My computer is running slow, what steps can I do to fix it. How to fix performance issues

A problematic computer is as annoying as it is frustrating, especially if you don’t have an IT department to troubleshoot. Whether it takes forever to launch, load your favorite software, or just open and close windows, a slow computer can make work more painful and doing things you love like gaming less fun.

How to fix Windows 11/10 Performance issues?

If you frequently encounter performance-related issues like program unresponsive, freezes, system crashes, slowdown etc on your Windows PC, you can try some of these suggested tips. They can help you fix such problems by fine-tuning your Windows system.

  1. Run Selective Startup
  2. Update the drivers
  3. System maintenance
  4. Windows update
  5. Cleaning up unnecessary files
  6. Antivirus scanning
  7. System integrity check
  8. Hardware diagnostics
  9. Windows boot performance diagnostics
  10. Problems using the disk.

1 Selective Startup

In most cases, the startup service can cause problems that affect system performance. A clean boot can fix and pinpoint which service is causing the problem. To identify it, we can use System Configuration Utility to find it.

Go to Start and under Search, type MSCONFIG and press Enter.

First, in the General tab, uncheck “Load startup items” and then go to the Services tab.

Then check “Hide all Microsoft services” and click “Disable all”. Click Apply and restart your computer.

After restarting your computer, check to see if the problem is resolved. If so, go back to MSCONFIG and go to the Startup tab first and enable the first startup item, then restart the system. You have to follow the same procedure until you find the service or startup item that is causing the system to crash.

I know it might take a while to find out which one it is, but it is not recommended that you keep booting to selective startup mode. Because Selective Boot is not a fix; this is the troubleshooting step to find the culprit that is causing the system inconsistency.

Trust me, most performance problems can be solved in this step!

[2] Update Drivers

An outdated driver can cause the system to crash and sometimes become unresponsive. Therefore, updating device drivers is a good step. Find the exact driver model of your device and check the version and date of the driver that you can use in the MSINFO32 file.

Go to Start and under Search, type MSINFO32 and press Enter.

Optimize and improve the performance of your Windows 10 PC with these 10 tips

This is what MSINFO32 looks like, then select each non-Microsoft device and on the right side pane you will find your device model, driver date version etc.

After finding the driver name, date and version, go to the manufacturer’s website, go to the appropriate section and download the driver and install it.

Don’t use Windows Update or any lesser-known third-party application to automatically update drivers as in my opinion most of the time Windows Update or neither of these third-party applications will find the best drivers, which can, in turn, cause a blue screen system crash.

TIP: I have seen many cases where display driver is causing lag or performance issues, it is best to update or reinstall display related drivers.

3 System Maintenance

System maintenance is a key system when troubleshooting performance issues.

Open an elevated command prompt, type the following command and press Enter to run the performance troubleshooter.

Fix SearchProtocolHost.exe Application High Disk Usage

Windows Media Creation does not work

I'm stuck in the update office, please wait a moment

Your internet browser may be the culprit, especially if you’ve lost track of your open windows and tabs. Every browser window and tab consume memory and processing power, and slow down your computer over time.

Reboot

If your computer has not been restarted recently, be sure to restart it before performing any of the steps below. Restarting your computer can solve a lot of problems and is an easy first step.

One of the most common causes of a slow computer is programs that run in the background. Remove or disable any TSR programs and startup programs that start automatically each time you start your computer.

To see what programs are running in the background and how much memory and CPU they are using, open the Task Manager. If you are using Windows 7 or later, run Resmon to better understand how your computer’s resources are being used.

If you have a virus scanner, anti-spyware, or other security tool on your computer, make sure it is not scanning your computer in the background. While scanning is in progress, the overall performance of the computer slows down. In this case, wait for the scan to complete and your computer’s performance should improve.

Delete temp files

As your computer runs programs, temporary files are stored on your hard drive. Removing these temporary files helps to improve your computer’s performance.

Windows computers

First, we suggest you use Windows Disk Cleanup to remove temporary files and other files that are no longer needed on your computer.

Temporary folder

Unfortunately, Disk Cleanup may not delete all files in the temp directory. Therefore, we also suggest deleting temporary files manually.

  1. Open the Start menu or and press the Windows key, then type% temp% in the search box.

For Windows XP and earlier, click Run on the Start menu and type% temp% in the Run box.

  1. Hit Enter and the Temp folder should open up.
  2. You can delete any files found in this folder, and if any files are in use and cannot be deleted, they can be skipped.

If you have a virus scanner, anti-spyware, or other security tool on your computer, make sure it is not scanning your computer in the background. While scanning is in progress, the overall performance of the computer slows down. In this case, wait for the scan to complete and your computer’s performance should improve.

Fix 3: Verify game files

Verifying game files is a useful fix for troubleshooting a game, especially when the game freezes or has poor performance. As a new game, God of War has new patches appearing almost daily, game file verification can fix the problem with a corrupted installation that prevents the game from being played.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, see the next hotfix.

