There's nothing more exasperating than experiencing lag on your PC while engrossed in an intense gaming session or trying to complete an important task.
Lag can bring your productivity to a screeching halt or rob you of the immersive gaming experience you crave.
But fear not, for in this article, we unveil all essential steps to fix PC lag and unleash the full potential of your machine.
Understanding The Causes Of PC Lag
PC lag can manifest due to a variety of reasons, making it a common annoyance for many users.
To delve into the intricate details and types of lag, ExitLag recommends referring to the article "What Is Lag".
In this particular article, we will focus on shedding light on three primary culprits responsible for causing lag, namely:
- Hardware lag
- Software lag
- Network lag
So, let's dive in each cause of lag...
Hardware Lag Explained
Hardware lag refers to delays or slowdowns in computing systems caused by limitations or inefficiencies in the underlying hardware components.
It can arise from various factors, such as outdated or underpowered hardware, insufficient memory or storage capacity, bottlenecks in data transfer, or hardware malfunctions.
Hardware lag can manifest as slow processing speeds, extended loading times, unresponsive input/output operations, or system crashes.
It can impact the overall performance and functionality of a device or computer system, making it difficult to run resource-intensive applications or handle complex tasks efficiently.
Resolving hardware lag often involves upgrading components, optimizing hardware configurations, or diagnosing and repairing faulty hardware to restore optimal performance.
Software Lag Explained
Software lag refers to the delay or slowness experienced in software applications, typically due to inefficient or poorly optimized code, resource limitations, or high system demand.
It occurs when the software fails to respond quickly to user inputs or executes tasks at a slower pace than expected.
Software lag can manifest as delays in opening or closing applications, sluggishness during operations, unresponsiveness to user interactions, or slow loading times for data or content.
It can hinder productivity, degrade user experience, and impede the overall performance of the software, necessitating optimization efforts to improve speed and responsiveness.
Network Lag Explained
Network lag, also known as latency, refers to the delay or time lag experienced when transmitting data over a network.
It is influenced by various factors such as the distance between the sender and receiver, the quality of network infrastructure, congestion, and processing time.
When data travels across a network, it encounters multiple intermediate points, including routers and switches, which introduce a certain amount of delay.
This delay can impact real-time applications, online gaming, video conferencing, and other interactive tasks, causing a noticeable lag between actions and their corresponding outcomes, resulting in a less responsive user experience.
Optimizing Hardware For Better Performance
With the ever increasing demand from most gaming developers, players will need to make sure their specs are up to the task.
Sometimes, small adjustments like lowering the resolution or graphical settings can lead to big improvements in performance.
You can also follow for this solutions:
- Upgrading RAM for increased memory capacity
- Replacing HDD with SSD for faster read/write speeds
- Checking and updating graphics card drivers
Upgrading RAM For Increased Memory Capacity
Without a decent amount of available RAM memory, games will start to have that stuttering effect every couple of seconds.
Due to the size of most recent releases, players will need to make sure they have at least 16GB memory in their specs, always trying to use two slots instead of one.
Replacing HDD With SSD For Faster Read/Write Speeds
With the advent of the ninth generation of consoles having high speed SSDs, most games are being made with them in mind, leaving HDDs behind.
Gamers wanting an even smoother experience should also look for NVMe sticks because they’re the fastest SSDs available in the market.
Checking And Updating Graphics Card Drivers
Everytime a big game gets released, GPU developers employ new drivers to make sure their devices are up to the task.
Simply head over to the respective graphics card website or control panel (NVIDIA or AMD) to download their latest version free of charge.
Managing Software And Processes
Managing software and processes effectively is crucial in mitigating lag and improving overall system performance.
Properly managing software and processes allows for efficient allocation of system resources, such as CPU, memory, and network bandwidth.
By prioritizing critical tasks and distributing resources appropriately, lag-inducing bottlenecks can be minimized.
This involves techniques like load balancing, resource scheduling, and prioritizing real-time processes.
Effective resource management ensures that each component receives the necessary resources without overburdening the system, resulting in reduced lag.
Closing Unnecessary Background Programs And Processes
As we've briefly mentioned before, whenever we turn on our PC, many programs start with it.
They might not appear on your desktop view, but there they are, like a shadow, working in the background.
Some of these programs are not essential for your PC workflow.
No, we won’t close any Windows tab - that could be dangerous! But we can always shut down applications that start running with your PC.
