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Small Business IT Support: Age Plays Factor in Computer Speed

August 22, 2018

For many, as time passes the speed at which they operate tends to slow down considerably. Unless you’ve located the proverbial fountain of youth, this fact also applies to anyone reading this but also transcends the human form. While elderly individuals move slower than teenagers and even older animals slower than their young, technology also operates at a reduced pace as it increases in age.

Whether it be a laptop or desktop computer, tablet or phone each seems to not function as quickly once it has been used for a while. This may occur within just a few short months or many years down the road but restoring a device to that just out of the box lightning speed seems as difficult as locating that youthful spring.

For humans - age, the wear and tear on our bodies, how we take care of ourselves, and our quality of life are all factors which may slow the process but do have an impact on one’s ability to function as they grow older. In technology, a few of the same principles apply and although your laptop isn’t heading to the gym for a workout or eating the newest fad diet, it does fill up with different programs and information, adding weight and limiting space often without receiving the proper updates when required.

Each of the following factors play a role in why computers tend to slow down with age and some tips to combat the issue.


A corrupted file or hard drive will decrease a device’s ability to function appropriately. Various files begin to accumulate the second you turn on a computer and many of them operate in the background without even noticing that they are running. Unless used often, even some files pre-programmed to start up with the operating system can be reassigned a command to function which may help to alleviate the issue.

As numerous files are generated the tendency for one to become corrupted or the drive to suffer a similar fate only increases. Outside factors that can trigger data corruption also present issues which need to be considered as the computer ages. These different techniques, especially power outages, can cause a file to become corrupted almost immediately which will inevitably slow down the computer’s operating capabilities.

Lack of Memory (RAM)

When a device is brand new it comes preloaded with only the manufacturer's recommended operating systems, applications, files, and operations. For many, the first step is to familiarize yourself with the locations of all necessary tools and then begin to add any which were not included but have been utilized almost as a second nature on a previous device. These additions immediately begin to suck the available memory and storage space out of any new computer, phone, or tablet.

Files are also often added without direct intention. While an app or new programs are purposefully installed for a specific use, computers also store files behind the scenes in an effort to increase their speed and productivity for the user which instead hinders both aspects. Computer cache is the name given for space taken on the RAM or hard drive storing recently visited web pages - every one of them. Think about how many times you’ve opened a new window or clicked to another page in just the past 10 minutes - each of these has taken a bit of space once available. The purpose is so when a user revisits the site it loads quickly, having previously been accessed, but instead many sites are opened once and then left to never return but their cache remains - slowing down the computer overall.

A lack of RAM, the memory necessary for the device to function, can also cause a slow down. The RAM operates all things currently being utilized by the device and if there is a shortage will continually be searching for additional measures to function - this slows a computer considerably and causes quite the headache.

Hard Drive Construction

Another cause for slow downs as a unit ages is the initial hard drive construction components of the device. Most older systems operate with a spinning hard drive which looks similar to a small record player. The hard drive literally spins and an arm writes or encrypts the necessary data onto the device.

The speed at which the platter rotates can weigh in on the performance of the computer, allowing the arm to “write” at faster speeds. However, age again plays a factor because the spin rate will naturally slow regardless of use as time passes. This lowers the performance but newer construction has eliminated this component.

Solid State hard drives utilize a different technology than traditional hard drives and while their operation may slow due to the other components discussed here, it will not be a slower spin rate as the culprit.


An attack by a virus onto your computer will likely slow down the processing capabilities if not worse. The longer a device is plugged into a system then the opportunity for exposure also increases. There are plenty of protection programs available to guard against such an attack but consumers must also be alert that for every program downloaded onto an electronic device for protection is also taking up space. While the slow process may not be as malicious as that of an attack from a computer virus, too many safety methods will also have an adverse effect.

If you need help speeding up the operation speeds of your device or getting the most out of your older product, let the experts with Custom Network Solutions help you today. Their friendly, highly trained, and professional staff can answer any questions you may have to get you or your business back on track and operating efficiently. Whether associated with lagging computer speeds, network construction, internet connectivity issues, computer repair or a variety of other related topics, their knowledgeable staff members are willing and ready to help. Contact us online or by phone at 720-726-9544 in order to get your technical questions answered today!