If you notice that your PC is slower and slower, do not despair, and do not worry about it before time, since it is a problem that, unfortunately, usually occurs quite frequently, which can be caused by many causes, both at the software level, as hardware, and it does not have to indicate that a serious malfunction has occurred.
I know that many of our regular readers are concerned about this issue and that more than one has had to deal, at some point, with all the problems that arise when their PC is getting slower and slower. For this reason, I have decided to create this guide, in which you will find five simple tips perfectly explained that will help you avoid that your team starts having performance problems and that these turn it into a «turtle».
Along with each piece of advice, I will also leave you a detailed description so that you can assess which solution, or solutions, are the most appropriate depending on each specific case. Personally, I recommend that you apply the five tips proactively and constantly since in that way you will avoid having to reach that unbearable point where not only your PC slows down but also begins to show behavior erratic, something that can happen in extreme situations.
As always, if you have any type of doubt you can leave it in the comments, and we will be happy to help you solve them.
My PC is getting slower and slower: How to avoid it
1# Keep the equipment clean and in good condition
Many users forget the PC completely from the moment they finish mounting it or connecting it. Over the years I have seen almost everything, people who asked me, surprised and discouraged, how it was possible that the equipment they had bought two or three years ago was starting to work quite badly, or others told me that they even suffered blackouts or automatic reboots.
It is clear that when you notice that your PC is slower and slower, it is because something is not right. With the use of the equipment, and the passage of time, dirt and dust accumulates inside the equipment and also causes wear of some components, such as thermal paste, which degrades naturally over time, and the fans, which have a certain useful life, although we will talk about this in the next section.
Keeping the PC in good condition is essential to prevent this gradual loss of performance from occurring, a direct consequence of everything we have discussed in the previous paragraph. To strictly comply with this advice, it is necessary to clean the equipment inside, and thoroughly, at least once a year, or twice a year if we live in a very hot climate. It is also advisable to keep it in a high and clean place, avoid exposing it to areas where large amounts of dust are concentrated or generated, and away from heat sources.
If you have never cleaned a PC, do not worry, it is very easy, you can use compressed air cans, a compressor, or any other tool that allows you to blow away the accumulated dust. An old toothbrush is also a great help to reach almost any corner, and a slightly damp cloth works wonders for fans.
Obviously, to keep it in good condition, it is essential to treat it and move it with care and avoid bumps, shocks, or movements that could compromise its structural integrity, and that of its components.
If my PC is getting slower and slower, how does this help me? As it is very simple, dust and dirt can affect the correct operation of some components and limit the effectiveness of the fans, which would translate into a lower cooling capacity, higher working temperatures, and, in extreme cases, a reduction in the life of the fans. A very dirty PC can also lead to the entry of unwanted guests inside the computer (insects, for example).
2# Perform basic maintenance
We have already told you in the previous section. On many occasions, when you notice that your PC is slower and slower, this is because you have not known, or have not wanted to, perform a series of basic maintenance that is necessary so that your computer can continue working optimally with the step weather.
In the same way that a car needs specific maintenance to function properly, a PC also requires certain care. If these do not occur, you will notice that your PC is slower and slower, and if you continue to neglect it for a long time, the moment will come when it will stop working. It is not difficult to understand, imagine what would happen, for example, if you did not change the oil in your car for five years.
Each PC can mount different configurations that require us to perform different maintenance, but in general, there are a series of basic guidelines that we must always keep in mind:
- Change the thermal paste, both on the processor and the graphics card. It is difficult to establish a specific time frame, but in my case, I usually change the CPU every year, and the GPU as soon as I detect small unjustified variations in temperature.
- Replace heating pads, if necessary. They are used in many graphics cards to make contact in vital areas, such as graphics memory chips and the VRM system. They have an identical role to that of thermal paste, and like this, they degrade over time, although their useful life is much longer and they do not have to be changed as often.
- Change the fans that are giving problems, with the time, and the normal use of the equipment, the fans are deteriorating and may begin to show clear symptoms that they are about to fail. Changing them before that happens can save us a scare.
