Windows 11, the latest iteration of Microsoft’s operating system, brings a fresh and modern interface along with improved performance enhancements. However, like any software, Windows 11 can also encounter performance issues that may cause it to run slowly. In this article, we’ll explore five common reasons why Windows 11 might be running slowly and provide effective solutions to help you get your system back up to speed.
Insufficient Hardware Requirements
Windows 11 comes with higher hardware requirements compared to its predecessor, Windows 10. It demands a compatible 64-bit processor, a minimum of 4 GB RAM, and 64 GB of storage. If your system falls short of these specifications, it could result in sluggish performance. To address this, consider upgrading your hardware components to meet or exceed Windows 11’s requirements.
Invest in a compatible 64-bit processor, increase your RAM to at least 4 GB, and ensure you have 64 GB of storage. Upgrading to a solid-state drive (SSD) can also significantly boost performance.
Driver Compatibility Issues
Outdated or incompatible drivers can significantly impact system performance. Graphics, audio, and chipset drivers are essential for smooth operation. In Windows 11, some hardware might require updated drivers to function optimally.
Visit the official websites of your hardware manufacturers to download and install the latest drivers compatible with Windows 11.
Visit the official websites of your hardware manufacturers and download the latest Windows 11-compatible drivers for your graphics card, audio devices, and other key components. Regularly update these drivers to ensure optimal performance and compatibility.
You have a failing hard drive
A deteriorating hard drive can significantly hamper your computer’s performance. If you notice unresponsive apps, slow startup times, or general system sluggishness, a failing hard drive might be to blame. An overburdened hard drive, with capacity hovering around 100%, exacerbates the problem.
Windows 11 offers built-in tools like “Optimize Drives” that can help defragment your hard drive. Furthermore, if your storage is almost full, it can hamper system performance. Regularly clean up unnecessary files and consider upgrading to a larger storage drive if needed.
- Uninstall unused apps or programs.
- Delete pictures you no longer want, the music you no longer listen to, and files you no longer need.
- Use the Disk Cleanup utility that helps you clean out useless files.
- Store your files, photos, and other documents on an external USB hard drive.
Insufficient Memory (RAM)
Random Access Memory (RAM) plays a pivotal role in smooth operation. Inadequate RAM can lead to performance bottlenecks, particularly when handling memory-intensive tasks. If your computer lags while editing high-resolution images or running resource-intensive software, your RAM might be struggling. To address this, explore using a USB flash drive to augment virtual RAM, adjust virtual memory settings, disable or remove software that’s no longer needed, and proactively monitor your RAM usage.
To free up some RAM space, here are some tips to get you started:
- Use a USB Flash Drive as RAM
- Increase your Virtual Memory
- Disable or remove unused software
- Review your RAM Usage
Too many programs are running at once
As previously mentioned, RAM is what stores data in real-time. RAM is what helps your computer make decisions and run smoothly. However, if you notice your Windows computer is running slowly, you may have too many programs running at once. Are you someone who likes to keep 20 tabs open on your web browser? If so, this could be one reason your computer is running slowly. RAM helps your computer process. With a bunch of tabs opened, such as your Netflix account, Spotify, and Facebook, your RAM might not be able to keep up.
Too many background applications and startup programs can consume valuable system resources, leading to a slowdown.
How to Fix This: To give your computer a break, try these tricks to limit the number of programs running at once:
- Restart your computer to reset programs and clean up apps running in the background.
- Get a web browser extension that consolidates the number of tabs you have opened.
- Use lighter apps that take up less space to free up memory.
There are too many add-ons
While browser add-ons enhance web browsing, an excess of them can impede your computer’s responsiveness. If your browser feels sluggish, it’s possible that unnecessary add-ons are straining your system. Streamline your online experience by removing redundant add-ons from your browser’s settings. For Google Chrome, right-click on unwanted extensions and select “Remove from Chrome.” In Firefox, navigate to the add-ons/extensions menu to delete unnecessary ones.
To throw those unwanted add-ons in the trash, follow these steps:
- Google Chrome: Right-click on your unwanted extension button then click the “remove from Chrome” button.
- Firefox: Click the menu button, select add-ons/ extensions, then simply delete the add-ons you no longer need from the list.
A virus is plaguing your computer
Lastly, you may, unfortunately, have a virus or malware that is plaguing your computer. Viruses, malware, and other harmful security breaches can spread like wildfire if not taken care of. Malware can cause many problems, such as stealing your personal information, redirecting you to phishing sites, and pushing advertisements onto your screen.
How to Fix This: If you suspect your computer may have a virus, here’s how you can cure the problem:
- Download Anti-Virus software that can detect fraudulent sites.
- Bring your computer/laptop to a professional computer service.
- Reboot your computer and go into Safe Mode
Windows Updates and background processes can sometimes run in the background, consuming system resources and causing slowdowns. Make sure your system is up to date with the latest updates, as these often include performance improvements. Go to “Settings” > “Windows Update” to check for updates. Additionally, you can customize Windows Update settings to schedule updates during non-peak hours.
To manage background processes, open the “Task Manager” and review the processes that are using significant resources. You can close unnecessary processes or adjust their settings to run with lower priority.