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15 Reasons Why Your Computer is Slow

by on April 04, 2019
in Computer Safety & Support, Computers and Software, Computers & Accessories, Tips & How-Tos, Tech 101 :: 41 comments

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Computers slow down for any number of reasons, but most of those boil down to one thing – us using them. As you download programs, install extensions, surf the web, create files and fill your hard drive with movies and music, inevitably you'll build up virtual detritus that will impact your PC’s performance. So if you've been asking yourself "Why is my computer so slow?", these are the most common reasons your computer is slowing down – and the simple measures you can take to get it running faster.

1. You have too many startup programs

Newly downloaded programs often try to weasel their way into your Startup menu (Windows) or Login Items (Mac). If you didn't uncheck the box for that permission, you could have dozens of unnecessary programs vying to be ready and running as soon as your computer boots up (as if that's happening any time soon).

“The most common cause of a slow computer is too many startup programs,” says Aaron Schoeffler, computer repair doctor at LaptopMD. “90 percent of programs want that permission to start when your computer starts so that you’ll use them, and that can result in a boot time of five to ten minutes. When it finally does start, a ton of programs are already running in the background and if you’re not using a newer computer, that can slow it down.” 

While some programs – such as antivirus and firewall software - should be allowed to run from startup, others – such as iTunes or Microsoft Office – could quite easily stay closed until you actually need to access a file from their digital depths.

Fix it

Mac: Applications / Systems Preferences / User Groups / Login Items, then uncheck unneeded programs. Delete desktop icons you don't use by trashing them or, in the case of files you've saved to your desktop for convenience, reorganizing to the appropriate folder.

Windows 8 and 10: Windows key + X / Task Manager / Startup tab, then right-click on the programs you want to remove and select Disable.

Windows 7 and older: Start button, then search for System Configuration. Go to Startup tab, then uncheck each of the programs if you don't want starting when the system boots up.

2. Your hard drive is failing

“A hard drive nearing the end of its lifespan is a common issue. Hard drives are made of moving parts that spin thousands of times a day and they do wear down,” says Schoeffler “Generally, after two to three years of consistent use, there’s a high chance that a hard drive is failing.”

In contrast, solid-state drives (SSDs) don’t experience the same type of degradation from physical hardware, and have a lifespan of eight to ten years. “Solid state drives are also ten times faster than a standard hard drive, and you’re looking at going from a boot time of three to five minutes to 15-20 seconds,” Schoeffler says. However, SSDs are more expensive per gigabyte of storage – which isn’t a problem if you’re after, say, a 2TB drive, but can get expensive if you need a drive to store large photo or video files.

Fix it

Run a hard drive check:

Windows 7, Vista: Windows Explorer / Computer / right-click on drive / Properties / Tools / Check Now. You can select “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors” which will prevent your computer from accessing any “bad” areas of the hard drive, but can also increase the scan time to a few hours.

Mac: Head to Applications / Utilities / Disk Utility, then highlight the hard drive in question and click First Aid at the top of the screen.

In general, avoid dropping, throwing or otherwise causing impact to the hard drive to extend its lifespan. At some point, you might consider upgrading your hard drive too: “We tend to recommend upgrading to solid-state drives,” Schoeffler says. Here is our guide on how to upgrade from a hard disk drive to an SSD.

3. Your hard drive is 95% full 

When your hard drive gets to 95 percent full, computers can slow down by 50 percent, Schoeffler estimates. “At this point, there is no space to save the temporary files required for operating programs, so it’s as if the OS doesn’t know how to run properly anymore,” he says.

Hard drive space is taken up by programs, updates to programs, and downloads, as well as temporary files and associated files of deleted programs, so you may be able to clear a good amount of space just by emptying your trash. Check your hard drive situation by (Mac) clicking the apple and selecting About this Mac, or (Windows) hitting Start / Computer and right clicking the primary hard drive (usually C:), then go to Properties.

