6 Reasons Why Your Dell Laptop is Running Very Slow

A slow Dell laptop is often due to overheating, outdated drivers, programs running in the background, a lack of hard drive space, or your laptop being in low power mode. However, there are fixes to all of these issues that can help your computer run faster.

Whether for work, school, or fun, many of us use a laptop daily. They can be a very convenient and portable way to get work done on the go. Unfortunately, a laptop that is running slower than usual can hold you back and ruin your productivity.

Keep reading this guide to learn some of the causes of your slow Dell laptop, and the things you can do to boost its speed.

Key Takeaways

  • A slow Dell laptop can often be caused by the device getting too hot, drivers being outdated, having too many programs running, your hard drive being full, or the computer accidentally being in low power mode.
  • To get your Dell laptop up to speed again, you should let it cool off, update the drivers, close down some programs/apps you aren’t using, free up some room on your hard drive, and turn off low power mode.
  • If none of these solutions work for you and/or you can’t identify the cause of your slow computer, it could be due to damage or another internal factor, and having a professional technician check it out could be a good idea.

1. Laptop is Overheating

The first potential cause of a slow Dell laptop is overheating. When the internal parts within your computer get too hot, they can begin to experience issues that cause things like lag and freezing. 

This overheating can be due to the computer being out in hot weather or the sun for too long, or you trying to do too much on the device at once. The fix for this issue is to simply give the computer a chance to rest by turning it off and leaving it alone for a few minutes.

Make sure to let it rest in a cool and shaded place, too. If you turn your laptop off for a bit, but leave it on an outdoor table right in the sun, it is likely to stay pretty hot even if it isn’t being used.

2. You Have Too Many Auto-Startup Programs

If your Dell laptop is brand new, make sure you’ve uninstalled that bloatware that could have been pre-installed on your computer because they are useless most of the time.

Then manage and optimize startup items, i.e. applications or services that automatically boot when you turn on your Dell, you can use the built-in feature called Task Manager to disable them.

This video shows you how:

3. Outdated Drivers

Another reason for poor performance and a lack of speed on your computer is the presence of outdated drivers. Drivers are sets of files that communicate with and tell the various pieces of hardware in your computer how to function and what to do.

If these are not properly updated, it could lead to a slower device, as the communication from the drivers to the components of your computer isn’t as efficient as it could be.

The solution here is to update your drivers. When you update your operating system as a whole, the drivers will normally update too. However, if this isn’t the case, it is possible to manually update your drivers.

This process begins by going to the Device Manager, and selecting the category of the device you want to update drivers for. This could be the monitor, battery, display, disk drive, firmware, and others.

Once you have chosen the right device, right-click it and then select Update driver. Windows will search for a driver update, and start it if one exists.

This is generally a quick and easy process, and the steps are the same whether you have a Windows 10 or Windows 11 device. If updating doesn’t work, you can consider uninstalling and reinstalling the driver.

4. Programs Running in the Background

If you have a ton of programs running on your device, it should come as no surprise that the device is sluggish. Your computer only has a certain amount of computing power and memory, so if you try to run a dozen programs/apps at once, it will reduce how well each runs.

While open programs being used can be an issue, it is often the programs running in the background that cause your computer to slow down. Some programs or apps may open when you start up your computer, so you may have things running that you don’t even know about.

Closing some of these programs should help you speed up your device. You can do this by opening the Task Manager, right-clicking on a program, and selecting the End Task option if you want to close it.

The “Task Manager” in Windows 10 or Windows 11 allows you to quickly end any task.

5. A Lack of Hard Drive Space

If your hard drive is full, it could be another reason for the lack of speed on your computer. Your computer is always creating new and temporary files, and needs somewhere to store them. If you have no storage space, finding free spaces to place these files will be a challenge.

As a result, your computer will slow down. The fix here is to free up some space. You can do this by going to the Control Panel, clicking Programs, and then navigating to Uninstall a program. Then simply choose the program you want to uninstall.

You can also see the size of each program, to see how much space it is taking up on your hard drive. If you are curious about how much space you have on your computer as a whole, go to Settings > System > Storage.

