PC running slow? Here’s how to speed things up
Whether you use yourat Where , a slow computer can make life more frustrating than it should be. Slow performance can render your computer virtually useless, especially when you can barely open a window, load a website, or even start your system.
If you’ve been struggling lately, now is a great time to take a few minutes to go through some of the proven troubleshooting steps. You can make using your PC much easier. You can give yourself a temporary respite from speaking ill of your computer in a low voice. Better yet, you can do it all for free.
I promise it’s doable on your own. Well, technically on your own, I’ll walk you through how to fix your computer’s sluggish performance by digging into Task Manager, checking the number of open apps on startup, and a few other tips and tricks I’ve learned. along the way.
And if you need to buy a brand new computer, these are theand the .
Task manager is like a magic crystal ball
Think of Task Manager as a window into your PC’s health. The app gives you insight into what’s using the CPU, how much memory something is taking up, and even how much network data a program is using.
An easy way to open Task Manager in Windows 10 is to right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager in the list of options. In Windows 11, click the magnifying glass on taskbar and seek Task Manager.
Task Manager’s default view doesn’t show much information beyond running apps (handy if you already know if you want to close one). To see what really matters, click More details in the lower left corner.
By default, this list is divided into apps and background processes. It is constantly refreshed, with the various columns being constantly updated. My advice is to let Task Manager run for a few minutes and watch it. Watch for apps that come to the top of the list, then disappear seconds later. Look for processes that remain at the top of the list with high memory or CPU usage. You don’t know what a process is? Google his name to find out more.
To close an application or process that you suspect is partly responsible for slow performance, click the listing, and then click Final task.
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Three most common reasons for a slow PC
There are far too many apps and services to create a shortlist of what’s likely slowing down a PC, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t likely culprits. Here are some of the main problems we all encounter on a PC.
After seeing your system running slowly with Task Manager open, you may have noticed that your antivirus software is regularly at the top of the list. Antivirus software can slow down your system while it actively scans your computer for malware and viruses.
Instead of letting your antivirus program scan whenever it wants, schedule it to run at times when you’re not likely to use your PC, such as at night or during your lunch hour. Changing the scan schedule depends on the program you are using, but usually you can open the app and go to the settings pane.
Too many applications are running during login
If your PC takes forever to respond after you log into your Windows account, you probably have way too many apps trying to run on startup. You can change the list of applications and services that start running when you log on to your computer by opening Task Manager and clicking the start tongue.
Go through the list and remove anything you don’t need to have loaded and ready by the time your PC turns on by clicking on the app name, followed by Disable.
Some web browsers are resource intensive
Your web browser could be the culprit, especially if you’ve lost count of the number of windows and tabs you have open. Every browser window and tab consumes memory and processing power and over time it will start slowing down your PC.
You can view a breakdown of extensions and tabs that might be to blame in Task Manager by clicking the arrow next to your browser’s name. Alternatively, if you’re using Chrome, it has its own built-in task manager. Launch it by pressing Shift+Esc when using Chrome, or click the menu button > More tools > Task Manager.
If you find that your browser often slows down your PC, try aor keep an eye on how many tabs or windows you have open at any given time.
There is a wide range of methods available to troubleshoot and speed up your PC. Below are some steps you can take that should, at the very least, temporarily speed up your slow computer:
- Close running applications when finished. Make sure they’re not running in the notification bar (next to the volume and Wi-Fi indicators). When you close some apps, such as Slack, they continue to run in the background. Usually, you can completely close apps that are still running with a right-click on the app icon and select Exit or Quit.
- Pause OneDrive synchronization. This is something that even Microsoft admits can slow down your computer. Pause OneDrive by clicking the OneDrive icon in the notification bar, select Following then Pause synchronization.
- Check the available storage space and hard drive health. If your hard drive or SSD is running out of space or getting old, it might be down. I use CrystalDisk Info (Standard Edition) to get basic information about my drives. It’s a free application that quickly scans your drives and tells you their current health. If you’re not comfortable testing your hard drive, take your computer to a technician who can properly diagnose the problem and, if necessary, upgrade your storage.
- Shut down your computer regularly. Not correct restart it, but turn it off completely and walk away for a few minutes. This gives your computer a chance to clear memory and start over the next time it’s turned on.
If none of the above suggestions speeds up your computer to a level that suits you, you can try reducing animations, changing themes and switching between others. If you’re trying to get remote help, make sure you know . If you’re more of an Apple household, you’re in luck: we have too much.