Why PC Running Slow? Know Some Possible Causes And Fixes Of This

Why PC Running Slow

We’re all feeling the stress of transitioning to a new normal during the coronavirus pandemic — a normal that now includes remote learning and 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 your PC slows to a crawl, instead of messaging IT or calling your tech support relative to help fix it, remember there are a few things you can try on your own. In this article, we will be talking about Why PC Running Slow.

Who knows, you may end up fixing your computer and learning a thing or two along the way. Just don’t tell everyone, or you’ll become the tech support relative.

Below, you’ll learn how to troubleshoot your slow PC using Task Manager and how to limit the number of apps that open at startup. We’ll also cover some of the tried-and-true fixes.

Why PC Running Slow: Make Task Manager is your best friend

Think of Task Manager as a window into your PC’s health. The app gives you insight into what’s taxing the processor, how much memory something is taking 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.

Task Manager’s default view doesn’t show a lot of information beyond which apps are currently running (handy if you already know if you want to close one out), so after opening the app, click on More Details in the bottom left corner.

By default, the list is break down into Apps and Background Processes. It’s refresh constantly, with the various columns constantly updating. My advice is to let Task Manager run for a few minutes and just watch it. Watch for apps that shoot up to the top of the list, then disappear a few seconds later. Look for processes that stay at the top of the list with high memory or CPU use. You can Google names to find out more about a process.

To close an app or process that you feel may be partly responsible for slow performance, click on it and then End Task.

Common reasons for a slow PC

There are far too many apps and services to create a succinct list of what’s likely slowing down a PC, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t likely culprits.

Why PC Running Slow: Antivirus scans

After watching your system running slow with Task Manager open, you may have noticed that your antivirus software is routinely near the top of the list. Antivirus software can slow down your system while it’s actively scanning your computer for malware and viruses.

Instead of letting your antivirus program scan whenever it sees fit, schedule it to run at times when you’re not likely to be using your PC, such as overnight or during your lunch hour.

Too many startup apps

If your PC is taking forever to boot up, then you probably have far too many apps trying to run at startup. You can edit the list of apps and services that begin running when you log in to your computer by opening Task Manager and clicking on the Startup tab.

Go through the list and remove anything that you don’t need to have loaded and ready the moment your PC turns on by clicking the app name followed by Disable.

Why PC Running Slow

Why PC Running Slow: Browser overload

Your web browser could be the culprit, especially if you’ve lost count of the number of windows and tabs you have open. Each window and tab takes up memory and processing power and over time that will begin to slow down your PC.

You can view a breakdown of extensions and tabs that could be to blame in Task Manager by clicking on the arrow next to your browser’s name. Alternatively, if you use Chrome, it has a built-in task manager of its own. Launch it by pressing Shift+Esc while using Chrome, or click on the menu button > More Tools > Task manager.

If you find that your browser is often causing your PC to slow to a crawl, try a different browser, or become more aware of how many tabs or windows you have open at a given time.

Battle-tested solutions

There’s a wide range of methods available to troubleshoot and speed up your PC. Below are some steps to take that should, at the very least, temporarily speed up your slow computer:

  • Close running apps when you’re done and make sure they’re not running in the notification tray (next to the volume and Wi-Fi indicators). When you close some apps, such as Slack, they keep running in the background.
  • Pause OneDrive syncing. This is something even Microsoft admits can slow down your computer. Pause OneDrive by clicking on the OneDrive icon in the notification tray, select More and then Pause syncing.
  • Check available storage space and hard drive health. If your hard drive or SSD is running out of space or is getting old, it could be failing. If you aren’t comfortable testing your hard drive, take your computer to a technician who can properly diagnose the issue and, if required, upgrade your storage.
  • Turn off your computer. Don’t just restart it, but completely power it off and walk away for a few minutes. This gives your computer a chance to clear out memory and start fresh the next time it’s turned on.

If none of the above suggestions speeds up your computer to a level that you’re happy with, you can try reducing animations, changing themes and toggling other Windows 10-specific settings. If you’re trying to get remote help, make sure you know the best way to take screenshots on Windows 10. Or if you’ve been putting off upgrading to Windows 10, don’t forget you can still get it for free.

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

The surprise here is that your hard drive or memory performance will start suffering long before it is 100% full. IT experts estimate that even at 85% capacity, your computer’s efficiency and productivity can be reduce to a crawl. Programs, application updates, Internet downloads, and temporary files are the main culprits for taking up hard drive and memory space, along with large industry-specific files for those in the graphic design, architecture, and engineering worlds. In short, you can’t run the latest version of Photoshop on an entry-level or old computer.

