Speed up your slow computer in 9 simple steps

Computer slow issue is one of the major problem for Windows users. This guide has a list of proven simple steps that actually help you to speed up your slow computer. There are several users who reporting computer slow related issues on several forums and asking computer experts as “how to fix computer slow issue permanently on Windows 10? , How to speedup Windows 10, How to improve computer performance, How to speed up old Windows 10?. There are several How to questions which are left with no answer. Did any user have their answer and fixed Windows 10 computer slow issue permanently? Answer depends on how users optimize their computers. We have practically tested several old slow computers, researched on them. Listed most common causes for computer issues. This article with proven possible resolutions steps most probably speed up any slow computer.

What makes your computer slow?

Nobody can have single line answer for this question. There are several reasons that can cause computer slow issue. And each computer may have different reason we have listed possible causes here. However we can get it fixed permanently by following this guide step by step and periodically optimizing your computer. Most probably this guide works on all computers with any Windows operating systems such as Windows 7, Windows 8 – 8.1 and Windows 10.


  • Background running apps.
  • Computer start up items.
  • Junk files
  • Not defragmented hard disk drive.
  • High resolutions Desktop background and screen savers.
  • Less disk space.
  • Virus, Trojan, spywares.
  • Incorrect power settings.
  • Incompatible drivers and Windows updates.
  • Bad sectors on hard disk drive.
  • Insufficient RAM.
  • Faulty Hard disk drive.
  • Faulty system files or Operating system

Is software causing computer slow issues?

When your computer is performing slow. I suggest you to start troubleshooting computer software first, as most of the cases application programs can cause computer slow issue. Here you have very big challenge to identify which software application is causing computer slow issue. However in this guide we have simplified the resolutions steps to fix the issues.

Is computer hardware causing computer slow issues?

Every single user can get this question on their mind. What do you think really computer hardware can cause the computer slow issue? Of course yes, faulty hardware’s also can cause computer issue. For example: Faulty hard disk drive – When your computer hardware has bad sectors, it delay’s providing the information which asked by user. As a result computer slowly display’s your requested result on screen. Insufficient RAM (Random access memory) – RAM plays very crucial role to perform computer well. Having maximum capacity of RAM memory can help computer perform well. You have to make computer have sufficient memory (RAM)

What happens when your computer is actually slow?

You know the answer. Computer does not work as expected.

  • Computer takes more time to boot.
  • Files manager does not open and takes more time to open.
  • PC freezes quite often.
  • Applications taking more time to open.
  • Computer programs freezing.
  • Task manager applications does not open quickly.
  • Internet browsers does not open quickly.
  • You may see not responding error quite often.

Now we know why the computer is running slow. Check this guide to learn how to speed up your slow computer. This guide has very simple steps that actually improve your computer performance. Appreciate your feedback in comments, also ask questions in forum.

Speed up your slow computer in 9 simple steps

Either faulty software, faulty hardware or both can cause computer slow issue. To make you understand and speed up your computer let me split resolution steps into two parts as Fix computer performance issue caused by software and Fix computer performance issue caused by hardware. Each part will help you to understand software and hardware related computer performance issues and fix them quickly.

Quick Note: Before making any changes in your computer, I suggest you to create a System Restore point  so that you can restore back your computer to previous working stat if something goes wrong. Perform below troubleshooting steps one by one. After every steps check if the issues is fixed.

Part 1: Speed up your computer by optimizing computer software.

Step 1: Terminate background running application tasks.

Sometime your computer does not load applications or taking more time to load applications, due to background apps are using more CPU and Memory on your computer. If this is the case you can just go ahead and terminate those applications from task manger, if they are not really required, by just right click and click on end task as shown below.

  • Right-click the Taskbar and click on Task Manager: Look for the applications that consuming more CPU usage it is also call High CPU usage. This steps also answers to the question How to fix high CPU usage.
  • If any application is consuming your CPU and memory, End the task for time being as show in the below image.
  • See the below image , HeavyLoad process is consuming CPU higher than others hence right click on that application and click on End task to close the background process to improve computer performance.

speed up your slow computer

Step 2: Disable computer startup applications.

Disabling programs from start can instantly improve computer boot time. Computer boots quickly on next reboot. To do that follow below steps.

  • Open Task Manager – Right-click the Taskbar and click on Task Manager.
  • Click on Startup Tab
  • Here you see the application list that are asked to run automatically on Windows startup. You can disable them whichever is not required.

Note: suggest you to remove all other start up applications except anti-virus software, graphics drives, audio drivers, Intel drivers. Learn more about Task Manager.

speed up your slow computer

  • Right click on the applications on startup tab, click on Disable to prevent it loading on computer startup.

Note: If you don’t know what is that application or process, right click on the process select Search Online to know more about the process, and decide if you need or not. However I suggest you can remove all other apps except drivers and anti-virus.

Step 3: Run Disk Clean up and remove junk files

Disk Cleanup is Microsoft Windows inbuilt utility that removes unwanted temporary files from computer; it instantly increases disk space on drives. Disk Clean up safely look and remove below cache files without touching your personal files.

