What to Do When Your Computer is Running Slow

Last updated: October 8, 2018 at 1:13 am by Adam Dominik




Do you feel as though your Windows machine isn’t performing as well as it should be? Or your computer takes significantly longer to start up? There could be a variety of reasons why your computer is behaving in this way. Your computer may have recently been infected by a virus, malware or even spyware. A recent driver or Windows update may have impacted your computer.

But, to be brutally honest with you, most of the time computers begin to run slow is due to operator error. That is, the actual computer user. You really need to maintain your computer system on a weekly and monthly basis to keep it in tip top shape.

Before doing anything drastic, I highly recommend you reboot your computer, a full proper reboot. Click on Start -> Power -> Restart. If that doesn’t solve your issues or does not show any signs of improvement, then follow the guide below on what to do when your computer is running slow.

However, for those that do not want to tinker with their computer and want to leave it to the experts, then I highly recommend the computer optimization tool: PC Health Advisor. Click here to read more about it and why it is currently the best Windows software tool guaranteed to make your computer run faster. It has everything that is required to restore computer performance. There is a free download link for PC Health Advisor available.

Use PC Health Advisor to fix everything currently broken with your computer

Sometimes it is best to leave it to the professionals or specialist software to get the job done right the first time around. In this case I would highly recommend using PC Health Advisor to quickly diagnose and repair everything that is currently wrong with your computer. PC Health Advisor is the easiest method to repair and fix your computer of errors and everything that is slowing it right down. PC Health Advisor is able to search and repair the junk files, repair damaged or broken registry entries and the errors which cause your computer to slow down. The end result is a much improved and faster computer. PC Health Advisor features a class leading intelligent engine that is able to detect all computing issues which cause slow performance, find solutions for each of the problems and then automatically resolve them requiring only a few simple clicks from you. What really makes PC Health Advisor work so well and able it to be a class leader is the simplistic nature of the software. Literally, PC Health Advisor works in a two click approach, one to scan your computer followed by a second click to fix all the issues detected. Finish off the process with a reboot and your Windows machine will be fixed and performing nice and fast. Click here to learn more about PC Health Advisor.

Vastly improved and easier to use PC Health Advisor has just been released. Read more about PC Health Advisor here.

Empty your Recycle Bin and Windows temp folder

Freeing up hard drive space improves computer performance and the best and easiest place to start is by emptying out what is currently sitting in your Recycle Bin then followed by clearing your Windows temp folder.

Just simply right click the Recycle Bin icon found on your desktop and click on Empty.

You also want to clear up your Windows temp folder. If you haven’t done it previously, you will find gigabytes worth of redundant data just sitting in there!

As the name implies, the temp folder contains files that are only needed temporally. Unfortunately, these files don’t always get deleted after their job is done, resulting in wasted drive space and a potential drop in overall computer performance.

The Windows temp folder is located here: C:\Windows\Temp.

You can safely delete everything in this folder. Windows may remove files from this location and place it into the Recycle Bin, be sure to empty it again!

If you want to do it the easy way, download and install PC Health Advisor and let that great piece of software simply do all the work for you. All you have to do is click on Scan and then fix for your computer to not only re-gain hard drive space but overall performance.

Take Advantage of MSConfig

Built into Windows is a very handy tool called “MSConfig” or Microsoft System Configuration Utility. The main purpose of this handy tool is to remove programs from starting up which can improve computer performance and reduces crashes.

The fewer programs your computer loads during startup the quicker the boot time and less software programs running in the background chewing up your computer resources (RAM, CPU etc). This then gives whichever software program you will be or want to run (a game or anything intensive like editing software) much more computer resources to play with.

To get started with MSconfig, click on Start and then do a search for “msconfig” without the quotes.

Click on the Startup tab.

From there you can un-checking programs you do not want your computer to load during start-up. Windows will prevent you from un-checking any mission critical programs, so don’t be afraid to un-check programs you no longer see a need to be loaded during startup.

Remove Programs you no longer use or have not used in quite sometime

Freeing up hard drive space does in fact boost your computer’s performance. The more space on your hard drive because available to your computer to use as virtual memory, the more virtual memory there is, the better your software programs run on your computer. This makes it a wise and good opportunity to go through your add/remove programs list and remove those programs you don’t or have not used in a very long time.

Simply click on Start, then Control Pan followed by Uninstall a Program within Windows.