Fix it

Deep clean your computer of unnecessary files from unused programs to defunct downloads and temporary files. This might include bloatware that manufacturers preload onto computers that are supposed to run utilities or cleanup. System backups and restore points also can take up a huge amount of space, so don’t keep more backup versions than you really need. To optimize space, you might also want to move files to a cloud storage service. Schoeffler recommends the free program CCleaner (Mac/Windows) to easily delete unneeded files, including the glut of temp files created by browsers, for instance.

Wondering about that ancient computer cleaning ritual defragging? That’s only if you’re for some reason still using Windows XP or older – newer Windows PCs and all Macs do not require manual defragging. 

4. Your browser has too many add-ons

Browser extensions can usefully enhance your web experience (like an ad-blocker or a unit converter I use) – but they might also be a culprit in slowing down your computer by eating up processing power. Nor are all extensions created equal - some add-ons may proclaim themselves popup blockers or search protectors, but they may be browser adware that can slow your computer down by downloading ads and popping up ads every time you open your browser.

Fix it

Disable or remove the extensions and toolbars you don't really need:

Firefox: Hit the menu button on the far right, select Add-ons / Extensions, then select disable or remove for each item on the list.

Chrome: Right-click on any extension button / Manage Extensions, then uncheck the box to disable a particular item, or click the trash can to wave it goodbye. You can also check how much memory each extension is using by hitting the top-right menu button (three vertical dots) then More Tools / Task Manager / Memory where you can sort all browser processes by memory used. The extensions will be preceded by a puzzle piece icon.

Safari: Hit Safari (top left) / Preferences / Security / Extensions, then select an item to uninstall. You can also turn off all Extensions here.

Internet Explorer: Tools / Manage add-ons / Show All add-ons, then select the offender(s), and click disable or remove.

Edge: Setting and More / Extensions, then remove any you don't need.

5. You're running too many programs at once

Doing a trillion things at once is exactly why we have computers but, at some point, your little bundle of artificial intelligence is going to falter. Your computer's ability to run multiple programs at the same time hinges in part on its RAM (random access memory), which allows it to switch from processing one program to another with seeming fluidity, but if the demands of the open programs are outstripping your computer's memory and processing power, you'll notice a slowdown.

Fix it

Head into Task Manager (Windows; Ctrl+Alt+Del) or Activity Monitor (Mac; Cmd+Space, type into Spotlight bar), recommends Schoeffler, to see which programs are open and sucking up processing power:

Then shut down those you don’t need. For Macs, Windows 10, Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows, you can close the programs from the file menu. In Windows 10 and 8, programs are built so that they run in the background for a while, then automatically shut down. But if you want to manually shut one down and ensure all associated files shut down with it, drag from the top of the screen to the bottom, and hold there until the icon flips over.

6. Too many browser tabs are open

If you're in the dozens of open tabs camp (“All the better to never lose a link”, you claim), your browser is likely hogging far more than its fair share of RAM. “When you open a new browser tab, it’s saved in RAM. If you have only a little bit of RAM left free, you run out of room for processing everything that is active, so the computer slows down,” Schoeffler says

Multiple open browsers can slow down the works, too, and you get extra slow points if any tabs are also auto-refreshing (say, a live blog). What's more, having a glut of browser tabs full of supposedly crucial information doesn't exactly help our efficiency or mindfuless.

Fix it

Bookmark those “necessary” links (for organization's sake, in a Bookmarks folder titled “To Read”) and shut those tabs down. Even better, One-Tab for Chrome and Firefox does the work for you, compiling all your open tabs into a simple list on a single tab, which can then be accessed as needed. 

7. Rogue programs are hogging all the processing powers

It's not always a heavy-duty video or music app that's eating up your computer's processing power. Some programs or system processes may be stuck in a loop or have encountered an error.

Fix it

Check how much processing power programs and processes are using by heading into Task Manager (Windows) or Activity Monitor (Mac). For both, click the “CPU” tab to order the programs by how much processing power they're taking up. If a program that you're not actively using is still up there in the top few programs, you can select to quit the process.

And, when it comes to browsers, Internet Explorer is especially heavy on your computer, says Joe Silverman, CEO of repair shop New York Computer Help. Most of us aren’t using it anymore– with Chrome and Safari used by the majority of U.S. netizens – but hold up before gleefully uninstalling: “You don't have to run Internet Explorer but don't remove it [if you got it bundled with your Windows PC] – it could cause problems as it's very tied to the operating system,” he says. 

