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Why Is My Computer So Slow All Of A Sudden? [Answered]

Computers can slow down all of a sudden for seemingly no reason. Figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

Have you ever experienced the frustration of your computer slowing down all of a sudden? You sit down to get some work done or play your favorite game, but your computer takes ages to load or crashes unexpectedly. If you’re wondering why your computer is so slow all of a sudden; don’t worry, as you’re not alone. Many reasons can cause a sudden slowdown, and it’s important to identify the root cause to fix it. 

Key Takeaways

  • If your computer is suddenly running slow, it could be due to several different issues, including malware, outdated hardware, and software problems.
  • Some of the most common causes of sudden computer slowdowns include a full hard drive, too many programs running in the background, and overheating hardware.
  • Be diligent about clearing your hard drive, uninstalling unnecessary programs, and looking after your hardware. Regular maintenance, such as installing software updates and running virus scans, is also essential.

Reasons Why Your Computer Is Slow All Of A Sudden

The following are the possible causes behind the slow performance of your computer. 

  1. Insufficient Memory Or Storage
  2. PC In Need Of A Reboot
  3. Malware Or Virus Infection
  4. Outdated Software Or Drivers
  5. Internet Issues
  6. Overheating
  7. Hard Drive Failure
  8. Full SSD
  9. Extensions Or Browser Plugins
  10. Corrupted System Files

Insufficient Memory Or Storage

The most common reason for a sudden slowdown is insufficient memory or storage on your computer. When you have too many programs running at once or insufficient storage space, your computer will slow down.

The solution to this problem is to close unnecessary programs, delete unwanted files, and upgrade your computer’s memory or storage. We have a detailed guide on how to connect an SSD to a motherboard in case you’re planning on getting one.

To close unnecessary programs:

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete on your keyboard, and select the Task Manager option.
  2. Click on the Processes tab. You can see all the running programs and the amount of CPU and memory resources they are currently using.
  3. Select any program that you don’t need and click on the End Task button.
    Power cycle a PC through task manager
    Use Task Manager To Close Unnecessary Software – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

To delete unwanted files:

  1. Go to the Windows Start menu, type Disk Cleanup, and select the option.
  2. The program will scan your computer for unnecessary files that you can choose to delete to free up some space.

PC In Need Of A Reboot

Sometimes, the simplest solution is the most effective. One of the easiest and quickest ways to alleviate sudden slowdowns on your computer is to reboot it. A reboot can clear out any temporary files or processes that may be causing your computer to slow down, as well as reset any settings or configurations that may be interfering with performance.

To reboot your computer, simply click on the Start menu and select the “Restart” option. Alternatively, you can press the power button on your computer and hold it down for a few seconds until it shuts down, and then press the power button again to turn it back on. Keep in mind that this is different from resetting the PC, as that wipes out the data. 

Malware Or Virus Infection

Another reason why your computer is so slow all of a sudden is a malware or virus infection. Malware can slow down your computer by using up system resources and causing crashes. To fix this problem, you need to scan your computer for malware and remove any infected files.

To scan your computer for malware, you can use antivirus software like Malwarebytes, which has a free version and a free-trial period, or Windows Security, which comes built-in with any modern version of Windows. Install and run the software to scan your computer for malicious files or programs. Once the scan is complete, the software quarantines or removes any infected files.

Windows Security
Regularly Run Windows Security Checks To Keep Your System Safe – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

Outdated Software Or Drivers

Outdated software or drivers can also cause your computer to slow down all of a sudden. When software or drivers are outdated, they may not work correctly, causing your computer to crash or slow down. Updating all your drivers and Windows could help fix your problem.

To update your Windows:

  1. Go to the Windows Start menu, type Software Update, and select it.
  2. Select the “Check for updates” option. This will check for any available updates for your Windows and install them automatically.
    Update Windows
    Update Your Windows – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

To update your drivers:

  1. Go to the Windows Start menu, type Device Manager, and select the option. This will show you a list of all the hardware devices on your computer.
  2. Expand any device that has a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark next to it.
  3. Right-click on the device and select Update Driver. This will search for any available updates and install them automatically.

Internet Issues

A big issue making your PC suddenly slow down is internet problems. Sometimes, the PC itself may not be slow, but rather the internet connection it uses. Slow internet speeds, intermittent connectivity, and other internet-related issues can cause your computer to slow down or become unresponsive, especially when using web-based applications or services.

To diagnose internet issues, you can use online tools like to check your internet speed and latency.

If your internet speed is slow, you can try resetting your modem or router, checking for any firmware updates, or contacting your internet service provider to see if there are any issues with your connection. We also suggest you power cycle your router as that can help fix connection issues. 

Other common reasons for internet issues include network congestion, wireless interference, or outdated network drivers. To fix these issues, you can try moving your computer closer to the router or use a wired connection instead of a wireless one. You can also update your network drivers by going to the Device Manager and selecting the “Update Driver” option.


