7 Reasons Why Your PC is Slow (and How to Fix It)
We know… it’s pretty frustrating when you sit down to play the Baby Shark video but your PC starts acting like a minnow. While it’s OK (and normal, according to most users) for your Windows PC to run a little slow, it’s usually not a good sign when the spinning dots on your screen chase their tails for more than an hour or two.
So before you run out and buy a Mac, we decided to share the top 7 reasons that your PC could be running slower than it usually does, and what you can do about it!
You think your PC is running “slow as molasses?” Well, you are probably right! In spite of your best efforts to keep the molasses far away from your PC, as the experts recommend, we all know accidents happen. Using your PC in your kitchen is just asking for trouble!
Molasses can really gum up all the levers and timing gears in a modern PC. If you see any evidence of molasses in your PC (sticky keys, sweet smell), here’s what you can do. First, remove as much molasses as you can by tilting your PC so that the liquid drains out near the CTRL key. (Be careful, as some may also seep out from the spacebar area.) When the molasses stops flowing, unplug your PC (very important!) and then use your kitchen faucet to rinse out the keyboard until you see clear water running out of the PC. Note: Only use warm water — hot water may dissolve the paint on the keys and make it hard for you to know what you are typing.
6. Phase of the Moon
People use the old “phase of the moon” excuse for everything from nighttime visibility to ocean tides, which of course is just ridiculous. But rest assured, the phase of the moon plays a big part in how your PC runs. If you don’t believe this, read a few of the internet “ask-the-expert” forums. The PC user always starts out saying, “Last week my machine was running great, but today it is really slow — and I didn’t change a thing!”
There can be no other explanation for such behavior other than the phase of the moon. This is simply a feature of our solar system and, unless your last name is Bezos or Musk, you don’t get to choose your own universe. So wait a week and see if your PC perks up. If it doesn’t, wait another week.
5. Ran Out of Internet
We tend to forget that The Internet is not a renewable resource. Every hour you spend on The Internet costs the Earth 12,000 trees, according to a recent study by Yew Research. But sometimes, the trucks that deliver those trees don’t arrive on time — and when they are late, your internet connection may experience a slowdown or come to a grinding halt. When that tree pipeline goes dry, so does your Baby Shark video stream.
This is a serious problem facing our digital world. But if we all work together, we can keep The Internet from running out for many years to come. Here are just a few things we can do to preserve The Internet for future generations:
• Plant 12,000 trees per hour, per person, for the rest of our lives.
• Approve overtime pay for tree-delivery truck drivers.
• Don’t stream videos when you are sleeping and/or driving a truck.
• Stream videos in black-and-white only (color videos use up more trees).
Note: If you frequently run out of internet, but your neighbors have no connection issues, then you may have an internet leak. If so, you will need a computer programmer or other IT professional to check the cables around your house for wasteful internet leaks.
4. Bed Bugs!
So, you decided to save a little money and — against your spouse’s advice — stayed in a cheap hotel. But when you got home, you noticed your PC was running slower than ever. Sadly, that is exactly what happens when bed bugs find a home in your PC. The warmth of the power supply and the soft relaxing hum of the central processing unit (CPU) are like Trump Tower to bed bugs.
Bed bugs slow down your PC by persistently biting the prongs that connect the chips to the motherboard, until the prongs become inflamed and can no longer send digital signals, the invisible ones and zeroes that are the blood of your PC. There is only one sure way to eliminate a PC bed bug infestation (see Quick-Start Guide below):
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees; open the lid of your PC and place it on the top rack, then close the oven door and bake for 45 minutes. After the PC cools off, turn your unit upside down and shake out the bed bug ashes until larger pieces start falling out.
And next time, try spending a few more bucks on your room!
3. You Have a Virus
No, we don’t mean your computer has a virus, we’re talking about you. When you have a virus and you’re not feeling great, time seems to slow to a crawl. You may think your PC is lagging, but it’s just your brain telling you to stop searching WebMD and get some rest.
That said, there is another very good reason to stay off the computer when you are sick. And that is because you could give your PC the virus that you have. Human-to-computer transmission of viruses and other pathogens is not just another conspiracy theory, it is a conspiracy fact. Once your PC becomes infected with your virus, it will really slow down, and the only way to help it recover at that point is Bitcoin Soup. Ouch, says your wallet!
So do yourself, and your PC, a favor: wear a mask when you surf the web and wash your hands every 100 keystrokes.*
2. Fragmented Hard Drive
We are going to have to get a little more technical in this section, since most PC owners never crack open their hard drives and look inside to see how they really work. If they did, they would be amazed that a device like this could even store a chili recipe, let alone the entire text of “The Da Vinci Code” (or for adult readers, “The Thorn Birds”).
In any case, if you pried open your hard drive right now, it would look something like the illustration above. You would see a razor-sharp cutting arm poised over the surface of a shiny metallic disc etched with an intricate pattern. The pattern reflects all the websites you’ve visited and all the emails you’ve written and read, each one of them carved into that silvery platter by the precision cutting arm of your hard drive.
Unfortunately, when you visit the same websites over and over, or read the same e-mails again and again, that arm cuts deeper and deeper into the same places on the hard drive. When the cuts are shallow, this merely slows things down. But if the cuts go deep, like a broken heart, then your hard drive will crumble into 1000 pieces, also like a broken heart. And that chili recipe, like yesterday’s love, will just be… a distant memory.
That is why the geniuses at Microsoft invented a “disk defragmenter” utility back in 1982. When you run the defragmenter, a powerful laser beam on the cutting arm heat-welds all those byte-size pieces of the disc together, so you and your sweetie can make all of your favorite recipes again. As the Bee Gees said, that’s how you mend a broken hard drive!
1. Your Battery is Dying
When you’ve tried everything else and your PC is still slow, you may just have to face the fact that your PC battery is dying. Some people don’t understand that a car battery lasts 36 months but a PC battery only lasts 5-6 hours. And then you have to either replace the battery or — for IBM models — just toss the PC in the landfill, battery and all. This can get as expensive as upgrading an iPhone once a year.
Needless to say, it would be great if PC owners didn’t have to install a new battery every day or two. But there is something you can do to extend your PC’s running time between battery changes, and it involves an adapter that some PC makers supply with your PC. You may not have used the adapter before, so here is what you need to do:
A. Get a meat fork like the one shown in the figure. If you are a vegetarian, then use a vegetable fork that is exactly the same size and shape as a meat fork.
B. Get a D-size (flashlight) battery. With a firm stabbing motion, stab the top the battery with your meat (or vegetable) fork. If you are using a vegetable fork, you may have to stab it twice.
C. Lastly, find the adapter for your PC and connect it to your machine. Now, standing a ways back from the battery, push the plug of the adapter into the holes you punched into the top of the battery. Wiggle the plug a bit to ensure good contact. If you see smoke, wait for it to dissipate (your web-surfing mask may come in handy here), then give your PC an hour or so to soak up the power from the battery. Stand by in case there are any sparks or flames.
If (and when) these attempts to fix your slow PC fall short, you have one last thing to try: call your daughter — or son, niece or nephew, whoever is the “official” computer expert in your family. Believe me, she will be proud of you for trying to solve the problem before you bothered her. And if your PC is still running after everything you tried here, I’m sure she will be happy to tell you what to do next.