8. You have an overzealous antivirus program

Having an active anti-malware program is a vital part of computer hygiene – but yours may be running regular background scans at the worst possible times.  “Virus scans slow down the works because they're running in the background,” Silverman says. Some antivirus programs may be set to weekly full scans, which can take a few hours and suck up a lot of processing power.

Fix it

Head into your antivirus settings and configure it to scan late at night when you aren't using the computer. (However, that feature may not be available on some free antivirus programs – which makes a good case for upgrading.) 

9. You have a virus 

If it's not the antivirus, it could be the virus. Viruses, spyware and other malware can slow down your computer as they mess around with everything from hijacking your browser to pushing advertising or phishing sites, to crashing your computer. “These days, viruses most commonly install a malicious program that runs ads randomly, which is an easy way to generate income for its creator,” Schoeffler says.

Fix it

Run a malware scan. Schoeffler recommends using the free Malwarebytes (Mac/Windows) as an anti-malware cybersecurity tool. We also recommended Bitdefender Total Security and Symantec Norton Security Premium.

10. Someone is using your computer for cryptomining

A sluggish computer could signal that a program or ad is using your system to mine cryptocurrency. Often, this occurs because of code on a website and that is active only while the site is open. In fact, some legitimate sites such as Salon use it as a system to generate income instead of users viewing ads (users can opt in if they agree). 

“Without your permission, a website could have an extension that uses your computer’s processing power to mine a cryptocurrency,” Schoeffler says. “It’s a legally gray area because it’s not directly doing or adding anything to your system.”

Cryptomining (also called cryptojacking) can also be the result of malware that downloads to your computer – like the Digimine virus that spread through the Chrome version of Facebook Messenger - then runs in the background, mining away and sending information back to its creator.  

Fix it

Shutting down your browser will halt the browser-based cryptomining. To figure out if you’re inadvertently downloaded cryptojacking malware, head to Task Manager (Windows) or Activity Monitor (Mac) and see what’s making demands on your processor. “Whether it’s a virus or browser-based cryptomining, you’ll be able to see if something is using your processor for its own needs,” Schoeffler says.

11. Your OS is way too slick

It's the age-old battle of appearance over performance: Having visual effects enabled – aka eye candy like those snazzy transitions for minimizing windows – can impact the speed of your PC (and to a lesser extent, Mac), if its hardware only just skates within the minimum requirements for your OS of choice.

“If you have a good video card – that's 1GB of RAM on the video card or better – you're OK,” says Silverman. “But less than that, [having visual effects enabled] can slow your computer down.”

Fix it

Windows 7 and older: Start / Control Panel / Performance Information and Tools / Adjust Visual effects, then click Adjust for best performance or manually choose which effects you'd like to keep.

Windows 8 and 10: Windows key + X / System / Advanced System Settings / Performance Settings / then select as above.

Mac: System Preferences / Dock, then for minimizing applications, change that super-swish Genie effect to a utilitarian Scale effect (basically just disappearing). Uncheck “Animate Opening Applications”.

12. Your room is too dusty

Sometimes the problem is not internal but external – is the back of your CPU casing matted over with dust? This can prevent ventilation which cools the processors as they whir away in an attempt to run Photoshop, Spotify, Outlook, and Skype. And nobody wants a hot computer – heat increases the likelihood of malfunctions and crashes.

As for laptops, any time you notice your laptop heating up, you should check that its vents, usually on the sides, aren't blocked. For example, don't put your laptop on something soft like a pillow where it can sink in.

Fix it

Dust off the ol', um, dust. If it's really severe, you can use a vacuum cleaner (carefully) or a canister of compressed air.

13. You don't have enough memory

If you've deep-cleaned your computer and modified your browser tab habit, but your computer is still slow (and you own a PC), you might want to consider a minor upgrade in the form of additional RAM.

Some programs take a lot of your computer's RAM to run – for example, programs that work with huge files such as photo or video editing software. “A lot of people try to run Photoshop or some graphics-heavy program on an entry- or mid-level computer that can't handle it,” Silverman says.