Be careful about the files and programs that you delete, however. Some programs might be necessary for your computer to run, so make sure to keep those around and only delete things you don’t need or want. You can use a PC cleaning program to assist for safety and efficiency.

6. Your Laptop is in Battery Saver Mode

Your laptop in Battery Saver mode could also be to blame for the poor performance of the device. When this setting is turned on, your computer prioritizes battery life over performance and things may not work as quickly as you’d like.

By turning Battery Saver off, or changing when it turns on, you can keep your computer working its best for longer. Making changes to the Battery Saver is done by going to Settings > System > Battery.

Here you can turn it on or off with a simple toggle, and even choose when (if ever) you want the feature to automatically turn on.

Of course, if you got used to the battery life that using Battery Saver mode provided, be aware that your computer will run out of battery a lot quicker with the feature turned off.


Here are a few common questions about speeding up your computer, as well as their answers.

How much RAM do I need to have a fast computer?

In general, you should have at least 8GB of RAM to have a reasonably quick computer. However, what you do will often dictate how much RAM you should have. 8 GB is fine for casual use, but if you plan to edit, play games or do other intensive tasks, 16 GB is best.

Will turning my Dell computer off and on help speed it up?

In some cases, yes. When you restart a computer, you force all the processes to reset and start again, which can clear potential errors or issues that exist behind the scenes.

Final Thoughts

Trying to work, study, or play games on a slow Dell computer can be a very frustrating and poor experience. We hope that this guide and the fixes in it have been able to help you get your computer back up and running at full speed again.

Do you have any other solutions you have used to get better speed and performance from your laptop? If so, let us know in the comment below!

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  • Badrish Chittora

    i am having 2 year old Delhi Inspiron 5000 series Laptop (touch screen). it is working very slow.i have reinstall the os also but stilll issue not resolve taking so much time for start up and also working is very slow… even some time whenever i am typing which is also very slow. need support to resolve the same.

  • Rosemary Ramanauskas

    Brand new out of the box. It is so slow that I can’t work with it. I tried running some diagnostics but they time out,

  • Randy

    There’s little to be done. The windows operating system is a pig. Something is wrong in the original design. You can tell this because in spite of all these tweaks it doesn’t go faster. It’s either in the scheduler or network stack. I also think the entire disk io implementation is poor. The virtual memory is slow and not very good in my opinion. My guess is also due to this poor design there is a lot of single thread processing with lots of wait loops. As a computer engineer I find no logical explanation for poor performance. MS just passes BS out about memory or hard drives for the under informed.

  • srsly disappointed

    wtf no replay? seriously. what a waste of space. nothing new written here

  • ishwar Bhusal

    I wish I had not purchased dell inspiring 3421. I curse the company and my luck everyday.

  • Vanessa

    I have a Dell Inspiron 17 Core i7 and it has run slow ever since I have had it. I purchase new straight from Dell. This laptop has Windows 10 Home Ed. 64 bit Operating system. It doesnt have alot on hard drive as I rarely use it. How do I speed it up?

  • Gregory Kellerhals

    I installed a SSD, and after 4 weeks Dell laptop began running slow.

  • K.sriharsha

    I have suggestion for all of you. Before my laptop is very slow.I’ve researched about this and installed windows 10 super lite by ghost spectate which resulted in maximum speed. And decreased overheating. It fixed many of my issues. You must know about it.

  • Emmanuel

    Mine was also slow and annoying, but all I did was uninstall as many as those junk applications (games especially) that came with it that I am not using. Now it’s super fast!

  • Ezeh

    My two Dell laptops, both core i5 do run slow whenever I install windows 10 on them.
    Not just running slow but everything or action performed on them runs with slow motion including videos, refreshing, opening dialog box. Everything!
    I need solution please.
    I love windows 10 but can’t use it due to this problem.

  • Brendan du Toit

    Here’s more of a message For Dell and others with similar interests and disappointments to read.

    My Dell Inspiron 3481 should be ashamed to have even considered landing on a pentium 75 landing site accidentally.

    This laptop is so slow that when multitasking and with that I imply running 2 tasks AS A MAXIMUM, has been known to crash this runner up to the old 75’er.

