Few things are more frustrating than working with a slow computer. Whether your computer just started crawling or you’ve put up with poor performance for months, fixing the issue is important so you can
get back to work
5 Reasons You Are Not Getting Any Work Done
5 Reasons You Are Not Getting Any Work Done Wasn't today the day you were going to turn Facebook off and get stuff done?
Let’s look at various scenarios that could be dragging your system to a halt. You could be suffering from one or several of these causes. By going through each of these, you can pinpoint where your issue lies.
You Need to Reboot
Sometimes, a slowdown comes from a temporary Windows issue. Whether it’s a program using too many resources or a Windows configuration error, poor performance does come out of nowhere at times. This is especially true
if you leave your computer turned on all the time. You should reboot regularly to avoid these issues. VIDEO Restarting your computer fixes all sorts of problems
, so it’s a wise first step when slowness pops up out of nowhere. If you reboot and the problem persists, continue with troubleshooting.
Why Does Rebooting Your Computer Fix So Many Issues?
Why Does Rebooting Your Computer Fix So Many Issues? "Have you tried rebooting?" It's technical advice that gets thrown around a lot, but there's a reason: it works. Not just for PCs, but a wide range of devices. We explain why.
You Have Too Many Programs Running at Startup
With so much awesome Windows software out there, it’s natural to want to try a lot of programs. However, you might run into a problem if too many programs run as soon as you boot your computer. Lots of software does this by default, so you might be running half a dozen apps that you aren’t even using at the moment.
Thankfully, it’s easy to
remove startup items
. If you’re not sure what you should disable, check out our
Remove Windows Startup Items to Fix Your Slow Computer for Free
Remove Windows Startup Items to Fix Your Slow Computer for Free Programs launching at boot can affect both the Windows startup speed and your computer's overall performance. Fix your slow computer by removing applications from auto-start. We show you how to catch them all.
top startup programs you don’t need
. You can remove non-essential apps like iTunes, Adobe Reader, and Skype, but make sure to keep your antivirus and backup software running.
Make Windows Start Faster: 10 Non-Essential Startup Items You Can Safely Remove
Make Windows Start Faster: 10 Non-Essential Startup Items You Can Safely Remove So your computer has been booting slowly lately? You probably have too many programs and services trying to start up all at once. Are you wondering how they got there and how to remove them?
You’re Infected With Malware
Just like having too many programs running could slow down your computer, having one or more malicious programs running can cause big problems, too. Even if you have malware installed that isn’t
spawning pop-up ads
or getting in your way, it’s still wasting resources.
Let's Put A Stop To Pop-Up Browser Ads Once And For All!
Let's Put A Stop To Pop-Up Browser Ads Once And For All! Pop-ups can catch you off guard, and if you're not careful they can create problems. Learn how to avoid them and how to handle them if they do come up.
With a few tools and a bit of time, you can beat any piece of malware out there. Review the
ten steps to take when you’re hit with malware
, and follow the
10 Steps To Take When You Discover Malware On Your Computer
10 Steps To Take When You Discover Malware On Your Computer We would like to think that the Internet is a safe place to spend our time (cough), but we all know there are risks around every corner. Email, social media, malicious websites that have worked...
malware removal guide
. Then, make sure you have
The Complete Malware Removal Guide
The Complete Malware Removal Guide Malware is everywhere these days, and eradicating malware from your system is a lengthy process, requiring guidance. If you think your computer is infected, this is the guide you need.
essential Windows security software
installed after you’ve
The 8 Best Security Software for Windows 10 Malware Protection
The 8 Best Security Software for Windows 10 Malware Protection Want to tighten security on your PC? It's a good idea, so take a look at these fantastic antivirus choices for Windows 10.
confirmed that everything is clear
3 Things To Check After Removing Malware From Your PC
3 Things To Check After Removing Malware From Your PC Removing malware can be a pain. Malware removal guides ease the process, but it remains tedious. Finally, you will have to deal with after effects, like messed up browser settings or a broken Internet connection.
