard Disk Is Either Logically or Physically Damaged
When there is something wrong with the hard disk (especially the disk installing Windows), our computer may run like a snail or even cannot start. Well, how can we know whether a disk is logically damaged or physically damaged? Actually, under such circumstances, disk check might be performed automatically during the process of startup. If the check can’t pass, hard disk might be seriously damaged, and users need to replace it. In addition, even if the check passes in the end, their computer would run quite slow and even crash.
To fix this problem, users can try using Windows built-in command CHKDSK at first. Take Windows 7 for example: click Start menu, type chkdsk, and run it as administrator. Then, chkdsk.exe will check disk and fix errors automatically:
However, if this does not work, users need to make use of professional third party utility like Easy Disk Drive Repair to fix the disk. When both solutions are proved to be useless, they may need to replace current hard disk, which is definitely the last solution.
Now all possible factors that can slow down your computer have been listed, and corresponding solutions are also shown. If you are troubled by slow computer performance issues, find the exact reason by referring to possible reasons we give, and then feel safe to try our solutions. It brings no damage to both data and system.
Tip: you’d better check logical errors at first, because you can fix this kind of errors without costing money. Only when logical errors have been excluded, take hardware issues into consideration. After all, users should pay for new hardware devices.