A slow and laggy PC can frustrate busy workers and serious gamers.
Windows 11 has been around for a few years, and Microsoft has made strides in improving its new OS. It comes with useful and efficient new features but also has its own share of bugs, malfunctions, and downsides, just like any other operating system.
We know how troublesome it is to face performance issues with your computer. This article will discuss why your PC is lagging and slow and offer solutions to speed up its performance. Let’s jump into the main question and make your computer quick and snappy.
Why Does Windows 11 Make My PC Slower & Laggy?
Too Many Background Apps and Processes
One of the most common causes when a PC slows down, is having too many apps and processes running in the background. These programs use system resources, such as CPU, memory, and disk space, even when you are not actively using them. This can lead to a noticeable decrease in overall system responsiveness.
Your computer needs to run important system processes in the background to function. But some unessential apps are designed to run continuously in the background for tasks such as checking for updates, syncing data, and notifications. When all of these accumulate, it leads to lag and sluggishness.
- How to Fix It?
Reducing the number of running apps and programs will free up resources. Open the Task Manager by pressing “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” or right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting “Task Manager.” Then, go to the Processes tab to see the active apps and programs and how much resources they consume.
Close the resource-intensive applications you are not using by right-clicking on them and clicking “End Task.” Windows 11 also allows you to control which apps should be allowed to run in the background. Go to “Settings”> “Apps”> “Installed Apps” to choose which ones to give background access to.
Low System Storage
Insufficient storage can cause Windows 11 to be slow and sluggish. When your system drive is nearly full, it can hinder the operating system’s ability to manage files and critical processes. This leads to your PC being slower to boot, open applications, and respond to your commands.
Low storage also means that your system and applications will have difficulty reading and writing data, leading to slower loading times and performance issues. Windows updates and driver updates also require free space to be installed. Having low storage will hinder you from installing these updates.
- How to Fix It?
Regularly clean up your hard drive or SSD to address this issue by deleting unnecessary files, old downloads, and unused applications and programs for more storage space. Windows 11 also has a built-in “Disk Cleanup” tool, which you can use to clear up disk space.
Another feature you can take advantage of is Storage Sense. It frees up your storage by automatically removing temporary files and items from the recycle bin. Go to Start > Settings > System > Storage, then set Storage Sense to on. You can also transfer files to an external storage device to free up space.
Outdated Graphics Driver
The graphics driver is an essential software component that lets the operating system communicate with the GPU or graphics card. A faulty or outdated graphics driver can lead to graphical performance issues in your system and a subpar user experience, even in Windows 11.
New games and software are designed to work optimally with newer graphics drivers. Having outdated drivers will cause reduced frame rates, lower visual quality, and sluggish graphics rendering, leading to a bad experience, especially in gaming and video editing.
- How to Fix It?
The most straightforward solution is to update your graphics driver. Open the Start Menu and search for “Device Manager.” Then, go to “Display Adapters,” right-click on your graphics card and select “Update Driver.”Most of the time, you’ll choose “Search Automatically for Drivers.”
But you can choose the other option if you manually download the driver updates from your GPU manufacturer (NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel). You can also use automatic tools like “NVIDIA GeForce Experience” or “AMD Radeon Software” for a seamless driver update process.
Fast Startup Malfunction
Fast Startup is a built-in feature introduced on Windows 8 and carried over to Windows 10 and 11. You can enable it to shorten the time it takes for your PC to boot. It does so by saving the system’s current state to a hibernation file when you shut down.
When you turn on your PC again, it uses the hibernation file to quickly load the system’s state instead of going through a full boot process. But sometimes, power interruptions or software conflicts can cause this process to fail and lead to slower boot-ups and shutdowns, defeating its purpose.
- How to Fix It?
It can be fixed by turning off Fast Startup. To do this, go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > Choose what the power button does. Then choose “Change settings that are currently unavailable,” uncheck “Turn on fast startup,” hit save, and the PC will go through a normal boot every time.
Power Saving Mode is Turned On
Power Saving Mode is a feature designed to conserve energy and extend the battery life of laptops and mobile devices. When turned on, it adjusts various settings like lowering the screen brightness, putting the disk to sleep after a period of inactivity, and more to save power.
However, your device’s performance is significantly reduced in exchange for longer battery life. Your CPU’s clock speed is also limited, leading to delayed system responsiveness and slower execution of applications that make your computer slow and laggy.
- How to Fix It?
This can be fixed by customizing your Power Plan to suit your needs. Instead of going with Power Saving Mode, switch to Balanced Mode or High-Performance Mode. If you are using a PC or your laptop is plugged in, choose the settings for the best performance.
