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July 2, 2015

Why Is Your PC Running Slowly and What Can You Do About It?

It’s hard to believe that the now ubiquitous PC has been with us for more than 30 years.

Over all those years, people have occasionally complained their PC is running slowly for one reason or another. That complaint has often been accompanied by much pulling out of hair in frustration.

This can be almost as commonplace today as it was 30 years ago. So, what are the causes and, more importantly perhaps, what exactly can you do about it if it happens to you?

Here is a discussion of some possible commonplace origins and remedies.

Your PC is Getting on a Bit

As software becomes ever more sophisticated and powerful, it tends to make increasing demands upon the hardware platform hosting it — in other words your PC.

Now you can’t really generalize about these things but, if your PC is, say, three or four years old or more, there is a fair chance that the latest versions of software are asking it to do things it’s perhaps not really capable of. Even if it can actually do what’s required, it may struggle to do so quickly and efficiently.

You’re Going Outside of its Performance Envelope

A slight variation on the first theme arises when you have purchased a relatively low-end PC and have placed on it some extremely complicated and resource-hungry software. It’s a bit like trying to take a very basic family saloon car and asking it to perform well in a Formula One race.

In both this and the first case, you may be forced to consider upgrading your equipment.

Your Hard Disk is Fragmented

This doesn’t mean that it is physically broken just that, for very good reasons, lots of data that should be logically stored in the same location on the disk is, in fact, spread over lots of different locations on it instead.

That means every time you try to look something up, your hard disk is working far harder (and, therefore, more slowly) to find the various bits of data you need.

The answer to this is to run what’s called a disk de-fragmentation program.

Your PC Has a Virus or Other Malware on it

In the absence of any obvious other cause, the classic symptom of some types of virus infection can be a PC that is running very slowly.

You can use the Task Manager to get at least some idea of what is going on inside your PC. If something is running you don’t recognize or vast amounts of resource are being consumed when your PC appears to be doing nothing at all, then you may need to call a specialist in computer technical support to check if you have a virus (unless you’re sure you know how to do so yourself).

Your Security Software is Grabbing too Much Resource

Sometimes individual programs, security and firewall systems are culprits, consuming very significant amounts of your computer resource while they are trying to do something such as a full virus scan etc.

If you are trying to do things at the same time, your progress may be badly impacted.

Once again, this isn’t always easy to diagnose unless you know a little bit about how your PC works and you might need to contact a specialist provider of IT consulting.


Trying to diagnose why a PC is running slowly isn’t always easy.

Unless you are technically literate, you might struggle to do so and that’s why having a relationship with a good provider of IT support services is a smart idea.


Vikas Sood is the CEO of Server Sentry which helps small businesses in Melbourne get the most out of their business.