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Three common causes of a slow internet and how to speed it up

Three common causes of a slow internet and how to speed it up

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Is it that the Internet is getting slower or we are the ones getting impatient?

A lot of people these days complain about slow loading websites, Internet pages, slow download etc., but most times it is blamed on the individual’s Internet network. While this might be true sometimes, it is not entirely your internet provider’s fault. There might be another explanation for this issue, so you should stop blaming your Internet provider now.

According to CNN, the reason behind the constantly reducing Internet speed has to do with the significant increase of websites on the Internet featuring webpages with heavy-sized images, videos, embedded content, codes and other things. This heavy contents is said to be the major contributor to slower Internet loading times.

According to Digital Trends, the average site now has a size of up to 2.1MB—a whopping 100% increase from the size of websites just three years ago.

No wonder it takes longer for us to get results on the Internet!

Of course, new technology is matching this phenomenon megabyte for megabyte, making it possible for us to download files faster with VPN Download software and connecting to the Internet through 4G, wireless networks.

The following are three of the reasons some websites on the Internet are slow:

1. Unoptimized Images

Large megabytes of unoptimized images are one of the main culprits of a slow Internet. While full-sized images look cool, they consume a lot of bandwidth causing the site to slow down. We should all do our part in making the Internet faster by taking our time to resize images that we upload on our websites and blogs. You should edit the image by finding the feature that allows you to edit its height and width. Be sure to proportionally scale the image so it doesn’t look stretched.

2. Too Much Flashy Ads

Another reason some websites are slow are the flashing ads, as they slow down the speed, making for bad user experience. Fancy or flashy isn’t always fun when you are trying to increase speed. To make your browsing experience smoother and less distracting, you can download an ad blocker on your phone and computer to stop unnecessary ads. This will make your Internet improve.

3. External Embedded Media

Another major issue that is clogging up websites and generally slowing down the Internet is external media usage. Embedding videos and slideshows on sites slows down the loading speed of the site. It is better to host all content on your own server or better still—try not to embed other people’s videos and content on your site.

There are other reasons why the Internet is slow besides websites such as browser type, network congestion, and the number of other tabs you have open.

However, if you are a blogger or you run a website or business page, it would be better if you cleaned up your website and upped your speed. Don’t take any chances because the slower a web page loads, the more likely your audience and consumers will leave to check out your competitor’s website.

Here is a checklist of how to improve your website speed:

  • Resize your images
  • Reduce image quality
  • Change image format
  • Remove or reduce flashy ads
  • Minimize media embedded from other sources
  • Store media on your own server(s)

By using these steps, you’re more likely to increase viewership and potentially gain more leads, increasing your business prospects.

One of the best steps in doing this is to identify what is causing your website to slow down and take action to remedy it by following these tips.

Has your Internet and website been slowing down recently?

Tips for solving slow internet connections at home

Three common causes of a slow internet and how to speed it up

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Broadband router configuration errors, wireless interference, or any of several other technical problems adversely affect the speed and stability of your internet connection. Diagnose and fix the causes of your slow internet connection on your own, before you reach out for potentially expensive tech support.

Stop Background Programs That Hog Bandwidth

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spxChrome / Getty Images

Some software applications, such as Windows Update and other software updaters, run background processes that are hidden behind other apps or minimized to the system tray, where they quietly consume network resources. These applications are designed to do useful work and should not be removed from the device.

Games and other programs that work with video require significant bandwidth. When they are running, they limit the bandwidth that’s available for other apps. Check your computer for background network activity as you troubleshoot the slow network.

Other network activity could be affecting overall bandwidth. A smart TV streaming movies, a camera constantly relaying HD video, and smart speakers playing music can make everything on the network slow.

Many games run downloaders that patch the game without additional intervention or approval by you. If your download speed suddenly seems slow, find out if your favorite game is downloading a few gigabytes of patch files.

Avoid Signal Interference That Slows Your Internet Speed

Three common causes of a slow internet and how to speed it up

Wi-Fi and other types of wireless connections often perform poorly because of signal interference, which requires computers to continually resend messages to overcome signal overlap.

