5 Easy Ways to Fix Virtual Desktop Lagging Issues

With remote working and work-from-home situations now becoming the norm in the post-pandemic world, many enterprises are now adopting virtual desktops to facilitate their remote workers with an optimal working environment while also maintaining centralized performance and security management. 

Virtual desktops allow end-users to access a fully functional desktop experience and applications virtually anywhere and from any device, including smartphones and affordable thin clients.

However, although virtual desktops have become extremely favorable among many businesses and individuals alike, it doesn’t mean the technology is free from drawbacks. Lagging and stuttering due to high latency remain very common issues affecting the virtual desktop experience, and in this post, we will focus on these lagging issues.

In this guide, we will share some simple fixes that can help you minimize lag and latency issues in your virtual desktops to ensure an optimal experience.

We understood that not all virtual desktop users are tech-savvy, so we’ll mainly focus on fixes that won’t require any technical background at all. 

Without further ado, let us begin right away.

Effective Ways to Fix Virtual Desktop Lagging Issues

1. Check and empty your disk space

Before anything else, check if your device (or devices) is currently running out of space, which is actually one of the most common reasons for your virtual desktops to slow down. 

Delete unused files/data when you can, or you may opt to increase the hard drive capacity of your server and/or device. Try rebooting your computer after you’ve freed up disk space, and check whether the virtual desktop is still lagging.

2. Check and optimize internet connection

Obviously, a virtual desktop’s performance is closely dependent on your network’s speed and reliability.

Check the performance of your network first, and you can use free tools like https://www.speedtest.net/ for this purpose. 

Here are some important tips on how to optimize your network performance for virtual desktop usage:

  • Use cable: as a general rule of thumb, use an ethernet cable or other types of wired connection for connecting your PC rather than Wi-Fi (no matter how good your Wi-Fi connection is). We’d recommend using a CAT 5 or CAT 6 ethernet cable to reduce lagging.
  • Optimize your latency: “latency” refers to the delay in a network and is measured in milliseconds or ms. You can check the latency of your virtual desktop by pinging it from your local device. Assuming your device is on a Windows OS:
    • Right-click on the Windows icon on your local Windows PC
    • Open Command Prompt and type ‘ping’ followed by your Virtual Machine address.
    • Select the virtual desktop. Go to Actions, then Manage computer, and you should see the VM’s address in the top right corner.
    • Use a dedicated 5GHz Wi-Fi connection: this is assuming a cabled connection isn’t possible. Although it’s still not ideal, use a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection rather than a 2.4GHz connection. Check whether your router supports a 5GHz connection, which is much faster (up to ~1300Mbps) and stable. However, keep in mind that you must keep the device relatively close to the router (5GHz Wi-Fi has a shorter range.)
    • Keep your router close: ideally, you’d want the router to be in the same room as your physical device. You may want to consider investing in a dedicated router if there’s no way to move the router to the same room.

3. Restart everything

If your virtual desktop is still lagging and you can’t identify the culprit, try giving your PC (or device) and router a restart. Sometimes, there may be background processes slowing down your device’s performance or any updates that require a restart for the changes to take effect. 

When all else fails, a simple restart can make all the difference.

4. Reduce periodical lag spikes

If the lag you’re experiencing is not constant but periodical spikes (i.e., every few minutes), there are some things you can do to identify the culprit:

  • Use your Windows Task Manager (press Ctrl+Alt+Delete together, then choose Task Manager) and try to identify anything that stands out during the time when the lag spikes occur.
  • Right-click on tasks that are consuming high CPU or RAM resources, and then choose “End Process.”, repeat this on other tasks as needed
  • If you are using a Mac, press Command+Space and then run Activity Monitor for the same purpose.
  • Search for “resource monitor” in the Windows search bar, and run Resource Monitor to troubleshoot potential network spikes
  • Disable Hotspot 2.0
  • Turn off automatic Wi-Fi scanning, sometimes lag spikes happen because your computer is trying to connect to another Wi-Fi.

5. Update your software and drivers

Make sure all your OS, software, and drivers are up to date, including any Windows updates and GPU drivers. Outdated GPU drivers can negatively affect your virtual desktop performance.

If you are using Windows, type “Windows updates” in the Windows search bar and access the Windows Update screen to check whether there are any pending Windows Updates on the device. Download and install all the pending updates, and you may need to reboot your device to complete the process. 

We recommend maintaining a habit of regularly updating everything at least once a month, and ideally as soon as any updates are made available. You’d be surprised how keeping your software and hardware up to date alone can fix many errors while also improving performance and security.

Wrapping Up

V2 Cloud offers a simple but affordable way to set up and implement a cloud-based virtual desktop solution for your business while also ensuring the optimal, lag-free performance of your virtual desktops in various use cases.

Leveraging virtualized desktops and applications can allow businesses to save a lot in upfront investment and maintenance costs while ensuring centralized security to protect confidential data.

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