Has your computer suddenly become slow and you don’t know how to deal with the situation? It is a big problem… when you are dealing with a slow computer, you have to be good at identifying. The causes of the problem and taking prompt action. Where is it? Such as? Let’s try to find out together. Here we will give you a complete guide about why is my computer so slow?
Below you will find several useful procedures. Tools and applications that should help you correct the performance problems affecting your system. Try to put them into practice, deepen all the topics covered in the post by reading the tutorial’s guides. Within a few minutes, you should be able to fix the situation … or at least to improve it sensitively.
The directions apply to both Windows and Mac OS X systems. Try to follow them carefully and cross your fingers so that your computer’s problem is software-only. Otherwise, if there is a hardware problem (therefore to the “pieces” of the computer), unfortunately, you will have to take the PC to a technician and request the defective components’ repair/replacement. But now let’s not think about the most disastrous hypotheses, and let’s try to solve it together!
why is my computer so slow: Scan your computer for virus/malware
If we exclude hardware problems (e.g., damaged hard disk, defective RAM banks, etc.), there are almost always viruses and malware among the main causes of a PC slowdown. Therefore, the first piece of advice I give you is to take a few minutes of free time and try to perform a full system scan using the antivirus installed on your PC. Full scan, attention, not quick scan; otherwise, only some areas of the system will be checked, and all others will be left out.
If you can’t complete your PC’s virus scan or even just can’t start it, there is most likely a virus preventing the program from working properly. To overcome this problem (and free your system from infection), you can use a “live” antivirus to copy to a DVD or USB stick and start when you turn on your computer instead of Windows. Among the best solutions of this type, I point out Bitdefender Rescue CD and Kaspersky Rescue Disk, which I told you about in detail in my tutorial on how to eliminate viruses from your PC (where you can find all the information on how to download and use them).
Other malware that can significantly slow down your PC (and can lead to other more or less serious problems) are Trojans, spyware, and adware. To eliminate this type of threats, you need an antimalware, that is a program that allows you to specifically counter some threats that can “escape” traditional antiviruses, such as the spyware above that track the online activities performed by the user or the annoying browser hijackers that they replace the home page and the browser search engine.
why is my computer so slow
One of the best free antimalware currently available on Windows, which I highly recommend you try, is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. You can find detailed instructions on how it works in my tutorial to delete trojans from your PC.
Macs can also be affected by malware (viruses, on the other hand, are still a rather limited threat). Even on Macs, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is the right software to fight them effectively. I also told you about it in my guide on how to uninstall MacKeeper.
Speaking of computer security software … did you know that even a resource-hungry antivirus can negatively affect PC performance? This happens especially with paid security suites, which often contain dubious utility functions that weigh down the RAM and processor more than necessary (fortunately not always; you don’t have to make a mess of everything, but it can happen).
why is my computer so slow: Disable unnecessary software at system startup
If your computer is slow, probably the fault is also attributable to the many software that starts automatically every time it is turned on (and then remain constantly running).
To stem the problem, and significantly improve the performance of your system, carefully analyze the list of all the software set to start automatically on your computer and disable those that you do not consider strictly necessary (those that, therefore, you do not have to keep constantly in function or in any case you don’t need it as soon as you turn on your PC). Here’s how to proceed with Windows and Mac OS X.
- Windows 7 and earlier – press the key combination Win + R to bring up the Run … panel, type the MSConfig command inside it and press the Enter key to start the system configuration utility. In the window that opens, select the Startup tab, remove the checkmark from the software that you no longer want to start automatically when Windows starts, and click Apply / OK to save the changes and restart the PC.
- Windows 8.x / 10 – right-click on the taskbar and select Task management from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, select the Startup tab, click on the names of the programs you no longer want to start automatically when Windows starts, and press the Disable button located at the bottom right.
- Mac OS X – go to System Preferences and click on the Users and Groups icon. In the window that opens, select your username (from the left sidebar), then go to the Login Elements tab, select the software you want to remove from the automatic start, and press the “-” button to complete the operation.
why is my computer so slow: Uninstall unnecessary applications
If there are programs on your PC that you haven’t used for a long time, you downloaded by mistake, or that you think are superfluous, it might be a good idea to uninstall them.
To uninstall software on Windows just go to the control panel and click on the Uninstall a program icon. Then you must select the software to remove from the PC, click on the Uninstall button (located at the top), and follow the wizard for deleting the program (which usually consists of always clicking on Next / Next). If you cannot uninstall a program due to an error or because its name does not appear in the Windows Control Panel, try to solve the problem by following the suggestions in the guide I wrote on the subject.