Household appliances and your neighbors’ wireless networks can interfere with your computers. Reposition your router for better performance and change your Wi-Fi channel number. In general, the closer your device is to the router, the better the Wi-Fi connection.

To confirm if wireless interference is the reason for the slow internet connection, connect a computer to Wi-Fi to measure how well it performs. Then, connect the same computer to the wired network and note any changes in performance.

If the cable allows for a better connection, the problem could lie in the wireless connection. Instead of moving the router, consider a mesh network setup or a signal repeater.

Large, dense objects such as fireplaces block Wi-Fi signals more than walls. A device that is close to a router, but blocked by a barrier, may not successfully connect.

Make Sure Your Router and Other Network Equipment Is Working

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Maskot / Getty Images

When routers, modems, or cables malfunction, they don’t properly support network traffic at full speeds. Certain technical glitches in network equipment negatively affect performance even though connections can still be made.

To troubleshoot potentially faulty equipment, temporarily rearrange and reconfigure your gear while experimenting with different configurations. Systematically try bypassing the router, swapping cables, and testing with multiple devices to isolate the slow performance to a specific component of the system. Then, decide if it can be upgraded, repaired, or replaced.

Beware of Worms and Other Malware

Three common causes of a slow internet and how to speed it up

An internet worm is a malicious software program that spreads from device to device through computer networks. If any of your computers become infected by an internet worm or other malware, they may spontaneously generate network traffic without your knowledge and cause your internet connection to appear slow.

  • Regularly scan for viruses and other malware. 
  • Keep up-to-date anti-virus software running to catch and remove worms and malware.
  • Try a malware-removal tool.

Check Your Router Settings to Speed Up Your Connection

Three common causes of a slow internet and how to speed it up

As the centerpiece of a network, a broadband router can be responsible for slow internet connections if it is configured improperly. For example, improperly setting the MTU of a router leads to performance problems if it’s set too high or too low.

Ensure your router’s settings remain consistent with the manufacturer’s documentation and your internet service provider’s recommendations.

Record any changes you make to the router’s configuration so you can undo them later if necessary.

Check Whether Your Network Speed Is Slow

Three common causes of a slow internet and how to speed it up

Occasionally run speed tests to check the quality of your internet connection. These tests reveal whether your local computer’s outbound connection is impaired. If you get decent throughput on a speed test but your computer’s connection still seems slow, the problem may reside in your computer (for example, active download sessions or you’ve maximized memory, disk, or CPU utilization on your device).

If your computer runs above 80 percent consistent utilization for system memory, disk input/output, or CPU cycling, the computer may struggle to maintain optimal performance. Network slowdowns follow—not because the network is problematic, but because the computer is overtaxed.

To check relative resource utilization to determine whether another component is affecting network performance in Windows 10, right-click the Start button, select Task Manager, and choose Performance. On a Linux computer, use the top command. On a Mac, open the Activity Monitor.

Call Your Internet Service Provider

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Erik Isakson / Blend Images / Getty Images

Internet speed ultimately depends on the service provider. Your ISP may change its network configuration or suffer technical difficulties that inadvertently cause your internet connection to run slowly. ISPs may also install filters or controls on the network that lower your network performance.

Don’t hesitate to contact your service provider if you suspect it is responsible for your slow internet connection.

Different types of internet connections offer different trade-offs. If you have a DSL connection and experience slowdowns during peak evening-and-weekend periods, it may be that many connected households are using the same access point in your neighborhood.

Posted on October 28, 2016 by Kevin Dahm.

Three common causes of a slow internet and how to speed it upWhether you are working in an office for a company or at home as a freelancer, having a bad network connection is one of the most frustrating problems that you can deal with. Here are 10 reasons why your network might not be performing to its full potential:

1. Speed Mismatch

This occurs when multiple users try to make use of the same server. In result, this causes a digital bottleneck which slows down the network’s speed.

2. Old Equipment

Sometimes the problem is that you are using old equipment to run new programs that require more power and processing capacities than the old equipment can handle.

3. Malware

Unless you have an effective antivirus in operation that is protecting the network, you face a strong possibility of some virus or malware entering the system and causing damage. This is what will result in slower speeds.