Fix 4: Check for system updates

Windows 10/11 offers regular system updates which usually improves system stability and sometimes in-game performance. This is usually an automated process, but you can also check if you have all the fixes:

To confirm that you have installed all system updates, repeat these steps until “You are up to date” is displayed after clicking Check for Updates.

After all system updates are installed, restart your computer and test your gameplay.

If the latest updates don’t work, try the next method.

Does your system meet the minimum requirements? Before making any complicated tweaks, check your computer’s specifications first. If this is not the case, you may encounter a performance issue with God of War.

Fix 2: Disable overlays

The overlay is available for many programs and is quite useful, but it can cause stuttering problems at times. You can turn off overlays to see if that’s what’s causing your low FPS problem. As an example we will take disabling the Steam Overlay:

You can also disable the game’s Steam Overlay as long as it’s not causing FPS drops in other games. Here’s how:

Launch New World and test your FPS. If that doesn’t work, try the next hotfix.

Fix 3: Turn on Windows high performance mode

The default power profile of the computer is usually balanced, which means that the computer is trying to balance performance and power consumption. You can put your PC in high-performance mode to assign more resources to the game while it’s running. Moreover, you can apply this setting to your GPU.

1: Change your PC’s power plan

2: Allow high graphics performance for game

Remember to restart your computer to save changes. If that doesn’t give you a FPS boost, try the next tweak.

The Pro Driver Easy version comes with full technical support. If you need assistance, please contact Driver Easy support team at [email protected]

Shut Down Your Computer

Only a VERY quick section here! We cannot stress the importance of shutting down your computer when not in use. You’ll be surprised how many people don’t. Shutting down the computer will give it a chance to “clean” all temporary files that will be kept during the session. This will also ensure that your hardware is not overburdened.

In brief; as a result, your calculations will run much faster.

Upgrade Your Software

There are a lot of people out there who seem to think it is possible to bypass these software update notifications. Guess what it’s not! These software updates are available for a reason. They are there to fix any security holes or bad code. Chances are that by updating your software you will be able to get a nice speed boost out of it.

Also, don’t forget to update the drivers on your computer. These are small pieces of software that tell the operating system exactly what each piece of hardware on your computer is to do. These, like any other software, are prone to bugs and need to be updated periodically. Unfortunately, with most hardware there is no “immediate notification” that drivers need to be updated. You will have to take the initiative yourself and find the right drivers. You can also use special driver search software for this. We recommend using Driver Turbo .

Remember, if speed matters you should check out Driver Turbo! Driver Turbo is a high-performance driver update software that automatically scans your PC, identifies installed / connected hardware, and then locates the latest drivers. It’s quick and easy to fix.

With Driver Turbo you will:

  • Speed ​​up your PC in less than 2 minutes
  • Save the time and frustration of manual driver updates
  • Immediate improvement in hardware performance
  • Fix driver performance problems

Make sure the computer and the processor are not overheating. Excessive heat can degrade your computer’s performance, as most operating systems automatically reduce the CPU speed to compensate for heat-related problems.

Task Manager is like a magic crystal ball

Think of the Task Manager as a window about your computer’s health. The application gives you an insight into what is consuming the processor, how much memory something is taking up, and even how much network data the program used.

A simple way to open the Task Manager in Windows 10 is to right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager from the list of options. In Windows 11, click the magnifying glass on the taskbar and search for Task Manager.

The default Task Manager view doesn’t show much information other than which applications are currently running (useful if you already know if you want to close one). To see what’s really important, click More Details in the lower left corner.

task-manager-windows-10

Use the Task Manager to monitor the system.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

By default, this list is broken down into background apps and processes. It is constantly refreshed and the various columns are constantly updated. My advice is to let Task Manager run for a few minutes and watch it. Watch out for apps that hit the top of the list and disappear after a few seconds. Look for processes that remain at the top of the list with high memory or CPU usage. Not sure what the process is? Google your name to learn more.

To close an application or process that you suspect may be partially responsible for the slow performance, click, and then click End Task.

Three more common reasons for a slow PC

There are too many applications and services out there to make a concise list of what is likely to slow down your computer, but that doesn’t mean there are likely no culprits. These are some of the most important issues we all face on a computer.

Antivirus scans

After watching your system run slow with Task Manager open, you may have noticed that your antivirus software routinely tops the list. Antivirus software can slow down your system as it actively scans your computer for malware and viruses.

Instead of letting your antivirus scan when it sees fit, schedule it to run at times when you are unlikely to be using your computer, such as at night or at lunchtime. Changing the scan schedule will depend on the program you are using, but in general, you can open the application and go to the settings pane.

startup-application-windows-10

Startup applications can slow things down.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Too many apps are running at login

If your PC takes forever to respond when you log into your Windows account, you probably have too many applications trying to launch at startup. You can edit the list of applications and services that start running after you log into your computer by opening the Task Manager and clicking the Startup tab.

