Can Antivirus Slow Down Your Computer?

Can Antivirus Slow Down Your Computer?

It’s a problem most computer users will experience at least once: “Arghhh! My computer is running so slow.” For many, the problem lingers even after investing in the best antivirus, adding more RAM, reinstalling windows, and even factory resetting the PC. The irony is that experts do believe that an antivirus can be one of the main reasons for your sluggish computer.

The truth is that antiviruses can indeed make your PC slower.  In fact, any program that is running in the background of your computer and utilizing system resources may have an effect on the speed of your computer. Virtually all contemporary antivirus programs have various processes that make use of your CPU’s resources so that they can properly function and this can have a noticeable effect on the overall speed of your computer.  How slow your computer performs depends on all the software that is running at any given time and not just the antivirus.

Most antivirus vendors will not include this information in their ads but many antivirus testing labs such as AV-Test have indicated that computers with antiviruses do perform tasks; such as duplicating, downloading, and installing files and programs, at a slower pace than computers without antiviruses – some even require more time to load internet browsers. The issue here is that using your PC without an antivirus should never be your solution. In this case you may end up with more problems than you bargained for. However, not all antiviruses will give the same extreme sluggish results and there are also additional precautions that you can take to prevent your computer from performing too slowly.

Avoid Security Software Overlap

An antivirus can slow down a PC on its own but having multiple services running at once is an even bigger recipe for disaster. Most antivirus vendors create their software with the assumption that it will be the only antivirus on the computer at any given time. Choosing to install and use more than one antivirus software or any defence application at the same time can exhaust your computer and also lead to a variety of system errors that can cause crashes.

Schedule System Scans

Different antivirus operations require different amounts of system resources. For example, a full system scan for affected files and malware may use more resources (and therefore take a longer time) compared to performing a quick scan. Full system scans can take hours in many cases and will slow down your computer while running in the background. However, these full system scans are essential to keep your system safe and so they should be performed routinely, preferably when you are not using your computer for other tasks.    

Best Antivirus

While it’s a given fact that an antivirus may slow down the performance of your system, this does not mean that you should forgo antivirus programs for a faster computer. If the antivirus that is installed on your PC causes extreme delays even when you are performing simple tasks, then you may want to find another antivirus software. Finding the ideal antivirus program for your pc may be one of the best ways to avoid annoying and sluggish performance issues.  There are many great antivirus programs available that will not slow the systems to a point of inerrability. Three popular options are listed below:

Bitdefender Total Security

This is one of the popular choices among computer users who complain about slow PC performance but still want their system to be protected from external threats. The software is available for a comprehensive list of devices, offering protection for devices that carry Windows, Mac, iOS and Android OS systems. According to Bitdefender, its features include: malware detection, optimized speed, cross platform performance, multi-layer ransom protection to keep files safe, and enhanced privacy with webcam protection. This makes it one of the best antivirus programs on the market today. The company also has guidelines on how to get the software running efficiently on systems that appear to be slow.

McAfree Antivirus Plus

McAfee Antivirus Plus mainly runs in the background to scan the computer system and servers for any viruses or malware that may threaten security and productivity. McAfee claims to solve computer slowing issues by resolving problems that are related to malware and ransomware. The features of the software includes: blocking malicious URLs, file shredding, anti-theft for cell phone users, and even PC speedup tools. The system can be installed on a number of devices; including those running on Windows or IOS. McAfee is one of the best antivirus programs for slow computers because it comes with a performance module that adjusts the I/O priorities and processes on the computer to optimize speeds, while a web boost chrome extension feature helps to decrease bandwidth usage.  

Avast Pro Antivirus

Avast Pro Antivirus has been proven to be one if the best options for slow computers. Many user reviews indicate that this antivirus works efficiently when it comes to detecting malware and blocking harmful viruses, without making the computer noticeably slower. It offers real-time virus defence, filters out harmful URLs, scans wireless networks, and manages passwords among other features. As far as antivirus programs go, Avast is said to be one of the lightest on system resources; a fact that has been confirmed in a number of independent tests and by users. Avast can also improve your computer’s startup time and the boot time for windows services. For this reason it is believed to be one of the best antiviruses for slow computers.

In concluding, keep in mind that there are other factors that can slow down your computer’s system.  In fact, your computer’s slow performance may not be related to the antivirus on the system at all. You may simply need more space on your computer, have too many startup programs active, or maybe you’re running too many programs at the same time. Lastly, while there are a number of other antivirus programs out there, the aforementioned three are, more often that not, the most suitable choices for people who have slow computers. It is the responsibility of each user to find the best antivirus for their computer system.


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