4. Imperfect Design

When designing a network, make sure to take the amount of traffic it will need to handle on a regular basis into account. If the servers cannot process the amount of data passing through the system, then there will be a general slowdown of speed on all of the servers.

5. Misuse of Data Package

One thing that network users must remember is that the amount of data available to them every month has a limit. Using the internet for non-work related purposes, such as browsing Youtube or downloading internet content, will result in data getting consumed and server speeds being slowed.

6. Malfunctioning Equipment

A network adapter is responsible for communicating with other computers through the network. If the adapter starts malfunctioning, then it can cause trouble for the entire network (by broadcasting junk data packets). In the worst case scenario, it can bring down the entire network.

7. Poor Cable Choice

Cables are often overlooked when it comes to tracking network problems, because people assume that their simple design rules will out the possibility of them not working properly. However, even if the cable has not been cut or damaged, it can still cause problems, if the cable is not large enough to handle higher network speeds.

8. Junk Software

These types of software are not considered to be malware, because they do not cause actual harm to the network. However, they do pose a different kind of problem by using up precious amounts of data for performing background activities that serve no useful purpose (which results in slowing speeds).

9. Low Bandwidth

If you choose a low bandwidth in the beginning, but your online work increases over time, then your old bandwidth will be unable to handle the new demand and cause a systems slowdown.

10. Network Configuration

In some cases, the settings for network connections on individual computers might be causing problems for the entire network. This is due to blocking certain types of data usage options.

While these are some of the most common issues that can lead to poor network performance there are other, more serious, problems that can be causing trouble as well. This is why you want to contact an IT professional as soon as you notice and problem.

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Three common causes of a slow internet and how to speed it up

Slow broadband is bad enough at the best of times, but when slowdowns occur out of the blue it’s really annoying. Especially as there isn’t always an obvious reason why it has happened.

So what’s the explanation? Read on to find the six things most likely to be slowing down your broadband. And when you’re done, sign up to our newsletter and claim your exclusive free guide, 12 ways to boost your broadband speed.

1. Problems with your connection

One of the most common things that causes your internet to slow down is one you can’t control – it’s a problem with your connection. How can you tell if this is happening to you?

When you signed up for your broadband deal you should have been given a speed estimate indicating the performance level you can expect to achieve. Use our Speed Test tool to compare this estimate to what you’re actually getting. We’d recommend disconnecting all other devices when you run the speed test, and standing right next to the router. Better still, connect your laptop to your router via an ethernet cable, if you’ve got one.

When done, compare the test result to your estimate. If it’s significantly slower it may indicate the problem is with your connection. To be sure, reboot the router and try the test again, perhaps with a different device. Now give your broadband supplier a call.

Make sure you know your rights, here. If they don’t sort out the problem to your satisfaction you might be entitled to a partial refund, or even to quit your contract without penalty, especially given Ofcom’s new Code of Practice for broadband speeds. See our guide on how to complain to your broadband supplier for more info.

Of course, if your speed test doesn’t indicate service problems and you still think it’s too slow, it’s possible you’ve simply outgrown your particular broadband package. Many providers will allow you to upgrade to a faster deal mid-contract. If you’re coming to the end of your contract you can start shopping round for the fastest home broadband deals.

2. Your router’s in the wrong place

The position of your wi-fi router is another common cause of broadband slowdowns. Without getting into the technicalities, a wi-fi signal gets weaker the further it travels and the more physical objects it has to pass through. The weaker it is, the slower it will be.

Try and position your router somewhere central in your home, preferably raised off the floor. This will help the signal reach the furthest corners of your home. Be aware that some electronic devices, such as phone bases, can interfere with signals, as can metallic ornaments. Try and keep it in a fairly open space, not on a shelf hemmed in by other objects. And don’t cover it up, either. A lot of the broadband hubs you get for free from your internet provider are designed to lay flat. It’s very easy to start piling stuff on top of them without thinking.

