Computer Running Slow | Top 3 Causes And Solutions

by Rod Dunne on November 22, 2010

in Articles, Performance

Computer Running Slow | Top 3 Causes And Solutions
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Trying to work when you find your computer running slow can be counter-productive and infuriating if the issue does not improve. This article takes a look at three areas of PC maintenance you should focus on whenever performance issues start arising.


Everybody knows that viruses can lead to exceptions and odd behavior in your computer. However, they can also cause performance hits too.

  • Malware viruses can corrupt the registry file and important shared operating system applications leading to performance problems for any programs that use these files.
  • Likewise, you could find your computer running very slow due to viruses running in the background on your system (e.g. sending out spam e-mails) as they use up a large amount of Internet bandwidth and RAM.

Keep your anti-virus applications up to date with the latest definitions and scanning for viruses on a regular basis. If your anti-virus software is unable to fix file system issues then try using a PC maintenance tool such as XP Repair Pro to scan the operating system programs and Windows registry for signs of faults and repair the damage. This tool is capable of downloading up-to-date versions of files (from a repository of over 25 million Windows documents) which invariably include performance improvements as part of the code base.

Free space and virtual memory

The worst case scenario for performance issues is when you find your computer running so slow that it almost starts to freeze. This may well be due to the lack of free space on your hard disk.

The Windows operating system needs free space on the hard disk as this is allocated to the page file/virtual memory for running system commands and third-party applications. Therefore, the more free space there is on your hard disk, the more space for virtual memory to expand. The general guideline to help stop your computer running slow is to keep 10% of the disk free at all times.

You can quickly free up space on the disk by uninstalling any programs you no longer need or by transferring larger files (e.g. music, videos, pictures) to an external HDD. For advanced disk cleaning, you could also try using the tool like Winclear to identify temporary files, cookies and other cached information which can be safely removed in order to free up space.

  • Winclear – Advanced data cleaning utility for clearing free space on PCs and securely wiping internet history.

Running programs

If you find your computer running slow when running specific applications then this is actually a good sign as it pinpoints the problem with one specific piece of software.

  • Open up the Task Manager application on the processes tab and check how much RAM and CPU the application is using and if it is a comparatively large amount (in comparison to neighboring applications).
  • Try checking the application for updates which may resolve the performance issue.
  • You could also check for known performance issues and customer support tickets on the manufacturers website.
  • If you don’t need the program then you could always simply disable it too.

Aside from individual programs, you may notice your PC running slow simply because of the quantity of background services and applications running at once.

  • Use the task manager as above to try closing down disabling applications you are not currently using. Just be sure to always leave an important security applications running.
  • You could also use the Services tool (under administrative tools) to disable any background services from running.

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