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Why is my computer lagging all of a sudden? [FIXES!]

    ✅ Fact Checked
    Updated on October 6, 2022
    John Chad, Bachelor Computer Science Degree & Computer Engineering.
    Written by
    John Chad, Bachelor Degree in Computer Science & Computer Engineering.
    Russel Collins
    Fact Checked by
    Russel Collins
    John is a certified IT & Computer Engineer with a Bachelors Degree. He has worked for a International Insurance Company in the IT department before deciding to become a full time blogger to help his readers. Holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Stanford University.

    Computer lagging. It happens when the processor lags behind and tries to keep up with the demand from the software running on your machine. When this occurs, there are several things that could cause it (although some may only occur under certain circumstances). The good news is that most lagging issues are easy enough to fix.

    There are many different ways in which computers can experience lagging issues. In this article, we’ll cover some common causes as well as how to fix them. There are also some general tips to improve computer performance so hopefully, they will help you out too!

    What Causes Lagging Issues?

    The most common reasons why your computer might start experiencing lagging issues is because of one of four reasons:
    Your hardware isn’t powerful enough
    You have other programs running at the same time which is overwhelming your CPU
    Your operating system has become bloated
    Your CPU is overheating
    Let’s go over each of these areas individually.

    Your Hardware Is Not Powerful Enough

    If you’re using an older PC then chances are you will likely notice lagging issues until you upgrade your hardware. This means that you need to look into upgrading your RAM and/or your central processing unit (CPU), such as adding more cores, increasing speed, etc.

    If you’ve never upgraded before or are unsure about what exactly needs to be done, here are some great resources to get you started:
    What to know before you build your own desktop computer

    You Have Other Programs Running At The Same Time

    This issue is pretty simple to resolve. As long as your computer doesn’t run out of memory, it shouldn’t slow down due to multiple programs being open. However, if you do exceed your available memory then it will eventually encounter a slowdown. Here are some quick fixes you can try to prevent this:
    Close background applications.
    Open Task Manager and close unneeded processes.
    Use Resource Monitor to check if anything is eating up valuable memory.
    Clean temporary files.
    Increase virtual memory size.
    Run disk defragmentation.
    Disable unnecessary startup items.
    Change video settings so that apps don’t take up high-resolution screens.
    Finally, restart your computer.

    Operating System Bloat

    Another way in which your computer can suffer from lagging issues is by having an outdated version of Windows installed. Fortunately, fixing this is fairly straightforward. First, let’s quickly discuss Windows updates.
    Windows Updates & Slowdowns

    Microsoft releases monthly security patches for Windows 10. These patches contain bug fixes and improvements that enhance overall stability and performance. Unfortunately, Microsoft frequently releases massive updates that cannot be downloaded overnight. Because of this, if you want to download them immediately, you must wait for them to finish updating.

    On top of this, Microsoft also continues to release regular feature upgrades for Windows 7 and 8.1 which add new features and functionalities. While useful, sometimes these updates can also cause a slowdown. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the amount of bloat within Windows itself.

    Tips To Reduce Bloat Within Windows

    First off, let’s talk about how to reduce bloat within Windows itself. Many people think that disabling unused services helps but this isn’t true. Instead, you should focus on reducing the number of applications that come preinstalled with the OS.

    For starters, head on over to Settings ” Apps ” Apps & Features. From here, just scroll through the list and remove anything that you haven’t used recently. Alternatively, you can uninstall unwanted programs via Control Panel ” Add or Remove Programs.

    Furthermore, you should consider removing the default browser since it’s rarely used. Head back to Settings ” Personalization ” Search. Under Web Browser, change the dropdown menu to Manage Existing Accounts instead of Use Suggested. Also, you can remove OneDrive.

    Lastly, turn off Store app.
    These changes alone should drastically increase your computer’s performance. However, if you still feel sluggish after making these tweaks, here are some additional options worth trying:
    Uninstall non-essential drivers.
    Disable visual effects.
    Disable AutoPlay.
    Uncheck Sync File Explorer data automatically.

    Clear Space With CCleaner

    One last thing to note is that although Windows does provide ample space for storing files, it’s possible that some of these files occupy large amounts of space. Let’s now explore how to clear free space with CCleaner.

    CCleaner Is An Easy-to-use Tool

    CCleaner is an extremely popular tool for cleaning junk and freeing up space on your hard drive. What makes it even better is that it’s completely free to use. Simply download it onto your desktop and launch it whenever you need to clean up junk.
    To clean up free space, first, ensure that Cleaning is checked under Tools ” Disk Cleanup. Once you’ve confirmed this, press Analyze to scan your entire drive. This process can take a while depending on how big the drive is.
    Once complete, you can choose to either delete the junk manually or select Delete Files to erase individual files. Additionally, you can remove Temporary Files to free up even more space.
    Lastly, if you’d like to view detailed information regarding how much space you’ve cleared, press View details. Now, simply compare the numbers between Before Cleanup vs After Cleanup to see the difference.

    Get an SSD

    A solid-state drive (SSD) is currently the fastest kind of storage medium you can buy. This is because, unlike traditional hard drives, SSDs have no moving parts. That means that reading and writing to them takes significantly less time compared to HDDs.
    While SSDs aren’t perfect, they definitely outperform normal HDDs. So if you own a laptop or desktop that’s relatively old, then switching to an SSD would likely boost its performance.

    Hopefully, this article provided you with some insight on how to fix common lagging issues. If you’re still experiencing poor computer performance, perhaps you should consider performing a system restore.

    We hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and we’ll respond ASAP.