How to fix a slow computer
Are you having problems with a slow PC that seems to take longer and longer to carry out everyday tasks?
If your problem relates to slow start-up specifically – click here for article related to slow booting computer (see ‘autostart’ section) >>
What causes PC to run slowly?
Causes of slow PC – software
- running out of hard disk space
- Out-of-date or corrupt software drivers
- Unnecessary files/ Corrupt data
Causes of slow PC – hardware
- Corrupt Operating System
- Bad Hardware
- overheating computer
Causes of slow PC – software: running out of hard disk space
If your PC is low on disk space then you will experience much slower PC performance. To check your hard disk space in Windows:
1. Double-click My Computer icon on the desktop
2. Select your hard drive – the various drives (CD etc.) are denoted by letters and your computers’ hard drive is usually called Local Disk (C:)
3. Right-click and from the drop-down list select Properties, you should be able to find details on your hard drive space here
If your free hard drive space is less than 500mb then this is likely the cause, or one of the causes in the slow running of your PC. Click here to read our article on how to free up hard disk space.
Causes of slow PC – software: Out-of-date or corrupt software drivers
If you think outdated or corrupt software Drivers could be causing your PC to run less efficiently, you can download and run a driver update tool. If there are problem Drivers identified you can then choose to find and download them yourself, or you can opt to register for automatic Driver updates.
Causes of slow PC – software: Unnecessary files/ Corrupt data
If you have a number of Software Programs running on your PC, check through them and remove any you do not use. This is not only because these Programs take up hard drive space on your computer, but they may also have become corrupted over time.
Do the same with files and folders on your desktop and elsewhere on your computer. If you do not need a file anymore, then delete it!
Causes of slow PC – hardware: Corrupt Operating System
A corrupt Operating System can also be the cause of your slow PC. You should use the Windows Update Tool to ensure your OS is up-to-date and all relevant patches are downloaded. We would recommend you automate these Windows Updates so they will install automatically. For Windows 7 and Vista users:
1. Select Start > All Programs > Windows Update
2. Click Change Settings (in the left pane)
3. In Windows 7 select Install Updates Automatically (recommended) under Important Updates; Vista users select Include recommended updates when downloading, installing, or notifying me about updates under Recommended Updates
4. Click OK
XP users can enabled automatic Windows Updates by:
1. Select Start > Control Panel
2. Select Automatic (recommended) in the Automatic Updates dialog box
3. Click OK
You can also use the Windows File Checker Utility to repair corrupt OS files. We will be posting a separate article on this shortly.
Causes of slow PC – hardware: Bad Hardware
If you can find no other reason for the slow performance of your PC, then the problem could be hardware-related. This could be a problem with the motherboard or hard drive so is not something you would likely be attempting to fix yourself. If you have exhausted all other options, and think it may be a hardware issue, you could take it to a PC repair shop or invest in a new computer!
Causes of slow PC – hardware: Overheating Computer
If your computer is overheating this can cause it to slow down. You will probably know by touch and sound (your will hear the computer’s fan working overtime) if your PC is overheating. One of the main causes of overheating PC’s is dirt or dust restricting the airflow. As well as cleaning your computer, you should ensure there is nothing placed on or against the computer that restrict the airflow and operation of the in-built fan.