On Mac, removing software installed on your computer is even easier. All you have to do is open the OS X Applications folder, drag the program’s icon to be deleted into the trash and empty the latter (by right-clicking on its icon in the Dock bar and selecting the appropriate item from the menu that appears). Only some applications, such as antivirus and some Adobe software, provide for uninstallation using a special “uninstaller” similar to that of programs for Windows. I told you about it in my tutorial on how to uninstall a program from Mac.
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why is my computer so slow
You could replace Adobe Reader with a lightweight PDF reader like Sumatra PDF, Windows Media Player with Media Player Classic; you could use Irfan View to view photos instead of the Windows built-in viewer, and the list could go on and on.
If you have a Windows PC, you must check that the hard disk defragmentation function is active. Disk defragmentation is an operation that restructures the allocation of data on the hard disk so that files are stored on contiguous areas of the drive. In other words, it moves and “recomposes” the files saved on the hard disk so that access to them is as fast as possible.
The most recent versions of Windows (from Vista onwards) defragment the disk completely automatically. Make sure that this function on your PC is active by going to Control Panel> Administrative Tools> Defragment and optimize drives. In case the automatic defragmentation is not configured correctly. Click on the Change settings button located at the bottom right and put the checkmark next to the item Run on a schedule.
On Mac, defragmentation should not be performed as the file system used by OS X (HFS +) does not suffer from the same data fragmentation problems as NTFS (the file system used by Windows systems).
Why Windows 10 slows down
With all its clear advantages over other operating systems. Microsoft Windows 10 also has several disadvantages that no version of Windows can do without. It’s about gradually slowing down the responsiveness of the system. Despite the rather low system requirements, sometimes Windows 10 slows down not only on weak office machines. But also on powerful personal computers and gaming laptops. The problem is very specific and there are enough reasons for this.
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The main reasons for the “brakes” of Windows 10
Before getting into the jungle of settings. You need to decide what could be the possible reason for the loss of computer performance. Everything can be much simpler than it seems – incompatible drivers, or their absence at all, accumulated “garbage”. On the hard disk, non-compliance with system requirements, malfunctioning components. For example, when the thermal paste dries out, the processor also experiences “brakes” of a similar nature. You can check this with almost any utility for testing components such as AIDA64, CPUID HWMonitor, and HWInfoetc. If the temperature on the processor is high or varies greatly across the cores, this is why.
Also, owners of a small amount of RAM can be advised to increase virtual memory. For optimal operation of Windows 10, you need at least 2 gigabytes of RAM, or better 4. There is also a paging file with which you can “help” the system with insufficient memory. And this paging file can be increased. To do this, open “This Computer”, go to the “Computer” tab, and then to “System Properties”.
In the window that opens, there are a tab “Advanced system settings” on the left. After clicking on it, “System Properties” will open, wherein in the “Performance” section you must select “Parameters”. Visual effects are also configured here, by disabling which, you can unload memory a little more.
On the Advanced tab, there is a Virtual Memory section and a Change button. By clicking on it, the required window will open. After unchecking the “Automatically select paging file” checkbox and clicking “Specify size”, you can set your value.
Background processes in RAM
Along with such a problem as cluttered autoloading. The accompanying problem is possible – a large number of “left processes” in the background. Perhaps the root of all evil lies in this. The fact is that application processes do not always hang only at startup. In the running processes, you can also see the processes of viruses and update applications.
In the “Memory” section. You can just see what loads the memory the most, and in the “CPU” section – the processor. It will not be superfluous to check your PC for viruses – the same Cure It! from Doctor Web or the Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool from Kaspersky Lab.
That’s not all. There are also system utilities from Microsoft. It’s a calendar app, standalone fitness app, Xbox and Skype components, and more. All this is telemetry and surveillance, which does not stop for a minute. Disabling tracking completely is difficult, but anyone can do the most basic. Just open “Start” and find “Settings”. A large pane with Windows options will appear. Here you need to go to “Confidentiality”.
The only drawback is that this program is in English, and you must install and run it as an Administrator.
Superfetch and its impact on the hard drive
How does the hard drive behave? What if the Superfetch service loads the system? In the same Task Manager, you can see how things are with the hard drive. This is very much possible with Superfetch. Unfortunately, this problem occurs not only in Windows 10 but also in Windows 7. If this happened, you need to open the Run window using the “Win + R” key combination and enter Services.msc in it, and press enter. The Services snap-in opens with an impressive list of services.
In this list, you need to find the Superfetch service, double-click on it and click “Stop”, and then set the startup type as “Disabled”. However, if the hard drive is behaving normally and the load is low, you can leave it as it is.
We’ve covered the main reasons why a Windows 10 computer can slow down. Of course, each case is unique and requires an individual approach. But using the above basic ways to eliminate the causes of Windows slowdown. You can quickly and significantly improve the performance of your PC or laptop. For advanced system tuning, read our next article on tuning and optimizing Windows 10.