You’re Using Heavy Software
Some software leaves a hefty footprint on your system’s performance, when a lighter alternative could get the job done just as well. Two of the most common examples are Norton Antivirus and Google Chrome.
completely remove Norton
and replace it with a
How To Completely Remove Norton Or McAfee From Your Computer
How To Completely Remove Norton Or McAfee From Your Computer
superior free security suite
. To stay light, using a cloud antivirus like
5 Best Free Internet Security Suites for Windows
5 Best Free Internet Security Suites for Windows Which security suite do you trust the most? We look at five of the best free security suites for Windows, all of which offer anti-virus, anti-malware, and real-time protection features.
Panda will free up resources on your machine. Google Chrome uses a lot of RAM
, which the Chrome team will fix soon. If you’re not trapped in Chrome,
Why Is Google Chrome Using So Much RAM? Here's How to Fix It
Why Is Google Chrome Using So Much RAM? Here's How to Fix It Why does Google Chrome use so much RAM? What can you do to keep it in check? Here's how to make Chrome use less RAM.
try using Opera
Opera 15 Is A Faster, Simpler Chrome, And Here Are 3 Great Reasons To Try It
Opera 15 Is A Faster, Simpler Chrome, And Here Are 3 Great Reasons To Try It It may seem ridiculous now, but when I was younger, I forked over a great wad of cash for Opera, a revolutionary web browser from Norway. I took it home, excited at finally being able...
super-fast alternative, like Nitro
, to keep things light.
Nitro: Check Out Maxthon's Super-Fast Web Browser Today
Nitro: Check Out Maxthon's Super-Fast Web Browser Today It's the fastest browser I've ever used. For the first time in a while, we actually have a clear, longshot winner.
It’s also a good idea to
turn Flash off in your main browser
. The Flash plugin is on its way out, but plenty of sites still use it. Thus, you should still keep an extra browser around for occasional Flash needs, but disable it in your everyday browser for better performance.
Why Flash Needs to Die (And How You Can Get Rid of It)
Why Flash Needs to Die (And How You Can Get Rid of It) The Internet's relationship with Flash has been rocky for a while. Once, it was a universal standard on the web. Now, it looks like it may be headed to the chopping block. What changed?
Your Computer Favors Visuals Over Performance
Did you know that you can turn off all the fancy effects of Windows? By default, Windows enables
colored title bars, real-time dragging, and more. However, these eye-candy enhancements take up system resources. If you don’t mind a slightly less pretty experience, try adjusting Windows for best performance. VIDEO
To do this, type
Performance into the Start Menu and click Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows. Here, you can disable individual visual effects like maximizing animations and window shadows. If you choose Adjust for best performance, you can disable all of these in one go. In Windows 7, this will result in your computer looking like Windows 95
, but see if you can get used to it.
Start Me Up - Windows 95 Turns 20 & Still Rocks
Start Me Up - Windows 95 Turns 20 & Still Rocks 20 years ago the Rolling Stones cranked up "Start Me Up", and Windows 95 was born. We revisit history, discuss why Windows 95 was a big deal, and how it compares to Windows today.
Your Hard Drive Is Almost Full
While deleting all kinds of files won’t speed up your system, a hard drive that’s nearly full
can affect performance. Hard drives need a certain amount of free space to function, and constantly working with a maxed-out disk might be giving you problems. VIDEO
Thankfully, it’s easy to clean up files and give the system some breathing room. Follow
our step-by-step guide to cleaning Windows
to reclaim plenty of space.
The Best Way to Clean Windows 10: A Step-by-Step Guide
The Best Way to Clean Windows 10: A Step-by-Step Guide Don't know how to clean Windows 10? Here's a clear step-by-step guide to getting your PC nice and tidy again.
