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What to do when your PC game is lagging

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There’s nothing more frustrating than launching your favorite game only to have an offbeat experience. Especially in fast-paced genres, lag can make the game unplayable. To avoid this, let’s look at some fixes you can try.

Restart your computer and router

Restarting your computer and your router are the easiest and fastest solutions that could solve your lag. When you leave your computer on for too long without performing a hard restart, it can start to slow down, which can lead to performance issues.

Restarting your computer allows your operating system to perform important updates, delete temporary files, clean up open files, and free up memory. All these elements are necessary for the proper functioning of your computer. Make a habit of restarting your computer at least once or twice a week.

If that doesn’t work, try unplugging your router for at least 15 seconds, then plug it back in. This will reset your internet connection and hopefully fix any network issues you were facing.

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Close programs running in the background

One of the most common causes of lag is other programs running in the background. These programs can use system resources and make your game more difficult to run. Google Chrome is known to be a heavy consumer of resources, so try closing it if you experience lag.

Close anything you’re not using right now, like Spotify, Skype, or Discord. You can always reopen them when you need to. If you’re not sure what’s running in the background, open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys simultaneously. Then select Task Manager.

Press Ctrl, Alt and Del, then Task Manager

In the Processes tab, you will see all running and CPU consuming programs. You can close programs by clicking on them and then clicking “End Task” at the bottom right.

Warning: Don’t close anything you’re not sure about, as this may cause your computer to stop responding.

Click End Task

Even if it doesn’t solve your lag problem, it will lighten the load on your computer.

RELATED: 10 Quick Steps to Boost PC Performance

Check for downloads or updates

When something is downloaded or updated in the background, it can use a lot of CPU and valuable network resources such as bandwidth. This will cause your game to lag because there are usually not enough resources for the download and the game you are playing. See if you can pause all downloads for now and resume them after your game is over, or postpone them until another time.

To check for updates, open any running programs and see if any updates are being installed. For Windows users, you’ll also want to check Windows Update. Type “Windows Update” in the search bar on the taskbar at the bottom left of your screen. Then select “Windows Update Settings”.

You’ll also want to see if anyone else in the house is uploading or updating anything. If they are on the same internet connection, it will cause your game to lag. Please ask them to pause what they are doing for now so you can play without lag.

Update your drivers

If you haven’t updated your drivers in a while and are experiencing computer issues like lag, you should consider updating immediately. Using outdated drivers for a long time is sometimes unhealthy for your computer and can lead to problems. Always update all of your computer’s drivers as soon as you get them to keep everything in the best possible condition. Running the latest drivers also gives you the best performance for running games and other programs.

Updating drivers won’t suddenly turn your computer into a powerful machine. It will simply fix any bugs and performance issues you may encounter. When updating, always use the manufacturer’s drivers instead of those you find randomly on the Internet.

Check your internet connection

Having Slow internet with low bandwidth will lead to all sorts of connection issues. If you’re playing over Wi-Fi, switch to an Ethernet connection instead. A wired connection will be much stronger and more stable. This is especially true if there are other wireless devices in the house using the same Wi-Fi network.

As more people use the same internet connection, more bandwidth is used, slowing it down for everyone. If you don’t have fast internet, try to play during times when fewer people are using the internet. Although it’s inconvenient, there’s not much you can do other than upgrade your internet plan.

If you have a fast internet connection but are still experiencing lag, your router may be the culprit. Try restarting your router as explained above and then see if you are still experiencing lag. If so, you can call your internet service provider to find out what is going on. It’s also possible that your router is simply outdated.

Finally, you should also check your game’s servers to see if anyone else is experiencing lag. It may not be a problem on your end at all.