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Windows XP: Why the machine slow for a minute when I put my machine for some time?

This probably has something to do with Windows, so I find this the right place to ask. if it's not - my apologies.

If I open an application, and just leave it open while I'm using other applications, when I get back to it - it's extremely slow.

So if I do something like typing, the program hangs, but after that typing wouldn't cause another hang. and then if I open a menu, it hangs and the same thing happens.

I need to "load" like this every feature I need to use in order to have some good workflow. so it's somewhat frustrating for me.

What causes this? it seems to be deliberately implemented by the OS (maybe to free up resources?), so is there a way to stop it from happening?

Thank you.

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marked as duplicate by Oliver Salzburg, Synetech, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Mokubai, Dennis Jul 12 '12 at 5:25

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Depending on your system, you may be running low on RAM, in which case Windows would save your inactive applications to the Page file to free up system resources (Or if it is only program with this issue it may be a memory leak somewhere...).

An option may be adding more memory to your system.

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I agree, this is almost always due to low memory. While the program isn't active, the OS has to cannibalize the memory it was using for other programs. When you switch back to it, all that stuff has to be loaded back into RAM. Sometimes, slow or heavily fragmented hard drives can be a factor in how long it takes to recover. –  David Schwartz Jun 8 '12 at 13:53

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