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Why is My Virtual Machine So Slow? (12 Speed-up tips)

Have you been fed up by the slowness of your virtual machine and wondering why it is behaving so? There are many reasons for that. This article will explain why and how you can speed up your virtual machine.

A virtual machine is a virtual depiction of a computer system and its mannerisms. Since they rely on software to function, it is a great way to try new software designs, especially by software developers. Virtual machines use sophisticated operating systems because of the intense tasks they are involved in. With this, it is common for the machine to act sluggish, especially if the operating system isn’t sophisticated enough to help it run efficiently.

Virtual machines are cherished for their various applications and potential, but a sluggish one can’t help you achieve anything. Aside from your virtual machine running slow, shutting down automatically, vanishing into thin air, freezing, and taking longer to reboot are usual issues that operators face from time to time.

These struggles can affect the smooth operation of the host device. If you are experiencing such hardships with your virtual machine, you should figure out why so that you can find a proper solution. Let’s now look at why your VM is sluggish and possible remedies.

The reason my virtual machine is so slow

Here are some possible reasons why your virtual machine is running slow:

1. Host computer problems

Host computer problems

Your host system is the first place to start digging when your virtual machine turns into a snail. The computer you are running your virtual software on may be overwhelmed with the demands of running it.

This is because the virtual machine is sophisticated and needs a lot of energy to function properly, and this may tell on the host computer in the long run. Therefore, your memory, disk space, and CPU can play a huge role in this. Your virtual machine needs enough memory space and a powerful CPU to run effectively. And once the VM isn’t getting the needed space, it begins to run slowly.

Ensure you have enough free disc space dedicated to the virtual machine alone. This should be a major requirement when establishing your virtual machine. Fixed disc space will serve you better than a dynamic disc space.

This is because the latter will encourage fragmentations as the alternates between saving data on your hard drive and the disc itself, causing your virtual machine to slow down.

2. Impact of other hardware

Your wireless router and video card can also negatively impact your virtual machine. Video cards are essential to the operation of the virtual machine and, thus, can’t be eliminated. Instead, check the video settings and see what possible adjustments need to be made to eliminate the impact. The same goes for other components.

3. Configuration problems

virtual machine

Your virtual machine may be running slow due to inadequate configuration. It has a great impact on how the machine operates. The configuration settings need to complement the capabilities and capacities of the host computer so that the virtual machine’s processes may not be too powerful for it. Therefore, it is not advisable to create a sophisticated virtual system that your host computer may not be able to handle properly.

4. Interference from other active applications

When you have other applications running simultaneously with your virtual machine on the host computer, these active applications can interfere with the smooth running of your virtual machine. Therefore, it is better to discard any unnecessary applications to improve your VM’s speed.

5. The virtual machine software may be the culprit

virtual machine software may be the culprit

The VM software may be responsible for the speed issues you are facing. Operating systems differ in specifications; the one you are using may not fit well with your virtual machine. Therefore, evaluate your VM software to see if there are any adjustments you can make or check for a different one that may work well with your VM on your host system.


Essential tips to speed up your virtual machine

Having looked at the possible causes responsible for your virtual machine running slow, let’s look at some steps you can take to remedy them.

1. Reduce the memory space allocated to the virtual machine

Reduce the memory space allocated to the virtual machine

You can cut down on your virtual machine’s disk size. If there is too much space than necessary, it can be counterproductive and cause your machine to run slowly. However, little disc space is also not healthy. The best thing to do is to strike a balance between the space allocated to the virtual machine and that of the host system.

2. Get a new host system

You may need a whole revamp to restore the health of your virtual machine. If your host computer is old, it may not be able to cope with the demands of running your virtual machine for a long time. Over time, your VM will not only run slow but also begin to experience other problems, such as shutting down automatically, disappearing into nowhere, and taking longer than necessary to boot. Therefore, a good option is to get an upgraded host system capable of coping with the demands of running your sophisticated virtual machine.

3. Create more space in the host system’s memory

Create more space in the host system’s memory

Ensure your computer has enough memory space for the virtual machine to run smoothly. The available space in your computer’s memory directly impacts your virtual machine. If the memory is not as substantial as required, your virtual system may encounter problems during operations. To keep things fair, your computer should have at least a quarter of its available memory space dedicated to the virtual machine alone.

4. Improve your CPU

Improve your CPU

You may not be able to strengthen your CPU, but you can make some changes by activating virtualization in the BIOS settings. Doing this will enable your virtual machine to use the host system’s resources without fuss. Using multiple CPUs for your virtual machine is also a good idea.

