Why is My Computer So Slow?
Updated: Jan 15
It’s only natural that the speed of a computer becomes slower the longer you use it, particularly if it's an older computer. The good news is that whatever the cause of the slowness, there's always a way to turn it around again. In fact it's not that difficult to get your old computer running even better than it did when you first got it!
Any computer will become slower with time as the more you use it the more build-up there will be of things that drag on the performance of the system. These include processes and services running in the background, and data filling up your hard drive. As you install applications, surf the internet and download things, your system will inevitably become increasingly clogged.
The hard drives of older computers contain an arm which moves back and forth across the disk every time you access data. Moving parts such as this eventually slow down and wear out with use. The disk is also likely to become corrupted over time, resulting in decreased performance.
Another major cause of loss of speed and performance, particularly if it has happened rather suddenly, is the presence of malware or a virus. Fortunately it’s not difficult to solve any of these issues and in fact all three issues described above can be readily dealt with in one hit should you wish to do so.
Slowness caused by the gradual build-up of things running in the background can be resolved simply by erasing your hard drive and reinstalling the operating system. In the case of a Windows PC, you could even choose to reinstall Windows 10 without having to erase the hard drive first. In doing this you’ll have a clean installation of Windows 10 and the contents of your old installation will be moved to a different directory. You’ll then be able to copy your files back across following the reinstallation of Windows.
If the cause of your slowness is an aging hard drive then you can simply replace your hard drive with a new one or, even better, with a Solid State Drive (SSD). Then reinstall your Windows or macOS operating system.
In the case of being infected with malware, most viruses and malware can be readily eliminated through the use of an appropriate malware scanner. Or for a totally failsafe removal of the malware, you could erase the hard drive and reinstall your operating system.
My preferred solution for most older computers is to replace the hard drive with an SSD and then reinstall the operating system. In doing so you will have a clean installation of Windows or the macOS, running on a much faster drive, and free of any trace of malware.