This article will provide you with almost all the steps that you can preform on a slow performing computer. If you are feeling that your computer is slow, here are few things that you should check before deciding anything else.
Reboot – Restart your PC. This cleans up any cached information on the PC and gives it a fresh start. It your computer has not been started for more than 10-15 days, it tends to get slow. Also with the number of programs running in the background slows the computer and reboot resolves the issue.
Task Manager – The Task Manager consists of multiple items. It shows the current state of your computer running in. This will give you an idea of what’s running on your PC, and further identify on the issue. To open, Press CTRL + ALT + DELETE and click on Task Manger.
Applications – This tab will show you the programs running in the foreground. You will usually see the programs listed here that you are working on Actively.
Processes – This tab will show you almost all the running programs (background and foreground). However, you’ll notice a description about them on the right. If you are still not sure of that that process does just Google for their name and you’ll know about it. You can also check for the amount of CPU used by that process if under which user account it’s running.
Performance – The Performance Tab is just a visual display of what’s going on with the performance of your Computer. Here you’ll see if the CPU utilization is high or if it’s running low on Memory (RAM)
CleanBoot your PC – Clean boot is a process to disable all unessential services/programs to identify if any of the normally run software is causing an issue. This process basically disables all the NON Microsoft Services and Programs and prevents them from starting at the Start-Up of the computer. This is, I would say, almost equal to Safe Mode, however in safe mode we disable everything that’s not required for the PC to run for that moment.
- Go to Start – Run, type “msconfig” and hit enter.
- Go to Services tab, and then Hide all Microsoft Services. Disable all and hit Apply.
- Got to Startup tab, and then Disable all startup items, hit Apply.
- Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.
Boot in Safe Mode – Safemode basically starts the system with the bare essential services and programs required to run the computer. The Screen will be big, some devices may not work, but don’t worry its just to test how your system is performing. If the computer performs better that it either Windows OS or the Software running within it. Else, continue further to try your luck.
Virus/Malware check – Run an online scan from a good website like Microsoft or from an installed version of AV with its definition updated to the latest. And also run a scan for Malware Bytes (available free) to ensure its clean.
Disk Space – You should check for the amount of free space on your PC. Ensure that you have plenty of free disk space.
Clean up your PC – An important task you should do is cleanup you PC from time to time. I would recommend that you use Disk Cleanup Utility provided by Microsoft.
- Open My Computer (or Computer for Windows 7 or above)
- Right Click on the OS Drive and go to Properties.
- On the General Page, click on the Disk Cleanup button and check all the boxes of and then click on OK.
You are not done yet. This doesn’t cleanup your PC thoroughly. You still have to clean a little bit more
- Click on Start – Run (if using Windows XP or prior OS) or simply type in the Search Programs and Files, %temp% and hit Enter.
- Delete everything from the temp folder that just opened on the screen. These are the temporary files created by your from time to time and are not really required on your PC.
Disk Defragmentation – Fragmentation, over a long period of time, causes slowness. But to explain what is fragmentation! When a file is saved to the HDD and its scattered all over the physical disk, this is fragmentation. When this file is accessed, it has to be accessed from different locations, and resulting in slow response time from the system.
To Defrag the HDD, go to the Properties of Local Disk (Usually C:), to go Tools and then click on Defrag or Optimize. It may prompt to you schedule this on the next reboot, do so. Reboot your computer to allow it to complete the defrag.
You can also run the following command in the Command Prompt:
This command will defrag all the available volumes on your PC. Otherwise you can run the below mentioned command to run in on just one volume
Note – This is a time consuming process, so consider before running it on larger volume
Page Files (aka Paging Files or Swap Files) – This plays an important role on the performance of your PC. This space is used by the system to store the data when the Memory (RAM) runs out of space. However it doesn’t mean that you should assign it more than recommended space. The known standard for Page File is 1.5 times of your RAM, i.e. if you have 2 GB of RAM than consider 3 GB for Page File. However, you can set to it to System Managed to leave it to defaults.
To Change/Modify Page Files:
- Click on Start – Run – type sysdm.cpl and hit Enter. You’ll get the System Properties window.
- Go to Advanced tab – then click on Settings under Performance.
- Click on Change, and adjust the settings accordingly.
Windows Updates – Its an essential part of Windows that its regularly updated with the latest patches and update. It is to ensure that any known issue should be resolved and improved to perform better. You can run windows update via Microsoft Updates for older systems or via Control Panel – Windows Updates. Install them and reboot if necessary.
Registry Clean – Registries are the heart of the PC. Its stores almost all the information about the hardware and software and how it behaves. You can run a registry cleaning software like CCleaner.
Tired… If you have followed this article until now, than you have a little to follow…
Is your computer still running slow? Now is the time to think differently. I mean think it with the Hardware perspective. Most important is how Old is the hardware, and how Old the OS (Operating System) is running on that piece of the Hardware. If its old, you should consider changing the Hardware. If the OS installation was done a long time back, you can also consider reinstalling the OS. Also, in continuation of the checks mentioned above, you can also perform the following steps to validate if any hardware related problem.
Hard Disk Corruption, Bad Sector Check – Open the Command Prompt and run the following command to ensure all of your drives are in OK state.
Chkdsk C: /f
You can run this command against all volumes by changing the drive letter.
Drivers Update – Drivers play an essential role in ensuring proper communication between Hardware and Software. To check for the Hardware installed on your PC, you can go to Device Manager (Start – Run – devmgnt.msc) Here, you’ll get the information of the hardware installed, and by going to the manufacturer’s website. Download the latest drivers and install as necessary.
Memory Upgrades – If you feel that the Memory Utilization is high, that you should get more RAM for your PC and install it.
Clean you Hardware – If your computer has accumulated a lot of Dust, it may also cause issue by over heating the computer. It may be easiest to clean it up with a Vacuum Cleaner blow in your balcony.
If your PC is still not working the way you want. Its time to go see a Computer IT Tech or may be replace it if old. You are always welcome to ask for more suggestions if you have any specific query.
Please do not forget to share your feedback, or ask a question by clicking here.
Latest posts by Rishi Chaudhary (see all)
- ShadowCopy Backup after renaming VSSADMIN.EXE - October 5, 2016
- No Network Connection after Windows 10 Upgrade – Fixed - August 25, 2015
- Windows 10 System Tray Notification Issue - August 7, 2015