You Need to Upgrade Your Hardware
If you’ve run through the fixes for all the above scenarios and still aren’t happy with your computer’s speed, you probably have inadequate hardware. Hopefully, you’re not
still running Windows XP
; if you are, you need to
5 Reasons Why You Love Windows XP & What You Sacrifice
5 Reasons Why You Love Windows XP & What You Sacrifice Nearly 30% of computers are still running Windows XP. It was a stable and reliable system for years, but all good things come to an end. Almost no good reasons to keep using Windows XP...
buy a new computer
7 Warning Signs It's Time to Replace your Old PC
7 Warning Signs It's Time to Replace your Old PC When should you buy a new computer?
modern operating system
Upgrade From Windows XP to a Modern OS in 7 Simple Steps
Upgrade From Windows XP to a Modern OS in 7 Simple Steps It's time to say goodbye! Microsoft is ending official support for Windows XP on April 8 2014. Are you at risk? If you are still running this ancient operating system, it's time to upgrade.
For machines that are only a couple of years old, spending about a hundred dollars on upgrades can go a long way. To save money, you should prioritize upgrading the
components that improve performance the most
. For most machines, this means replacing the hard drive
These Upgrades Will Improve Your PC Performance the Most!
These Upgrades Will Improve Your PC Performance the Most! Need a faster computer but aren't sure what you should upgrade on your PC? Follow our PC upgrade checker to find out.
with a solid state drive (SSD)
5 Things You Should Consider When Buying An SSD
5 Things You Should Consider When Buying An SSD The world of home computing is moving towards solid state drives for storage. Should you buy one?
installing more RAM
How Much RAM Do You Really Need?
How Much RAM Do You Really Need? RAM is like short term memory. The more you multitask, the more you need. Find out how much your computer has, how to get the most out of it, or how to get more.
These two upgrades will
greatly boost your machine’s performance
and could help provide a few more years of service.
Slow Computer? 4 Ways To Speed Things Up
Slow Computer? 4 Ways To Speed Things Up Buying a new computer can really set you back a pretty penny. So have you considered upgrading what you have now?
While you’re replacing the components, make sure to
give your PC a physical cleaning
, as dust and other grime can adversely affect it, too.
A Spring Cleaning Checklist For Your PC Part 1: Hardware Cleaning
A Spring Cleaning Checklist For Your PC Part 1: Hardware Cleaning With the arrival of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, houses across the globe get a nice cleaning to rid them of dirt and clutter that has accumulated over the past year. Dust and junk also...
Your Network Is to Blame
running into issues only when browsing the web
, your problem might be with your internet connection, not your machine. You’ll know this is the case if your system boots up quickly and has no problem running multiple programs at once, but struggles to load a webpage.
5 Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your Browser Speed
5 Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your Browser Speed There are few computer-related issues that are more irritating than a slow browser. If your browsing is being held back, check these five things to get it back up to speed.
You can perform some troubleshooting to get to the bottom of network issues. Have a look at
fixing Wi-Fi slowness
4 Reasons Why Your Wi-Fi Is So Slow (And How to Fix It)
4 Reasons Why Your Wi-Fi Is So Slow (And How to Fix It) Ever ask: "why is my Wi-Fi so slow"? This article explains fast and easy ways to speed up your Wi-Fi internet connection.
items that could be slowing down your home network
9 Things That Might Be Slowing Down Your Home Wi-Fi Network
9 Things That Might Be Slowing Down Your Home Wi-Fi Network Tired of slow or spotty internet? Check these things that could be slowing down your home Wi-Fi network.
how to fix unstable Wi-Fi connections
. If you’ve exhausted all of those options, you might need to
How to Fix a Slow or Unstable Wi-Fi Connection
How to Fix a Slow or Unstable Wi-Fi Connection One simple trick could speed up your Wi-Fi connection. We explain the issue, how to analyze Wi-Fi networks around you, and how to use the information to speed up your Wi-Fi connection.
upgrade the speed you receive from your ISP
Are You Getting The Broadband Speed You're Paying For?
Are You Getting The Broadband Speed You're Paying For? How fast is your Internet connection, really? Your Internet service provider quotes you speeds, but how do you know if you’re actually getting the speed you’re paying for? You can find out using one of...
