FULL FIX: Slow file transfer on Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Slow file transfer can be a big problem, especially when a matter of a few minutes takes forever.
  • Whether you suspect the cause of the issue or not, you'll find a sure fix in this article.
  • You'll find more easy-to-follow tutorials in the Windows 10 Troubleshooting Hub.
  • If you're interested in file management tools, visit the Software Hub for useful recommendations.
Slow file transfer on Windows 10

We transfer various files on our PCs and oftentimes, slow transfers are possible. This can be especially annoying if you’re in a hurry.

As you might have noticed, slowdown happens whether you’re transferring files from a USB to a computer or when transferring between hard drives.

The most common causes are outdated drivers, missing Windows features, antivirus settings, or hardware issues.

So today, we’re going to show you how to fix this problem on your Windows 10 PC.

How do I fix slow file transfer on Windows 10?

  1. Install the latest drivers
  2. Check your antivirus
  3. Run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter
  4. Reinstall Universal Serial Bus controller drivers
  5. Perform a Clean boot
  6. Disable Remote Differential Compression
  7. Check the Optimize drives service
  8. Disable Windows Search service
  9. Check your BIOS
  10. Connect the hard drive to a different port

1. Install the latest drivers

If you’re experiencing slow file transfer, it’s possible that the cause is your drivers. Sometimes outdated drivers can cause various functionality issues.

So in order to fix the problem, you need to update your drivers.

Start by visiting your motherboard manufacturer’s website and download the latest chipset drivers for your device model.

If you don’t want to search for drivers manually, or if you simply can’t find a suitable driver, use DriverFix.

DriverFix automatically update drivers

This is a third-party application, that you can use to automatically update all your drivers with just a couple of clicks.

Download the tool using the button below, allow it to scan your device and check the recommended actions. You can update either all outdated drivers at once or one by one.

DriverFix

DriverFix

Visibly improve the file transfer speed on your device by keeping your drivers up to date with this efficient tool.
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2. Check your antivirus

slow file transfer

According to users, sometimes antivirus software can lead to slow file transfer speeds on your PC.

Third-party antivirus can sometimes be quite invasive, but you can just disable some antivirus features. Alternatively, you can try disabling your antivirus altogether.

Removing the antivirus is another option, although not recommended.

We suggest using a reliable antivirus that doesn’t interfere with your system such as Bitdefender, so if you’re looking for a new antivirus, be sure to try it out.

Bitdefender uses the latest technologies to detect and remove any type of malware and online threats. Besides, it includes various optimizations features meant to offer the right balance between the ultimate protection and your system capabilities.

In the latest specialized tests, the product scored superbly in terms of impact upon running processes during a full system scan.

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3. Run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

  1. Open the Settings app by pressing Windows Key + I on your keyboard.
  2. Go to the Update & Security section.
    Windows 10 network file transfer slow
  3. Choose Troubleshoot from the menu.
  4. Now pick Hardware and Devices from the list and click the Run the troubleshooter button.
    Slow data transfer Windows 10
  5. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.

Once the troubleshooter is finished, check if the problem is still there. If the issue is still present, move to the next solution.


Troubleshooter  stops working? Check these useful steps to fix it quickly


4.Reinstall Universal Serial Bus controller drivers

  1. Open the Device Manager by pressing Windows Key + X.
    Slow file transfer between hard drives
  2. Locate the Universal Serial Bus controllers section and expand it.
  3. Right-click the first item on the list and choose Uninstall device.
    Slow USB 3.0 transfer Windows 10
  4. When the confirmation dialog appears, click Uninstall.
    Windows 10 network file transfer slow
  5. Repeat these steps for all devices under the Universal Serial Bus controller section.
  6. After you remove all drivers, restart your PC.

Once your PC restarts, Windows will automatically install the missing drivers and the problem should be resolved. Many users reported that this solution worked for them, so be sure to try it out.


5. Perform a Clean boot

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog. Type msconfig and click OK or press Enter.
    Slow USB file transfer Windows 10
  2. When the System Configuration window appears, navigate to the Services tab.
  3. Check Hide all Microsoft services option and click the Disable all button.
    Slow file transfer between hard drives
  4. Go to the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
    Slow USB 3.0 transfer Windows 10
  5. Task Manager will now appear with the list of startup applications. Right-click the first entry on the list and select Disable from the menu. Do this for all entries on the list.
    Windows 10 network file transfer slow
  6. Go back to the System Configuration window. Now you just have to click Apply and OK to and restart your PC.
    Slow data transfer Windows 10

After doing that, check if the problem is still there. If the issue doesn’t appear anymore the problem definitely related to one of the disabled applications or services.

To find the exact cause, enable disabled applications and services one by one or in groups until you find the cause of the problem.


6. Disable Remote Differential Compression

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter windows features. Select Turn Windows features on or off.
    Slow file transfer between hard drives
  2. Disable Remote Differential Compression and click OK.
    Slow USB 3.0 transfer Windows 10
  3. Restart your PC.

After your PC restarts, check if the problem is still there. Keep in mind that you need to repeat this on all PCs on your network in order to permanently fix the problem.


7. Check the Optimize drives service

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter services.msc. Press Enter or click OK.
    Windows 10 network file transfer slow
  2. Locate Optimize drives and double-click it to check its properties.
    Slow USB file transfer Windows 10
  3. Set the Startup type to Automatic.
  4. Now click the Start button to start the service. Once the service starts, click Apply and OK to save changes.
    Slow file transfer between hard drives

After this service is up and running, the problem with slow file transfer speed should be completely fixed.


8. Disable Windows Search service

  1. Open the Services window.
  2. Locate Windows Search service and double-click it to reveal its properties.
    Slow USB 3.0 transfer Windows 10
  3. Set Startup type to Disabled.
  4. Now click the Stop button to stop the service. Lastly, click Apply and OK to save changes.
    Windows 10 network file transfer slow

Restart your PC and check if the problem is resolved. If any new issues occur after disabling this service, be sure to enable the service once again.


9. Check your BIOScheck your BIOS to fix file transfer speed

If you’re encountering slow file transfer speeds on your PC, the problem might be your BIOS configuration.

Several users reported that their hard drives were configured as IDE drives in BIOS, and that caused the issue.

In case you don’t know, IDE is an older standard, and by using it with newer hardware you might encounter various problems. However, you can fix the issue simply by changing the hardware configuration from IDE to AHCI in BIOS.

To see how to do that, we advise you to check your motherboard manual for detailed information.


10. Connect the hard drive to a different port

Connect the hard drive to a different port

If other solutions didn’t work for you, perhaps this is a good time to check your hardware.

Several users reported that a SATA port can sometimes slow down transfer speeds.  So simply connect your hard drive to a different SATA port on your motherboard.

After doing that, check if the problem is still there.

Slow file transfer speeds can be quite annoying, but we hope that you managed to solve this issue by using one of our solutions.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and was completely revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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