Why Did My Computer Suddenly Become So Slow? 7 possible explanations
1. You Could Have A Virus on Your Computer:
- There are many different types of viruses, but many of them can slow down your computer.
- Some types of malware (unwanted harmful software) make an effort to avoid detection and consume the least amount of system resources.
- Others will prevent you from using your computer until the virus has been totally eliminated.
- But even the most minimal infections leave some sort of mark on system performance.
- Frequent, mysterious pop-up windows, browser redirects while browsing the web, and changes to your system settings that you did not initiate are some of the unmistakable indicators of malware.
- If you notice that your computer is suddenly performing slowly and you think a virus might be to blame, open the performance monitor to see what is using up so many system resources.
- To get there, launch the Task Manager by pressing the keyboard shortcuts shift + ctrl + esc, and then select the “Performance” tab.
- When it comes to your PC’s speed, slow hard drives or insufficient memory are typically (but not always) the main bottlenecks. Check them first.
- You can quickly identify the problematic hardware with Performance Monitor, but Resource Monitor allows for even more in-depth reporting.
- Click “Open Resource Monitor” at the bottom of the “Performance” tab to launch the programme.
- You can find out more specific details on which processes are using up all of your RAM, CPU, and disc usage in Resource Monitor.
- You may have identified the offender if a certain process is utilising a lot of resources.
- If you’re unsure, you can check the legitimacy of the software by conducting a fast Google search for the process name.
- Use a reliable antivirus programme to scan your computer for viruses if you think you might have one.
- After the scan, we also advise using Malwarebytes because it works well to discover and remove malware alongside AV software.
- Be ready for the potential that some of the more dangerous viruses demand a total format and reinstallation of the Operating System.
Low Disk Space 2:
How much disc space are you left with?
Your computer may perform slowly as well as exhibit other odd behaviours like stalling or crashing if your hard drive is full or almost full.
For a few different reasons, an overloaded hard disc might be problematic for the operating system.
The OS first uses a swap file or page file, a portion of hard drive space, as virtual RAM.
The OS will temporarily unload RAM contents to the hard disc, where they can be retrieved and reloaded into memory as needed, freeing up memory for more immediate usage.
Although your computer can set aside hard drive space for this, the swap file expands or contracts based on how much space is required.
Your computer won’t be able to make the best use of RAM if there isn’t enough room to expand the swap file’s size.
A full hard drive is also a less effective one.
- Because there isn’t enough free space to reorganise the current files, it takes longer to index and reference files and can also cause the hard disc to become more fragmented.
- This is less of a problem now that solid state drives are so common, but even a single millisecond can add up.
- If you have limited storage on your computer, try unloading or eliminating useless files.
- If you don’t frequently clean them out, the recycle bin and your downloads folder can serve as repositories for a variety of data.
- Try Windows 11’s built-in programme called Storage Sense if you’ve removed all the apparent files but are still nearing your storage limit.
- You may clean out temporary files and other directories using this utility.
- Another tool we enjoy is Piriform’s CCleaner.
3. An unreliable operating system:
Without notice, a faulty operating system might make your computer perform slowly.
What causes an OS to be corrupt?
- OS corruption can be caused by a wide range of factors, including poor updates and defective drivers, but one of the most frequent causes is a botched shutdown.
- You run a considerable risk of experiencing operating system issues if you force the machine to shut down while it is accessing system files.
- Broken operating systems frequently show themselves through the famed blue screen of death (for Windows), but there may be other problems as well.
- It’s possible for your computer to boot slowly or not at all.
- Even if the computer boots up successfully, there may be underlying problems that won’t become apparent until you attempt to use a certain programme or carry out a particular job.
- You can try a few things if you think this might be the case.
- Open a command prompt in Windows first.
- Once the Start button is clicked, type “command prompt” into the search bar until the software shows up in the list of results.
- Click the software with the right mouse button, then select “Run as administrator.”
- Type the following command into the prompt when it appears, then hit the “Enter” key.
- Cleanup-image DISM.exe /Online /Restorehealth
- Deployment Image Servicing and Management, or DISM, downloads the necessary data to repair faulty files using the “online” choice and Windows Update.
- The System File Checker (SFC) will then be used to search for and correct the corruption after the first command has been completed:
- “sfc /scannow”
- If your system is already running slowly, be patient as these two tasks may take some time.
- 4. You have a failing hard drive:
- Failure of the hard drive is one of the most frequent reasons for a slow PC.
- Even solid state drives eventually fail, which is especially true if your primary hard disc is mechanical.
- Because issues can be intermittent or sporadic, it can be challenging to diagnose a faulty hard drive, especially if only a few sectors are affected but the remainder of the drive is functioning normally.
