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My computer is running slow, how do I improve its performance?

I don't understand why my computer is running so slow lately

Answer this question I have this problem too

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Installing more ram into your computer can allow you to open new windows and load pages faster.

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This should be unnecessary on most modern systems for average uses. (Provided you have more than four GB of DDR3/4). Modern systems mainly bottleneck at the disk (HDD); in which upgrading to a Solid State Drive, or a high-performance (7200+RPM - non-ecological/buisness) Hard Disk will be a better decision. To find out, it's better to analyze system performance using the built-in task-manager included with the OS and look at what has a high-load. Saying that it is best to install more Memory (RAM) is a cop-out, as it may not alleviate the problem and just end up costing the owner.

If I could down-vote this misinformation, I would.

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Delete files to make more room in the memory of your computer. Freeing up memory on your computer will improve the performance.

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And be sure to delete the items in your trash these still count even though thier trashed

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Viruses can severely slow down your computer. Run anti virus software and get rid of any viruses that are on your computer.

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As well as malware

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Here are some steps to find the exact source of the problem.

Check the PC's current status for Drives, Memory, and CPU usage.

  • Windows 7 and Up: Right-click the task bar at the bottom of your primary monitor and choose "Task Manager" from the drop-list. Alternatively you can try accessing it from the rescue prompt using CTRL+ALT+DEL (This may also work for Vista/XP).
  • Linux/BSD derivitives: In the terminal, or TTY session, enter the command "top"; alternatively, you can use the program htop, or a graphical application provided by your desktop environment.
  • Mac/Hackintosh: No idea, but I believe "top" may work here, as OS X is heavily based on Unix code.

This will show you the aggregate load of each, as well as tell you which process / service is using how much of each.

If your CPU load is near to maximum load ( > 95%), you are likely running more than your computer can handle from a logical/arithmetic point of view. You can either upgrade your CPU, CPU+Motherboard; or you can cut down on the high-load applications and services. If you notice a service using "too much" of the device up, you can try killing the process*. On a Unix-like machine (Linux, Mac, BSD), you can use an alternative process scheduler to optimize how programs are handed off to the cpu; I recommend using wiki.archlinux.org for this sort of thing.

If the bottleneck is the disk, then upgrading to a faster HDD, a smaller (but faster) SSD, or a middle-of-the-road Hybrid Drive may be in order. You can also try multi-tasking less, and killing unwanted applications and services that tend to constantly read/write to disk. One thing to try is installing two or more drives at the same time and use one for booting, the rest for storage and parity/redundancy. This will balance some of the load, as well as providing more throughput for both the system and the programs. If you just upgraded to Windows 10, a common problem is that the old OS files and services can still bog down your drive unless you installed from a disc/usb key. Resetting the OS to it's defaults from the control panel (reinstalling and re-configuring for a base install experience) can help alleviate the problem. Consult a professional, or do your own research before attempting this.

If you are experiencing high-load in Memory usage, there are several things you can do. The easiest thing to do would be to change the paging / swap file on your machine. The instructions for this varies from operating system to operating system, but the general idea is the same: try to match the file size with the total amount of memory installed in your system. If you have eight or more GB of memory or more, using the paging file becomes questionable, as your memory should be able to handle most of what you do without needing it. On linux distributions, you can go even further by changing the "swappiness" value to match your needs as well (or how often the data moves between volatile storage (MEM) and static storage (DISK)). Linux / BSD system also get better benefit from using a swap partition, rather than a swap file; though both are an option.

One of the key things to keep in mind is to multi-task less. More tasks = more system load. If you are not using it, close it. Some programs do continue in the background though, or hide themselves in the system tray. You can either kill these processes or close them from the tray.

Now if you are a gamer, don't run anything else other than the necessary apps (launcher, game, and any recording service if you can support it.) Closing Origin while using Steam, and vice versa, can free up more for your games to use. Also, turning down graphical enhancements for Windows (or your XServer compositor if on Linux/BSD) can be of great use. Also, if your Antivirus Software supports it, try running it in silent or gaming mode while playing. (Don't forget to return it to normal...)

If you are still experiencing problems, or notice a "weird" application on your system, run your antivirus on Full System Scan. Also, try Anti-PUP/Anti-Malware Software to find things your AV software may not pick up. Some good recommendations are: Avast (AV), Malwarebytes (AM/AP), and CCleaner to clean up orphaned and cache files afterwords. Do not run anything else during a scan (even if you "can") and only run one at a time. The scan will constantly be reading from the drive and tampering with files while this is going on can cause a big headache later on; also your hard drive can only read so many bits at a time.

*NOTE: Do not close explorer.exe, your AV program, or any mission-critical software from the task-manager. Don't close anything unless you know exactly what it does. You can attempt to restart them instead, but do not do this while they are in use (Scanning or accessing files at high-speeds.) Do not restart explorer.exe, you may end up with many problems as this is the Windows Desktop environment. Restart (power-cycle) the PC instead if this is an issue.

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Try blowing out any dust inside of it to help it stay cool. Take it outside on a sunny day and do this so that the dust doesn't end up inside. Also, there is a thin layer of what is called "thermal compound" between the CPU and the heat sink. This is supposed to fill in the gaps between the metal surfaces so that heat flows more freely, but over time it dries out and doesn't work as effectively. You can carefully clean off the surfaces of the CPU and the heat sink and then apply a thin layer of fresh thermal compound to help it cool more effectively. Modern CPUs will throttle themselves when they get hot to prevent damaging the hardware, so keeping them cool can help performance.

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First scan your computer for malware. I use malwarebytes. Next see what is loading on startup. For Windows type in the run section MSCONFIG and go to the startup tab and uncheck any program that you do not need to run at startup. Don't worry if you mess up you can always turn it back on the same way. Just keep up with what you turn on and off. Next delete everything in the TEMP folder. Go to run again and type in %temp% hit enter,select all and delete. If everything is done the next thing is either system ram or video ram. Time to upgrade system memory or a good video card.

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You should install a fresh windows on it first. Increase the ram and delete un necessary files from c drive.

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Below are steps for users that can help speed up the computer or determine why the computer is running slow.

1. Make Sure Your Hardware is Sufficient - You can do with software to optimize the function of your computer, making sure you have the proper hardware to support Windows is critical.

2. Clean Your Desktop-

Have you noticed that your computer has been running slower and slower? Do you see the hard drive light often flashing while you wait for the computer to respond to an action?

3. Scan Your Windows System for Errors-

An operating system is a collection of files that perform different functions. It is possible, over time, that one or more of these system files has changed or become corrupted. If this happens, the speed of your system may decrease.

4. Scan for Viruses, Spyware and Adware-

Every Windows computer is vulnerable to viruses. Viruses are nasty little programs that cause both major and minor problems for users.

Spyware and Adware are programs created by companies to find out more information about customers, so they can better market products to them. Usually these programs are not created for malicious purposes. Spyware and Adware can load into computer memory and slow it down.

Periodically scanning and removal of Viruses, Spyware and Adware is a great way to improve computer performance.

5. Uninstall Unused Programs-

Over time, you may have accumulated programs on your computer that you do not use. When a program is installed, it creates connections between the program and the operating system. Even if you don’t use these programs, they can slow down your system. If you have the original program’s installation disk or file, removing programs will free up space on your computer and may speed up your system's performance.

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Michael Tran will be eternally grateful.
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