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6 Common mistakes that make your PC slower and how to avoid it

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We’ve all used the phrase “Oh! I just wish that my PC would run like new again” or anything along these lines. The truth is that a healthy computer always runs as fast as the day that we got it.

If there’s one thing that slows down over time, then that’s the operating system. More often than not, we’re the cause of that slowdown. The good news is that there are a few Windows 10 hacks that we can apply to fix this. Let’s get into it!

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All in all, here are the 6 common mistakes that most of us do:

1. Not Installing Windows Updates

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Yes, I know. There have been times where Windows Updates made things worse for computes instead of better and that’s probably why so many people disable them. However, in the end, these bugs always get fixed. Windows Updates are essential so that you can run Windows 10 smoothly and securely. That’s because they don’t only deliver improvement updates but security ones as well.

windows update

I completely understand why many of you despise them. They can easily disrupt you from your work or gaming sessions and an update installation can take a while to finish – especially if a reboot is needed.

For the above reasons, some of you may have disabled them. The thing is that disabling Windows Updates leaves your computer open to zero-day exploits. If you’re experiencing any bugs or weird slowdowns, they won’t be fixed until you install the latest patches.

So, do yourself a favor and set up your Windows Updates. All you have to do is to configure your active hours in the right way and you won’t be bothered ever again. To do that, go to Settings -> Update and security -> Change active hours -> and set them according to your own preference.

2. Not Using Security Software

People often avoid security programs because they tend to slow down computers. However, a piece of malware can have much worse effects on your computer than casual slowdowns. As a matter of fact, it’s entirely possible to use two security programs at once without slowing down your computer – not to mention that it’s actually recommended to do that.

windows security

Careful, when I’m saying two security programs, I’m not talking about two Antivirus programs or two Anti-Malware ones. That’s a configuration that will cause conflicts and slowdowns. The right way of using two security programs at once is having one Antivirus and one Anti-Malware. I’ve been doing that for a couple of years on my Core i5 gaming machine without experiencing any slowdowns or conflicts.

In overall, not using security software can get you infected with malware which will slow down your computer to a certain degree for sure and it might even make it unusable. As for which ones to choose, that comes down to personal preference. I’ve been using Windows Defender as my Antivirus and MalwareFox as my Anti-Malware.

3. Bad Drive Maintenance

The problem with HDDs is that they require a little bit of maintenance every now and then due to disk fragmentation. If you’re using an SSD then move on, this doesn’t concern you. HDDs, unlike SSDs, use mechanical moving parts and that’s why they can get fragmented. See, your drive uses a moving head to read and write data from a spinning platter.

windows drive location

Writing small pieces of a to different parts of the platter will force the head to look all over your drive just to load one file. That’s fragmentation. It commonly happens when you constantly write and delete different files to your drive which results in the whole placement confusion.

Fragmentation can slow down your computer due to increased load times. There’s nothing that we can do to avoid it, but we can regularly fix this by using a tool that Windows 10 offers. That feature is called “Optimize Drives”.
To use it, type “Defragment” on your Windows search bar and a result should come up which says “Defragment and optimize drives”. You can defragment your drives there.

4. Bad Case Maintenance

Most computers use air cooling with fans to provide sufficient cooling for your computer. The problem with this cooling solution, though, is that it normally gathers a lot of dust and dirt with the airflow. That dust can block the vents of your Desktop case or Laptop. Blocking the vents will reduce the airflow of your system and thus increase your computer temperatures.

bad case maintance

If your temperatures get a bit too high, then your PC will start overheating. Overheating results in thermal throttling and thermal throttling results in a slower PC. So, do clean your computer case or Laptop every now and then. While you may need to remove the bottom cover of your Laptop or open your Desktop case, it’s not necessary to be a technical expert to clean a machine.

A can of compressed air will most likely do the trick and you can find plenty of them at online stores like eBay. Not to mention that they are relatively inexpensive anyway.

5. Bad File Management

Temporary files, random documents, files that you haven’t deleted, deserted games, there is really a lot of stuff that you can forget and that take a lot of space on your computer. If your main drive doesn’t have any space available or not too much, then you might experience a few slowdowns now and then. The solution? Delete everything that you don’t need.

file management

As for your temporary files, use the Disk Cleanup tool of Windows. You can find it by typing “Disk clean-up” in your search bar.

6. Installing too Many Useless Apps

I’ve been guilty of this as well. It’s just so easy to install a bunch of free programs without having any use for half of them.  The problem is that those programs can both take disk space and run in the background without you launching them which is something that will slow down your computer.

windows apps

If you don’t want to uninstall any apps and you’ve got enough disk space, you can just prevent certain programs from launching on boot automatically. To do that, right-click on the taskbar -> Task manager -> Start-up, then select the program that you want to prevent from launching automatically and click on Disable.

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Shawn Abraham
Shawn Abraham
Shawn is a WindowsChimpStaff writer, who is a fan of making lists and does the same on this site. He has a Contemporary Writing degree and been in technology niche since last 3 years.

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