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10 Things To Do If Your Windows 10 PC is Running Slowly

Tips to improve PC performance in Windows: Applies to: Windows 10

Few things are more frustrating than working with a slow computer. Whether your computer just started crawling or you’ve put up with poor performance for months, fixing the issue is important so you can get back to work.
10 Things To Do If Your Windows 10 PC is Running Slowly

If your PC is running slowly, the following suggestions might help speed things up. The tips are listed in order, so start with the first one, see if that helps, and then continue to the next one if it doesn’t.

1. Make sure you have the latest updates for Windows and device drivers

One of the best ways to get the most out of your PC is to make sure you have the latest version of Windows 10 installed. When you check for updates, your PC will also search for the latest device drivers, which can also help improve your PC’s performance.

How to check for updates in Windows 10:
How to check for updates in Windows 10

Open Start Menu and click on Settings > Update & Security settings > Windows Update.

Here, press on the Check for updates button.

If any updates are available, they will be offered to you.

If Windows Update says that your PC is up to date, it means that you have all the updates that are currently available for your system.

2. Restart your PC and open only the apps you need

Restart your PC and open only the apps you need

Having many apps, programs, web browsers, and so on open at once can slow down your PC. Having a lot of browser tabs open at once can also slow it down quite a bit. If this is happening, close any apps, browser tabs, etc., that you don't need and see if that helps speed up your PC. If it doesn't seem to help, restart your PC and then open just the apps, programs and browser windows you need.
10 Things To Do If Your Windows 10 PC is Running Slowly

After your PC restarts, open just the apps you need, then close them when you’re done.
Sometimes apps that were made for an earlier version of Windows will still run on Windows 10, but they might slow down your PC. If this happens after you open a certain program, check the software company’s website for an updated version, or run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter.

3. Use ReadyBoost to help improve performance

ReadyBoost lets you use a removable drive, like a USB flash drive, to improve your PC’s performance without opening your PC and adding more memory (RAM). To use ReadyBoost, you’ll need a USB flash drive or a memory card that has at least 500 MB free and a high data transfer rate.

 How to use ReadyBoost:

Use ReadyBoost to help improve performance

When you look at the contents of the USB flash drive in File Explorer, you’ll see a file named ReadyBoost.sfcache on the flash drive. This file shows how much space is reserved for ReadyBoost.

4. Make sure the system is managing the page file size

The paging file is an area on your hard disk that Windows uses like memory. There's a setting in Windows 10 that manages the page file size automatically, which can help speed up your PC’s performance. 

How to make sure automatic page file management is turned on

How to make sure automatic page file management is turned on

5. Check for low disk space and free up space

If your PC is running low on free space, you might not be able to install important Windows updates, and your PC’s performance may be affected. Here are some ways to free up space so you can keep your PC up to date and running smoothly.

Check for low disk space and free up space

To check the total disk space left on your Windows 10 device, select File Explorer from the taskbar, and then select This PC on the left. The available space on your drive will appear under Devices and drives.

You can use Storage Sense to delete unnecessary or temporary files from your device, which can also free up space. 

If you turn on Storage Sense, Windows will automatically free up space by getting rid of unnecessary files—including files in your recycle bin—when you're low on disk space or at intervals you specify. The instructions below show you how to delete temporary files and how to turn on and configure Storage Sense. See here for more info.

6. Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows

Windows 10 includes many visual effects, such as animations and shadow effects. These look great, but they can also use additional system resources and can slow down your PC. This is especially true if you have a PC with a smaller amount of memory (RAM).

To adjust the visual effects in Windows

Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows

7. Pause OneDrive syncing

Your PC settings let you choose where files will be saved by default. You can save files on your PC or to OneDrive by default and sync files between the two locations. This lets you get to your files from any device that can connect to the internet, and it helps make sure your files are backed up in case your PC is ever damaged or lost. However, files must sync between your PC and OneDrive, and syncing can slow down your PC. You can pause OneDrive syncing temporarily and see if it helps improve your PC performance. 

To stop syncing to OneDrive

Pause OneDrive syncing
Visit Fix OneDrive sync problems to check for any sync issues.

8. Disable unnecessary startup programs

When you turn on your PC, some programs start automatically and run in the background. You can disable these programs so they don’t run when your PC starts.

Many programs are designed to start automatically when Windows does. You don’t realize they're running, but they'll open quickly when you go to use them. This is helpful for programs you use a lot, but not for programs you don’t use often because it increases the time it takes Windows to start.

Find the programs that start automatically

Find the programs that start automatically

Sometimes you can determine which programs start automatically by looking at the program icons in the notification area on the far right of the taskbar. Check there first to see if there are any programs running that you don’t want to start automatically. To try to find out the name of the program, point to the icon with your mouse pointer. Make sure you select Show hidden icons , so you don’t miss any programs.

9. Check for and remove viruses and malware

A virus, malware, or malicious software could cause your PC to run slowly. Other symptoms include unexpected pop-up messages, programs that unexpectedly start automatically, or the sound of your hard disk constantly working.

The best way to handle viruses and malicious software is to try to prevent them by running antimalware and antivirus software and keeping it up to date. However, even if you take precautions, your PC can still become infected.


You can scan your PC for viruses or other malicious software by using Windows Security (formerly Windows Defender Security Center), which is included in Windows 10.

10. Restore your PC from a system restore point

Restoring your PC undoes recent changes that might be causing problems. If you think a recently installed app, driver, or update for Windows could be causing problems, you might get things running normally again by restoring your PC to an earlier point, called a restore point.

To restore your PC from a restore point

To restore your PC from a restore point

To turn on system protection

To turn on system protection


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