You may have noticed that your Windows computer has started to run slow or takes a long time to boot up. If you use Windows XP and Windows Vista to access the internet, then you probably are experiencing this problem. There are many reasons why your windows computer runs slow. This article discusses the top 10 reasons. At the end of this article, I have a link to an article that will provide some help.
1 – Virus, Trojans, and Other Malware
Viruses, trojans, and other malware are some of the main culprits to a slow running Windows computer. Many viruses are introduced to a computer when the user does not have a virus protection software package such as those developed by Norton or McAfee, two leading anti-virus and computer security companies. Viruses are easily introduced from a website or via files loaded onto their computer from an unprotected source. These files or programs will infiltrate computers and perform a variety of hostile, intrusive, and damaging things to a computer and ultimately can spread to other computers via the internet or an internal network.
2 – Spyware and Adware.
Spyware is software that is loaded on your computer without your knowledge according to information provided on the Mcafee.com website. It when you visit websites or load software onto your computer. Usually this software will transmit usage information to a third-party that may use the information for targeted marketing and advertising. In many cases, spyware may be clandestinely loaded onto your computer when you download “free” software or files from a less than trusted website or software source. Sites offering free ringtones or free music downloads are notorious for transmitting spyware and adware. Adware is similar to spyware although it may not transmit information back to a third-party, but it may pop up at inopportune moments and slow down the use of your computer.
3 – Fragmented hard drive
A fragmented hard drive is another reason why you will notice your Windows computer begin to run slow. Files are typically stored on the hard drive or disk in a manner that fills up the available sectors of a hard drive. As files are saved and erased from a hard drive, these sectors may become scattered on the hard disk. As time progresses, the hard disk has to spend more time spinning as it collects or distributes these files when opening a program or saving it to disk. This will eventually lengthen the time it takes to perform these normal operations and will slow down the use of the computer.
4 – Not Enough RAM
RAM or Random-Access Memory, expressed in megabytes, is the computer memory that most computer applications are stored in when they are running. This should not be confused with hard drive storage space since anything stored in RAM will be lost when the computer is turned off. If RAM capacity is too low on a computer and you are trying to run a large application, the Windows operating system will often use hard drive space as temporary storage to run the application. This is known as “swapping” and will cause the computer applications to run slower than if it was stored entirely in RAM memory. If the hard drive is severely fragmented (mentioned earlier) and you have insufficient RAM, then this could cause your computer to run even slower.
5 – Startup Programs & Background Applications
A lot of programs that you install on your computer will automatically load themselves at startup when you boot your computer. These programs will load in the background when you boot up your computer even if you don’t plan to use them during that session. Yet, they are using valuable system resources just sitting there. Many software programs or background applications such as screen savers or applets may also cause a Windows computer system to run slow. The more programs that are loaded or running in the background that are not being used, the slower your computer will get.
6 – Windows Registry Problems
The Windows registry is a database that contains instructions, settings, and options for the Windows operating system. These settings control the hardware, software, and user options for running the computer. It is typically an area that you would not normally access unless you are an experienced user. As more software is installed it increases the memory overhead, which ultimately slows down the system. Sometimes when software is uninstalled, it does not effectively cleanup system files and information is left in the registry. Problems with the Windows registry is another major reason why a Windows computer system will run very slow.
7 – Wireless Connection
A slow wireless connection, also referred to as Wi-Fi, could be the culprit to a computer system running very slow especially if you are trying to access the internet or use a program that relies on the wireless connection. The reasons behind a slow wireless connection could be that too many users are trying to access it at the same time if it is a public Wi-Fi connection or a shared wireless network. Other reasons that may cause your wireless connection to run slow could be problems with the wireless hardware itself or the wireless card in your computer. If you are using a wired connection, the problem may be with that particular service. If you are using dialup, then you are probably going to have problems since so much of the data transmitted over the internet now consists of large files.
8 – Full Hard Drive
When your hard drive is begin to reach its maximum capacity, it could cause your Windows computer system to slow down as the computer works harder to write files to remaining areas of your hard drive. This is related to the fragmented hard disk problem mentioned earlier in the article. In many cases, you may receive an error message that your hard drive is full and this could bring your computer to a complete stop or prevent you from saving files until a solution is implemented.
9 – Graphics Hardware Underpowered
Many computer applications use extensive graphics in their operation especially gaming software, presentation software, and photo editing software. If your computer graphics hardware is not adequate, this could cause your Windows computer to operate very slow as the computer redraws the screen or swaps files between the RAM memory and the hard drive. An underpowered graphics card or applications that exceed the minimum RAM memory requirements may be the primary reasons that your computer will operate very slow.
10 – Anti-Virus Software Too Restrictive
In the effort to restrict viruses, spyware, spam, and other intrusive programs and files, your anti-virus software may be set to varying levels of protection. In many instances, in order to perform its tasks, the protection software may slow down the operation of your computer. Most protection software has varying levels of protection and adjusting these may change the speed at which your Windows computer may run.
These are the top 10 reasons your Windows XP or Windows Vista computer may run slow. To determine how to resolve these problems, read the article 10 Ways To Speed Up Your Slow Windows Computer.