Why is my computer running slowly?

Why is my computer running slowly?

Why does your computer run more slowly than it did when it was new? Does it have malware or some kind of virus? Sometimes those "upgrades" that come in, with or without your approval, could be partially at fault. Other times, it could be the "cure" that makes the computer sick.

Modern software, even the operating system (OS), uses much more computing power than it did just a few years ago. When that five-year-old PC running Windows XP OS was new, it handled the software demands fine. 

Now, with the upgrades, the OS is prepared to operate a quad-core processor with four megabytes of memory or more. That could be part of the slowdown problem.

If you used the "free" virus protection that came on the computer and then found that the renewal required actually paying for it, you probably installed one of the many fine, free security programs. Here's the problem - multiple security programs sometimes compete with each other and actually find each other as a threat.

Computers will slow to a virtual halt as the security programs fight it out. One program must be uninstalled before the second is loaded. Sometimes this will even require a registry edit to completely remove all the facets of the first program.

Another factor that can slow down an otherwise competent computer is the existence of programs running in the background (TSR's). Almost every programmer in the world sincerely believes that their software is the most important on your computer, so they design the programs to start at boot up and run in the background while the computer is on. 

The only benefit is that this allows their program to start up about one second faster when you click to open it. Most of us would sacrifice that one second for a faster running computer the rest of the time. Closing these background programs can make a big difference in your computer’s performance.

Any competent computer service technician should be able to speed up a tired computer in very short order. The cost of this service is well worth getting a couple of more years out of that favorite old PC.

About this Angie’s List Expert: Larry Black is the owner of A Computer Partner, providing computer services in Atlanta. Since 2011, A Computer Partner has specialized in new computer setup, installations, data backup and recovery, system upgrades, printer repair, anti-virus scans and more.

As of December 3, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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