Fix it

If you’re watching videos and playing music, 2GB of RAM should do; and 4GB-8GB if you do graphics-heavy work on your computer. Fortunately, upgrading the RAM on your PC is inexpensive and a task most people can handle themselves. To learn what RAM upgrade options are available for your computer, try Kingston's memory options tool.

14. You need to restart your computer

The reason restarting seems to solve so many tech issues is that programs can get hung for a myriad of reasons. “A lot of stuff gets gummed up in the background. For example, if you turn off Outlook, background processes are still running,” Silverman says. “You could 'end task', but a lot of folks are not that savvy about which one to end.”

Instead of manually digging into Task Manager (Windows) or Activity Monitor (Mac) to divine the root(s) of the sluggishness, restarting flushes out the system, a panacea for those rogue, resource-hogging programs and a clean slate free of files and fragments.

Fix it

Bite the bullet and shut things down. You even get the added benefit of having critical system updates applied that can only happen during a reboot.

15. You're running in low power mode

Some Windows laptops give you the option to adjust your power settings to maximize performance. Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options and select "Create a Power Plan." If your computer lets you adjust the speed of your components, you'll see three options: "Balanced," "Power saver," and "High performance." Select "High performance" and create a plan name. You'll then see a screen where you can select your power plan. Select your new plan. Creating a power plan that's based on "High performance" will maximize the performance of your computer automatically. 

Create a Power Plan

If you want to tweak the settings further, you can choose "Change advanced power settings"  and from the window that opens and you can adjust the settings further. 

Updated on 4/3/2019

[Worried woman image via Shutterstock]

Discussion loading

HDTune only compatible Windows 7 and older

From Linda Ann Graham on May 15, 2015 :: 11:26 am

Just one problem with HDTune.  When I went to its website to investigate downloading it, there’s no indication that the Paid version provides support to Windows 8 AND the Free version only indicates it supports Windows 7 and older.

So much for that tip. :(


HD Tune Pro has free trial and supports Windows 8

From Josh Kirschner on May 15, 2015 :: 12:25 pm

You are correct, the free version of HD Tune only supports Windows 7 and older. However, HD Tune Pro supports both and comes with a 15-day free trial before you need to purchase a license.


Regularly scan computer system using authorized antivirus

From Michal Vomacka on June 09, 2015 :: 2:24 am

Having an antivirus running in the background does slow down the PC a lot. Quite a useful tip – configuring it to scan late at nights when you are done using your computer.


another possibility for slow computers.

From adam on June 10, 2015 :: 11:06 am

The hard drive can become fragmented to the point it severely degrades performance.  I recently did some troubleshooting on a windows XP machine.  It had around 400-500 gig hard drive with only 12 gigs used.  I installed the ultimate defragger and found it was 63% fragmented.  Ouch! 

It only has one gig of ram but is only really used to surf the web so its not a spped demon by any means but the program did speed things up a bit.


A few months back, my

From Jessy Shaw on June 19, 2015 :: 12:05 pm

A few months back, my sister called me asking why her computer was being so slow. I, being the tech savvy one of the family, tried my hardest to help her figure it out. She ended up buying a whole new computer. Reading through this list, I am pretty sure that she had a virus. I bet you anything she could have taken it to raid recovery and saved a lot of money!


Good tips to clear memory

From MicroStar on January 14, 2016 :: 1:09 am

Thanks for the tips to speed up my computer. I’m running Windows 7 still (i know) but I like it. It’s been amazingly slow lately. It’s slowing down my work rate. I’m going to try these out. Thanks


Wow, thanks for these ideas.

From Rosalie on January 30, 2016 :: 12:04 am

Wow, thanks for these ideas. Websites were getting hung up or moving VERY slowly, quite frustrating. So after reading through your article, I opened up Task Manager and disabled a few things and now my Internet runs like a charm, there was an instantaneous improvement.

Thank you very much!



From Manjaro on June 12, 2016 :: 5:32 am

Computers get slow by using them?
My Manjaro laptop is still fast despite using it every day.


