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Home / Tips and Tricks / Tired of dealing with a slow PC? Here are 6 steps to fix it yourself

Tired of dealing with a slow PC? Here are 6 steps to fix it yourself



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There is nothing more frustrating than a slow computer.


Ian Knighton / CNET

We all feel the stress of the transition from to a new normal during the coronavirus pandemic ̵

1; a normal now remote learning and [19459014omvat] working from home . One of the last things we want to deal with is a slow or unresponsive computer. The next time you launch an app and slow your PC down to a crawl, remember that there are a few things you can try for yourself, instead of messaging IT or calling your tech support to fix the problem unload.

Who knows, you can eventually repair your computer and learn something along the way. Just don't tell anyone or you will become the technical support family member.

Below, you will learn how to troubleshoot your slow PC with Task Manager and how to limit the number of apps that open on startup. We will also cover some of the proven solutions.

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5 quick tips to speed up a slow PC



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Task Manager is Your Best Friend

Consider Task Manager as a window to the health of your PC. The app gives you insight into what the processor loads, how much memory something takes up and even how much network data a program has used.

An easy way to open Task Manager is to right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager from the list of options.

The default view of Task Manager does not show much information except which apps are currently running (useful if you already know if you want to close one), so after opening the app click More details bottom left corner.

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

By default, the list is split into apps and background processes. It is constantly updated, with the different columns constantly being updated. My advice is to run Task Manager for a few minutes and just watch it. Watch out for apps that top the list and disappear a few seconds later. Look for processes that remain at the top of the list with a lot of memory or CPU usage. You can use Google names to learn about a process.

To close an app or process that you think is partly responsible for slow performance, click it and then End Task .

Common Reasons for a Slow PC

There are far too many apps and services to make a short list of what is likely to slow down a PC, but that doesn't mean there are probably no culprits.

Antivirus Scans

After you have seen 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 actively scanning your computer for malware and viruses.

Instead of having your antivirus program scanned when it deems it necessary, schedule it to run at times when you are unlikely to use your PC, such as at night or during lunch hour.

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Startup apps can slow everything down.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Too many startup apps

If your PC takes a long time to start up, you probably have way too many apps running at startup. You can edit the list of apps and services that run when you log in to your computer by opening the Task Manager and clicking the Startup tab.

Go through the list and delete everything you don't need to have loaded and ready when your PC turns on by clicking on the app name followed by Disable .

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That's a lot of Chrome in Task Manager.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Browser Overload

Your web browser can be the culprit especially if you have lost count of the number of windows and tabs open. Every window and tab takes up memory and processing power, and over time your PC will slow down.

You can see an overview of extensions and tabs that can be blamed in Task Manager by clicking the arrow next to the name of your browser. Alternatively, if you use Chrome, it has its own 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 PC's crawling, try a different browser or become more aware of the number of tabs or windows you have open at any given time.

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Pausing OneDrive sync can speed up your PC.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Battle Tested Solutions

A wide variety of methods are available to troubleshoot and speed up problems with your PC. Below are some steps you should take to at least speed up your slow computer temporarily:

  • Close running apps when done and make sure they are not running in the system tray (next to the volume- and Wi-Fi indicators). When you close certain apps, such as Slack, they remain active in the background.
  • Suspend OneDrive synchronization . This is something that even Microsoft admits can slow down your computer. Pause OneDrive by clicking the OneDrive icon in the system tray, select More and then Pause sync .
  • Check the available storage space and the health of the hard disk. If your hard disk or SSD does not have enough space or becomes old, it can fail. If you don't like testing your hard drive, take your computer to a technician who can correctly diagnose the problem and upgrade your storage if necessary.
  • Turn off your computer . Don't just restart it, just turn it off completely and walk away for a few minutes. This gives your computer the opportunity to clear the memory and start again the next time it is turned on.

If none of the suggestions above make your computer faster to a level you're happy with, try reducing animations, changing themes, and changing other Windows 10 specific settings switch. If you are trying to get remote assistance, make sure you know how best to take screenshots on Windows 10 . Or if you have postponed upgrading to Windows 10, don't forget that you can still get it for free .

And if you're more of an Apple household, you're in luck: We also have recommendations for speeding up a slow Mac .


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