How Can an Operating System Slow Down a Computer?

I was asked an interesting question recently. It is not only an interesting question but it is a very important one. The answer makes it easy to understand what happens to a computer that becomes slow or sluggish. Hopefully, this article will answer this question and point you in the right direction to help keep your computer fast.

The question was asked by a young woman who had talked to a geek friend of hers. This fellow told her it was her operating system making her computer respond slowly. He suggested she backup all her files, reformat her hard drive, and reinstall her operating system.

How an Operating System Slows Computer Processes

Actually, I believe his method would work but I know there is an easier way. Before I get into this easier way, let’s talk about two ways an operating system can slow down a PC. They are:

Upgrading to the operating system with an older PC and,

Having registry corruption build up in the operating system’s registry.

Of course, the first problem can only occur if you have changed the operating system on your PC or upgraded to a newer one. The fact of the matter is each Windows operating system is larger than its predecessor and so the computer ends up with less free resources than it had when the old OS was running it. Fewer resources equals a slower computer; simple.

Registry Develops Corruption

Also, fairly simple is the topic of registry corruption. Every Windows operating system uses a registry to keep track of all parts of the computer. It also keeps track of all files added and moved on your hard drive. While this is an oversimplified explanation of a Windows registry, it does show that everything you do on your computer goes through the registry.

There are millions of steps needed to perform computer operations. Over time, registry files become bloated. Because of this, the steps needed to do operations can multiply. The result of this multiplication is your computer needing to wait as your microprocessor looks long and hard in the registry to find what it needs. The computer would have been able to do this operation quickly if the registry had all its fat cut out.

The Registry is an Integral Part of the OS

The registry clearly is a part of the operating system and when it needs to be cleaned out, it will cause the computer to be slow. It may also cause a computer to freeze and crash.

Spyware, adware, viruses and other parasites will also cause a computer to slow down. However, they are not part of the operating system; they are programs. They run without you realizing it and use your computer resources. In other words, they steal the computer’s speed.

This is similar to when a large software program is added to a PC. When it runs, the computer may be slow. More RAM may be the answer to this problem. However, more RAM won’t help registry corruption; at least not very much. Registry corruption needs to be removed.

Doing so will restore the operating system to its svelte self and thus computer speed will return. Using a commercial registry cleaner is usually the best way to go about this. Actually, doing a reinstall as the geek friend told the young lady mentioned above, is a last resort and not usually needed.