How to fix a slow computer (desktop PC and laptop)

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 and 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 uninstall and click on Uninstall (located at the top of the programs list).

Or right-click on the program and choose Uninstall.

3. When a Confirmation window appears, you click on Uninstall or Yes.

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 must always check the system requirements that are printed on the box or located on the product's product page.

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 the Windows Disk Cleanup tool.

Three ways to open this tool:

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.

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, the tool 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 this tool:

2. Select the Windows drive.

3. Click on Defragment disk or Optimize.

4. 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.

Warning! If you don't know what a process does, search its name. Do not disable processes if you are unsure because some processes are necessary for some software (e.g., antivirus) to function normally.

1. Open Process Explorer.

Two ways to open Process Explorer:

2. Click on the Services tab.

3. Check the Hide all Microsoft services option at the bottom.

Stop Background Processes in Windows

4. Uncheck the service(s) that don't need to run in the background.

5. Click on Apply.

6. Click on OK.

7. 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 the Windows Command Prompt as administrator.

Three ways to open the Command Prompt as administrator:

2. Type the following command and press Enter:

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 (laptops & netbooks)

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

1. Open Power Options.

Four ways to open 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 Windows 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 need.