3. Your signal doesn’t cover your whole house

Even when you do find the sweet spot for your router there are still limits to how far its signal will reach. If you’ve converted your loft into an office, for example, the signal might have to pass through several walls, floors and doors to get there. There’s no guarantee that it will. Older buildings can be a problem as well, as some of the building materials, or even just the thickness of the walls can have an effect on how far a wi-fi signal can reach.

Look into wi-fi extenders or Powerline adapters as a way to increase the wi-fi coverage in your home.

4. There’s too many people downloading

What’s an obvious reason why anything slows down? There’s just too many people using it! That’s as true of your broadband as it is of the M25 at rush hour.

A standard phoneline broadband connection in the UK has an average speed of around 10 to 11Mb, and sometimes quite a bit slower. Netflix alone needs a speed of 5Mb to play HD video – that’s half of your available speed. Now, add in someone else watching YouTube videos, someone playing online games, and another person downloading large files for work. It adds up pretty quickly, and something has got to give.

This can also apply to the area you live in. The more built up the area, the more customers there are connected to your local street cabinet. This means that speeds can get slower at peak times, because everyone is home from work and school and making use of the internet. You can work around this by setting updates – such as for phone and computer operating systems and games – to download overnight when less people are using the internet.

A lot of routers are good at prioritising certain types of traffic. This means time-critical downloads like streamed video aren’t interrupted, but file downloads might be slower. Not all do, though. If you’ve got a busy family sharing limited bandwidth, rationing your usage might be the way to go.

You’re less likely to get this problem on a faster fibre deal. For more on this, check out our blog post explaining what broadband speed you actually need.

5. Background downloads

While it’s easy to get your kids to ration their Netflix use, it’s still possible that your broadband will be slowed down by other downloads that you don’t know about.

These hidden downloads happen all the time. Like when your laptop automatically downloads and installs an update to Windows. Or your phone gets updated, your TV box, or pretty much anything else you’ve got that’s connected to the internet. These updates might be a couple of gigabytes in size, and on a standard broadband connection could take an hour or more to complete.

Video games are even worse. They often have updates that run to 10 gigabytes or more, and could clog up your system for the rest of the day. The same goes for downloading boxsets from Sky or other premium TV services. Not everyone makes the connection between downloading something on a TV and slowing down their computer, but it’s all part of the same thing.

6. Viruses and malware

When your internet becomes slow all of a sudden, and for no obvious reason, it’s worth checking that your computer and anti-virus software are both fully up to date and working properly.

Viruses and other types of malware won’t slow your internet specifically, but they will slow your hardware and make browsing and other online activities feel a lot more sluggish.

Run an anti-virus scan to try and solve the problem. Lots of broadband providers offer free security software when you sign up, so make sure you’re using it if yours does. Also, keep an eye out for other warning signs. This includes your browser’s home page changing unexpectedly, or your computer’s fans spinning fast and loud even when you aren’t using it. This can be a sign of dodgy software running in the background.

How to speed up your broadband

There’s a lot more things that can slow down your broadband. Maybe your router’s settings need changing, or perhaps your phone cables are the problem. Or maybe your broadband isn’t slow at all – maybe your computer is.

So how do you find the answers? Start by downloading our free guide, 12 ways to boost your broadband speed. It’s packed with essential tips that are easy to follow and require very little technical know-how.

And if you do decide you need a faster service, use our broadband comparison tool to find the speeds that you need.

We know that slow internet interrupts life. Slow internet speed can be caused by a range of factors, which makes it a challenge to pinpoint the exact cause. However, there are some things you can do to get the best speed possible from your service before calling for repair.

Pro tip: It can be useful to run a speed test before troubleshooting for a slow internet connection. Then, after following the steps here, run the test again to see the improvement for yourself.

1. Check your modem/router

Your connection speed depends a lot on how your modem/router is running. (Note: Since your CenturyLink equipment is a combination modem and router, we use both words in this article.)

Adjust your router position

You might be surprised by how much your internet speed can be impacted by where your router sits. You want to find a spot that is up off the floor and centrally located in your home (or in the area of your home where most internet activity takes place).

