Unfortunately, the computer starts to run slower over time. There are many reasons for this state of affairs, and among the most popular are those that you can deal with yourself. Windows likes to “clog”, so after identifying a heavy process or program that is stressing the hardware, the PC will run faster. Here, we will tell you how to find a program that is excessively slowing down your computer.
Differences between the application manager in Windows 7 and Windows 10
Task managers of different versions of Windows are almost no different. The only difference is in the interface. Also, the Performance tab in the Windows 10 version displays more detailed hardware information.
Where an overly heavy process might be located
A heavy process that loads up the OS is usually running in the background. It is quite easy to find it, all active and background programs are displayed in the Task Manager.
Different programs use your computer’s resources in different ways. That’s why it’s worth finding out which application is loading your computer, that is, go into Task Manager and look at the list of running applications. In the table you will see how much active programs load the processor, memory, video card and hard drive.
Then disable the most resource-intensive application. If you remove such a process, there is a chance that you will disable an unused application running in the background, needlessly devouring your computer’s resources.
With Windows startup, some of the installed applications also run. It’s a good idea to take a look at this list and reduce it. In Windows 10, all you have to do is go into Task Manager and click on the “Autoloads” tab. After selecting a particular item in the lower right corner of the window, select “Disconnect”.
The applications that are there are usually not used at all. Therefore, it makes no sense for them to be automatically enabled. It is advisable to check how the clients of online stores like Steam, Origin, Epic or uPlay are doing – they do not need to be launched with the OS at all. The same is worth doing with applications from game hardware manufacturers.
You can often find information that by disabling certain services, you will speed up your computer. They supposedly take up a huge amount of computer resources that could be used for something else.
This is all true if you have hardware that has, for example, 128 MB of RAM. That’s right, it says MB, not GB, that’s not a typo. Right now, these services do not affect PC performance.
Step-by-step search algorithm
The search for a heavy process is done as follows:
- Right-click on the bottom pane and click “Task Manager.”
- Go to the “Processes” tab and see how busy each PC component is.
- The heavy processes are on the top positions, if you don’t use these programs – just close them.
But if the situation hasn’t changed after closing the programs, then the problem is something else.
If it is not a problem with the program
Performance problems are not always related to very heavy applications or processes. It can be a problem with software, drivers, hardware or due to malware.
As a rule of thumb, you should have at least 10% free disk space. There is no such thing as too much disk, they always fill up quickly with files, which means time to clean up.
In Windows 10, you should first use the Disk Cleanup utility (click the search button and type “Disk Cleanup”), if that doesn’t help, manually. This procedure will delete all temporary Windows files and data from applications such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Adobe After Effects. These programs like to leave files behind after projects that will no longer be used.
Disk optimization is also useful if you are using a hard drive rather than an SSD. After defragmentation, the OS will organize the files so that they can be accessed the fastest. Windows 10 will mostly do this automatically, but sometimes it’s worth looking into this feature and clicking “Optimize.”
Search for viruses and malware
This may sound trivial, especially in the era of operating systems that constantly monitor for malware – but when the OS is slow, it’s worth installing free anti-virus software and checking that the cause of the problems is not a virus or program like adware and spyware. Or at least use one that is implemented in Windows. If something is eating up your computer’s performance from the inside, there’s a good chance that the threat will be detected by Windows 10’s Defender.
As we use anti-virus programs, they are the ones that can cause problems with slow OS performance. An anti-virus package that constantly monitors your computer consumes its processing power and slows it down. However, if you do not want to get rid of external antivirus software, it is worth finding a middle ground and choosing an application that protects well and does not negatively affect Windows performance.
And as a precaution, you should not click on anything, do not open strange links in emails and generally show some common sense when browsing the web and downloading programs. If you find some paid application for free, there is a high probability that you will download some crap with it.
The cause of OS lags is also the wrong drivers, corrupt or missing them completely. For Windows 10, you should always have access to the latest versions of drivers, because the OS itself installs the main drivers when it detects hardware.
Most often, these problems occur when you upgrade Windows to a newer version or when using less common devices. To solve this type of problem, you should choose one of two methods – manual or automatic. The first allows you to find out the cause of the malfunction of this equipment, and the second is simpler and more effective, but does not allow you to check what caused the problems.
To update the driver manually, you need to go to “Device Manager”. Now you need to find the device on which you can see a yellow warning triangle icon. Double-click on it to see its properties. In the properties window, go to the “Driver” tab and click on “Update”. The system should find the latest version of the driver on the Internet.
To automatically update the drivers, you should install Driver Booster or a similar program. Immediately, when you run the application for the first time, it will perform a full scan and check which devices need a software update. Once the scan is complete, you will see a summary. You can manually review and select which components to update. The program automatically creates a restore point, downloads and installs drivers. Once the update is complete, restart your computer – the problem should go away.
Cleaning the hardware from dust
When OS-related actions fail, it’s worth checking to see if the computer’s lags are due to dust that has accumulated in the case. Unfortunately, classic cooling systems based on fans and radiators resemble a vacuum cleaner, because they suck up dust and debris inside. This causes dirt to accumulate on the cooling system and reduce its efficiency. This, in turn, leads to higher temperatures inside the case and deterioration of the computer itself, and can also be associated with OS freezes due to the processor reaching too high temperatures.
To clean the PC of dust, open the case and carefully remove the cooler. Clean with either compressed air or wipes. The same applies to laptops, although it is more likely to open the equipment after the warranty ends.
Problems with hardware
When all of the above methods fail, it is worth thinking about replacing components of your computer. It is not about getting rid of all the hardware, but the additional RAM and SSD, on which it is worth installing Windows, will greatly improve the performance of the device.
It’s also worth thinking about replacing your processor and cooling system – the one you have on your computer may not be efficient enough. Users also praise replacing or, rather, updating the CPU’s thermal paste. However, these procedures require experience and if you are not proficient and confident in your abilities, it is better not to do it yourself.