Windows Update Cleanup: Windows keeps copies of all installed updates from Windows update, even after installing newer versions of updates. Windows update cleanup deletes or compresses older versions of updates that are no longer needed and taking up space. (You might need to restart your computer.)

Windows Defender Antivirus: Windows Defender is default and free antivirus software by Microsoft. Disk cleanup remove temporary files created by Defender and previous scan result and completed tasks from cache folder.

Downloaded Program Files: Downloaded Program Files are ActiveX controls and Java applets downloaded automatically from the Internet when you view certain pages. They are temporarily stored in the downloaded Program Files folder on your hard disk. Cleanup remove them safely.

Temporary Internet Files: The Temporary Internet Files folder contains webpages stored on your hard disk for quick viewing. Your personalized settings for webpages will be left intact.

Windows Error Reporting Files: These reports are stored temporarily in the system and send back to Microsoft so it can find a solution to those problems, and fix it in future updates. As time passes, these reports may take a lot of space on the system. End users are free to delete them using Disk Cleanup.

DirectX Shader Cache: Cleanup files created by the graphics system, which can speed up application load time and improve responsiveness. They will be re-generated as needed.

Delivery Optimization Files: Delivery Optimization files are files that were previously downloaded to your computer and can be deleted if currently unused by the Delivery Options service.

Device Driver packages: Windows keeps copies of all previously installed device drivers’ packages from Windows updates and other s0ources. Even after installing newer versions of drivers. This task will remove older versions of drivers that are no longer needed. The most current version of each driver package will be kept.

Recycle Bin: The Recycle Bin contains files you have deleted from your computer. These files are not permanently removed until you empty the Recycle Bin.

Temporary Files: Apps can store temporary information in specific folders. These can be cleaned up manually if the app does not do it automatically.

Thumbnails: Windows keeps a copy of all of your pictures, videos and documents thumbnails so they can be displayed quickly when you open a folder. If you delete these thumbnails, they will be automatically recreated as needed.

  • Press Windows and R key to bring up Run Command.

speed up your slow computer

  • Select the drive you want cleanup system files. On Drive Selection window, you will see all available disk drives in your computer. Here I will show you how to initiate Disk Cleanup for C: drive. You have to repeat the same procedure for other drives on your computer.

speed up your slow computer

Note: Disk cleanup does not delete your personal files and data from computer drivers. All your personal data is safe. It only remove unwanted temporary files to increase disk space.

  • On the next Windows check all boxes to under files to delete, Clean on Clean up system files

speed up your slow computer

  • Click on OK. You may see pop saying Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files. Click on Delete Files


Step 4: Disable visual effects.

Microsoft designed to look it Operating systems quite visually. It does not mean you have to composure you need to use it. Enabling visual effect may effect on your computer performance. No worries, Windows allow customization, here we can disable few visual effects that does not required and make your computer run smoother.

How to disable visual effects on Windows 10

  • Press Windows and R key together to bring up Run command.
  • Type sysdm.cpl to open system properties.
  • Click on Advanced Tab, And Click on Settings option under Performance.

speed up your slow computer

  • On Visual Effects tab you can select settings to use for appearance and performance of Windows on your computer. Here you find mainly four custom options as below.

Let Windows Choose what’s best for my computer: When this option is checked Windows will automatically calculate what is best for your computer and accordingly it enables necessary visual effects.

Adjust for best appearance: When this option is enabled, Windows enables all required options to represent Windows look more visually. This can graphically looks good but performance may be poor.

Adjust for best Performance: This option only concentrate on computer performance when this enabled. It does not bother about computer visual appearance.

Custom: This the main options that allows user to customize visual effects as per their need.

How to choose visual effect to run computer smoother.

Below are the available visual effect options in Windows 10. Let me explain about all options so that you can choose what to enable and what not to improve computer performance.

  • Animate controls and elements inside Windows: The “Animate controls and elements inside windows” visual effect is what allows Windows to animate buttons, scrollbars, taskbar icons and popup windows, start button, copy dialog, and more. You can disable to run PC smoother.
  • Animate Windows when minimizing and maximizing: it gives visual touch while minimize and maximize Window’s. It is actually not that impotent for low-end computers. You can disable it to speed up your computer.
  • Animation on Taskbar: This option displays animations in the taskbar and Start Menu, including the animation of taskbar thumbnail previews opening and closing. You can disable it to speed up your computer.
  • Enable Peek: by enabling, this options computer previous the desktop when you move your mouse to the show desktop button at the end of the taskbar. You can leave it enable.
  • Fade or slide menus into view: This option fade or slide menu or tooltip or combo boxes into view
  • Fade or slide tooltips into view: ToolTips are short reminders that appear when you hover over an item or the item is trying to alert you about something. You can disabled it.
  • Fade out menu items after clicking: Fade out animation for menu is actually not required. Disable it.
  • Save Task bar thumbnails previous: By disabling it, you can improve files and folder loading time. Disable it.
  • Show Shadow under mouse pointer: There is no use of this option, disable it to move moue pointer smoothly.
  • Show Shadow under Windows: Disable it.
  • Show thumbnails instead of icons:
  • Show translucent selection rectangle
  • Show windows contents while dragging
  • Slide open compo boxes: Disable it
  • Smooth edges of screen fonts: Enable it
  • Smooth-scroll list boxes: Enable it.
  • Use drop shadow for icon labels on the desktop: Enable it

Now click on Apply and OK, reboot the computer to changes take effect.