Physical obstructions can also be major culprits in slowing down your WiFi speed. Look out for any of these things standing between your router and your connected devices:

  • Brick or concrete walls or floors
  • Thick, heavy doors or windows
  • Large containers of water (such as fish tanks)
  • Large metal appliances (especially refrigerators)

Do your best to move the router or move other items so that these things are not blocking the path between your router and your devices.

Jul 22, 2020
Comment

Windows 10 updates often change settings that they should not. These changes are hard to predict and often they aren’t discovered for a long time. By then, the update isn’t considered to be the cause behind the change and users look elsewhere for a fix.

One unfortunate bug that appears to be recurring for a lot of users after a major Windows 10 update is slow internet speed. This problem may be simple to solve if it began right after an update.

Fix slow internet speed on Windows 10

Go through the following steps to fix the slow internet speed problem on Windows 10.

Three common causes of a slow internet and how to speed it up

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Run the following command.
  1. Check the value returned for Receive Window Auto-Tuning Level. If it says ‘normal’ we will be disabling it, and if it’s disabled, we will be enabling it.
  2. To enable Receive Window Auto-Tuning Level, run the following command.
  1. To disable it, run the following command.
  1. Check if your internet speed is back to normal and if it’s consistent after changing the state of Receive Window Auto-Tuning Level.

Three common causes of a slow internet and how to speed it up

Other solutions

The Receive Window Auto-Tuning Level solution is a common fix for slow internet after a Windows 10 update. The update changes the state of state Receive Window Auto-Tuning Level. It’s logical to assume that its state before the update was what worked best on your system which is why we have to change it back. If it doesn’t help, you should reset it back to what it was and try other solutions. The first place to start is with your network adapter. Try resetting it. We have a detailed post on how to reset the network adapter on Windows 10.

You should also get in touch with your ISP and ask them if there are any specific settings that you can change on your system or your router to get a more stable connection speed.

Conclusion

Slow internet is hard to work with and the internet connection, as well as a Windows 10 system’s ability to connect to a network, are often casualties of major and minor Windows 10 updates. More often than not, rolling back the problematic update will fix the problem but this setting may not be returned to its previous state after the rollback. It is always worth checking. There’s no set rule on whether or not Receive Window Auto-Tuning Level should be enabled or not. It depends on your system’s configuration.

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Hi there. I’m trying to troubleshoot my friend’s internet speed that goes from

150-375 Mbps download and

15-37 Mbps upload. She’s paying for 400/40 and the internet repairman said the speeds going into the modem are fine. She’s directly connected (no wi-fi) and the normal speeds are around 220 down/25 up.

The network card has the latest driver (tried uninstall/reinstall), and I’ve tried some other things (listed here: https://www.drivethelife.com/windows-10/fix-slow-internet-after-windows-10-anniversary-update.html), but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. If it does, the proper speeds don’t last long so it just could be a coincidence. I know there is always fluctuation in speeds, but over 50% sometimes is too much.

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My name is Andre Da Costa; an Independent Consultant, Windows Insider MVP and Windows & Devices for IT MVP. I’m here to help you with your problem.

If you are running Windows 10 1903, some users have been reporting issues with Internet speeds.

I would also recommend you file a bug report; send me the short link so I can vote on it and bring it to the attention of the Windows engineers.

Here are some things you can do to troubleshoot it:

Click Start
Type: cmd
Right click CMD
Click Run as administrator

At the command prompt, type each command then hit Enter:

ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /registerdns
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew
NETSH winsock reset catalog
NETSH int ipv4 reset reset.log
NETSH int ipv6 reset reset.log

Hit Enter
Exit the prompt then restart

Open Start > Settings > Update & security > Troubleshoot
Scroll down
Click Network adapters
Click Run the Troubleshooter

When complete, restart to see if the problem is resolved.

If that does not work

Press Windows key + X
Click Device Manager
Expand Network Adapters
Select the Network card listed,
Select Update Driver
This should give you a choice of drivers – select the oldest one
Wait a few minutes while it installs the old driver

press Windows key + X
Click Device Manager
Expand Network adapters
Right click your adapter
Click Uninstall

Exit Device Manager, restart. Windows 10 should detect the network adapter then reinstall it. Check if you can connect and browse.