5. Restart your host computer

If you suspect the host system may be responsible for your slow virtual machine, you can simply restart your system to see if there would be any change. Restarting your computer may work wonders as it helps freshen up the system and other related applications that may be troubling your virtual machine. If this does not yield any results, you will know it is more than just restarting your host system.

6. Use a solid-state hard disc for your virtual machine memory

Use a solid-state hard disc

You should choose a solid-state disc instead of a dynamic disc to get high efficiency from your virtual machine. A dynamic disc will cause fragmentation which will ultimately cause your virtual machine to run slowly as it would take time to process information. Therefore, once you want to establish your virtual machine, provide it with a static hard drive. This is where data from your VM should be performed, processed, and stored.

7. Review other active applications

As earlier stated, other active apps on your host computer may interfere with the performance of your virtual machine. Suppose you have eliminated other causes for the sluggishness and tried their remedies without luck; in that case, you can review these apps. Disable or minimize them to reduce their impact on your virtual machine, especially when operating it.

8. Review antivirus programs

antivirus program

Antivirus programs may not agree with certain aspects of your virtual machine, causing it to slow down. This is usually seen when they scan your computer for possible threats. If this is the case, you can deactivate the antivirus program whenever your virtual machine is active to stop the impact. You can review the settings of the antivirus app and tell the administrators to help you make some changes if need be.

9. Check your virtual machine’s settings

Evaluate your virtual machine’s settings to ensure everything is as it should be. You can make some tweaks to see if it would inspire better performance from your virtual machine. Aspects such as 2D and 3D video acceleration can be adjusted to optimize the entire system.

10. Take maintenance seriously

Take maintenance

Your computer needs to be in perfect condition for your virtual machine to run smoothly. To ensure this, carry out regular maintenance on your computer. You can invite the technician to take a look from time to time to ensure nothing is going wrong and that anything that needs to be addressed will be done on time. You can help by eliminating unwanted files and applications to reduce data storage overload that may interfere with your computer’s proper working condition.

11. Don’t shut down your virtual machine

It is not advisable to shut down your virtual machine because it takes time to boot whenever you want to use it. I am not saying you should keep it running either when not needed. The best thing to do is to suspend it whenever you finish operating it. This works the same way a sleep mode feature will do. It is easy to return to it when you next want to use it than if you shut it down.

12. Experiment with a different VM program

VM program

If your virtual machine is running slow, the program may be to blame. You can try using another program to see if the speed issue is rectified. If you are experiencing troubles with VirtualBox, you can try using VMware.

There is disagreement as to which of the two is faster. However, it comes down to the type of operating system your host computer utilizes. It also impacts the working conditions of your virtual machine.

If there is good interaction between the operating system and the virtual machine’s software, your operations will run smoothly.  However, what works smoothly for you may not work well for another due to their own combinations. You can also try making changes to configuration settings before ultimately making conclusions.


FAQs

Q: Can I increase speed with virtual RAM?

Increasing system speed, enabling multitasking, and running huge applications all benefit from virtual memory. But users shouldn’t depend too much on VM since it’s slower than real RAM.

Q: Can my computer get slow because of virtual machine?

There is a performance hit when using a virtual machine since it draws resources from the host. How much of this occurs is determined by the preferences of the virtual machine. When creating a virtual machine, one has the option of allocating a fixed number of resources, like CPU and RAM, to it.

Q: Should I invest in a new host system to speed up my virtual machine?

Yes, investing in a new host computer is a good idea. But before doing that, ensure you have eliminated other possible problems and exhausted other solutions before going ahead with this option. This is good if your computer is already old and can no longer cope with the demands of running your virtual machine. Therefore, ensure you get a sophisticated alternative allowing your virtual machine to run smoothly.

Q: My virtual machine takes a long time to boot; what should I do?

Most virtual machines take time to boot due to the sophistication of their operations. However, if yours take longer than usual, the best thing to do is not to shut it down but suspend it when not in use. This works the same way a sleep mode feature will do. It is easy to return to your virtual machine when you next want to use it than if you shut it down.


Conclusion

If your virtual machine is running slow, there is no way you will enjoy working with it. These machines have become important and have great possibilities, but they can’t reach their potential when they are sluggish.

When you are faced with such a problem, start with the diagnosis before finding the right solution to get your machine back on track. I hope the tips in this article will help you with that.