How to Fix a Slow Computer (Desktop PC & Laptop)

How to Fix a Slow Computer

Is your computer running (very) slow?

Looking for a way to fix your slow computer (desktop PC or laptop)?

Then you've come to the right place, because this tutorial will show you how to make your Windows PC faster.

How to Fix a Slow Computer & Make it Faster

Fix a Slow Computer & Make it Faster

Cold Reboot

Many people leave their computer running the whole day, or put their pc into sleep or hibernation mode rather than shutting it down completely.

A full (cold) reboot (turning it completely off and on) can help sometimes.

Uninstall Unused Programs

If you have programs installed on your PC, that you don't use, then it's better to uninstall them to free up disk space.

1. Open "Programs and Features".

Three ways to open "Programs and Features":

2. Select the program you want to delete and click on "Uninstall" (located at the top of the programs list). Or right-click on the program and choose "Uninstall".

3. Choose "Uninstall" if asked.

4. Click "Finish" or "OK" when the process is completed.

Recent Changes

Maybe you've made some changes recently, like installed a new program, new hardware (hard drive, cd/dvd drive, webcam etc...) or updated a driver. If this is the case, then try to undo what you did and see if that helps.

System Requirements

Before installing a new program or a new Windows version, you always must check the system requirements that's printed on the box or located on the company's website.

To get the best experience your system must at least comply with the "recommended" requirements. New software often requires new hardware or the other way around.

Disk Cleanup

After a while there may be a lot of unnecessary files stored on your computer, so it's best to delete these files with the built-in Windows tool called "Disk Cleanup".

1. Open "Disk Cleanup".

Three ways to open "Disk Cleanup":

2. If you have more than one drive or partition, then select the drive (partition) where Windows is installed (if not already selected) and click on "OK".

The (C:) drive is the default installation location for Windows.

Disk Cleanup will now calculate how much space you will be able to free on your system drive. This may take a few minutes to complete.

3. If you are using Windows 8, 8.1 or 10, then click on "Clean up system files" to get a full cleanup.

4. Select the files you want to delete. I always select everything, like:

5. Click on "OK".

6. Click on "Delete Files".

This may take a while. The time it takes depends on how many files need to be deleted. When it's finished it will close by itself.

Disk Defragmenter

Fragmentation happens to a volume over time as you save, change, or delete files.

The changes that you save to a file are often stored in a different place on the volume than the original file.

This doesn't change where the file appears in Windows—only where the bits of information that make up the file are stored on the actual volume.

Over time, both the file and the volume itself become fragmented, and your computer slows down as it has to look in different places to open a single file.

Windows has a built-in tool called "Disk Defragmenter" and this tool rearranges data on your drive and reunites fragmented data, so that your computer can run more efficiently.

1. Open "Disk Defragmenter".

Three ways to open "Disk Defragmenter":

2. Select the Windows drive and click on "Defragment disk" or "Optimize".

3. When the defragmenting is finished, you can close the tool by clicking on "Close".

Malware Scan

Virus, Malware & Spyware can make a PC Slow

Malware (viruses, spyware, adware, rootkits, trojan horse, worms, etc..) can make a computer slow (sometimes even extremely slow).

First you should update your antivirus software and then perform a full system scan with your antivirus and after that you should scan your PC with multiple malware scanners and removal tools.

How to Remove Malware from your PC with Multiple Scanners & Removal Tools

Background Processes (Advanced)

Too many processes running in the background can slow down the performance of your computer.

Sometimes there are processes running in the background that are not needed, so it's better to stop them.

Windows has a built-in tool called "Process Explorer" that can be used to list all programs running on your Windows system.

Process Explorer is more comprehensive than the Windows Task Manager.

Note! If you don't know what a process does, search its name. Do not disable processes if you are unsure, as some processes are necessary for Windows to function normally.

1. Open "Process Explorer".

Two ways to open "Process Explorer":

2. Open the "Services" tab.

3. Check "Hide all Microsoft services" (located at the bottom).

Stop Background Processes in Windows

4. Unceck the service(s) (that don't need to run) and click on "Apply".

Note: If you don't know what a process does, search its name. Do not disable processes if you are unsure, as some processes are necessary for your PC to function normally.

5. Click on "OK".

6. Click on "Restart" to restart your computer.

System File Checker Tool

System File Checker is a utility in Windows that allows users to scan for corruptions in Windows system files and restore corrupted files.

1. Open "Command Prompt" as administrator.

  • Three ways to open "Command Prompt" as administrator:
    • Windows 8.1 and 10: Right-click on the start menu and choose "Command Prompt (Admin)".
    • Windows Vista and 7: Click on the start menu, open "All Programs", open "Accessories", right-click on "Command prompt" and choose "Run as administrator".
    • Windows Vista and 7: Click on the start menu, enter cmd into the searchbar and then press the CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER keys on your keyboard.

    2. Run the following command:

    sfc /scannow

    The sfc /scannow command will now scan all protected system files, and will try to replace corrupted files with a cached copy.

    Note: Do not close the Command Prompt window until the verification is 100% completed.

    The scan results will be shown after this process is finished.

    How to Solve "SFC Unable to Fix Corrupt Files" Problem in Windows 10

    Performance Settings (Laptop & Netbooks)

    On laptops and netbooks the processor speed is altered in accordance to energy settings (and if you are running on battery power).

    1. Open "Power Options".

    3 ways to open "Power Options":

    • Open start menu, enter power options into the search bar and click on "Power Options".
    • Open "Control Panel" and click on "Power Options".
    • Open "Control Panel", open "System and Security" and click on "Power Options".

    2. Select "High Performance" and close the window.

    Keep Windows always Up-To-Date

    It's very important to keep Windows and programs always up-to-date, because some updates (especially security updates) can prevent Malware (computer viruses, spyware, adware, rootkits, trojan horse, worms, etc..) from infecting and slowing down your PC.

    Keep your Computer Cool

    When a computer gets too hot, the CPU fan will speed up and this can lead to slow processing speed.

    Don't Clean the Registry

    Don't clean the registry, because it can fragment your registry. The registry doesn't need to be cleaned.

    Web Browser Extensions

    Some web browser extensions can also make your PC slow.

    Disable or remove browser extensions and toolbars you don't really need.