Open Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Status
Scroll to the bottom then click Network reset.

Click Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Manage known networks > select the wireless network
Click Forget

Click the Network icon in the Taskbar
Try connecting again.

Disable Energy Efficient Ethernet in “Client for Microsoft Networks”
Press Windows key + X
Click Device Manager, expand Network Adapters, right-click the adapter > Properties > Power Management, and then clear the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power check box.

If you don’t have that option, see other ways to disable it:

If the network connection is slow or lagging, check if Windows 10 is downloading Windows Update or the Microsoft Store is downloading updates. These can sometimes affect the performance your network connection.

If you have a VPN enabled, disable it.

Press Windows key + X
Click Command Prompt (Admin)

Type the following commands, pressing Enter after each command:

netsh int ip reset reset.txt

netsh winsock reset

netsh advfirewall reset

Webpage not loading:
Try adding the Google Public DNS to your router then see if you can successfully browse the site:

Google: Add Public DNS to Your Home Router – groovyPost
https://www.groovypost.com/howto/google-add-pub.

If the connection is slow, remove any special bundled software that came with the motherboard.

Other options you can consider.

– There might be congestion on the network that is preventing you from successfully accessing the full bandwidth. This can depend on the time of the day you might be attempting to remotely connect to the other machine. Remember, you share your bandwidth with other computers in neighbourhood, so there might be throttling especially with multiple machines.

Also, you are sharing bandwidth with several machines on the network, so, maybe what you want to do is take some of those machines off the network. Pressing Windows key + A > toggle on Airplane mode can do this.

Also, make sure no one else is actually connecting to your network, you can do this by securing your router:

– Your router might be out of date, needs to be updated with a new firmware or replaced.
There might be interference from other devices within your environment or if you are connecting to the other machine remotely, you might actually be too far away from the router.

You can try restarting both the router and modem or consider replacing it all together since it might be the bottleneck.

– The software running on all devices might need updating or are running older outdated versions of Windows 10. Make sure they each updated to the latest versions.

Click Start > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Check for updates
Download and install any pending updates
Restart your computer

Go to the following page then click ‘Update Now’

Other potential causes might be beyond control, such as your neighbour performing high bandwidth activities like downloading a lot of large content.

Information in the above link is sourced from a trusted Microsoft MVP blog.

You can fix a lot of issues on your own, for free. Here’s what you need to do.

Three common causes of a slow internet and how to speed it up

There’s nothing more frustrating than a sluggish computer.

I don’t know about you, but I find dealing with a slow or problematic computer incredibly frustrating, no matter what it is I’m trying to do. If you’re working from home like I am and don’t readily have access to an IT department to help troubleshoot and fix a sluggish PC , these skills come in handy.

The next time your Windows machine crawls to a halt when you open an app, or takes forever to turn on, take a deep breath and have confidence in yourself that you can fix it on your own, with a little guidance.

Get more out of your tech

Below I’ll walk you through how to troubleshoot your slow PC, fix issues in Task Manager, restrict which apps open at startup and carry out a few other quick fixes for common problems.

Task Manager is your BFF

Think of Task Manager as a window into your PC’s health. The app gives you insight into what’s taxing the processor, how much memory something is taking up and even how much network data a program has used.

An easy way to open Task Manager is to right-click on the Taskbar and select Task Manager from the list of options.

Task Manager’s default view doesn’t show a lot of information beyond which apps are currently running (handy if you already know if you want to close one out). Click More Details in the bottom left corner to open up the view that really matters.

Use Task Manager to monitor your system.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

By default, the list is broken down into Apps and Background Processes. It’s refreshed constantly, with the various columns constantly updating. My advice is to let Task Manager run for a few minutes and just watch it. Watch for apps that shoot up to the top of the list, then disappear a few seconds later. Look for processes that stay at the top of the list with high memory or CPU use. Not sure what a process is? Google its name to find out more.

To close an app or process that you suspect may be partly responsible for slow performance, click on the listing then click End Task.

