- Background programs and processes
- Running too many programs at a time (Multitasking)
- Older operating systems such as Windows 98, 2000, XP and Vista
- Incomplete termination of programs and processes
- Third-party unsupported and incompatible software, plug-ins and programs
- Missing and corrupted system files
- Installing more than one Antivirus
- Installing and running multiple drivers for a single device
- Older and slower Graphics Adapter (AGP card or Graphics card)
- Installing and running programs that require a system requirement which is beyond your system configuration
- Third-party Desktop Themes and Gadgets
- Running virus scan during working on other programs
- Windows Update process, some Antiviruses also slows down computers while they update their virus definition databases
- Low hard disk space
Many of the solutions have been described in a previous post so we'll provide solutions for the rest of the issues. Click Here to see the previous post.
Background Programs and Processes: Many programs and processes run in the background during you work on your computer and you can’t see them normally because they’re required by the Operating System itself. Normally background services don’t interfere with other tasks but sometimes they may significantly slow down your computer’s speed for several reasons. In Most of the cases this happens because of third-party programs or services other than Windows or Microsoft. Viruses are also responsible for slowing down performance using background services and many Viruses actually work in the background and they consume CPU resources and memory and eventually the whole system becomes slow. So you can check which background services are running by using either the Taskmanager or the Services tool. If Viruses are using background services to slow down your PC then you can’t manually fix this. In this case you need an Antivirus to clean that Virus or you might need to reinstall Windows.
To use Taskmanager and detect background services, open Taskmanager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys or by right-clicking on the Taskbar, then clicking on Taskmanager. You can also open Taskmanager from the Run box. Click Start menu, then click Run or press Windows logo key + R to open Run dialog box, then type taskmgr. Now in the Taskmanager window, click the Processes tab. You will see the list of running processes and services. This includes all the active processes including both visible and background programs. Now you can easily end any process that is causing the problem by selecting the process and clicking the End Process button at the bottom-right. However, you might not be able to determine and know which process is causing the problem and you can’t actually terminate all the processes in the list because some processes are used exclusively by the operating system. In this case you should ask for help to someone expert in IT.
To use the Services tool, open the Run box, type services.msc and hit Enter. This will show you a complete set of services, programs and processes. You can easily terminate any program that is causing the problem by right-clicking that service, and then clicking Stop. When you select a service, a description of that service will appear in the left sidebar. This description is useful because it will tell you what this service is actually and will also warn you the potential danger of terminating it by mistake. There are more advanced uses of Services tool and it requires advanced IT knowledge to configure, which is beyond the scope of this topic and it can't be mentioned here in brief. We’ll cover it in a later topic in more details. For now, we recommend you to not terminate any service that you don’t know about the importance of it because you many accidentally stop an important service that is required to run your operating system and your system may crash if you terminate it. So, ask experts for this or you can read this article on How to Manage Services by leading Microsoft Gurus.
Older Operating Systems: The previous Operating Systems by Microsoft such as 98, 2000, XP and Vista were relatively slower than the current Windows 7. They couldn’t utilize the CPU and memory resources much enough to speed up performance that’s why they were slower and often caused hangs and crashed frequently. We recommend using or upgrading to Windows 7 because it is the fastest release of Windows and faster than any previous releases of Windows. To know about Windows 7 Click Here. We’ll cover up the benefits of Windows 7 in more details in a later topic. We also suggest you to upgrade your RAM as much as possible and use 64-bit operating system if you need multitasking.
Graphics Adapter Issues: If you have an older Graphics Adapter or AGP card, or if your AGP driver is missing, or outdated then it may cause your PC to slow down. Graphics Adapter is needed to analyze and process your computer’s visual and graphic elements so if your Graphics Adapter has a driver missing or if its driver is outdated or the Adapter is older, it can’t process your graphic and other visual element properly and eventually you may see a significant slowing down in your computers speed. So if your graphics adapter is older, replace it, or if the driver is missing or outdated then install and update it.
Other issues: Don’t run Virus scan during running and working on other programs unless it is emergency. Some Antiviruses slow down speed during their update process, so use Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), the best Antivirus that never slows down your PC. Windows Update process may sometimes slow down your performance. In that case you should wait for the update process to finish.