Is Your Windows 10 Slow After an Update? Here’s How to Fix It
The practical value of Windows updates cannot be overstated; they add a lot of good features and security patches to your system. But as useful as these updates are, they can also make your computer slow down after you’ve installed them.
If your copy of Windows 10 has crawled to a slow after an update, these tips should help you troubleshoot the problem and get it back to its original state.
Is Windows 10 Slow After Applying an Update? Here’s the Cause
Windows 10 updates are good. In fact, they are your first line of defense against harmful malware and viruses, even before you install some of the best antivirus programs on Windows.
These updates also patch any bugs that make applications crash, and add some nice quality-of-life features and settings. In short, every update aims to make your computer function better.
So if they’re aimed at making your PC better, why does your computer sometimes run slower after a Windows update?
Throughout our research, we have found these to be the top causes of a slow computer after a Windows update:
- While Windows updates are near-essential, they aren’t perfect. Sometimes, a bug in an update introduces some new performance problems.
- If some of Windows’ system files have corrupted, they can cause slowdown.
- Finally, background apps can sometimes mess with how your PC assigns its resources.
Now that we know the main causes, it’s time to fix a slow Windows 10 for good.
How to Fix a Slower Windows 10 After an Update
Whatever the cause of the slowdown of your Windows 10 computer, if you follow the methods listed in this guide to the end, your PC should speed back up in no time.
1. Roll Back the Most Recent Windows Updates
If new updates have caused slowdown in your Windows 10, rolling back the updates should undo the issue. Fortunately, Microsoft has developed a built-in Windows tool specifically for this occasion.
To uninstall your most recent updates, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View update history.
Next, click on Uninstall updates. There, you’ll see a list of all the installed updates. You can then uninstall the updates that you believe have caused the problem.
2. Repair Corrupt or Damaged Files
Sometimes the system-critical Windows files might end up corrupted or damaged. This, in turn, can cause slowdown issues in Windows 10.
Fortunately, you can repair the damage through the System File Checker, a free tool developed by Microsoft that comes in handy for corruption issues such as this one. The tool works by scanning your entire PC and then repairing whatever issues it can.
To run the System File Checker, you have to use the Command Prompt. Follow the steps listed below to get started:
- Go to the Start menu search bar, type in ‘command prompt’.
- Run the Command prompt as an administrator by right-clicking the search entry and clicking Run as administrator.
- In the Command prompt, type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.
After the scan is complete, reboot your system. If a recent update did cause any corruption, this should fix it.
If the SFC command fails to recover your files, use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) command instead. This is another Windows diagnostic tool created by Microsoft, but a more powerful one than SFC. If you’d like to learn more about them, check out our guide on the differences between CHKDSK, SFC, and DISM.
The DSIM command works by repairing your Windows system image files. To run this command, open the Command prompt with the administrator privileges, as we did above. Run the DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth command to check if the image is corrupted.
If there are no corruption issues, you can run a more advanced scan through the Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth command:
Note that this process may take a while. If you find corruption issues through the above step, run the Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command to download and replace the damaged files.
Restart your computer after the command gets executed, then run the SFC command again to repair any errors.
3. Disable Background Apps
Sometimes, unnecessary background apps can cause Windows 10 to slow down after an update. As such, we can try disabling them to see if that fixes the problem.
Windows 10 comes with many pre-installed apps from day one. These apps will keep running in the background—even when you are not using them. They don’t need to, though, as a good percentage of these apps are not really required for Windows 10 to function.
Unfortunately, these apps eat away your computer’s resources, which otherwise would have been free. This leaves your computer slower than usual.
It is, therefore, helpful to terminate the unnecessary apps, and see if doing so results in a performance boost. Here’s how you can do that:
- Open the Windows Settings.
- Then, click on Privacy > Background Apps.
- Choose which apps can run in the background section by turning off all the unimportant apps.
Reboot your computer and see if that helps free up some resources.
4. Perform a Clean Boot
A clean boot is performed by starting a computer with minimal drivers and applications. This allows the PC to operate without any unneeded applications interfering, which can help with diagnosing if an app is causing your PC to slow down.
Here’s how to peform a clean boot:
- In the Start menu search bar, type in ‘msconfig,’ and select System Configuration App.
- In the Services tab, select Hide all Microsoft Services, and then click on Disable All.
- Under the Startup tab, click on Open Task Manager.
- In the Startup section, select and disable all the apps listed here one by one. You can also right-click on the background process and select Disable from the menu.
- Close the Task Manager.
- On the Startup tab of System Configuration, click on OK.
After performing all the above steps, you’re good to get started with the clean boot. Simply reboot your PC and the clean boot will begin.
If your PC feels much quicker after a clean boot, that means one of the apps you disabled earlier was the culprit. Now you can continue repeating the above steps, but slowly re-adding your apps one by one. The moment your PC begins to suffer again, whatever app you just enabled is behind the problem.
5. Run Windows System Restore
System Restore is a free tool that works by taking your Windows to point in time wherever worked fine. It is frequently called upon on during a bug or malfunction in your Windows and you need to revert to a state where everything was functioning. Here, the System Restore can be used to take your Windows settings to the state preceding the update.
Follow the steps below to get started:
- In the Start menu search bar, type in ‘system restore,’ and select Create a restore point.
- A System Properties dialog box will appear.
- Select System Protection and click on System Restore.
Note: If you cannot click on this button, then your system doesn’t have a restore point yet, and thus, you cannot restore it.
- Click on the Next button.
- Pick a restore point and click on Scan for affected programs to confirm the apps that will be removed.
- Click on Next to get started with the restore.
- Finally, click on Finish.
After the restoration is complete, your system will be restored to its initial condition at the time of the last backup.
6. Factory Reset
The last resort for a slow Windows 10 PC is to use the Windows Factory Reset tool and start from scratch. Be warned though, as this is a nuclear option that will take your computer to the original, fresh state when you bought it. Here’s how you can get started:
- Head to the Start menu search bar, type in ‘settings,’ and select the best match.
- Select System > Recovery.
- Click on Reset PC.
- Choose the reset option you’d like to go with: Keep my files or Remove everything.
Your system will start preparing for reset. On the new dialog box, click on Reset. The factory reset will begin, and your PC will restart during it. When the format is complete, a new copy will be installed on its own.
Whether your Windows 10 slowed down after the update or maybe because of an entirely different cause, a complete factory reset will solve your problem for good.
Windows 10 Slow After an Update, Resolved
Facing a computer slow down after a Windows 10 update is a big nuisance; one that you might face one day as well. Hopefully, one of the methods listed above restored your PC back to its original performance. The solutions don’t stop here, though, as there are other ways to speed up your PC and improve its performance.