If you press "Ctrl+Shift+Esc", at the same time, the Task Manager pop-up will appear.
There, you can navigate through all the processes that are currently working on your PC.
Right-click in one of them, and make sure the “Memory” section is checked. That way, your applications will appear in order of memory consumption.
Select everything you want to close, and just click on the “End Task” button on the bottom right.
Disabling Startup Applications
During all this time using a PC, you might have noticed that whenever you boot it, some applications start alongside with Windows.
Softwares as Discord, Steam, Microsoft Teams, Slack and so on are always running in the background, even if unused.
You can reduce the number of current working background processes with simply opening the Task Manager again.
To do so, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc and click on the “Startup” tab.
Once the menu is open, right-click on all the processes you want to disable, and next, click on the “Disable” button.
Using ExitLag Features To Optimize Your PC
If you tried everything from above and your PC is still working like a sloth, don’t worry!
Let the ExitLag team handle it from here.
Our software has some impressive tools that could help your PC boost its connection, such as:
- Traffic Shaper
- Network Diagnosis
- Multi Internet
ExitLag Traffic Shaper
With this tool, you can limit the download and upload background programs will use.
For example: if you're downloading something while playing, you can set the data usage for 50Kbps.
This way, your game won't be affected.
To start using the Traffic Shaper, you just have to select the "Always Limit" option, and then set the download/upload speed.
ExitLag Network Diagnosis
This tool will show you, with a single click, if there's any networking instability.
Its usage is very simple: on the "Diagnosis" tab, select the "Monitorar ping em tempo real" button.
If there's any lag spikes or packet loss, the info will show.
ExitLag Multi Internet
Multi Internet provides a seamless failover mechanism, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity even if one of your internet connections becomes unstable or disconnects.
This redundancy can be particularly beneficial for gamers, streamers, or anyone who relies heavily on a stable internet connection for their online activities.
Performing System Maintenance
Whenever we’re struggling with lag, our thoughts run directly to networking issues.
Although they’re very popular, not always they are the villain.
Cleaning Temporary Files And Freeing Up Disk Space
One simple, but also very effective solution, is to clean your temporary files, and it’s super easy to do so.
Pressing the “Windows”+R button, the “Run” tab will open.
There, type the following command: %temp%.
Windows’ temporary folder will appear right before your eyes.
Then, proceed to delete whichever files you’d like.
Picture this: you have a golden fish pet, and whenever you're going to feed him, you place all his food together, in the same place.
However, in due time, his food will float away and end in different parts of the aquarium.
The same happens to the data stored in our hard disk drive: they're saved in small groups, but over time, it spreads all over the place - and yes, this might be why your PC is lagging.
When we defragment our HD, we put all this data back together, and it's very simple to do so.
Click on the Start menu, or Windows button; select Control Panel and then System and Security.
Click on Administrative Tools, and finally, proceed to Defragment your Hard Drive.
Ensuring The Operating System Is Up To Date
Not so intuitive as it seems, sometimes even surfing the web can become a struggle when your operational system needs an update.
Applications crashing and games becoming so sluggish you want to retire from the gaming world.
To avoid this headache and set your PC back to the tracks, just follow these steps if you're using Windows:
Press your Windows key and then type on the search bar "Control Panel".
The Control Panel tab will open, and then you just have to type "Windows Update".
After, select "Check for Updates" and ta-da! Say goodbye to lag in a blink of an eye.
Troubleshooting Network-Related Lag
There are multiple ways one could check if any lag they’re facing is on their end or not.
Trying out multiple online games, watching videos and loading other websites could always lead to the actual heart of the issue.
Checking Internet Connection Speed And Troubleshooting Slow Connection
When playing online games it is important to check if your connection isn’t having any major issues, always make sure to make sure everything is running fine, simply head to any speed analyzing website and check if your internet speeds are correct.
Resetting The Router Or Modem And Using Cable Instead
An old but still very effective method to get rid of lag issues is to simply turn your router off and then on again.
This simple reset can be very beneficial when it comes to cleaning any sort of interference one could be having, just like using an ethernet cable instead of wifi can provide more stability.
Avoiding Network Congestion By Using ExitLag
Sometimes your ISP won't be able to provide players the best possible routes to their game servers.
With ExitLag’s exclusive multipath technology services we can provide the best path to gamers all around the globe, giving them a much better experience.