Step 5: Perform hard disk Defragment

Disk Defragment can optimize drive to help your computer more efficiently or analyze them to find out if they need to be optimized. Disk Defragment is Windows inbuilt utility software. Defragment re-arranges data on hard disk drive that allow to access data quickly as a result computer performs tasks faster. Let me make it simple when you save files and folder on your computer it will store them on hard disk drive. But you don’t know in which part of hard disk it is stored, off course you can say it is in drive or partitions not exactly on which sector of the hard disk drive. Hard disk defragment is simple way to arrange all your data systematically on hard disk. In this guide I will show you how to perform disk defragment to re-arrange data to make windows faster.

Windows 7 reintroduces the analyze function and showing percent complete of the defragmentation, both of which were removed in Windows Vista. It can also defragment multiple volumes simultaneously. According to Scott Hanselman of Microsoft, Windows 7 and later do defragment a solid-state disk (SSD) but in a completely different way. There is less incentive for defragmentation of SSDs because file fragmentation has less performance impact on them and they handle a finite number of storage cycles before their lifespan expires. However, file systems cannot support infinite file fragmentation as they reach their metadata limit. In addition, Disk Defragmenter is also responsible for performing the TRIM command on SSDs

How to Defragment Windows 10 PC

Optimizing your drives can help your PC run smoother and boot up faster. To optimize them:

  • Click on start and search type defrag.
  • Select Defragment and Optimize Drives.

speed up your slow computer

  • Select the disk drive you want to optimize.
  • Select the Optimize button.

Note: Analyze the drives will show you how fragmented the drives are, and advise whether or not you need to optimize it. If you decide to defrag a drive, click “Optimize”. This can take few minutes to several hours depending on how fragmented your drive is. You can use your computer when defragmentation is running.

Step 6: Remove unwanted applications.

Keeping unused application in your computer unnecessarily consume your disk space. It is good idea to uninstall unused applications.

Note: If you purchased any software or program, make sure you have license key backup so that you can use if when you re install that program.

How to back up paid application license key backup: Download and install Belarc Adviser to see and backup license key or product keys for your paid applications.

Check this guides to learn how to uninstall applications in Windows 10

Step 7: Scan for virus, spywares and Trojans.

Virus on computer is major cause for computer slow performance also it can corrupt your computer system files. You should have working, updated anti-virus software all the time in your computer. If not at least enable Windows Defender as anti-virus software. You should not have multiple anti-virus software installed on your computer as they conflict each other and create issues on your computer. However you can use below online virus scan tools for one time scan.

Step 8: Check for Windows update and drivers

Windows updates can fix several issues on Windows 10 as Microsoft takes user complaints about operating system very seriously, and they periodically release fixes through Windows updates.

  • Press Windows + R key to open RUN command.
  • Type as ms-settings:windowsupdate and click on to open Windows updates.
  • Click on Check for Windows updates button.

speed up your slow computer

  • If you get any error while downloading or installing update follow below knowledge base guide here.

Step 9: Repair bad sectors on hard disk drive

To run it from Command Prompt, here are the instructions:

  • Press Windows key to open the Start Menu
  • Select Search
  • Type-in CMD
  • Right-click on Command Prompt from the search results list    speed up your slow computer
  • Right Click and Run as administrator
  • In command prompt type as below.
    • chkdsk C: /f /r /x

The parameters for this command are:
/f option will attempt to fix any found errors
/r option will locate for bad sectors and recovery any readable information
/x option will force the volume you’re about to check to be dismounted before the utility begins a scan
If the C: drive is in use, type Y to run a scan at your PC’s next restart. If so, exit Command Prompt and restart the computer.

Part 2: Speed up your computer by optimizing computer hardware

As we discussed on part 1 even low computer hardware configuration can also cause computer slow issues. Before you install any operation system check your computer has enough hardware configuration or I recommend you to check on manufacturer website for system requirements. Mainly you have to check below points to make your computer hardware is fine.

  • Check system configuration
  • Upgrade RAM / Virtual memory if required ( Consult your computer hardware engneer)
  • Repair / replace Hard disk drive if required ( Consult your computer hardware engneer)

After checking system requirements for your operating system you will come to know what you need to upgrade or you can post your system information here. We will suggest you the best hardware combination for your computer and operating system.


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Arun Prabhakar

Arun Prabhakar

Arun Prabhakar immensely interested in following Windows and other technology developments. Being passionate Windows blogger, he loves to help others on fixing their computer issues.

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