Since the first business PCs arrived in the office during the earlier 1980s, it’s probably fair to say that the above question has been the most commonly-encountered one for generations of IT support professionals.
In fact, nobody can say for sure in an article like this just what the answer is because to do so would require an in-depth look at your PC and what it is doing.
The following list though is a compilation of some of the most regularly encountered problems that could be leading to sluggish performance on that PC of yours – though contact a professional provider of IT support services for specific confirmation in your individual case.
1. You are using an elderly PC. This can’t really be specifically defined but it usually entails an old PC with a possibly outmoded chip set or operating system, being used to run more modern resource-hungry applications. In some cases you may be able to upgrade your PC though you may simply have to replace it.
2. Your PC is modern but underpowered for your purposes. This often arises when someone buys a lower-end PC and then tries to use it for highly demanding business or personal purposes. In terms of solutions, once again upgrades might be possible and replacement is also something that might need to be considered.
3. You are trying to do too many things on your PC at one time. If you’re using too many memory-hungry applications at one time, it can cause problems and simply closing some of them may be all that’s required to put things right.
4. You have a virus or some other form of malware. Sometimes this malicious code can consume huge amounts of your machine’s resources as it goes around looking for information of interest or monitoring what you’re doing. If you have a modern security system this should be preventable but don’t delay getting it checked by a specialist if you have any doubts.
5. Your security and firewall software is consuming too much of the available resource. This is an extremely common problem, particularly when such software is doing a full system scan. It is typically best fixed by an IT support services specialist. Do not try and cure this by switching off your security software!
6. The data stored on your hard disk is poorly organized. The technical term for this is ‘fragmented’ and that basically means that your system is doing a lot of additional work in order to connect up different parts of the same data that has been stored in various parts of your hard disk for space reasons. You can run ‘defragmentation’ programs to help this though if you are not technically competent, yet again, you may be better off seeking specialist help.
7. You have contention for shared resources. This typically happens where your PC is connected to a network and is trying to share a database or other facility across the network with one or more other users apart from yourself. Sometimes the delays waiting for data to come from the server to your PC can cause things to ‘hang up’ from your perspective. There may not be very much you can do about this unless you are a networking specialist. Incidentally, internet delays and problems come into this broad category.
The bottom line is simple, don’t sit there guessing but instead ask someone who knows what they’re talking about to investigate your system as soon as possible.