Antivirus Makes Computer Slow

Dear Computer Lady:

I’ve installed AVG 2011 and it seems my computer has slowed down. It is not the free version. What is the problem that would cause the computer to slow down? I have Windows Vista Home

Thanks, Betty


Dear Betty,

Thank you for your question. I would be interested to know how much the computer has slowed down, and if the slowness is all the time, or only when AVG is running a scan.

Any antivirus program is going to slow down your computer a little bit as it runs virus scans and downloads updates. Some of them use more of your computers resources than others, but in my experience, AVG does not slow down the computer as much as the two biggest antivirus programs.

If your computer does not have enough RAM, adding any antivirus program will slow it down considerably. You can check how much RAM is installed on your computer by clicking on “Start” then right-clicking on “Computer” or “My Computer” and click “Properties”. The window that opens will tell you how much RAM is installed. If you have less than 3 Gigabytes of RAM installed, this could be your problem. You can go to my website at: and use the “Crucial Memory Advisor” in the right column to look up exactly how much memory your computer will support, and what kind to buy.

If AVG is set to run a scan at the same time as you are trying to work on your computer, it will slow it down as well. When AVG is running a scan, there is an extra icon in the system tray (near the time) that has a small white triangle in the middle. You can click on this icon and pause the scan. If this is your problem, you can schedule the scan to run when you are not using the computer, but it is still turned on. Perhaps during your lunch break.

To schedule your scan, follow these directions:

1. Double click on the AVG icon on your desktop.

2. Click “Scan Options” in the left column (Just under “Scan Now”)

3. Click “Manage Scheduled Scans”.

4. Select one or more days for the scan to run, then select a good time for the scan to run.

5. Click the “Save” button at the bottom of the window when you are done.


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    • rgphifer
    • October 6, 2011

    My computer also slowed down practically to a standstill when it was downloading updates. I thought my computer had a virus. So I called to fix the problem. It turns out my computer didn’t have a virus and the tech said other people had been complaining about the exact same problem. It stems from the “Identity Protection” part of the antivirus program. The tech sugested I disable that one section of the antivirus. I didn’t at first because I figure it’s there for a reason right?! The next time AVG had a download it happened again where it was stopped. So I disabled the “Identity Protection” and it has worked like normal since. The tech assured me that it will be fine to have it disabled and he gave me a tip to go to to have a safe browsing experience since that part of AVG is turned off. I have had safe browsing experiences since doing so. is free also.
    I hope this helps other readers.

    • joebryner
    • October 8, 2011

    Dear computer lady,
    Regarding your article on ant-virus software slowing down computers. I use AVG free. It slows down my computer greatly during the update process (as did others). However, for scans it is possible to set the usage so it gives priority to computing and does the scan in the background. The scan takes longer, but it doesn’t seem to slow down the computer. As a result of your article, I went to critical, found a good memory upgrade and bought it. Thanks for the information.

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