Sometimes, no matter how well you take care of your computer, it starts running slow and freezing when performing trivial tasks. This is especially annoying when you have something urgent to do, and the computer decides to keep you waiting because you accidentally opened a program which froze your entire PC. On Windows 8.1 and 10, due to its many features, the operating system has lots of services running in the background. Therefore, there are many things that could cause freezing on a Windows 8.1 or 10 PC, and there are just as many solutions to this problem:
Scan your PC!
It goes without saying that you should regularly scan your computer to check whether or not it is infected with malware or spyware. If you aren’t careful, you could lose a lot of data and even your online accounts due to viruses. That’s why, whenever your PC starts running slow, you should first scan it thoroughly. Even if you’re the most vigilent person while browsing the Internet, you never know what could’ve infiltrated your PC, especially if you’re sharing the computer with someone else who might not be as careful as you are.
Windows 8.1 and 10 come with a great free antivirus software, called Windows Defender. It is accessible through either search or Control Panel. Every now and then, it is advised to run a full scan to ensure your PC is clean and your data is safe.
Command prompt solutions
If your PC is virus-free but it still runs poorly, then you should check the Task Manager and check the disk usage. If your computer is constantly freezing, then chances are your disk usage will be at 99% or 100%. In order to fix this, there are many possible solutions, and we’re going to test them all out, one by one. Most of these solutions involve using the Command Prompt as an administrator. To access that, press Windows Key + X + A. Once the Command Prompt is open, you should stop certain suspected services and watch the Resource Monitor tab on Task Manager. First, disable Superfetch, by typing net.exe stop superfetch and pressing enter. Watch whether or not the resource monitor indicates a drop in disk usage. If it does, your computer should run faster now.
If that didn’t work, try typing net.exe stop “windows search” and pressing enter. If any solution worked, we’re going to open search and opening View local services. Scroll down to either Superfetch or Windows Update, right click the culprit and open Properties. On the first tab, at Startup type, choose disabled. Your computer should run faster now.
If those didn’t work, use the same instructions to open View local services, scroll down to Background Intelligent Transfer Service, right click and stop the service. If that worked, then use the same instructions above to disable it on startup.
In many cases, if that didn’t work, then you should start a “checkdisk” process. You can do that by typing chkdsk /f /r in Command Prompt. This process can take a lot of time, even up to a few days on larger drives, and it involves Windows scanning your drives and repairing any bad sectors it encounters. Be prepared for a long wait time if you do decide to do this.
Control panel solutions
Another possible solution is opening Control Panel, and running a troubleshooting process on these three sections: Windows Update, Search and Indexing, and System Maintenance. You can do this by searching the three sections in the Search Control Panel bar of the Control Panel window. Follow any on-screen instructions the troubleshooter gives you, and after all three sections are done, reboot.
The nuclear solution
If you’ve tried everything but your computer is still running poorly, then it is time to use the nuclear solution. Before starting this, back up all your important data on an external drive or upload it to a cloud service. What we will now do is reinstall Windows. Do not reinstall or upgrade Windows directly from your other copy of Windows. Instead, install it by booting directly in the Windows installation DVD. You can do it with a genuine Windows DVD, and you should format your drives when the installer prompts you to choose the destination drive for the new Windows installation.
If this didn’t help either, you should start diagnosing your hard disks. There is a large chance that they are defective, and you should replace the defective ones.