What causes computers to slow down

Computers begin to run slow due to a variety of different reasons. This is a regular occurrence, so there is no need to panic if your desktop or laptop begins to run slow. It can simply be due to everyday activity on your computer, such as running programs and searching the internet all the time.

Here are other reasons why your computer may be performing slowly, requiring you to either fix it on your own or seek out professional help.

Too Many Programs Running at Once

Too many programs or browsers can be open at once, which may cause your computer or laptop to start performing slowly. It is possible for you to multi-task and try to get many things done at once, but not for your computer. There is only so much processing speed and memory that your computer can use up at once. With this being said, your computer will not allow the constant switching from one program to the next.  This is an even more significant concern for apps such as Spotify, which uses a lot of your computer’s memory to download music and, in turn, can slow down your computer.

Maxed Out Memory

Your hard drive or memory can be maxed out, causing your computer to run slower than usual. The reality is that even before your computer’s memory is full. It will begin to send out signals by slowing down. You may notice a difference even at just 85%. Keep in mind that application updates, downloads from the internet, and running programs are the leading causes of a slow computer system. Do not attempt to install something that takes up a lot of memory and space such as Photoshop on your computer that is already old or moving slow.

Unnecessary Software Updates

It is also possible that you may have an overload of software updates running on your computer, causing it to perform slowly. This will require you to do a bit of exploring to find out what updates are causing these issues. Most updates are automatic and run without you knowing. Constant software updates can take up much needed hard drive space and come in between the normal functioning of your computer. Only keep the necessary auto-installers on.


It is also possible that your computer is infected with a potential virus. You will immediately know if your computer is infected with a virus. Pop-ups and random demands for ransom are just a couple of signs that your computer is infected with a virus. There are some viruses that you will not know of that kind of hide and run in the background. These are serious because they can steal important personal information that you have stored on your computer,s such as your passwords and financial information. This is why it helps to have an anti-virus program installed on your computer and active to prevent viruses from taking over your system. Viruses, if not fixed, can eventually cause your computer to crash. You need a program that will be able to detect operations that are happening on your computer, one that has the maximum security.

Too Many Programs Running on Start-up

Many programs are automatically programmed to load as soon as you log on to your system.  This is similar to automatic installation updates that are done on your computer. This can cause a massive drag on your computer’s speed if you are unaware that these programs are running in the background. However, the good news is that these programs can be disabled.

Some of these issues can be a real drag and warrant some actual computer support, while other issues causing your computer to slow down can be fixed with a simple upgrade or low maintenance. Some of these upgrades can be done on your own if you know. IT support is very beneficial is correcting problems that your computer is having. If you are unsure of anything, please consult with an IT professional.

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