Why is my computer so busy?

Just because we can run twenty applications at a time, doesn’t mean we should… In fact, doing so would probably be a pretty frustrating experience.

Truth be told, your computer is already handling hundreds of concurrent tasks in the background already, under the hood. Any applications that you’re using while logged in, simply sit on top, and the computer has to decide which things deserve priority.

When performance starts to drop off in an application, an easy way to troubleshoot your way out of it is by looking at what else your computer is trying to keep track of. If you can remove unneeded burdens on the computer, then you can speed it up; this will make it more responsive to work with.

It won’t always solve every problem, but it’s a good start – and it’s something that you can do yourself without asking for help from your teacher or IT support.


  • Chrome is a great web browser, it works really well with the various services that we use at the college, that’s why we recommend it.
  • Chrome’s security features mean that every website you look at, separated out into different tabs, are actually handled by the computer as distinct processes. They have their own little stash of computer processing time and computer memory sectioned off.
  • If you’ve got lots of Chrome tabs open but you’re not doing anything with them, then they’re actually eating into your computer’s performance.
  • …ditch the unused tabs in your browser!


  • In computing terms, everything’s got a cost, even watching YouTube videos.
  • While playing it back to you, the computer’s accessing a compressed file, and turning it into uncompressed information that appears on your screen.
  • Your computer is decoding this data with its CPU or GPU, meanwhile, it’s stealing that resource away from applications that might need it; like Logic Pro X or Adobe Photoshop.
  • If you really want to get all the performance you can get, close off any YouTube videos you have playing in the background, that way you and your computer can focus.


  • You’re working hard to finish off a video edit in Adobe Premiere, so why is Photoshop open?
  • Word, Powerpoint, Photoshop, Logic Pro X, Final Cut, Premiere; These are all large, monolithic applications; They’re not necessarily engineered to share time with each other.
  • Give them the space they need to work, by closing other applications when you’re not working in them.
  • The same goes for files that are open; sometimes you might actually need to have two large pieces of work open at the same time, but keeping that to a minimum will make sure your workstation isn’t over-burdened.