What is Slowing Your Windows Computer Down?
Even the fastest computers available on the market today only have a limited amount of system resources. Every program that you run uses a little bit of your available processor and memory resources. Running a variety of different programs at the same time will use a great deal of these resources, which can slow down your computer dramatically. If you’re only running a program or two and are still experiencing performance issues with your machine, there is one very easy way that you can figure out what the problem is. The Windows Task Manager is a native utility included in all versions of Windows that can help you do just that.
Use your mouse (for desktops) or touch pad (for laptops) to right-click on the Windows task bar. A new menu, called a “context menu,” will appear on screen. Select “Start Task Manager” from this menu. A new program window for the Windows Task Manager will appear on your desktop.
Click the “Applications” tab. This will show you a list of all the applications that are currently running on your machine. Look for any applications that have a “Status” listing of “Not Responding.” Programs with this status have essentially frozen, which could cause them to use more resources than they need and slow down your computer. Click the name of the program and click “End Task” to close it. This will free up the resources that program was using. You can then open the program back up again at any time.
Click “Processes.” This shows you all the same applications that were found in the “Applications” tab, but it also shows you a list of background processes that are running as well. Background processes are typically those that are required either for specific programs to work or for Windows itself to work.
Click the “Memory” tab at the top of the screen. This will sort all of the processes by the amount of memory they are using, with the programs using the largest amounts of memory at the top of the list.
Look for any processes that are using more than 100,000 K of memory. These processes are likely causing your computer to run much slower than it should. If more than one program meets this criteria, your computer is probably grinding to a halt. Click the name of any program you aren’t actively using that is also using a lot of memory and select “End Process.” This will close the program, which will free up its resources and allow your computer’s performance to get back to a much more reasonable level.