Unnecessary software updates are overloading your machine. This ties in to the previous point, but it bears repeating and extra exploration. Many programs and applications come pre-installed with automatic updates activated, but these can take up valuable hard drive space and interfere with normal functions when auto-installers turn on. They can confuse computer users, as well, and put your company’s security at risk.

Your computer could be infected with a virus (or saddled with an ineffective anti-virus solution). Usually, the presence of a computer virus makes itself immediately known through the encryption of files, a demand for ransom, or other nefarious pop-ups. But some viruses do run unknowingly in the background, collecting critical information like usernames, passwords, financial information, and health care data. Most consumer-grade anti-virus solutions cannot detect such illicit operations, which makes multi-layered, constantly evolving security software a must for any business in the 21st century.

Why PC Running Slow

Why PC Running Slow: Possible Fixes:

  1. Shut down or quit any programs you aren’t actively using, and stick with just one browser window if you can. Want to save multiple tabs or links for future reading? Use the handy Bookmark option in Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome.
  2.  Start simple by emptying your computer’s trash. Then consider moving those aforementioned large files to the cloud, or delete files that aren’t being used. The assistance of a trusted IT provider can help you navigate these changes safely and securely. And if an upgrade to increased RAM or larger hard drive is necessary, working with a technology expert on installation and implementation is critical for continued success.
  3. Consider a proactive monitoring and maintenance solution like CMIT Marathon, which keeps your computers running 24×7, handles all updates and patches for you, and deploys software upgrades during off-hours so that your employees are not affected.
  4. Altering a computer’s startup log is an extremely advanced procedure recommended only for IT experts. Working with a trusted partner, though, you can disable those that aren’t necessary while devoting precious operating speed to those that are important.
  5. Never entrust your business’ critical data and computers to free anti-virus or anti-spam solutions — and don’t expect just one layer of security to keep you and your employees safe from data breaches, ransomware, malware, phishing, and other forms of cybercrime. Online security is complicated, and threats are constantly changing. What worked yesterday may not work today, and hackers work tirelessly to stay one step ahead of basic security protections.

Why PC Running Slow and What programs are secretly running on your computer?

The simplest method to see what’s running is, of course, the built-in MS Windows Task Manager however this doesn’t show all running programs. You can start Task Manager by pressing the key combination Ctrl + Shift + Esc. You can also reach it by right-clicking on the taskbar and choosing Task Manager.

Under Processes>Apps you see the software that is currently open. This overview should be straight forward these are all the programs you are currently using. You can close applications that have stopped running however be aware of data loss. More interestingly are the programs running under the heading Background Processes a bit lower down on the overview. There you will see an overview of all running processes which have been sorted alphabetically. These processes are all the system resources, such as CPU, working memory and the network currently running.

It is not a good practice to simply end processes here. Microsoft services in particular are often needed to run any Windows version correctly. In Windows 10 the Windows processes are listed separately under Background processes and you should probably leave these run. If you have any doubt what a process is used for use Google to check what the purpose of this process is.

If you want to keep using a program or app but want to remove it from the startup of your computer click the Startup tab. Click the app with the right mouse button and select Disable. Applications will continue to work but they no longer start automatically when booting Windows. This will save valuable time when starting up your computer. Remember that a lot of applications upon installation will be added to the Startup.

If you want to explore more processes running on your computer and find the programs that really run secretly whilst you are working you can look at freeware as Process Explorer. Here you see all processes, including the processes that are hidden in Task Manager (both essential components and spyware and other malware). Some of these processes are slowing down your PC.

Malware can be found in the following these procedures. Run Process Explorer as Administrator (right-click) and choose Options at the top of the menu bar. At Virustotals.com put a check at Check VirusTotals.com. The browser is then opened with the conditions. Click OK in the program to accept. The hashes of the software will be compared with the data from VirusTotal and you will see the detection ratio in the column on the right.

This is expressed as 0 of 60 or 1 of 57. You don’t have to worry about a false positive however with high ratios it is advisable to find out what kind of process this is linked to. You can click on the ratio to see at VirusTotal.com which package has been detected as rogue and why. A trojan or adware makes a big difference as does which services have designated as rogue.


Hopefully, now you are able to understand the reason why your PC is running at slow pace. We have also discussed some possible fixes and also had a look at how to know which programs are making your PC run slow. Leave a comment in the comment section if you have any doubts.

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