Goodbye Internet Explorer

From Janie R on June 20, 2016 :: 7:37 pm

Had recent jam-up’s with home laptop. Hubby and I not whiz techs and feared virus. Great information and with Chrome running much better.
Thanks so much!


Glad the tips helped!

From Josh Kirschner on June 21, 2016 :: 1:26 pm

I’m a Chrome user and generally prefer it over Firefox and IE, however each has its issues, at times. If you find your browser is acting wonky, that can also be caused by the browser plugins you’ve installed, not the browser itself. So if you really like one particular browser and it starts acting up, removing plugins can help.


Old computers

From Tony on October 28, 2016 :: 6:14 pm

You forgot the most likely cause: Your 10 year old computer is to slow and has too little RAM to run the latest versions of common programs.

Reply're on a site like

From Michael McLaughlin on November 02, 2016 :: 11:32 pm

Or….you’re on a site like THIS that has far too much crap all over the place and your processor can’t keep up with the thousands of ads and videos all trying to open at once. FIX: leave the site.


Heat and clock speeds are

From ACG on November 05, 2016 :: 11:38 am

Heat and clock speeds are only an issue with a simplistic number of transitions per second.

With today’s silicon and other materials combined with gold, copper, and silver, the clock transition is constrained to what is detectable as a low from high. Problem is each rise and lower of the signal begins and ends with a bit of noisy sinusoidal ringing of the signal. The ring muddies the waters. The ring both consumes time making the clocks slower and the ring consumes power making the switches hotter and also make it hard to tell a low to high transition. As the ring is “cleaned up” over the decades the transitions can be faster. One trick is to lower the voltage. Another is to use not the purest but materials be them combined or not that exhibit the least response to low to high energy reflection feedback (aka ring). You see mankind can clock its ass off but struggles to so “cleanly”.

The REAL issue is the operating systems. quantum computer will give rise to 100 megabyte DLLs and 10,000 terabyte MS Windows [whatever version].

Back in the double digit sub 100MHz days of win 3.0 the time it took to open an email is the same time it takes now. Now we are in the 3,000MHZ days. 300x faster. Has any MS office application sped up 300x in opening its self of even a single file from already launched office? Back in the early 1990’s a multi gigabyte drive and a 500MHZ cpu were star wars transporter fantasy. Well, systems have long since toppled those specks. And still, systems are like snails.

It would be nonsense to think any improvement would be at a 1 to 1 ratio with physical change. So lets say for every 10x speed in clock, bus, memory, display, and networking the resulting actually improvement on user experience would be a 10%. Even this meager conservative ratio shows the underlying problem in computing systems.

Its not the clock but who uses the clock. The entire mentality of reusing the same OS’s but only changing their version name and background images has to stop. OS’s continue to build on the same foundation. Real speed, speeds deserving of these Giga clocks of today will not come about until a group sits and decides to scrap this foundation of now. Scrap language C, C++ even down to the bare metal hardware level.  Scrap using tired badly descriptive languages that barely! changed in over 45 years with the expectation of non improving it will somehow magically bring about improvements in computing systems it resides.  Scrap this dll nonsense. Scrap this b.s. of allowing direct access by users to the underlying OS’s core of system files. Scrap the mere concept of synchronous system calls. Shit nothing should WAIT EVER! Let the core system notify while any user level request to it goes about its business of processing. The core should be untouchable similar to the mobile non jail broken concept.

Any human perceivable delay in opening an application, file, or waiting for a page on the web to load should have never existed. When your average user can boot 10 times a second, that’s when all I have said above has already become the norm.


Too many connections from crappy ad tracking sites and the like.

From Robert Graff on February 17, 2017 :: 7:11 am

Below is a screen shot of another reason your computer may act slow. From my experience this appears to be the predominant reason which is multiplying.