You can do this by going to “Control Panel”> “Power Options” and clicking on “Create a power plan. Start with Balanced and tweak the settings depending on your needs. You can also go to “Change advanced power settings” for more options to strike the perfect balance for your needs.
Virus or Malware Attack
Viruses and malware don’t always lead to total system breakdown. Sometimes, these unwanted visitors cause a series of issues to arise before you even know they exist. These malicious software are designed to disrupt operations, steal sensitive information, and exploit system vulnerabilities.
Viruses like Trojans can overload your CPU with useless processes, cause it to work at full capacity, and use precious memory. Malware can continuously write and read data on the hard drive or SSD, causing slower read and write times. This results in a slow and laggy PC.
- How to Fix It?
Installing reputable and trusted Anti-Virus software is the first step to defending against viruses and malware. These can detect, isolate, and remove malicious software from your system to protect your information. Make sure you only download anti-virus software from their official site and manufacturer.
Once you have installed security software, perform a full system scan to identify and eradicate any malware on your PC. Malware can hide in system files or deep within the registry, making detecting and removing manually challenging. Keeping viruses out is essential to a fast, snappy, and safe PC.
How to Speed Up Slow and Laggy Windows?
After eliminating the common reasons behind a slow and laggy computer, there are steps you can take to help boost your PC’s performance. Restarting your computer will give it a fresh start to function optimally. Additionally, you can also disable some Windows permissions to free up resources.
Restart Your Computer
It may sound simple and futile, but restarting your PC actually helps it perform at its best. Rebooting your computer clears the RAM, which temporarily stores data and processes for quick access. A fresh start will leave your PC with more RAM for running tasks.
It also clears disk cache, resets software states, prevents conflicts due to long runtimes, and addresses common system hiccups and errors computers run into while working. Restarting your PC is like taking a well-needed nap when you are tired. This leads to faster and snappier system performance.
Disable Unimportant Windows Permissions
Some Windows permissions don’t add much value but still use up resources. Disabling these permissions won’t significantly impact your experience, but disabling them will help improve your computer’s performance and decrease the sluggishness and lag you are experiencing.
To adjust Windows permissions, go to Settings, then go to the “Privacy and Security” tab, scroll down to “Windows Permission,” and you can choose which ones to allow and keep. Only disable the permissions that won’t affect any Windows features you need and use.
How to Downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10?
You can downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10 using two ways. The first is through the Windows recovery option, and the other is by performing a clean installation of Windows 10. Windows 11 is based on Windows 10, so your product key can be used to activate either version.
If you upgraded to Windows 11 within the past ten days, it should be a straightforward process. Go to “Settings,” choose “Update & Security,” select “Recovery,” and click “Go back to Windows 10.” Follow the on-screen instructions for the downgrade.
If you bought a new device with Windows 11 pre-installed, you need to perform a clean installation of Windows 10. First, back up all important files to an external storage or cloud. Download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool from Microsoft’s official website and create a bootable USB or DVD.
Once that’s ready, restart your PC, plug in your USB to a USB port/ load your DVD installer, access the boot menu, and select the USB/DVD as the boot device. Choose the partition for Windows 10, and follow the on-screen instructions for a successful installation.
Does Windows 11 Affect Gaming?
Yes, Windows 11 is designed to enhance user experience and gaming. With new gaming features like Auto HDR and DirectStorage, which can enhance graphics and reduce loading times, the new OS is expected to be better than its predecessors and be more suited for gamers.
However, your PC needs to meet the recommended system requirements for Windows 11 to fully experience these gaming enhancements. If you have an older device with lower specs, you might see a decrease in performance instead of an upgrade. In this case, you can consider going back to Windows 10.
Windows 11 being slow and laggy is caused by too many background apps and processes running, low system storage, outdated drivers, fast startup malfunction, power saving mode being turned on, or virus and malware attacks.
This problem can be fixed by reducing the number of running apps and programs, regularly cleaning drives and deleting unnecessary files, updating your graphics drivers, disabling fast startup, switching to Balanced or Performance mode, and scanning for viruses and malware.
You can also boost your PC’s performance and help it become faster and snappier by restarting it. It clears RAM and disk cache to give your computer a fresh start. Disabling unneeded Windows permissions can also free up resources without compromising any essentials, ultimately improving user experience.
It is also possible to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10 through the Windows recovery option or by performing a clean installation. Windows 11 has awesome gaming features, but it needs your PC to reach the system requirements to function optimally.
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