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Six reasons why your computer is very slow

By Benjamin Mbuu | June 25th 2020

You purchased a brand new computer; hyperthreaded i5 or i7 with a clock speed of 2.9 GHz quad-core, a whole 8 GB RAM, and 500 GB hard disk. In the initial months, your machine was incredibly fast (of course, as you expected). Opening 20 tabs of Mozilla Firefox browser simultaneously never interfered with the speed, and even the RAM and CPU hogging google chrome did not affect the efficiency of your computer.

You would play games at any time of the day, not worrying about the display on the task manager, and regardless of how many applications were still actively running on your computer. You could open both Crackdown 3 and God of war simultaneously and play them alternately without your "pet's" NVIDIA GTX 1080 SLI graphics card making any fuss. There was no heat on the sides, no annoying sound of a fan, just you and your cool computer.

Then a particular trend began, albeit subtly. The fan slowly became a little bit louder; you also noticed that your computer's sides began to heat after some time of continuous running. The startup time became longer; a Windows or Linux Operating System that usually took a few seconds to display your desktop now takes "ages, "thus lengthening the overall boot time.

The gaming application that used to load within a blink of an eye started taking little more seconds, and after some minutes into the God of war, you noticed that your graphics were not as smooth as they had been. With every new day, your computer became "lazier," and opening five tabs of Mozilla Firefox at the same time became a sort of a patience test. They would load and load and load as you impatiently wait, complaining how unfair and dishonest your internet service provider (ISP) has become of late. You even send a mail expressing your dissatisfaction with the speed of internet connection lately, but they assured you that they have not tampered with your bandwidth in any way. But you also realized that even the other applications and utility software that does not depend on the internet to run are taking an equally long time to initialize.

Nowadays, you push the power – on button, go for breakfast, and come back to find your computer still booting. You are so frustrated by your once "efficient best friend" that you feel like smashing her on a rock. Remember Lucas Hinch? The Colorado man who not many years ago had enough of his lazy computer? The chap took the "damn thing" outside his house and shot it eight good times! Eight. He was later charged with discharging a firearm within the city. Before you go to such extremes, let me briefly tell you few things that might have slowed down your machine and what to do to restore the speed.

Viruses – This is one of the major causes of a slow computer. All computers are prone to virus infection since we all, at some point, connect to the internet. A virus could be sending copies of itself out over the internet in the background or downloading additional viruses or spyware onto your computer. This can slow down your system. To be safe from this, make sure you install good anti-virus software and keep it updated.

Dust - Sometimes, the problem is not internal but external. Is the back of your CPU casing matted over with dirt? This can prevent ventilation, which cools the processors as they whir away to run Photoshop, Office word, Outlook, Skype, etc. Heat increases the likelihood of malfunctions and crashes. When you notice your Computer heating up, you should check that its vents, usually on the sides, aren't blocked. For example, please don't put your laptop on something soft like a pillow where it can sink in.

Your hard drive is failing - Yes! You read that right. Hard drives have moving parts, so they all fail eventually. There's no way to guard against it except backing up your files. As for solid-state drives (SSDs), which don't have moving parts and are theoretically less likely to break down, their data can still be corrupted. This can extremely slow down your computer, since locating the boot and other system files become a time-consuming task. To fix this, run a hard drive check once you notice any difference in your computer speed. Almost all computers today have a disk check utility. Utilize it. You're running too many programs at once - Doing a trillion things at once is exactly why we have computers, but, at some point, your little bundle of artificial intelligence will falter. Your computer's ability to run multiple programs at the same time hinges in part on its RAM (random access memory), which allows it to switch from processing one program to another. Still, if the demands of the open programs are outstripping your computer's memory and processing power, you'll notice a slowdown. To fix this, close the open programs that you are not using and lighten your computer. You will see an improvement in speed.

Your hard drive is 90% full - When your hard drive gets to 90-95 percent full, you start seeing things moving at a crawl. An entire hard drive can also prevent a computer from starting up. It's best to optimize your space as much as possible – move stuff to the cloud, or delete the things you're not using. Let your hard drive, especially the partition that stores your boot files and operating system, has as much free space as possible. This enhances a fast startup. Deep clean your computer of unnecessary data from unused programs to defunct downloads and temporary files.

You have too many startup programs - Newly downloaded programs often try to get their way into your Startup menu (Windows) or Login Items (Mac). If you didn't uncheck the box for that permission, you could have dozens of unnecessary programs vying to be ready and running as soon as your computer boots. The more the programs your computer runs at startup, the more the time it takes and the slower it appears. While some programs – such as anti-virus and firewall software - should be allowed to run from startup, others – such as iTunes or Microsoft Office – could quite easily stay closed until you need to access a file from their digital depths. To fix this, open your startup configuration and uncheck the unnecessary programs from running at startup.

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