You Need to Run Some Scans
Before you take the nuclear step, there are a few scans to try that might fix some issues. You can run these in Windows
from a command prompt
7 Common Tasks The Windows Command Prompt Makes Quick & Easy
7 Common Tasks The Windows Command Prompt Makes Quick & Easy Don't let the command prompt intimidate you. It's simpler and more useful than you expect. You might be surprised by what you can accomplish with just a few keystrokes.
cmd into the Start Menu, then right-click its entry and choose Run As Administrator to open an elevated command line. VIDEO
The first scan will check Windows for errors. This scan is usually performed to
fix corruption errors
, but it’s worth a shot to improve performance, too. The command to run is:
How to Fix a Corrupted Windows 10 Installation
How to Fix a Corrupted Windows 10 Installation System corruption is the worst that could happen to your Windows installation. We show you how to get Windows 10 back on track when suffering from BSODs, driver errors, or other unexplained issues.
A second scan will check your hard drive for errors. If it finds any, the scan attempts to correct them. Those disk issues could be affecting performance, so this is a good one to try, as well.
run a disk check
that attempts to fix bad sectors, type the following command:
Is CHKDSK Stuck? Fixes for When Check Disk Won't Work
Is CHKDSK Stuck? Fixes for When Check Disk Won't Work CHKDSK can seriously deflate your Windows boot time. More importantly, it indicates that something's not right. Here's what Check Disk does and how you can use it.
ckhdsk /r /f
The system can’t check the disk when you’re using it, so reply
Y to the prompt to run a scan at the next boot. Restart your system when you’re ready, and the scan will run. This could take a while, so it’s best to initialize it when you won’t need your PC for a while. You Need to Reinstall Windows
If you’ve tried all the above fixes and still have a speed problem, it might be in your best interest to reinstall Windows. Over time, Windows builds up crud and is prone to running into strange issues that are best fixed by a reimage.
VIDEO You don’t need to regularly reinstall Windows
like some people say, but if you’re still having an issue, it’s faster to just reimage than to waste time trying to pinpoint the problem. Note that you shouldn’t reinstall Windows until you’ve upgraded the appropriate hardware — that would be like putting new tires on a worn-out car. Additionally, it takes time to set up Windows just how you had it, so be certain that you can’t isolate the cause before taking this step.
How To Really Speed Up Your Computer - Common Myths & What To Do Instead
How To Really Speed Up Your Computer - Common Myths & What To Do Instead Suffering from a slow computer? You might not know why and maybe you're trying to fix it in all the wrong ways. Let us help you with tips for a real speed boost.
Windows 10 allows you to
refresh and reinstall using several methods
. Thus, you can get a clean start without losing your data, or start over from scratch, depending on how severe your issue is. If nothing else could fix your problem, new hardware and a clean copy of Windows should do the trick nicely.
4 Ways to Reset Windows 10 and Reinstall From Scratch
4 Ways to Reset Windows 10 and Reinstall From Scratch Windows 10 is still Windows, meaning it will need a fresh start every once in a while. We show you how you can get a fresh Windows 10 installation with as little effort as possible.
How Else Can You Speed Up?
These are ten
common causes for a Windows computer running slowly
, but you can probably think of others. While software fixes are usually pretty simple, nothing beats a hardware upgrade. Once you’ve narrowed down the problem, consider spending some money on new components to keep your system running sharply. You’ll waste a lot of time waiting for the computer to catch up to you otherwise.
Can't Stand The Slowness? The Top 10 Reasons for Poor PC Performance
Can't Stand The Slowness? The Top 10 Reasons for Poor PC Performance Has your computer loaded this webpage yet? If it has, you’ll be halfway toward working out just why it seems to be running so slowly. There are many reasons for desktop and laptops to chug...
Once you’ve got a speedy system again, make sure you
put simple habits into practice
to prevent slowdown in the future.
5 Simple Habits to Stop Your Computer From Running Slow
5 Simple Habits to Stop Your Computer From Running Slow Only three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and slow computers after hours of Internet browsing. Let us show you habits to keep your Windows computer as fast as new.
What are the first things you check when troubleshooting a slow computer? Let us know your best fixes down in the comments!
Image Credits: Bob Alex/Shutterstock