How to make your antivirus software faster?

by Dev Duff on October 22, 2010

When it comes to antivirus software reviews, I see people talking all sorts of things about software: positive and negative. The biggest of all is the antivirus software slowing down the computer. I received numerous emails from people asking me the same question over and again, which is the fastest antivirus for Windows operating system? Apparently, they think that some antivirus programs slow down a computer system. Is your antivirus software making your computer slow? Are you sure it is your antivirus or your security software slowing down your computer? Let’s figure out what’s causing the problem.

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My antivirus software is slowing down my computer

Antivirus software is designed in a way so that it monitors your computer system in real-time. When you are browsing over the internet, emailing, downloading files, chatting with your friends and doing other activities, your computer is actually communicating with the outer world. It is communicating with other computers over the internet. And antivirus/security software has to make sure that only the legitimate communication is allowed to and fro. It is just like the security guard at the door slowing down the incoming and outgoing communication. The same goes inside your computer.

When you access files, folders, programs, software, etc., the antivirus software makes sure that only legitimate files are accessed. If there is any kind of threat found within the files, it alarms you to take an appropriate action to keep your computer safe. And as we move on with time, there are more and more threats in the computer world. To deal with this ever growing number of threats, security software manufacturers employ extra safety features so that you are secure from the latest and even unknown virus, trojans, spyware, malware, adware, phishing, hacking and other sorts of attacks.

The antivirus/security software slows down a computer system, there is no doubt about that, be it any antivirus or security software. Some slow down your computer too much, some slow down your computer less. But if one of the best antivirus software slows down your computer, would you stop using it? Is that all we can do when that happens? Let’s find out what we can do to make our antivirus security software faster.

How to make your antivirus software faster?

Please follow these tips/points religiously in order to make your antivirus software work faster. You do not have to sacrifice your beloved antivirus software just because it may be slowing down your computer. The chances are, there’s something wrong with your computer itself. May be, if you follow these tips, you can enhance the performance of both, your computer and your antivirus software. By the way, these tips are good to increase the performance of any computer system. If your computer is running slow for any reason, these tips can be very helpful in making your computer run faster.

  1. Remove programs: Over the time, you may have installed a lot of programs. You may be using most of these installed programs but there may be a few which you do not wish to use any more. However, they are still on your computer and who knows, they must be the one conflicting with your computer’s security. So, let’s begin with removing all those programs we do not need. Goto START > All Programs. See which programs you do not wish to keep, uninstall them. Then goto START > Control Panel > Programs & Features. See which programs you no longer need, uninstall them. Once done, restart your computer and see if there is any progress in the performance.
  2. Remove programs from Startup: Goto START > Run. Type msconfig and hit enter. If the UAC asks Yes/No, click Yes. The new window will pop up. Goto the last tab that says STARTUP. Below, you will see a lot of different items. Uncheck all those that you do not need to run whenever your computer starts up. Unchecking the items here does not mean that you are removing them or uninstalling them. The applications will still be on your computer system, just that they will not automatically launch whenever you start your computer. This will incredibly improve the performance of your computer. After unchecking the items, click APPLY and then OK. If you get a popup requesting you to restart your computer, please do so.
  3. Defrag your computer: “Defrag” is a wonderful option available in most versions of Windows operating system. Depending on the type of the operating system, make your way to the Defrag options and then defrag all the drives on your computer. This process may take up to an hour, longer if you have a bigger hard drive. Leave your computer while it is running the defrag.
  4. Scan your computer in safe mode: This is the best and the most interesting tip you can follow to increase the speed of your computer. Shut down your computer. Press and release the power button on your computer to start it. Immediately, start tapping the F8 key on your keyboard. You have to do this immediately after pressing the power button to power up your computer. The F8 key is in the top row of your keyboard. When you see the Windows Safe Mode options, choose the one that says: Start computer in Safe Mode. You may be asked for the Admin password. If you do not know the password, leave it blank and hit enter. Chances are, it will pass you through to the desktop. Once you see the desktop, goto START > All programs. Look for your antivirus software, open the main file. Run a full system scan! A lot of viruses, trojans, spyware and other forms of malware get caught in the safe mode scan. This will have a direct impact on the system performance. If any bad files are caught and deleted in the scan, expect that when you restart your computer, it will work much faster.
  5. Security Conflicts and incompatibility: A lot of people that I have worked with, have installed security software that belongs to different companies. One of my friends had Norton antivirus, Zonealarm Firewall and Regeasy registry cleaner. Although these software are extremely good in keeping your computer safe but what about the compatibility? Are these security software components compatible with each other? This is one of the main reasons why people get performance issues when they install a security software. One solution to such problems: disconnect the internet cable from your computer and then remove/uninstall all the security software components from your computer. Go for a complete internet security package. Most internet security software have everything you need to keep your computer safe. For eg., in our top ten antivirus 2011 review, we have listed the best 10 antivirus software. Norton Security is the best in my opinion. Download and install the whole internet security package rather than just the antivirus software. If you have a business computer and you need business internet security, go for the Kaspersky internet security, that’s the best for business computers!
  6. Screensavers, themes: A lot of people install screensavers, themes, funny mouse pointers, heavy background wallpapers, etc. All of these things slow down a computer system because your computer has to keep these things in its memory. One of my friends requested me to see what’s wrong with her computer. When we replaced that heavy background wallpaper with a lighter (small size) background wallpaper file, the computer loaded faster in the beginning. Later we removed a lot of themes, screensavers and mouse pointer themes. Removing all of those unnecessary things helped increasing the speed of the computer.
  7. Configure your security: Last but not the least, configure your antivirus software. May be your antivirus or security software is set at the highest level. May be, you hardly stay online or hardly ever download files from the internet. Then why would you need those HIGH security levels? Configure your security software and slide the security bar down to MEDIUM level. All antivirus software have certain features that you can switch on/off. So, if you do no require some feature, just turn it off. For eg., I do not use Outlook Express or any other Pop3 mail account. So, I configured my security software and turned off the anti-spam feature because that feature is of no use to me. Similarly, there may be certain features in your security software that you do no need. Turn those unwanted features off and increase the speed of your antivirus software!

Which antivirus software is the best?

Along with other questions, this has been on top of my charts, always. Which antivirus software is the best? Although all security software provide good security to computer systems but you can read our top ten antivirus 2011 article that we published earlier. In my opinion, Norton provides excellent security. ESET antivirus is pretty fast. Bitdefender antivirus is cheaper compared to other security software.

What’s next? If you found these tips useful, please consider sharing this article with your friends and family. Share your thoughts with others. Leave a comment below to share your experience, how was your experience with your antivirus software?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }


Is AVG better or Kaspersky? I have installed Norton antivirus but it slow down my computer that’s why i don’t like it . I like avg . Please advice me about it please!


Dev Duff

Hi Nishant,

Please refer to this list of top ten antivirus 2011 and you can see the ratings. Have you tried BitDefender yet? It is really good! Between Kaspersky and AVG, I would prefer using AVG because it is equally good but cheaper than Kaspersky. There is marginal difference between the performance of two.



nice article, keep it up


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