My PC is slow, so what should I do?

When your computer is slow and crashes frequently, it can be frustrating and affect your productivity. There are several potential causes for this slowness, ranging from unnecessary files stored on your computer to hardware issues such as dust on the hardware.

To fix this problem, it's important to understand the underlying causes of your slow computer and how to fix them.

If you want to speed up your PC and improve its performance, follow the instructions in this article to find out the causes and simple and effective solutions to achieve it.

1) Find and remove malware

First, it is important to check whether your computer is infected with viruses or malware. These can significantly slow down your PC's performance by consuming a significant portion of RAM and CPU.

To detect them, you can use a quality antivirus software, whether free or paid. It is important to regularly schedule scans of your computer to detect potential threats and maintain the security of your system.

2) Remove the dust

Dust accumulation can be a major cause of computer slowness. Dust can clog the air vents, which can cause the system to overheat. This can force the processor to slow down automatically to prevent damage to the computer's internal components.

To eliminate this problem, it is advisable to gently clean the inside of the computer. For this you can follow these steps:

  • Shut down your computer completely and unplug all cables.
  • Open the computer case by removing the screws or locking clips.
  • Use a handheld vacuum or a soft brush to remove dust from fans, heat sinks, and air vents.
  • Also clean the dust accumulated on the internal components such as the motherboard, processor, RAMs and hard drives.
  • Close the computer case and replace the locking screws or clips.
  • Turn on your computer and reconnect the cables.

It is important not to use compressed air to clean the inside of your computer because it can blow dust inside certain components, which can damage your computer or increase the risk of overheating. It is also advisable to do regular dust cleaning to maintain the performance of your computer.

3) Windows updates and up-to-date drivers

If despite having cleaned your PC of dust, it is still slow, let's move on to the next technique which is to update windows and device drivers.

Windows updates often include fixes for bugs that can slow down your computer. Likewise, driver updates can improve the performance of various components of your computer, such as graphics card, hard drive, sound card, etc.

To make sure you have the latest updates installed, go to the "Windows Update" section in your computer's settings.

When you check for updates, your PC will also check for the latest device drivers.

4) Use ReadyBoost to improve performance

ReadyBoost is a Windows feature that improves system performance by using additional RAM in the form of a removable storage device such as a USB flash drive or SD memory card.

To take full advantage of this feature, it is important to have a storage device with at least 500MB of available storage space and a high data transfer rate.

Here are the steps to follow to use ReadyBoost:

Insert the storage device (USB flash drive or memory card) into an available USB port on your computer.

  • First, select the USB drive you want to use for ReadyBoost.
  • Then right-click and select Manufacturing .
  • Now click on the "ReadyBoost" tab.
  • Select the "Use this device" option and choose the amount of storage space you want to allocate to ReadyBoost. It is recommended to use between 1 and 2 GB of space for optimal performance.
  • Click "Apply" and then "OK".

5) Adjust Windows appearance and performance

Windows visual effects may look good, but they can slow down older PCs. Disabling these effects can give your computer a facelift.

To access the visual effects, you can use the Start menu search box, by typing performances and selecting Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows.

In the first tab, Visual effects, make sure that the "Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing them" is not checked. You can also check "Adjust for the best performance" to disable all effects.

Don't forget to click Apply before validating the changes by clicking on OK.

6) Defrag and clean your hard drives

Another common cause of computer slowness is the accumulation of unnecessary and temporary files on hard drives. It's important to clean hard drives regularly using software such as CCleaner, which allows delete temporary files, cookies, logs and other unnecessary data.

After cleaning, you can defrag hard drives to improve computer performance. Defragmentation has the effect of consolidating fragmented files into a single block, which can significantly speed up disk read and write times.

You can defragment your hard drive by following these simple steps:

  • Click the Start button and type Defragment and optimize drives in the search bar.
  • Select the hard drive you want to defragment and click Analyze.
  • If the disk needs defragmentation, click Optimize their campaigns.
  • Let the defragmentation process complete.

However, it is important to note that defragmentation is only effective when the hard drives have enough free space (at least 15%). Before defragmenting the disks, it is therefore important to clean up and free up disk space. In addition, it is advisable to schedule defragmentation on a regular basis to maintain computer performance.

7) Uninstall unwanted programs

To improve the performance of your computer, it may be useful to uninstall programs that are no longer needed or which can slow down your PC.

Uninstalling these programs can free up storage space and improve your computer's overall performance.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Click the Start button and open Control Panel.
  2. Click on Uninstall a program.
  3. Select the program you want to uninstall and click uninstall.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation process.
Info: Avoid uninstalling programs critical to the operation of your operating system. If you're not sure what a program does, you can search online to learn more about that program and whether it's safe to uninstall.

8) Increase virtual memory space

Another solution to make your PC fast is to increase virtual memory space. Virtual memory is a form of additional memory used by your computer to handle applications that require more RAM than the system has available.

Here are the steps to increase virtual memory space on your PC:

  • Go to the start menu and choose the icon Parameters.
  • In the settings, select System.
  • In the section System select System information.

  • Find the Related Links section and click Advanced system settings.
  • In the section performances click on Settings.
  • In the tab Advanced click on Parameters in the section Virtual memory.
  • uncheck Automatically manage paging file sizes for all drives.
  • Select option Custom size and specify the initial and maximum size of the page file in megabytes. It is recommended to leave the minimum size and the maximum size at the same value.

Info: Keep in mind that increasing virtual memory too much can slow down your computer due to the extra load on the hard drive.
It is therefore important to find a balance between the size of virtual memory and the other resources of your computer to guarantee good performance.

9) Disable programs that slow down Windows at startup

When many programs launch when your Windows PC starts, it can cause significant slowdown. This problem is common when you install new software on your computer, some of which are configured to run automatically when Windows starts.

To optimize the start of your computer, you can control the programs that start automatically. There is a feature built into Windows that allows you to do this.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • First, click on the Start button and type msconfig in the search bar.
  • Next, click on the msconfig application to launch the System Configuration Manager.
  • Click on the Startup tab to access the list of all programs that run automatically at startup.
  • Uncheck the boxes in front of the programs you don't want to run automatically at startup.

  • Finally, click OK to save the changes and restart your computer to see the boot speed improvement.

10) Replace Windows with a lightweight operating system

Unfortunately, if despite all this, you still have problems with PC slowness, you will have to replace Windows with a lighter operating system.

Choosing an operating system can have a significant impact on your computer's performance. Popular operating systems, such as Windows, consume more system resources. And with each new version of Windows, resource requirements increase, which can cause slower performance on older computers.

This is one of the advantages of lightweight operating systems: they consume fewer resources and are therefore faster. If you currently use Windows and find that your computer's performance is slow, it may be a good idea to replace Windows with a lightweight operating system for increased performance.

Here is a list of lightweight operating systems that you could install on your PC easily: