Why is my PC so slow?         

This page
is not how to make a PC faster than new. (more memory and a new SSD drive would do that easy) Or buy a gaming system real. See a super simple list here.
It is always bad hardware or software or even both.  JUMP TO CLEANING MALWARE !
My page is not about slow internet (complain to your ISP), after all the actual internet can be slow at any time, but if running WIFI?, stop that and try direct wired GigaLan switches wired to your Gagalan router.
If the PC came new slow, then take it back to the store and buy a better PC while store allows such things.(30 day rule?) or bet more RAM.

The Quick Hit list:
The word slow is a relative term. (A is slower than B) what is B?
Slower than the day I bought it new? or slower that my sons newer PC?
In most cases all cheap PCs are slow, ever try running a new $60 top shelf GAME?
All most all PC run faster with more RAM, and for sure 10x faster with any SSD upgrade, the effect is nothing less than AMAZING how fast a SSD is and what it does too any old PC.
The second top reason for slow is your OS (Operating System) is  infected with viruses or malware.
The PC is overheated or your STARTUP boxes are chock-a-block full of (malware or endless chain of update engines for endless loaded applications from H3LL, like Adobe or many others) Delete them is the cure.)
If the (control +alt + Del) task manager  shows memory or CPU overloaded, we try to cure this first.
Last , might be a bad HDD?  they get old and slow down. (ALL DO) ever defrag it? If this old HDD has no more spare sectors,  it will run slow.(the smart data does not lie, if it's wrong the drive is now END OF LIFE)

The PC runs slower (NOW) because of  2 reasons,  a DEVICE  is bad (like a failing  HDD) or the PC has NEW BOTTLENECK issues. (mostly software caused slowness due to malware attacks, or simply INFECTED)
The problem is always 1:hardware bad or 2: software bad or omg (oh my golly) both. (keep in mind I am not doing slow internet on this page)
A bottle neck as the name implies is like when the police close one lane on the freeway (or turnpike) and now it takes 3 hours to get home not 1 hour.
The HDD (hard disk drive) can slow down, the CPU chip can slow down and the Memory can go full. 
 We always check this first ! "RAM or CPU overloading , or overheated and we run full S.M.A.R.T testing on all HDD"

The first test is to control+alt+delete key (called the 3 finger salute) we go to task manager performance, are you out of memory?, is the CPU overloaded? My CPU is 3% now and memory 60% free.
If the CPU is overloaded (processes seen too busy %) or memory is full, this needs to be discovered why and corrected now. (see end of this page on how)

Also all PCs can overheat and all run slower or halt, the magic inside the Intel chip does that BY DESIGN, if too hot it slows down and if near 90C (temp) it shuts itself off saving its own bacon.
Some folks gaming see the PC overheat gaming, and slows down this is normal on cheap grade  PC's,  but not gaming PCs, or if wise build one your self.

What can I do in in step by step order?:
After running Hwinfo32.exe portable and making sure the PC does not overheat first. (and then doing the cure for that  first)

Step1a: (if a Laptop LT)
The first test we do is remove the old huge LT battery, most just drop of the bottom, others must be unplugged inside , so so now) (did this help? if yes, is not the cause  obvious? the battery is NO GOOD)
Next battery out we...
Running only on the AC wall power pack is best . (yes they can fail too as can anything)
We next check ( a meter tool) for 19vdc (18.5v min.)  on my HP , the PC data sheet (SPEC.) tells you the pack voltage , then see if the pack sticker matches, if not you have the wrong pack or watts too low.

Step 1b: if a DT.
The desktop has PSU for power, and will most times shut off, if power is bad. all by its self or told to do that by the MOBO (it's regulators failing)
We now feel assured that the power is ok. (a tech proves it, no tea leaves reading, bull)

Step 2, is boot from any LINUX CD/DVD or USB stick and run in LIVE CD mode, demo mode, "try me" now mode as Ubuntu 17+ states on its first screen.
The demo mode loads to RAM. and is lighting fast. (if not the PC is sick) I most cases it runs fast now.  (if not, we test memory, and lots of other tests to find out why , the top reason for slow here is OVERHEATED)
If the PC runs off this disk fast now , the PC's hardware is ok.( all of it is okay,  but the HDD? in some way...)
If Linux is happy, most times the HDD is bad, or is infected. (but which is it?, the answer is simple, do the HDD tests , all of them)
The HDD is fully tested for the SMART errors.
If the HDD tests fail or smart data shows a sick drive, it is  now replaced, end story of WHY. (install your OS fresh now on your new HDD)
The HDD is good if not we buy a new SSD and re-Install Windows. end story if  true.
Ok not overheating not bad HDD. so... what is next?
Btw (by the way) HDD can overheat too.  If the case has no working fan all HDD do that.  ALL. (SSD not, mostly)
Ok HDD not bad or replaced. If replace and it works ok, end story.
If the  HDD  was okay then the OS is bad.
At this point we know:
  1. It is not overheating
  2. The batteries are all good or the big battery removed, still runs slow.
  3. The AC power pack is not bad or weak.

This next check is for Infected OS, (operating systems) in this case Windows 7 and up.
 This section only covers cleaning out all viruses, and malware. (can be most times a hopeless saga)
Run a full A/V scanner on this PC, to be sure it is ok, even run Microsoft's, Windows Defender Security center full scans.
If you suspect OS corruption this can cure it. (it also checks for corruption)

At the Elevated command prompt (Google that)
Type SFC /scannow.  (there is space after C and before /) must be a space.  this is Windows System File checker.
Then the DISM commands. (see full story)  paste these to the cmd.exe box , command line. 1 at a time.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Last with the Windows 10 installed ISO USB STICK Plugged in to USB jack and then Mounted (right click it and click mount)
Mine landed on Q: drive so.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Q:repairSource\Install.esd
This last command is very very powerful, but the ISO must match your current OS (build)

What I do is this: (all ways from Sunday) (most Pro's just reload the OS clean (fresh load of Windows, or Linux if wise) 
There are 2 types of protection before the fact and after the fact.   (do not run 2 or more A/V protectors at once before the fact software run only 1 or the fight each other (MS defender page read it heed it)
After the  fact (means infected pc) sure run the above if in fact it does run at all, some viruses block  normal scans. (say you run Defender or just ESET) Ok, the after the fact cleaners are a serial long process.
Warning do not run ROGUE malware cleaners that are actually a virus.  (study how to clean first and what cleaner are safe then act)
In all cases , if you can't run a cleaner because the system so infected, remove the HDD and clean  it off line (that means in other PC in USB  drive chassis (best)!
  1. At the command prompt type Msconfig.exe (it will then open task manager clicked there) Disable all startup files not necessary.(all with word update)  seen list at end of this page.
  2. I back up my data first .
  3. We run a vast array of malware scanners.  (with the HDD in this PC or in another and 2nd drive, or in any external USB drive chassis and runs scans per below.
  4. I run a full scan with your current A/V software, Windows Defender or ESET live scan. (doing it with the HDD moved to other PC is 10x more effective)
  5. We then run Malwarebyte free or paid. (google that name)
  6. I then run CCleaner (I do this weekly so ...)  do not add check boxes just click scan it all browser turned off. (alt+F4)
  7. Run HitmanPro
  8. Run Zemana.
  9. Google Off line malware scanners, (or live scans online) do not not installed over 1 A/V system level A/V package or it will be pure hell as they fight each other to the death. (Defender or not never 2+)
  10. You can in fact,  run 20+ offline or live online  scanners 1 by 1 , one at a time, if all this fails and fails with the HDD removed and used as non boot drive, then the OS needs a fresh load.
 Use these set of tactics.
  • Run  the main installed on your PC , the main A/V package, (See Defender on new PCs) then the installed malware cleaner
  • Run the installed malware scanner.
  • Run off line scanners. (a stand alone utility offered from all top makers of A/V)
  • Run the online web scanners. from the top 10 makers of A/V  I like ESET.
  • last move the drive to E: drive on some other PC,  not as boot. and scan it and clean it, just like the above states.
Try to learn all programs that run and scan show false Positives, (there are 2 types of detections, one is a known virus, and the 2nd is one that looks like bad dangerous code but is not known)
I will give one simple example of what looks dangerous,  a piece of code that messes with the ROOT. (or inside windows protected system files )  EASY no, ? 
There are over 6000 viruses in the wild. ( in the 5 year old report) Linux has the least and are all rendered inert with updates.  Ubuntu has only 1 exploit now, and is blocked.
XP has 700+ exploits ,  less with SP3 but is still full of exploits and the pathetic old IE 6.
I ran Norton's NPE.exe scanner today (offline) and it told me my beloved Nitro11 is suspect and my beloved Imgburn.exe is suspect only because most folks using Norton, don't use these 2 TOP TOOLS. WOW !
What a load of crap that was,  non popular apps are now suspect?, even the BEST ! ones I have ! We  miss Peter real, not the fake Peter Norton.  (gee Peter fake if Virus total likes it then what is your silly beef)

Prevention: (if you download code, run this first, if it fails delete it)
My favorite online tool is Virustotal.

If the PC runs, open the start search window to run this Microsoft program and type MRT.EXE.  and so a full scan. Built in to Windows 10 ,. run it !  Malware Removal Tool by Microsoft.
Last read this and blow your mind on just how many A/V scanners there are.... endless.

Also run root kit scanners.  (yah, sometimes a OS fresh install is 10x more easy,  load it run it and take a nap.)

My last good link on the word DEEP is here, DEEP SCANS.
Ok if you get this far the PC is not infected, but can see be overloaded.

Any CPU overload to say 100% or near, then  in task manager , then find what process does that and get rid of it. (uninstall what ever put that process there)  These are the prime shared resources.
( It can be a bad process (bad code so update it) or is  infected one (good is now bad) or a malware program doing it on purpose (pure evil).

Memory can overload easy, I have 12GB but some PC's have 3.  3 is not much today
If  you PC runs out or RAM memory, the PC then MUST simulate missing  RAM, with HDD Virtual memory, with drive swap file pages.  this runs slow as snail,  buy more RAM or clean it, your choice.
There are some buggy applications that have memory leaks, this is hard to find but easy to cure (delete  it)
I had to find out which process did that, then found who owned it, and then did a full uninstall with my beloved,  REVO (life lic) uninstaller PRO. (nothing on earth is better for a PC this app, used as remove and clean APPS)
All software of any kind ,with a memory leak must be removed as it is defective in the most highest degree.
A leak means and APP asking and getting  all  RAM endlessly or asked for it , then fails to release what it is not used, and then stacks up (asking for more , and it already has too much) It asks as an  endless filled balloon.
It's like the HIPPO in Star Wars, drinking all that water and kicking Mr "FIN" to the curb. It is the same thing. (hogging all the water or RAM same same)
Best is  desktop memory/CPU meter, in the task bar 10x better so you are alerted fast to , HOGS GONE WILD.

If you say load 100 application to a PC, like I have, the applications all stupidly think they are the only fish (hog? ) in the sea.
They all love to installed not just the application, but as bad actors install other things YOU DO NOT want. (many installers have custom check box, for me to tell it , no extra crap to load )
Top offenders are AUTO update engines, with 10  of those all running at once, memory is wasted but more importantly is CPU time is wasted.
Remove them all. (starting with Adobe, whatever)
If they think there APP(lications needs to be upgraded every 3 days, why buy there product at all? ,it is untested TRASH IMO. Avoid any applications that have endless updates in 1 year.
I have this thing about software makers not testing their products. ( a shame(sham)  it is)!  (My son is pro white hat hacker at a bank, so we know all about trash)
I run a program called (own) Security Task Manager (tm) it tells me all things running in RAM, and rates it by risk , I can also see which ones are HOGS.
What I do is find them and delete them.
One other great program utility, is Use Autoruns for Windows from Sysinternals
See them all, using Autoruns, and decide now how gets kicked to the curb.

Startup files not to delete. (and  some to delete) If you see something there not traceable to a valid use or product ? it's a virus.
A/V startup. Mine has Defender top of the list.
Malwarebytes or the like there. (I have 3 like this here, malware guards)
HP all in one, printer driver in mine. ( I do not know what HP bloat ware can be deleted and still have a working printer/scanner) sorry, but will find out some day when bored.
My Audio driver loads here. (and on some PCs this is not the driver load , but only some fancy desktop controller., like my Asus HD Audio Manager )
My spy protector from Neuber.(Security Task Manager) it blocks take  overs too !
I run this too,(+WinPatrol v35+) (I have many malware protectors not just 1 and all are pro grade paid for... )
CCleaner background protector, is good to have. 
I deleted all startups, with words update (one can have 10+  there,  and is a very bad thing having 10 things nag you every day and waste ram, doing it) {adobe whatever, Silverlight, JAVA whatever, and more)
It is your PC ,so  manage it in your own way and your own needs.
One trick I do is have a registry protector that keeps any RUN or AutoRun  changes blocked  (it asks me did you do that?) if not I tell it black that forever, and find who it is doing that (a process)
More radial cures are: (and preventing data loss are:)
One cure is to reInstall Windows 10. fresh or the new In-Line update w10 ,that is a W10 to W10 inline upgrade or refresh, losing nothing.
Be backed up and ready to fresh install, Windows 10.
Back up with EASEUS TODO backup v11 free, do an  image backup and do not use the crippled Microsoft backup to image.
One thing I do is not store any of my data on the C: drive, ever.  (I store all data on my E:/data , drive and from it to my DATA server, on online , one off line after the BU.)
All my applications (most) are on a 3rd drive.

Parting shots, to avoid above. (Prevention is best) Never open email attachments or click email links. ever. (do not be  a sucker don't suck in... to the evil forces at bay)
Never fail to run Virustotal.com on ANY downloaded driver or APP  , first thing to is run that and if infected , delete it now.
If you don't run APPS or have data.
What is there to lose? Windows is like dirty socks , change them weekly (LOL) (or get Linux)
If you must run Windows, get 10,  do not run older Windows, ever,  if you need to keep data or have any security at all.
Some folks have no data, so you can run anything but do run W7 or newer or Ubuntu v16 up.

A simple hit  list.
  • The PC is overheating, for sure Mr. CPU (Intel or AMD)
  • The HDD is bad (all do old and go slower and slower ever day from now, if the S.M.A.R.T tests fail) or just needs to be Defragged. (in the start search box type that word)
  • The CPU is overloaded (processes ran amok, and bad applications, defective or have processes that never end, in memory. (all are bad acts)
  • The Memory is overloaded.(programs gone mad,sucking up all memory like crazy.
  • Or? you running a video editor and renderer with  ONLY  2 GB of RAM (fail you will)
  • The PC is infected.
  • The Endless topic and super boring, is the 100 steps to cleaning any fully infected PC,  (endless and a royal pain)
  • You bought an old slow PC, WHY?

version 2.  1-1-2019 (2018 , 1st version)  ( I have no cloud or MS store, so when I use App. It means Application program, 32bit or 64bit.