    I’m fairly sure I’ve caught this laptop day dreaming and I mean midst way through tasks it arrogantly just refuses to complete any. In sure it was imagining the pace the rest of the world is at and the reason for haste never made itself known In its “notebook”.

    I have fortunately purchased a competitor brand and frankly it’s performance is what I expect when I unbox a laptop. To validate a notebooks dire misperformance in notions such as malware purchases and hard drive optimization is a sad excuse to an honest answer of, “it’s not a user error, it’s a shocking Components of mismatch at the expense of us Consumer guinea pigs. We purchase the notebooks, PC’s etc to be told we should still purchase further products to maintain its performance. Instructed to spend thousands on bit defender and the likes thereof, and further time wasted conducting, time consuming nursing on a hard drive ensuring it’s pampered, with just enough bedazzle for the light task at hand….openin, a webpage and Capturing our keystrokes in a document. Many a time I at the very beginning of many “DELL” document Outset’s knew exactly what wording I was going to clothe the document with to deliver an impactful punch, however due to the “lunch breaks” and Timeouts of my/your Dell takes, I tend closing the document dumbstruck, forgetting where I was going with the wording and what the actual reason for me typing it was. The computer is so slow I’ve changed my mind 5 times in the duration it takes to process a simple string.
    I did not type this on the Dell, I’d have ended up congratulating you on such a feat of Engineering coming runner up to the

  • Brad

    Its weird because yesterday when playing cod its sort of perfect fps through the roof but today is like 15. I dont know whats causing this. Maybe heat i dont have. An idea

  • Vinod Dave

    Hi Andrew,

    I am going to try your suggestions to improve the speed of my Dell 7 years old lap top.

    How to add solid state drive on my lap top? Where do you buy and how to install ssd and extra 4 GB Ram? I have very little knowledge of internet language.

    Vinod Dave
    Los Alamitos

  • Grace Bouchoucha

    Thannk you Andreas Louis for your help! I truly appreciate it!

  • laverne cutrxone

    MY computer performance is so slow I lam surprised it runs at all.
    Any suggestions that may work that wont cost a fortune???
    I need assistance with my SLOW Dell Inspiron 17 500 series.
    Or do I just need another brand computer????

    • J.G. Green

      My dell is so slow I’m convinced it’s clockwork. I will never buy dell again. Back to HP.

  • Sasha

    So, I have a relatives Inspiration 13-7378, this system ran fine for about a year after she got it… I have now reloaded fresh windows install 4 times including ince for the new SSD m,2 500GB drive, I removed the mismatched piece of memory. It stone of thi smakes any had 8GB and i7 CPU and a 500GBm.2 SSD SATA WD harddrive…. It had the 8GB memory (single module) i7 CPU and a 500GB SSD m.2 SSD SATA HD. And well nothing seems to help. Does anybody have any idea how much a MB would be, I can’t figure out what exlse it mihght be,,,,

  • Ron

    Well it is a 2,1 ghz but runs at .48

  • marie bedard

    hello in order to type and post and share and read my email i have to right click how can i fix it Its very frustrating thank you

  • Mary

    Good evening
    I was wondering what was the useless startup items the are already installed in the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 series?
    Since the video link seems to be unavailable

  • Sher

    Sir have tell laptop inspiron model 7352 core i5 5g 4gb and 8gb with Window 10 /64bit run vry slow even you can’t open double Windows in net Google. I replaced the Windows and hard drive but still it’s not working
    What should I do


    I have a new Dell vostro 3578 i5 8th generation laptop but it is run very slow wherese no any software running.Beacause I am boot to new windows.

  • Valentine

    Have try some of the things u said but still the system is still slow.
    What annoy me most is that the system is core i5 which means it supposed be fast.
    The system is dell latitude e6320

    Pls help me if u can

    • Junior

      I have a similar problema. I bought a Dell Insoiron Core i7 8th Gen which is supposed to be fast but its been working slow all the time.

    • vijaykumar

      After 5 years from the day we purchased then above recommended tips are good to implement. If the system response is slow on or before 6 months from the date of purchased then? (here one note: As you know Seller will tell us its good)