Windows 10 very slow and unresponsive [Quick Solutions]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Windows 10 can run really slow or turn unresponsive altogether after an update.
  • There are a lot of possible fixes that anyone can try, so keep reading.
  • If you're looking for solutions to other OS issues, you'll find the answers in the Windows 10 Troubleshooting page.
  • For even more advice on improving your device performance, find excellent recommendations in the Tools section.
windows 10 very slow and unresponsive

Microsoft has promised improved performance with Windows 10. Even though a lot of progress has been made, some users claim that Microsoft’s most recent OS has slowed down their system.

Adding to this, they mention that after upgrading, Windows 10 proved very slow and unresponsive not just on startup, but also when opening programs or folders.

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On certain occasions, the operating system freezes altogether, sometimes after automatic updates.

What’s more, even File Explorer shows a delayed response.

So in today’s article, we’ll go through possible causes and solutions, hoping to give your OS a boost so that you get full control over your device.

What can I do if Windows 10 is too slow?

1. Update your drivers and software

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Sometimes your Windows 10 can become slow if your essential components or applications are out of date.

While updating applications is easy, outdated drivers can be problematic if you don’t know what to download.

Installing the wrong driver version will cause permanent damage to your system, so we strongly recommend DriverFix to get just the necessary drivers for your device.

With just one click, the tool scans your PC, finds the problematic software, and recommends several replacements from a huge database it uses.

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2. Check for viruses

fix windows 10 slow

Just like any other software, Windows 10 is vulnerable to viruses, so make sure that your system is clean. You can download any free antivirus software and do a full system scan just to be sure.

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If you want to ensure that your PC is continuously safe and protected from malware, you might want to consider the best program right now, Bitdefender.

The tool uses next-gen technology to detect the most recent malware signatures known in the industry. The top scores in detection rates added to the ease of use and overall user-friendly design, make Bitdefender the best option to ensure your device’s protection.

Besides, this antivirus comes with an optimization feature that will scan your device for unnecessary files and registry items, unused programs or apps that can be removed, and so on, to declutter the system and boost its performance.

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3. Disable heavy performance processes

  1. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard.
  2. Go to the Startup tab. Sort the processes by their Startup impact rating.
    Windows 10 running slow and freezing
  3. Disable processes in the High category, but don’t disable crucial programs such as your antivirus.

4. Enable a faster startup option

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter power settings. Select Power & sleep settings.
    Windows 10 very slow startup
  2. Click Additional power settings.
    Windows 10 very slow and unresponsive
  3. Click on Choose what the power button does from the menu on left.
    Slow windows 10 after update
  4. Now select Change settings that are currently unavailable.
    Windows 10 running slow and freezing
  5. Make sure to check Turn on fast startup (recommended).
  6. Save your changes and you’re good to go.

This feature is called Hybrid Startup and Shutdown and it puts your PC into a hibernation state. It improves the startup and shutdown process.


5. Check for slow services

  1. Press Windows key + R and type services.msc and press Enter.
  2. In the list of all services that start along with your Windows 10, look for any services that take too long to launch.
  3. Right-click each service and change the settings from Default to Delayed Start.
    Slow Windows 10 File Explorer
  4. Save your changes and restart.

6. Disable blur effects and transparency

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Then click on Personalization.
    Slow Windows 10 File Explorer
  3. Next click on Colors. Set Transparency effects to Off.
    Windows 10 very slow startup

7. Perform a clean Windows 10 install

Perform a clean Windows 10 install

Sometimes there are software issues when you upgrade from Windows 8 or Windows 7 to Windows 10, or even when installing the latest Windows 10 updates.

So it’s advised that you perform a clean install of Windows 10. Just be sure that you backup your important files before doing this.


8. Use CCleaner

fix windows 10 slowdown with ccleaner

If your Windows 10 is slow, the problem might be your temporary files or your registry.

You can easily fix this problem simply by removing these files from your PC. Doing that manually can be a tedious process, but you can automatically delete these files as well.

One of the best applications that can remove temporary files and optimize your registry is CCleaner. It’s not only efficient and intuitive but also free to use with the basic features.


9. Stop Windows Module Installer service

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter services.msc. Now press Enter or click OK.
    Windows 10 very slow and unresponsive
  2. Locate Windows Module Installer on the list and double click it to open its properties.
    Slow windows 10 after update
  3. Check the Service status, if it’s set to Running click the Stop button to stop the service.
  4. In addition, you can also change the Startup Type to Disabled if you want to permanently disable this service.
  5. Now click on Apply and OK to save changes.

After disabling this service, check if the problem is resolved.

Note: By disabling this service you might not be able to receive Windows updates, so be sure to enable it back, to avoid any other problems.


10. Disconnect all peripherals

Disconnect all peripherals

Sometimes your hardware can cause Windows 10 to become slow. To fix that problem, you need to disconnect all peripherals from your PC.

This includes all USB devices, such as printers, hard drives, cameras, etc.

For instance, several users reported that the issue was caused by USB speakers. After disconnecting the device, the issue was completely resolved.


11. Defragment your drive

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter defrag. Now choose Defragment and Optimize Drives.
    Windows 10 slow opening programs
  2. When Optimize Drives window opens, select the desired drive and click on Analyze.
    Windows 10 slow opening programs
  3. After scanning the drives, select the fragmented drive and click on Optimize.
  4. Wait while Windows defragments your drive.
  5. Repeat this process for all your drives.

Once the defragmentation process is finished, check if the problem is resolved.

It’s worth mentioning that there are many other great third-party defragmentation tools that offer various advanced features. If you’re looking for more features, we recommend you try Smart Defrag.


12. Adjust the size of virtual memory

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter advanced. Select View advanced system settings.
    Windows 10 very slow startup
  2. Click the Settings button in the Performance section.
    Windows 10 very slow and unresponsive
  3. Go to Advanced tab and click on Change button.
    Slow windows 10 after update
  4. In the Virtual Memory window, uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.
  5. Then, select Custom size, and enter Initial Size and Maximum size. Now click on the Set button and OK to save changes.
    Windows 10 running slow and freezing

After doing that, you’ll set the size of virtual memory for that drive. You might have to set the manual size for all your drives.

As for the size, the size of your virtual memory is related to the size of your RAM.

As a general rule, the Initial size should be at least 1.5 times larger than the amount of RAM memory on your PC. As for Maximum size, it should be up to 4 times larger than the amount of RAM on your PC.

We believe that after trying out these solutions, any slowdown problem should be completely resolved.

We’ve got a similar troubleshooting article, dedicated to slow desktops that you might want to check out.

On the other hand, if you have any other suggestions on this topic, feel free to reach us using the comments sections.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and was completely revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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