Computer Running Slow?


October 21, 2021

Five Reasons You Have a Computer Running Slower Than Usual, and What You Can Do About It

“My computer runs super slow.” Here at Integris, this is probably the number one complaint we hear from our clients. If you’re dealing with a computer running slowly, we have good news for you: fixing it is probably pretty simple. So simple, in fact, that we’ve assembled this list of solutions to try before you call in your IT guy. When your computer seems slower than before, you’ve probably made one of these basic mistakes below. Here’s what you can do to fix a computer running slow, fast.

1. You Have Too Many Browser Tabs Open

“Have you tried turning your computer off and then back on again?” Help desk techs ask this question first for a reason. Programs in open tabs are the #1 reason why employees have a computer running slow.

We get it. Open tabs make toggling between tasks easy. But if you’ve got a lot of tabs open while you work, ads, popups, videos and more continue to play on those sites in the background. That chews up your memory and activates popup blockers. To fix a computer slow to load programs, try closing out all your applications and open tabs, then shutting down the computer. Let it stay off for a couple minutes, then turn it back on. Chances are good, this will solve your problem.

2. You’re Close to Maxing Out Your Memory

Once you’ve filled up about 85 percent of your hard drive, you can expect slowdowns to begin. Consider it your computer’s early warning system, so you can fix the problem before it’s critical. How do you know if your drive is full?

Open File Explorer, and go to the system preferences page. On the left navigation bar select “This PC.” This will pop up a screen that looks like this.

Your PC’s main hard drive is usually the “C” drive. We generally recommend that every computer have at least 500 MB of available space left on their hard drive. If you’ve exceeded that, it’s time to start cleaning out your hard drive. How do you do that? Try these tips:

  • Empty all the files in your trash bin
  • Move your files to the cloud and eliminate the copies of the files stored on your computer
  • Delete or properly store the files in your downloads folder
  • If you have loaded apps and programs on your computer you’re no longer using, consider deleting them

3. You’re Running Too Many Programs at Startup

If you have a computer running slower than usual when you log into your Windows account, then you might have programs that are trying to run automatically at startup. Fixing that is fairly easy, and generally a matter of simply editing the list of apps and services on your machine.

Here’s how. Open Task manager and click on the “Startup” tab. Go through the list and take out anything you don’t have to have loaded the minute you open your computer for the day. Click on the app name, and choose “Disable.” It’s a simple thing you can do when you have a computer running slower than before.

4. You’ve Neglected Your System Updates

We get it. System updates are a real pain. They interrupt your work, and ask you to shut down when you don’t want to. But if you ignore your system updates, the computer will eventually choke off your download speeds until you complete them. Turn your computer off, and turn it back on. Many of the required updates will run then. Then, press the windows key + N, or look at your notifications center icon in your taskbar, to ensure that all the relevant updates have been installed. If you’ve got a computer running slow, this is a critical step.

So far we’ve discussed fairly obvious problems you could be having when your computer seems slower. But the slowdowns could be coming from unlikely places, like your anti-virus software.

5. Your Anti-Virus Program or Other Automatic Updates Are Slowing Your Speeds

Anti virus software is not optional for your computer, especially in a world with increased ransomware and hacking attacks. But antivirus software can often run right when you need the most memory to work. What to do? Go to your settings and find your updates section. You can usually find a place that will allow you to set your updates for when they are convenient, like at shut down, or at a late time when you’re not expecting to have work to do.

Take these steps, and you will have eliminated all the main ways to deal with a computer running slow. What happens if none of these interventions work? It may be time to get some help. If you’re saddled with a computer running too slow at your business, it may be time to seek the help of an experienced managed services IT provider like Integris.

Where To Go For Help

Managed IT service providers can service issues like a computer running slow. They can also fix network problems, and help small to medium sized businesses that don’t have the budget for an in-house IT department. If you’re in our service areas, Integris can provide help desk services, and strategic network planning that can save your small to medium sized business money.

If you’d like to take a deeper dive on what a managed IT services company can do for you, check our latest ebook. It will give you our insider’s take on how companies waste money on their IT, and what you can do about it. Interested in talking to us about your IT needs? Call us for a free consultation.

Susan Gosselin is a Senior Content Writer for Integris. A career communicator and business journalist, she's written extensively on IT topics and trends for IT service providers like Iconic IT and ProCoders Ukraine, as well as business publications such as,, The Lane Report and many others. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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