Why is My PC So Slow? Help for PCs running Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP
PC Speed is always a very topical issue on Drivers.com. Slow computers seem to be a problem across all PC users from those running Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 to users running XP and Vista. If you are one of the many people frustrated with the speed of your PC, then the time you take to read this article will save you hours of frustration in the future.
The main causes of a slow PC can be divided into two categories: hardware and software. This particular article deals with the software problems as these are most easily addressed. Click here to read about PC Speed issues relating to hardware.
The main issues effecting PC speed are:
- running low on space on your hard-disk
- problems with Software Drivers – corrupt, missing or out-of-date
- corrupt or fragmented data
- Spyware and Malware
Low Hard-Disk Space and a slow computer
Your computer needs a minimum of up to 500MB free disk space in order to carry out basic activities. This is basically to accommodate temporary files and swap/ page file size. Both of these allow the computer to speed up certain processes by storing information temporarily for easier access. If your computer doesn’t have enough hard drive space for temporary files or swap file increases, this will result in a significant slowdown of your PC.
To check if you are having a problem with hard-disk space:
- Select My Computer
- Right-click the Drive you wish to check (usually the C: Drive)
- From menu select Properties
- View space allocations under General tab
If you are a Windows 7 or Vista user you can simply select the Computer icon and view the space allocation in the right pane.
Problems with Software Drivers linked to Slow PC
Outdated or corrupt Software Drivers can cause serious PC performance issues. A slow PC can mean that your Drivers need to be updated or replaced. This can be done by going to the manufacturers’ website and looking for updates for your various Software Drivers. You will need to know the manufacturers of all the various devices (such as Sound Card, Printer, Bluetooth, Modem etc.) and then search for Driver updates for these devices.
Corrupt or fragmented data
Data will naturally become fragmented over time as program files get scattered around the hard-drive of your computer. Microsoft developed the Defrag utility in order to ‘tidy up’ these files and make the computer filing system more ordered and therefore accessible. Enabling easier access to data will increase your computers speed.
To run Defrag in Windows 2000, XP and Windows 7:
- Double-click My Computer
- Select the Drive you wish to check (usually the C: Drive)
- Right-click this Drive and select Properties
- Select the Tools tab and click ‘Defragment now’
To run Defrag in Windows 95, 98 and Windows ME:
- Click Start
- Click Run and type ‘Defrag’ into the text box
- Click OK
- In the Defrag Window select the relevant Drive (usually the C: Drive)
- Click OK
Spyware and Malware causing PC Speed Issues
Antivirus programs can often let some Spyware and Malware through the net. It is important to install a good anti-spyware/ anti-malware tool and keep it up-to-date.