Go through the list and remove anything you don’t need to load and prepare when you turn on your computer by clicking on the name of the application and then Shut Down.

chrome-in-winds-10-tasks-manager

That’s a lot of Chrome in the Task Manager.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Some web browsers are resource hogs

Your internet browser may be the culprit, especially if you’ve lost track of your open windows and tabs. Every browser window and tab consume memory and processing power, and slow down your computer over time.

You can view a list of the extensions and tabs that may be at fault in Task Manager by clicking on the arrow next to the browser name. Alternatively, if you’re using Chrome, it has a built-in task manager. Launch it by pressing Shift + Esc while using Chrome, or click the menu button> More tools> Task Manager.

If you find that your browser often slows down your computer, try a different browser or observe how many tabs or windows are open at any given time.

pause-one-drive-sync

Pausing OneDrive syncing can speed up your computer.

Don’t use Windows Update or any lesser-known third-party application to automatically update drivers as in my opinion most of the time Windows Update or neither of these third-party applications will find the best drivers, which can, in turn, cause a blue screen system crash.

Hardware Failure Characteristics (and Which Ones Hurt Performance)

When in fact it wasn’t. I have never seen MemTest86 + give a false positive or false negative.

GPU: GPU crash may display strange colors and textures every time you launch a 3D application, or it works perfectly for basic PC work, but doesn’t work when prompted to render video or play a 3D game. Using a third-party tool such as MSI Afterburner may resolve the issue by lowering the GPU / RAM clock or increasing the system voltage, but these fixes are usually temporary. Games may crash while loading or run for a short time. The problem may start with a specific title, but it probably won’t remain alone. A damaged GPU may also refuse to install its own driver.

A GPU that has been running perfectly for a long time before bugs or texture flickering begins to show up may be overheating but not damaged yet. Vacuum the system and see if it improves the situation. Many games offer comparison modes for testing GPUs, and running these tests in a loop often fails, although it may take multiple loops during the test for this to happen.

GPU crashes typically won’t slow the system down unless lowering the clocks by yourself (temporarily) does not fix the problem.

Processors: Processor failures are difficult to categorize as processors almost never fail. If your CPU’s performance is slowing down, it’s likely a thermal issue – either a poorly fitted heat sink or a heavy build up of dust. Make sure the heat sink is properly seated with enough TIM (Thermal Interface Material) between the processor and the heat sink.

Power Supply: One way to detect when your PC power supply needs to be replaced is to light it up without warning. (Ask me how I know!) A much less scary method is to simply shut down or restart your computer during a gaming or rendering session. In some cases, the motherboard may warn you that the power supply has been interrupted. Power failures may superficially resemble RAM failures, but MemTest86 + won’t return errors, and the power supply won’t shut down while performing basic desktop tasks, unless it’s really having issues. In these cases, the motherboard may also report that at least one of the power rails is low. Bad power supplies often don’t slow down; cause shutdowns.

Hard disks: Mechanical spinning disks may click silently and repeatedly when trying to access certain parts of the disk, or I / O performance may be degraded when trying to access data. Event Viewer can also log hardware failures if the operating system is unable to correctly read data over the bus. SSDs do not click (no moving parts), but may display the same longer than expected access times or significantly diminished performance when the CPU tries to read data from damaged parts of the disk. In many cases, these types of failures will completely kill the drive, rather than leaving it limping at a lower performance level.

What Can Be Done About It?

Alright alright You’ve looked through the checklists and found that your computer is just slow. What now?

Finding love for hardware in the coronavirus era requires in some cases a willingness to spend more money than usual. If you’re looking to buy a consumer gaming GPU, now’s a bad time to do so. You can expect to pay 1.5x the MSRP or more right now. This is better than the triple MSRP cards that were sold earlier this year, but not a situation that anyone considers to be a good one.

If you’re trying to upgrade your general-purpose computer, take a look at two features: RAM and storage. If you have an old machine that’s stuck on a spinning hard drive, see if it can be upgraded to SSD. Even some laptops may be equipped this way, but whether or not your system qualifies depends on its memory interface and how accessible it is to the user. While updating such a system is beyond the scope of this article, there are options.

The difference between upgrading RAM and upgrading SSD for an older system is this: RAM will help you if the problem is that you don’t have enough RAM. Trying to run an application on 1 GB of RAM if it requires at least 3 GB to run properly will lead to disk paging and a lot of slowdowns with unstable overall performance. However, if you already have enough RAM, more RAM won’t necessarily help. 4GB of RAM is pretty small for a new machine these days, but a 4GB machine should still handle web applications, word processing, and other basic tasks without any problems.

An SSD drive, if you don’t have one, does not replace your RAM. But if RAM bottlenecks aren’t your specific problem, SSD will speed everything else up. In a specific situation where your computer is low on RAM and needs more for the application you want to run, get some RAM. In general, when you just want to speed up your daily computer use and low RAM is not an issue, choose an SSD. Even older SATA-only models have an order of magnitude better latency than conventional spinning drives.

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