Why is my computer so slow? Whether your PC has just started to run slower or it suddenly ground to a halt a few minutes ago. There are many reasons this can happen.

When starting to troubleshoot nearly all computer issues, the first thing you should do is recycle the power (re-boot) your device. This can fix many problems you are experiencing and is a lot quicker than to try and manually troubleshoot the issue yourself.

Finding the culprit

One of the most common reasons your computer running slow is an application or service will be using up all your resources. (mainly CPU and Ram) It could be a runaway process that is using 99% of your CPU. Or, an application might be experiencing a memory leak and using a large amount of memory. This causes your computer to swap to harddisk. (a lot slower process, if you do not have an SSD)

To troubleshoot your issue, you will need to open up Task Manager. You can right-click your taskbar and select the “Task Manager” option or press Ctrl+Shift+Escape to open it. (see fig. 1 below)

Once open, you can sort by CPU, Memory, Disk, ect. And see what is using up your resources. Also, if an application has frozen. You can right click on it here and then “End Task” This will close the application and you can just restart is as usual.

Task Manager

Figure 1: Why is My Computer So Slow

Close System Tray Programs

Many applications run at start-up, this is usually the default setting when you install any new software. To check what is running, open up your system tray. Click the up arrow icon, this shows what applications are running but hidden. Then right click the application to close it. This will free up resources. (See fig. 2 below)

System Tray

Figure 2: System Tray

Disable Start-Up Programs

Best practice, is to disable any programs that you do not use regularly, at start up. Open up task manager and click on the start-up tab, this will show all start up items and also what impact it has. Just highlight and click disable for the programs that you do not use regularly. (See fig.3 below)

Disable Start UP Programs

Figure 3: Disable Start UP Programs

Reduce Animations

In windows 10, you get lots of animations. This will slow down older PC’s that have been upgraded from an earlier operating system. To disable windows 10 animations, right click start button and select “System” then click “System Info” under Related settings. Once you are here, click Advanced system settings, your system properties box will pop up. Click the “Advanced tab and in Performance, click “Settings.” Your Performance Options tab will pop up. (See Fig4 below)

Here, you can either, click on the radio button and select “Adjust for best performance” Windows will turn off animations. Or better still, click on the radio button “Custom” and uncheck the animations you do not want.

Performance Settings

Figure 4: Performance Options

These are a few steps that should help rectify issues for why is my computer so slow with windows 10.