3 Simple Things You Can Do to Minimize Lag

A computer that lags, runs slow, or frequently encounters hiccups/freezing is more than just frustrating. It’s a productivity killer. It’s a very unnecessary cause for delay. You don’t need to immediately buy a replacement for such a lagging computer, though. There are some things you can do to remedy the lag.

1. The Obvious: Check your Internet Service Plan

The obvious culprit could be your internet connection. After you have restarted your computer and your app, lagging may persist because your internet connection itself is the problem. You may notice that there are times when your browser or web-connected apps keep becoming unresponsive or slow to respond because your internet connection is too slow. You will particularly this problem with mobile apps. Media streaming apps, for example, become very slow to respond and sometimes they eventually freeze and crash. There are plans for dedicated gamers/media consumers, such as 50mbps upload ultra-fast broadband plans – which are becoming more affordable so there’s no reason not to think of upgrading to a faster connection if you have a slow internet plan.

Image credit: David Castillo Dominici via Freedigitalphotos.net

Bonus: If you encounter lag in gaming, be sure to choose servers that are close to your geographical location. Many online games provide the option that allows players to specify the server to use. Selecting a closer server, most of the time, improves connection speed and prevents lagging. Also, consider reducing the settings of your game. You can lower the resolution, graphic details (textures, shadows, etc), and effects (motion blur, gamma correction, etc) in the game settings to improve the responsiveness of the game.

The tips featured above are simple solutions to address lag. Consider doing them as they may help you reduce lag without additional expenses—well, except for the tip on switching to a new ISP. Switching to a better broadband service provider, however, gives you more advantages that just faster downloads and gaming, so it’s something you will have to eventually do anyway.

2. Stop Unnecessary Applications or Processes and Set Priorities

Your computer could be doing a lot of things that its performance isn’t as good as how you expect it to be. These processes could be eating up your bandwidth and overworking your system resources. They could be background processes or app activities that continue running in the background.

Of course simply closing open apps is not going to be enough. You have to look into all of the tasks and processes happening in your computer. You need to open the Task Manager and see the list of processes currently running. Close those you deem unnecessary. This is not for those who know nothing much about computer processes, though. You can’t just recklessly close down process lest you make your computer fail, restart, or stop becoming responsive. You have to be familiar with what processes are necessary and which ones are not. It would help getting acquainted with the processes by right clicking on them and clicking on “Search Online.” Doing this will automatically do a search for you so you can find details or insights to help you decide if you should close the process or not. Consider doing these task manager tips.

Also, consider the possibility that you may have spyware or malware in your computer. Be sure that your system is clean. Run a scan for viruses and malware. You can use freeware anti-virus and anti-spyware if you don’t have one yet.

Moreover, it helps if you can set priorities for tasks and processes running in your computer. To do this, you have to open the task manager, right click on the process you want to prioritize, hover the mouse pointer over the Set Priority option and click on “High” or “Above Normal” if you want to prioritize this process or click on “Below Normal” or “Low” if you want to prevent the process from hogging resources. In Windows 10, this option is not included in the Processes. You will find the Set Priority function by right clicking on a process then “Go to Details” so you can be brought to the Details tab where the process is readily highlighted so you can proceed to setting the priority for it.

3. You May Need to Restart the Application or the Computer Itself.

A simple restart may just fix things. This is particularly useful for web browsers. Often, your computer slows down after using your browser for extended periods of time, especially when you are using web apps. If you are used to using Google Docs or Sheets for your everyday work, you are likely to experience the benefits of doing an occasional restart. Restart your browser and you can get back to a smooth performance. If this does not work, consider restarting your computer.

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