Click on a program you no longer want and click the Uninstall/Change button to begin the removal process.

De-fragment your hard disk drive

In case you are un-familiar with defragging or defragmenting, in basic terms it is the process of re-arranging all the contents on your hard drive in a logical manor so it doesn’t take your computer significant amounts of time to find the file(s) it needs to complete a particular task. This significantly improves computer performance.

Over time, as data is saved and removed, information on your hard drive becomes scattered all over the place inside of it. This then takes your computer much longer to load software and programs as the read head of the hard drive has to move to multiple positions constantly picking up information and data from all over the hard drive. Once the hard drive has been defragmented, the read head doesn’t behave anywhere as erratically to find information and data.

To defragment your hard drive, click on the Start button, select All Programs and Accessories. Choose System Tools followed by Disk Defragmenter.

Click on your main hard disk (usually C:) and run. This process does take some time, more so if your hard disk is heavily fragmented.

Scan your computer for any viruses, malware, spyware and adware

Viruses are bad. Malware is also bad. Spyware and Adware are too bad. You don’t ever want them on your computer. They behave badly and simply exist to slow your computer right down, steal information from your computer and generally make your life hell using your computer.

You can use PC Health Advisor to get rid of every nasty on your computer system or your favorite anti-virus should do the trick. Don’t forget to use Malwarebytes anti-malware too as a sanity check.

Update your software drivers

If you are seeking top computer performance then you must keep your software drivers up to date. Computer software drivers are small pieces of software which communicators between your computer hardware devices, software and operating system. By having your drivers updated to the latest available you are maximizing performance potential.

You will find computer hardware manufacturers frequently release updated drivers for their products, especially during a new Windows version release. It is highly recommended you check your computer hardware manufacturer website and see if they have newer updated drivers for your hardware.

Here are some of the most commonly known problems caused by old drivers:

  • If you upgraded your operating system, for example from Windows XP to Vista or Windows 7 to Windows 10, the drivers you had installed might no longer work or function correctly. This may reduce the performance of your hardware, resulting in reduced computing performance. Or your hardware may even no longer function correctly under your new operating system
  • Hardware manufacturers also ad new features to their drivers, so it is important to have the latest drivers or you might be missing out on some awesome new features
  • Technological advancements in programming. Technology never stops improving, becoming faster, smoother and more efficient. Computer drivers are no exception

Updating to the latest available computer drivers is an easy way to secure top computing performance and reduce the number of errors and crashes. To make the process as easy and safe as possible, consider using advanced software like DriverFinder. DriverFinder connects to a database of drivers for all computer hardware manufactures and will let you know when updated drivers are available for your hardware, and guide you through the updating process from start to finish.

Scan your hard disk drive for any errors

A dying and unhealthy hard drive is a slow hard drive which drags the entire computer system down in performance. If you feel your computer still performing slow your main hard drive may be at fault and it is time to check its health. The hard drive may contain sectors full of errors or even begin to suffer mechanical faults. Both reduce computer performance and both can be checked with a scan using the right tool.

Windows provides a built in tool called Check Disk or CHKDSK.

What exactly can CHKDSK do for you and your computer? It can find all types of hard drive errors and report on file problems. Most often you won’t realize your hard drive contains an error(s) until you run CHKDSK or any other hard drive scanning tool.

Click on Start and then do a search for “chkdsk” without the quotes.

Scan your hard drive and make sure to tick the box to automatically fix all errors.

Time to Take Action Now

There you have it! Now you have the most solid performing solutions on what to fix when your computer is running slow. The next course of action is of course to get these issues resolved and have your computer running smooth and faster like it once used to. I highly recommend using PC Health Advisor to complete these tasks. PC Health Advisor is the Windows optimization tool that currently leads the industry; it is an all-in-one tool that has been speeding up computers since 2006! It is a powerful Windows optimization tool that makes speeding up and optimizing your Windows computer incredibly simple.

RECOMMENDED: Click here to auto-fix errors and speed up your slow computer immediately


Adam Dominik

Adam Dominik

Lead editor here at Fast PC Life, I’m a proud desktop support analyst since 2006, helping co-workers, clients, family and friends & now online readers resolve slow computing issues.

My most popular content pieces are: Scanguard, PC Health Advisor, PC Health Advisor & Speed Up Windows 10.