Why do computers get slower over time?

Just wondering, since mine has been running slowly lately. Is it because of too many downloads, or does it come with the age of the computer? Also, what are some ways to speed it up? I already have an antivirus and there are no viruses on it just so you know.

Update:

Thanks guys these were all very helpful, and Eric I looked up the thing you said and I never really realized it until you told me... very interesting.

7 Answers

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  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is due to two things. Firstly the actual hardware is getting old and worn from the constant use. Secondly the software on the computer becomes unorganized making it take longer to complete operations. You can defragmentation your computer often to try and counter this.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    There are numerous answers.

    Firstly, the more programs you are running the more memory you need. This is not as simple as it sounds, there are many processes that are running that you don't actually know about. You have the operating system, plus you have processes for networking/connections, you have anti-virus, and then you have things like java and dot net, and update checkers that periodically check for latest updates in the background. If you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and open task manager, then click on the processes tab you will see forty or fifty processes (or more) all running in the background. Eventually all the memory is in use, and processes start using your hard disk as if it were memory, this is very slow and slows the system considerably. If you have 1Gb or more (on XP, vista and windows 7 you should be looking at 2GB plus) you should be fine though. If you have only 512Mb you may have hit this wall.

    Secondly, there are things called malware, which aren't viruses, but which track your activity and often communicate with outside sources (e.g. lets them know how many people are looking at shopping sites etc.) while not damaging they all slow down your computer.

    Thirdly, something called computer "bloat", or computer "rot". As you install more programs the system registry gets larger (the registry is just the database that hold system & program info and settings). The larger it gets the slower it is to look things up in it. Plus when you uninstall not all programs are tidy, they leave things in the registry. Also, as mentioned elsewhere, your files get fragmented, which means your disk has to do a lot of searching and moving to find you files.

  • 8 years ago

    make sure that ur temporary folder is empty coz i have seen people whose temporary folders only containing over 10 GB of data which they have never cleaned.

    an easy way is download Advance system care free version from www.iobit.com

    just install it and it will clear the temp folder for u .

    secondly see if ur C drive is free or not . if it is about to fill up completely then please do free it a little by removing unwanted software and all and do not keep stuff in my documents coz my documents is a par of C drive only , so better move ur stuff into another drive .

    and computer gets slower gradually with time because with time new softwares are developed with demanding resources , which we just install without knowing how much they can reduce the performance of our computer. remove those softwares which is really not needed and empty the temp folder from time to time .

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Hi Teddy.

    Google "planed obsolescence" and you will learn everything you "never" want to know.

    A long read but well worth it. Eric.

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  • 8 years ago

    Try getting rid of unused softwares, too much datas can cause it to work slow

  • 8 years ago

    Mostly downloads, everything u download comes with a backup file, in most cases u can find the file and delete it, but it is tricky to find

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Your system could be virus affected. Do virus scan and check

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