Amazing Blog

From facebook299734757113570 on March 27, 2017 :: 11:46 pm

Your logical reasons are too good and peoples can improve their computer and can safe also from these problems as you mentioned above. Thanks to give us very kind information.


background programs

From ellen slater on July 31, 2017 :: 4:12 pm do i know which programs i need running and which ones i can disable? thanks


Look for the obvious, first

From Josh Kirschner on July 31, 2017 :: 6:07 pm

Start with the ones taking up the most resources and see if there any programs which jump out as obvious ones to close - the ones where you ask, “Why the heck is that running?!?”. Then look for other big resource hogs and, if you’re not familiar with them, do a Google search to see if you can determine what they are. Often times, these are esoteric system programs that can’t or should’t be shut down.

It can be hard to provide more specific guidance because there are so many potential programs that could be running depending on your particular computer, install history and operating system. But go with the 80/20 rule - focus on the ones frequently using large amounts of memory, CPU or disk and ignore the others.



From Laurie M. on March 11, 2018 :: 12:36 am

Thanks for these suggestions.


Windows updates

From Rich on April 17, 2018 :: 11:51 am

I think you’re missing Windows Updates. With laptops set to go to sleep, I’ve had multiple computers that if you set them to not sleep when plugged in and actually let them on for windows updates to install they are fine (after reboot). The large Windows 10 updates just kill everything running until it’s installed.



From Jk Dove on May 03, 2018 :: 9:27 pm

You’re my hero.


thank you soo much

From raheem r forsythe on May 05, 2018 :: 9:42 pm

thank you soo much


Refresh laptop memory by simple trick

From Peter U. on July 06, 2018 :: 3:20 pm

To get maximum available memory when it has slowly increased over time causing your laptop to become vary slow over time, this has helped me.
1.  Shut down all your programs.
2.  Shutdown your laptop.
3.  Remove the battery from laptop.
4.  Hold the Windows icon key, the enter key and
  the Esc key down at the same time for 30-45
5.  Replace the battery back into the Laptop.
6.  Restart your laptop.
7.  You should now have maximum available
  memory. Unless you have malware or a virus,
I was able to go from 10 % available and very slow to over 50% available and much faster and
acceptable operation.
You can monitor your Memory status using Task manager and checking Memory usage. Check it every 2-3 weeks to determine if you have to remove your battery again.


That isn't making sense to me

From Josh Kirschner on July 08, 2018 :: 8:38 pm

Any time you shut down your laptop, your memory (RAM) will get cleared out. There’s no need to remove your battery. And I have no idea what Windows/Enter/Esc is supposed to do - there’s no information I’ve found about this shortcut and, regardless, it isn’t going to do anything with the computer shut down.

If you want to refresh your memory (which isn’t a bad thing to do occasionally), just restart your computer. No need to do any of the other stuff.



From raul on September 09, 2018 :: 2:51 pm

thank you!


Another issue:

From Will on April 04, 2019 :: 1:01 pm

Another reason: You’ve outgrown your hardware. Period. This doesn’t apply to every user either.

For some their 10 year old computer just needs a little maintenance: file maintenance, as well as OS (see below), and they’re good as gold again for YouTube, email, and solitaire. Others need another drive for extra space. (Not a bad idea of another drive or partition to keep your photos and such (personal files) on anyway.)

Others, your demands have exceeded your old single or dual core CPU and 4GB of RAM (and 250GB hard drive.) It’s time for new hardware: upgrades are, or a new system is, needed that meets or exceeds the demands, at a reasonable price of course. Those demands include modern games, (pay attention to their requirements,) and the same goes for applications.

Another reason also: Your Operating System (usually Windows) is cluttered and somewhat confused from all the updates over time. Sometimes it’s just best to copy all your personal data you don’t want to lose (a good reason to back it up too) to someplace safe and not on your Operating System drive (or partition), reformat, reinstall, install the latest drivers, update the OS, and install your apps again. Too daunting? Unsure you can do it? Pay a pro to do it then.



From Dan Marco on April 10, 2019 :: 2:42 pm

” SSDs are more expensive per gigabyte of storage – which isn’t a problem if you’re after, say, a 2TB drive, but can get expensive if you need a drive to store large photo or video files.”

Never before have I heard a 2TB drive implied to be not very big.


