Is your Windows 10 PC lagging/stuttering Part 1?

The question of why Window 10 is laggy or stutters is a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) on technical blogs, websites and in Microsoft forums.  Anything that is mentioned here will most likely speed up Windows 7/8/8.1 too.

This post addresses possible software fixes.  There are also some straight forward hardware fixes that I will address in part 2 of this post.

There are several “choke points” or places that can cause a computer to pause from responding to your keyboard/mouse and/or displaying a change (like the letters you just typed) on its screen.

  1. If the cpu gets busy, “thinking”, then there will be a pause.
  2. If you ask for something from your Hard Disk Drive (HDD) there will be a finite pause while first it “finds it” (seeking time) and then reads it.  If the file is in pieces in multiple locations on your HDD it will require a find it for each part of that file.
  3. If the memory (ram) of your computer gets too full, then it will start writing copies of what is in memory out to “virtual storage” aka: Paging File.  This is called “Paging.”  Then when it needs that part of the memory it will read that part of the memory from the Paging File back into memory.  This is massively slower (writing and reading) than accessing anything still in memory.
  4. The more “useless files” you have on the HDD, the more time it can take for the cpu and operating system to look at and reject using them.
  5. If the gpu (video card) is busy “thinking” there will be a display pause.

So how can you decrease any or all of the above items from slowing down your computer?  There are straight forward actions that you can do, that will (usually) effect more than one of the items above.

For instance, setting the paging file to a fixed size will reduce the amount of time the cpu spends thinking about if it should increase or decrease the file size.  Defragmenting the Paging file will speed up the writing and reading from the file.  Defragmenting the rest of the HDD will speed up starting up any program, including the operating system.  Deleting “junk” files will reduce the amount of time the cpu and HDD spend deciding if some file should be used or not.

All of these “howto’s” are available all over the internet so I am going to link to examples for you to consider and use.

This post from Techlyfe addresses making the Paging file a fixed size as well as the time honored method of speeding up the video display by turning off much of the “eye candy”.  Reference #1-#3 and #5 above.

This free system cleaner from Piriform seems to be one of the most comprehensive files and registry cleaners out there.  Yes, I use it on all my Windows 7 and Windows 10 machines. Reference #4 above.

This HDD defragging utility includes a “defrag the paging file” in its “settings.”  It is another really useful utility from Piriform.  Reference #2 and #3 above.

Another time honored method of reducing how busy your cpu is (and incidentally reducing the amount of power used while on a laptop battery) is to turn off background applications.

I also ran across a slightly different Point of View (POV) that talks about how to reduce the Internet Lag of your system.  I don’t agree with the 4 letter word in the title but I do agree that many of the early steps he writes and illustrates are very easy to implement.

I hope this helps you.

TlG

Author: Tom

A mid-century boomer with more learning to do and occasionally experience to share. Always moving forward but often not smoothly. Just the very human fits and starts.

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