Here’s Why Computers Slow Down Over Time

When we get a new computer, we are amazed by how awesome it is! Applications and even Windows loads up quickly, it does everything we want it to do and more and we do not have to worry about malware or viruses because it is so new.

But over time, your once-new computer becomes a bit slow and unresponsive, it is often sluggish to perform even basic tasks, and it certainly does not seem very possible to install anything new on there.

Image Source

So what causes these slowdowns in our once lightning-fast computers? Does computer hardware become “worn” like say mechanical things do? Well, sort of. Here are some of the most typical reasons why a computer slows down.


Computer software is one of the worst culprits for slowing down a PC or Mac. Software developers like to incorporate a multitude of bug fixes and patches, as well as a whole host of new features. Because of this, the extra resources required by the new generations of software mean that over time, a software suite that once ran quick quickly on your system will in time become very slow, forcing you to upgrade your system or even get a new computer!


Although computer hardware is mostly electronic, there are certain components such as hard drives and DVD-RW optical drives which contain some mechanical parts. Hard drives specifically only have a limited life span, because they consist of spinning platters which have a “head” that moves across the surface to read and write data.

These mechanical parts can eventually wear out, causing your computer to slow down as the hard drive or DVD-RW drive tries repeatedly to perform a task that it used to do virtually instantly.


Another problem that can cause a computer to slow down is dirt and other debris clogging up the interior of your computer or laptop’s case. Computers normally have one or more fans to draw air inside to cool down components such as processors, and they often have “exhaust” fans which draw the hot air out.

Because of this continuous process of drawing cold air in and pushing it out of your case, it will also draw in dust, dirt, hair, you name it! Eventually, all this stuff will clog up the fans and cause temperatures inside your computer to soar, the result of which is either an automatic slowdown of your processor in order to cool down, or in extreme cases the computer or laptop just turning itself off to protect against terminal overheating.

Malware and viruses

OK so this is a software-related issue, but it does not fit into the software category above because no-one wants to knowingly install any malware or viruses on their computers!

Malware and virus infections tend to slow computers down because they disrupt the usual processes of an operating system by redirecting certain actions to a remote computer controlled by a hacker or the virus author. This can include logging keystrokes, in order to gain unauthorised access to a user’s accounts on websites (such as online banking for example).

If you feel that your computer is slowing down due to one or more of the above reasons, then it is worth getting an IT support expert in to sort it out for you so you can have a fast PC again!

Related Articles