Overheating is another common reason why your computer is so slow all of a sudden. When your computer overheats, it can cause the CPU to throttle down, reducing its performance. It would be best to clean your computer’s fans and vents to fix this problem.

To clean your computer’s fans and vents, shut down your computer and unplug it from the power source. Open the computer case and use a can of compressed air to blow out any dust or debris from the fans and vents.

Make sure to hold the can of compressed air upright and keep a distance of at least six inches from the components. You can also clean your PC without using compressed air

Clean Dusty PC With Compressed Air
Clean Dusty PC With Compressed Air – Image Credits (Tech News Today)

If you’re using a laptop, you should avoid using it on soft surfaces like beds or couches, as this can block the air vents and cause your computer to overheat. You can also use a cooling pad or stand to help dissipate heat and keep your laptop running at a cooler temperature.

Hard Drive Failure

A failing hard drive can also cause your computer to slow down all of a sudden. When your hard drive starts to fail, it can cause your computer to crash or freeze. To fix this problem, you need to check your hard drive’s health and replace it if necessary.

You can use a tool like CrystalDiskInfo or Hard Disk Sentinel to check your hard drive’s health. Install and run the software to check the SMART status of your hard drive. Performing a disk check can help find problems. If the software detects significant errors or issues, it’s time to replace your hard drive. 

Full SSD

Modern SSDs use TLC (triple-level cell) and QLC (quad-level cell) technology to store data more efficiently, allowing larger capacity drives at a lower cost. However, cheaper SSDs may not have a DRAM cache, which can lead to slower performance when the drive is full.

To address this, TLC and QLC drives use SLC (single-level cell) caching to temporarily store frequently accessed data in a faster section of the drive. This helps maintain high performance even when the drive is nearly full.

Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB NVMe SSD - Top View
Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB NVMe SSD. Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

However, write speeds can slow down significantly once the SLC cache is full. This is because the drive needs to perform more write operations to store new data, which takes longer to complete. This can be particularly problematic with cheaper SSDs that don’t have a DRAM cache, as they don’t have a large buffer to store data before it’s written to the drive.

To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to keep your SSD from filling up completely. You can do this by moving large files to an external hard drive or cloud storage, uninstalling unused applications, and regularly cleaning up temporary files and caches.

Extensions Or Browser Plugins

If you have recently installed a new extension or plugin for your web browser, it may be causing your computer to slow down or become unresponsive. Some extensions or plugins can consume a significant amount of system resources, such as CPU or memory, leading to a slowdown in overall system performance.

To check if an extension or plugin is causing issues, you can disable it temporarily and see if the performance of your computer improves. To disable an extension or plugin in your web browser, follow these steps:

  1. Open your web browser and click on the menu button (usually represented by three dots or lines).
  2. Select “More Tools” and then “Extensions” in Google Chrome or select “Add-ons and Themes” in the application menu in Firefox.
  3. Find the extension or plugin that you want to disable and click on the toggle switch or the “Disable” button next to it.
    Remove Browser Extensions
    Removing Browser Extensions In Chrome – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  4. Restart your web browser and see if the performance of your computer improves.

If you find that a particular extension or plugin is causing performance issues, you can uninstall it entirely or look for a less resource-intensive alternative.

It’s also worth noting that some extensions or plugins may be installed without your knowledge or consent, such as through bundled software or malware infections. To prevent this from happening, be sure only to install the extensions or plugins from reputable sources. Also, remember to keep your antivirus software up to date.

Corrupted System Files

Corrupted system files can also cause your computer to slow down all of a sudden. When system files are corrupted, they can cause errors and crashes, making your computer slow and unstable. To fix this problem, you need to run a system file checker.

To run a system file checker:

  1. Go to the Windows Start menu and type Command Prompt.
  2. Right-click on the Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  3. Type the command “sfc /scannow” and press Enter. The system file checker will scan your computer for any corrupted system files and repair them automatically.
  4. This process can take some time. Once it is done, restart your PC, and you’ll be good to go.

Final Thoughts

If your computer is suddenly so slow all of a sudden, there are a variety of potential causes to consider. From software issues to hardware problems, there are many factors that lead to sluggish performance. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can diagnose these issues and improve your system’s speed and responsiveness. We also suggest that you clear your PC cache, as that can help with improving the performance. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I speed up my computer if it’s running slow?

You can do a number of things to improve your system’s performance, such as cleaning up your hard drive, uninstalling unnecessary programs, and upgrading your hardware.

Can upgrading my RAM help speed up my computer?

Yes, upgrading your RAM can help improve your computer’s performance, particularly if you frequently run memory-intensive programs like video editing software or virtual machines.

How often should I run virus scans on my computer?

It’s a good idea to run virus scans on your computer at least once a week to catch any potential threats before they can damage your system.

What can cause my computer to overheat?

Overheating can be caused by clogged air vents, a malfunctioning fan, or running too many programs at once. To prevent it, make sure your computer has proper ventilation and consider upgrading your cooling system if necessary.

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