Why is my Computer Running Slowly

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Why is My Computer Running so Slow?

In the computer repair business, one of the most common questions you get asked is "Why is my computer running so slow?"  While there are hundreds of possible reasons for this, it's more common that its one of 4 or 5 issues.  The most common reasons that computers start running slowly, or take forever to start up, or even freeze or blue screen always seems to boil down to a few minor issues.

Lack of Hard Drive Space

One common misconception for the everyday computer user is that they should be able to fill their hard drive to capacity without any problems.  But the exact opposite is true.  Sure, you're 2 TB hard drive might have a ton of space, but doesn't it make sense that the more information you have on a drive the longer it takes to find?  Think of your computers hard drive like a room full of files.  When your computer starts digging through the house, or hard drive, to look for that one word document that you need, the more stuff it has to dig through, the longer it is going to take.

So how can I start to clear some space?  The easiest way to do this is by getting rid of things you don't need anymore.  Pictures of your drywall damage that you had to snap 500 pictures of can go if it's been repaired right?  Clear up some of the random bloatware, crap programs and toolbars you've downloaded over the years, move your movie files to a new drive or delete them completely.  Just remember, if you haven't used it in over a year, the likelihood is you won't be using it again... period.

If you're not willing to delete files and need more hard drive space, check out our hardware installation and upgrades services and we'll help you add more storage space to your computer.

Fragmented Hard Drive

To play into the "crowded house" example from the previous paragraph, think of your hard drive as if it were not an organized house.  When your hard drive is full, and especially if it's been around for a while, your computer will start writing on any space it can find.  Thought you deleted a file by putting it in the recycling bin?  Nope, it may not be visible, but there are traces of that file in your system, on your hard drive, fragmenting it up.  Think of it like leaving a bunch of files that we're supposed to be in one pile in a bunch of random different piles.  It would take a while to dig through and get everything together right?  The same applies to your computer's hard drive.  When you hard drive is heavily fragmented, it has to skip around all over the drive to find the fragments of the file your attempting to open.

The simple solution to this is to defragment your hard disk.  Use your windows search function and type in defragment and it will point you in the right direction.  Click a few buttons and you're on your way.  If you leave your computer running 24/7, Windows 7 (and possibly Vista) will allow you to set up a schedule to defragment your hard drive during times when you're not on the computer.  If you don't want to leave it running all the time, try to defragment your computer every few months.

Tons of Start Up Programs

If you've noticed that your computer is taking too long to start up, you might want to check out what programs are set to run automatically when your computer turns on.  The more programs your computer runs at start up, the slower it will be when it boots.

Virus or Spyware Infection

If you've been good, and occasionally perform normal computer maintenace and are still having problems, it's possible that your computer may be infected with some type of virus, spyware or malware.  If you're not sure how to remove viruses or malware from your computer, check out our virus and spyware removal services


Article written by Taylor Clark of myRise Design.  Taylor is a professional web designer and internet marketing expert who absolutely loves blogging!  He spends most of his free time developing new marketing strategies and working with clients to develop their brand or business online.  If you're interested in improving your business exposure online, check out his website at www.myRiseDesign.net