Thank you

From Nabieu Kargbo on July 30, 2019 :: 8:37 am

Thanks very much for your support


Remove McAfee

From Harry on August 17, 2019 :: 7:14 am

I did most of the recommendations on the list and nothing really helped. Then I realised that I have AVG and McAfee both installed and I’m not using McAfee at all - so I went to System—> Add/Remove programs and removed it. Voila!! The computer now works like a dream!


The obvious

From Alex Tongen on August 20, 2019 :: 6:57 am

Or one must face the facts. How old is your computer? It possibly could be time for a new one.



From Taylor Hansen on March 18, 2020 :: 11:01 am

It really helped when you said that your computer can slow down by 50% if the hard drive is 95% full. Over the past couple of days, I noticed that my computer has been running slow and I’m worried that it will get worse. I’ll be sure to try some of these tips to increase the speed as well as looking for a computer repair shop.


It may be Microsoft's fault.

From RobertoSxyz on February 11, 2021 :: 5:01 am

I am a Computer technician and it took me years to find out this issue.
Before you do dozen of operation you need to verify that your computer is compatible with DEP. In my opinion this is an economic move to cause slow down and force people to buy new computers. DEP will be enabled even if the computer is not compatible with it. DEP can be foun in Advanced properties of the System screen.


That's not accurate

From Josh Kirschner on February 15, 2021 :: 5:01 pm

DEP (Data Execution Prevention) is a security function to prevent malware from utilizing certain area of memory space - it is not an “economic move” by Microsoft to slow computers down. DEP has been in place since the Windows XP days so every computer should be able to support it unless it is really ancient. The only reason to turn it off is if you have a specific (ancient) program that is not compatible with DEP. However, even in these cases, it is a program-specific issue, not something that would lead to overall slowness and you would be opening yourself up to security risks by turning it off, so strongly not recommended.


Think before you write it.

From RobertoSxyz on February 15, 2021 :: 7:52 pm

Josh Kirshner, your words are so convincing that I was tempted to think I am a dumb bell. I did some more research and it came out that DEP is always active and slows down the computer. DEP monitors every change in every file therefore the more software you have and the more data you have the more the processore will be loaded.


Let me be more specific

From Josh Kirschner on February 16, 2021 :: 12:07 pm

DEP was a feature created back in the XP days (2003 with XP SP2) and is critical for preventing certain types of malware hacks. When it was originally developed, DEP was incorporated into the Windows (XP and, later, Vista) operating systems. It’s possible at one point that it did have a performance impact on certain XP or Vista systems, though the info on the web is contradictory and I certainly don’t have an XP or Vista machine around to test it on (Note that the article you referenced is written by an anonymous author, so we don’t know their credibility or sourcing, and relates specifically to XP and Vista). It’s also not correct to say that DEP “monitors every change in every file therefore the more software you have and the more data you have the more the processor will be loaded.” It will only run against active programs when using RAM, so it doesn’t matter how many files you have, only how many programs are actively running (see:

Since the original XP rollout, DEP was incorporated as a hardware feature in all Intel and AMD processors (no longer Windows OS managed) starting as early as 2003 (see: and I have been able to find zero support for the contention that DEP slows down Windows using hardware-based DEP, and it is hard to see how it would impact performance when managed through the solid state processor vs the original Windows OS software-based method.

In summary, if you are using a laptop with from pre-2004 or so running XP or Vista, the advice to disable DEP “might” have some performance benefit. However, you would be increasing your exposure to malware on a machine that is already horribly outdated and vulnerable to malware.

Microsoft may be doing overclocking

From Stasi Roberto on February 18, 2021 :: 8:23 am

I went into a computer store to verify the speed of Windows 10 into new computers. I did check some laptops. They do sale laptops with 1,5 Ghz processors and they are running Windows 10, yet they go decently fast. I did ask myself why this is happening. I have two laptops, one of 1,7Ghz and one Asus of 1,8Ghz with a Superhybrid engine that overclocks it. The second laptop I have is the Asus Eeepc 1011PX with an Intel Atom 64 bit quad processor. Yet Windows 10 runs slow on this Asus laptop. There is only one answer to this issue: Microsoft is overclocking processors without telling anything to the users. And you have no control over the overclocking speed. My Superhybrid Engine software will not work well on Windows 10 therefore I am unable to overclock it and the final result is a terrible slow down. All of this is illegal. When you buy a vechicle it is not the manufacturer that twick your vehicle to provide more power. It is a private company that does it otherwise if something happens then the manufacturer is responsible for the damage.


