Why Does a Device Slow Down

why does a device slow down

I am often asked why devices slow down.

I will explain the best I can and keep it as simple as possible.  In a nutshell, the more data you have on a drive that hosts your operating system, the slower the performance of your device.

Why Does a Device Slow Down


Devices slow down because of increased data storage on the same storage drive that hosts the operating system.  The other thing that slows down devices, is the number of programs that need access to memory.  The more programs, the slower the device.

Every time you do anything on your device, a record is entered into a log.  Yes, every single keystroke, every click, everything.  This includes data on every web page you visit, every alteration you make to documents, images, etc, etc.

Stop for a minute and try think how many times you click, swipe, move the mouse and use programs, documents and listen to music on your device!  It adds up to a LOT!

All of these records are stored on your drive.

As time goes by, more and more records are added.  Programs that save data, normally do so into their specific program folders too.


Sensitive Data


As you visit websites, the information gathered is stored on your hard drive.  Any tech savvy person can gain access to your data through the web.

You can be traced through cookies and logs on servers (recorded website statistics) or a number of other means.

It is possible for some attackers to install keylogging programs.  When they do this, every keystroke you make is recorded into a file, and the file is secretly sent to them without your knowledge.

In such cases, they can get access to passwords, bank account details and very personal information.


Broken Files


When you add a program to your device, the installation process loads a number of files to your device that are necessary for the program to work.

When you delete the program for any reason, not all the files are removed every time.  most of the time, configuration files are left on your device, so that you can quickly get up and running again if you decide to re-install a program.

There can also be  a number of other files left behind.

All these broken files tend to cause a slow-down in performance and can lead to further problems down the road.


The Answer


To resolve these problems, it is a good idea to constantly clean out data, preferably every day.


The other thing is this:


When you get your new device, make sure that you have at least two storage mediums.

The main drive should host your operating system and maybe the office program but nothing else.  The second storage medium should contain all your data.  Just remember to always save to the second device, and make sure you always have a backup of the data you create.

If you are using a laptop, get an external drive or see if you can add another internal drive.

If you have a desktop, add another internal drive or use an external one.  For tablets and mobile devices, use another SD card.

Mobile devices tend to split data from the operating system anyway, but, just remember, the more apps you add, the slower your device is going to get.


To Clean out unused programs and data:


  • You can use a script
  • You can do it manually
  • You can use a program to do it for you.  I recommend Ccleaner


I prefer to go the lazy route, and let a program do it for me automatically.  I just don’t have the time to sit and do everything manually, besides, in a few seconds, the program does what will take me a couple of minutes.

So, there you have it.  Why does a device slow down –  answered.

The ammount of data stored on your main drive, and the number of programs that run on your device are what slow it down.  It is good practise to keep your data off the main drive and follow a daily cleaning routine.


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