3 common reasons for a slow PC

There are far too many apps and services to create a succinct list of what’s likely slowing down a PC, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t likely culprits. Here are some of the top issues that we all experience on a PC.

Antivirus scans

After watching your system running slow with Task Manager open, you may have noticed that your antivirus software is routinely near the top of the list. Antivirus software can slow down your system while it’s actively scanning your computer for malware and viruses.

Instead of letting your antivirus program scan whenever it sees fit, schedule it to run at times when you’re not likely to be using your PC, such as overnight or during your lunch hour.

Startup apps can slow everything down.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Too many startup apps

If your PC is taking forever to boot up, then you probably have far too many apps trying to run at startup. You can edit the list of apps and services that begin running when you log in to your computer by opening Task Manager and clicking on the Startup tab.

Go through the list and remove anything that you don’t need to have loaded and ready the moment your PC turns on by clicking the app name, followed by Disable.

That’s a whole lot of Chrome in Task Manager.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Browser overload

Your web browser could be the culprit, especially if you’ve lost count of the number of windows and tabs you have open. Each window and tab takes up memory and processing power and over time that will begin to slow down your PC.

You can view a breakdown of extensions and tabs that could be to blame in Task Manager by clicking on the arrow next to your browser’s name. Alternatively, if you use Chrome, it has a built-in task manager of its own. Launch it by pressing Shift+Esc while using Chrome, or click on the menu button > More Tools > Task manager.

If you find that your browser is often causing your PC to slow to a crawl, try a different browser or just becoming more aware of how many tabs or windows you have open at a given time.

Pausing OneDrive sync can speed up your PC.

Battle-tested solutions

There’s a wide range of methods available for troubleshooting and speeding up your PC. Below are some steps to take that should, at the very least, temporarily speed up your slow computer:

  • Close running apps when you’re done and make sure they’re not running in the notification tray (next to the volume and Wi-Fi indicators). When you close some apps, such as Slack, they keep running in the background. Usually you can completely close apps that keep running with a right-click on the app icon and select quit or exit.
  • Pause OneDrive syncing. This is something even Microsoft admits can slow down your computer. Pause OneDrive by clicking on the OneDrive icon in the notification tray, select More and then Pause syncing.
  • Check available storage space andhard drive health. If your hard drive or SSD is running out of space or is getting old, it could be failing. If you aren’t comfortable testing your hard drive, take your computer to a technician who can properly diagnose the issue and, if required, upgrade your storage.
  • Turn off your computer. Don’t just restart it, but completely power it off and walk away for a few minutes. This gives your computer a chance to clear out memory and start fresh the next time it’s turned on.

If none of the above suggestions speeds up your computer to a level that you’re happy with, you can try reducing animations, changing themes and toggling other Windows 10-specific settings . If you’re trying to get remote help, make sure you know the best way to take screenshots on Windows 10 . Or if you’ve been putting off upgrading to Windows 10, don’t forget you can still get it for free . And if you’re more of an Apple household, you’re in luck: We have recommendations for speeding up a slow Mac , too.

Several factors can slow your internet speed:

  • Use of Wi-Fi connection versus wired
  • Components within your computer, i.e. processor speed, amount of available memory, operating system, and computer configuration variables
  • The number of applications that are running at the same time
  • The number of computers or other devices that share your internet connection
  • The quality and condition of the wiring which connects your computer(s) to the Verizon network
  • Unusual events like a network outage and failure may also reduce speed. Sometimes the internet sites customers try to access may have issues on their end related to outages, server failure or network congestion.

Slow speed tips

Use our Guided Solutions Tool to quickly identify and resolve any issues you may be experiencing with your Wi-Fi. This tool can help with:

  • Slow wired speed
  • Slow Wi-Fi Speed
  • Video streaming trouble
  • Schedule a technician visit if needed

Run a Speed Test

Need to verify your Verizon connection speed? The Verizon speed test can verify your connection from the router to the Verizon network.

Before starting the test, be sure to:

  • Connect your computer directly to your router using an Ethernet cable
  • Disconnect from any VPN’s
  • Make sure no other device is connected to your internet during the test
  • Avoid using video or music streaming apps