There's a lot more to speed than CPU clock speed

From Josh Kirschner on February 21, 2021 :: 12:26 pm

CPU clock speed is just one factor in the overall speed of your processor. All things being equal, faster clock speed should result in higher performance, but all things aren’t equal. Newer processors from Intel and AMD will often be faster than older processors in the same class (e.g., i5) that run at higher speeds. The amount and type of RAM, your GPU, the hard drive specs can also all affect speed, as can any other programs running that utilize the CPU, hard drive or RAM.

To get a more complete analysis of your system performance, I recommend running a Passmark performance test (


That damned excessive saving vice.

From Stasi Roberto on February 21, 2021 :: 3:15 pm

I am translating my last comment because I made a mistake and posted in italian language.
My Asus laptop model 1011px does have a processor that can run Windows 10 smothly. This option into the CPU is called Turbo Boost. The reason why I was not aware of it is because people don’t talk about it and Microsoft does not show it into the Windows 10 requirement page. Because my laptop does not have the Turbo Boost option into the BIOS, I was unable to see it. My laptop has a software type of Turbo Boost (Super Hybrid Engine). The Windows 10 upgrade did not recognize my CPU Turbo option therefore I was stuck with 1,6Ghz CPU and Windows 10 was running slow. Super Hybrid Engine made no difference while being installed into Windows 10. That’s why I am made with myself as well. It took me years before I made a decision to go buy a new computer.


Are you sure Turbo Boost isn't running?

From Josh Kirschner on February 22, 2021 :: 7:57 pm

Intel Turbo Boost is a hardware feature of the CPU, and it shouldn’t matter what operating system you’re running on top of it. Intel doesn’t have a way to directly control the overclocking, except to turn it on or off vis the Bios, and it’s not something that would be controlled by Windows at the OS level. However, you can see in Windows if it is running by opening Task Manager, going to the Performance tab, and looking at the CPU “speed” versus its rated speed. Under moderate loads, you should start seeing your CPU spiking above the rated clock speed. For example, I have an i7-9700 3.0GHz CPU, but I’ve seen it spike over 4GHz. For more details on Turbo Boost, see:

That said, I don’t believe Turbo Boost was ever available on the Atom processors, and it doesn’t surprise my that an old netbook, like the Asus Eee, would struggle with Windows 10. My understanding of the Asus Super Hybrid Engine feature is that it was more of a power management/battery saving tool than an overclocking feature, and overclocking an old Atom processor wouldn’t get you very far, anyways.

Now we are talking!

From Stasi Roberto on February 23, 2021 :: 9:07 am

You said it right, Josh. That is not my fault because I went around reading into web sites about how to speed up my Windows 10 and there was none of the information about Turbo Boost that we are now discussing right here. Since I do not run a service business to repair computers I could never know anything about it. My BIOS does not show a Turbo Boost option simply because Intel Atom N570 does not have it. Is it my fault that I did not buy a new laptop? Maybe so. However I am blaming those who go around writing stuff on the web and they don’t even talk about the Turbo Boost technology.

Maledetto l'eccessivo risparmio.

From Stasi Roberto on February 21, 2021 :: 8:13 am

Il mio laptop Asus 1011px ha un processore con Turbo Boost, la quale implementazione esiste da vari anni. Ma sfortunatamente non appare l’opzione nel BIOS per disabilitarlo in quanto ASUS ha provvisto un software chiamata Super Hybrid Engine. Passando a Windows 10 il software ha smesso di funzionare ed anche il Turbo Boost. Perciò il problema è nato solamente per mancate discussioni riguardo al Turbo Boost, le mancate discussioni nei siti web dove tutti promettono di velocizzare il tuo sistema operativo. Mi scuso per eventuali inesattezze nei miei post.


From my rumination

From LeotaGek on August 06, 2023 :: 10:08 pm

Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.


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