- I’ve seen some systems start up and function as they should, only to crash when the OS tries to access a specific service or DLL that is located on a bad sector.
- The software Check Disk, which has the fitting name, is one technique to check for faults.
- Reopen the command prompt and enter the following instruction:
- /r chkdsk c
- If Windows is installed on a different drive, swap out the letter “c” with the partition’s letter.
- Command Prompt will ask you if you want to run Check Disk at the next boot because the disc is now being used by the operating system.
- Then restart your computer after typing “y” and pressing Enter.
- Be patient as this process could take some time depending on the size of your hard drive.
- The /r switch instructs Check Disk to make an effort to “repair” mistakes, however this typically entails locating defective sectors, turning them off so they are never used again, and (if feasible) transferring the current data to good sectors of the disc.
- Utilizing diagnostic tools is another technique to examine the drive for faults.
- By clicking a hotkey on the keyboard before booting up, you can access built-in dialogues from several PC manufacturers.
- In the meanwhile, you can make use of third-party applications that operate both inside and outside the operating system.
- Back up your data and replace the disc as soon as you can if diagnostics reveal a drive issue.
5. Excessive Background Services:
- When you get into your computer, do you see a lot of programmes opening up simultaneously?
- If so, you might be running too many services and background processes.
- These programmes typically don’t affect your OS much, but when you add additional programmes over time, their effects can mount.
- Because the impacts of this phenomenon build up, if your computer suddenly becomes slow, it’s probable that a single programme is to blame.
- A particularly resource-hungry programme or one that was badly written could be the blame.
- If you think this might be the reason for your sudden slowdown, think about any recent application installations.
- Start by uninstalling the most recent one first. Check your computer’s performance after each installation to see if it has improved.
- The best course of action if you require these apps is to stop them from starting up automatically.
- This will guarantee that the software only runs when you actually need it, saving resources while it isn’t in use.
- We’ll go to Task Manager as we did earlier, but this time click on the “Startup” tab to verify startup programmes.
- To arrange the applications by whether or not they start up automatically when you log in, click on the “Status” column heading.
- Look over any that are “Enabled” and turn off any that you don’t want to run continuously.
6. Excessive heat:
- Computers produce a significant amount of heat.
- The typical operating temperature of a CPU is between 100°F and 150°F (38°C and 66°C), and additional components like graphics processor units (GPUs) exacerbate the issue.
- So, if your PC isn’t draining heat effectively, either actively or passively, your computer may become slower.
- In order to prevent component damage when components are overheating, some complex chipsets can command components to slow down.
- On your PC, you’ll undoubtedly notice slow performance if this is the case.
- We can look at processor temperatures to obtain a good picture of the overall temperature within the computer because the CPU is typically the component that is the hottest.
- Using the free HWMonitor tool by CPUID is an excellent method to keep an eye on CPU temperatures.
- Run the programme after downloading and installing it to find your processor.
- When you click the plus symbol to expand the information, a section with temperatures will appear.
- Problems could be indicated by temperatures above 150°F, and the CPU shouldn’t ever reach 200°F.
- High temperatures that appear out of nowhere could be a sign that your fan has failed, that your vents are blocked or clogged, or that there isn’t enough thermal paste between your CPU and its heatsink.
- Use a can of compressed air to blow the dust and lint out of your system in order to solve the problem.
- Check your fans if your CPU temperature is still excessive.
- You can track fan speeds using the free Speed Fan tool, and if your PC supports diagnostics, you should run them to make sure the fans are functioning properly. Best Laptops 2022
7. Additional Hardware Issues:
- A sluggish computer might be caused by hardware faults other than hard disc issues.
- This is particularly valid if your motherboard, CPU, GPU, or RAM are malfunctioning.
- One or more RAM sticks could be broken, which would interfere when the computer tried to address specific sections.
- In addition to sluggish performance, you can encounter shutdowns, blue screens, or unexpected reboots.
- You may occasionally see some indicator of the issue, but not always.
- Memtest86 is a reliable diagnostic for examining memory.
- But don’t let the moniker deceive you.
- The software can run on ARM devices in addition to the x86 architecture.
- Extract the zip files after downloading the software.
- An executable file that you can use to make a bootable USB drive can be found within.
- Your computer must be started from this drive in order for the utility to have complete access to the memory.
- Since motherboard faults might present themselves in ways similar to OS problems, they are more difficult to diagnose.
- Reinstall your OS and check to see if the issue reappears.
- Whether it’s possible, you might try taking your discrete GPU out of the computer to see if the issue resolves itself.