If my PC is getting slower and slower, how does this help me? In this case, it may be that your PC was simply overheating due to a dry and worn thermal paste that prevented proper heat transfer between the CPU and the heatsink, or that other temperature control problems arose from all that we have exposed. Performing these maintenances will fix those excess heat issues, get components back to full power without problems, and make a huge difference.
3# Control software updates
It is a problematic issue, especially after the jump from Windows 10 to the service model and the continuous arrival of updates of different types. You must keep two things in mind, the first is how bad it can be to never update the software as being the first to update it, due to the problems that you might encounter, and the second is that, in the end, the ideal is that you are the one decide when is the best time to upgrade.
Windows 10 semi-annual updates introduce new features and typically fix bugs, security flaws, and can improve stability and performance, but they can also give crashes, serious bugs, and glitches that make you notice that your PC is getting slower and slower. Security patches and driver updates are also part of the ecosystem of software updates that we have to deal with in Windows 10.
Manually managing software updates may seem complicated and time-consuming, but in the end, it is easier than it sounds. Simply put them by default, and proceed to their installation when you think it is appropriate. In the case of games and applications, new updates usually represent an important added value, but in some cases, version changes can increase the requirements, which will make your PC work but slow down due to the new demands.
If updates aren’t required, make sure you have the right hardware to continue to have a good experience, and if not, just don’t update. Not all updates have positive effects, so be careful.
If my PC is getting slower and slower, how does this help me? Handling updates carefully will prevent your PC from slowing down, as you can avoid troublesome patches and updates that are not properly optimized for your computer.
4# Manage drivers and applications
The controllers or drivers play a very important role, but their correct management can be complicated. Keeping the drivers updated is the best option, although with some important nuances, since the new drivers are usually optimized for the latest generation components, and can give errors or conflicts with the older ones, or even generate performance losses in some cases.
If you have state-of-the-art equipment, keep the drivers updated by checking for updates frequently, but wait a reasonable time before installing them to rule out possible unresolved errors. I also recommend that you avoid installing drivers directly from Windows 10 if you do not have any prior conflict or need. Trusting myself with this issue cost me, at the time, the disappearance of my PCIe NVMe SSD drives, as I told you a few days ago. Finally, do not forget to always comply with these four keys:
- Install the drivers downloaded only and exclusively from the manufacturer’s official website.
- Check, before installing, that they are compatible with your hardware.
- Do not use beta drivers, only final versions duly validated.
- In case you have made major hardware changes, completely uninstall the old drivers, restart the computer, and install the new drivers.
Regarding the management of applications, you must stick to two very clear points:
Eliminate the applications that you do not use, it will allow you to free up very valuable resources (storage space and RAM, if it was loaded initially).
Disable the applications that you do not want to start loading, as these will make your PC startup slower, and will consume RAM.
If my PC is getting slower and slower, how does this help me? By intelligently managing your drivers you will ensure that your equipment is always perfectly in tune. Sometimes, especially with relatively old hardware, it is better to keep older drivers, so do not worry if you see that a new driver does not finish going well with your equipment, wait. With regard to the applications, it is very simple, you will free up resources and keep the computer clean, which will prevent you from having that feeling that your PC is slower and slower.
5# Make periodic security analysis and optimize
Security plays a very important role on any PC. A malware infection can make a computer run extremely slow, causing problems so severe that, in the end, we have no choice but to do a full format.
Using a threat protection solution and performing security analysis regularly is important, but so is having a modicum of common sense: avoid deceptive or potentially malicious websites, don’t download questionable content or click on links of unknown origin, or unreliable.
On the other hand, it is also a good idea to periodically use the optimization tools for each operating system. In Windows 10, for example, we can optimize the storage units and free up space in a simple and fast way. They are reliable tools, which are prepared to work with SSD drives and will not give you any kind of problem.
If my PC is getting slower and slower, how does this help me? Keeping your computer protected will prevent infections that can push your computer to the limit, and optimization tools can significantly improve computer performance. They will not work miracles, but they are free and will have a positive impact that you will end up noticing, especially if you are very tight on space and have accumulated that “garbage” that we normally do not bother to eliminate. If you use Windows 10 and you notice that it is very slow, do not miss this guide, it will help you improve performance.