Does Norton Slow Your Computer?

Does Norton Slow Your Computer?

If you’ve recently started using Norton Antivirus or begun using your computer more often with Norton installed, you might notice some lag. While Norton hogs significantly less in terms of system resources than it used to, it still uses a lot. If you think Norton is slowing down your computer, there are a couple of easy tests you can use to check and then a few solutions for solving the problem.

Check Your CPU Usage

In Windows, you can easily open your Task Manager to see how much of your system resources any one program is using. press Control + Alt + Delete at the same time to bring up your Windows Security Screen and then choose Task Manager off of that. You can see CPU usage from there. If it’s more than about 15%, it probably is slowing your computer down. Normally, Norton should use 0-1% of your CPU while running background monitoring, and then around 10-14% of CPU while running background scans. During a manual scan, it should take much more. If it is taking more than that, then you have a problem.

Disable Norton

You shouldn’t download files with Norton disabled, but you can disable it to test to see if your computer speeds up. You can usually find this option under your Norton Security Settings, where you should look for “Disable Norton Auto Project”. Then, run your computer, run programs, or test browsing the web to see if your computer is faster without it.


The main problem with Norton is that it takes up a great deal of system resources. You can get around this by either choosing a lighter antivirus program, which usually means less protection, or by choosing to upgrade your computer.

Windows Defender – Double check to make sure that Windows Defender is turned off. These two programs can clash, which causes issues on your computer.

Incompatible Programs – Sometimes, Norton is incompatible with other programs. You should get a notification when you install the program. This can slow your computer down.

Antivirus Program
– If you’ve paid for a subscription to Norton, you should consider using it until the subscription runs out. Norton is expensive, and it sucks to waste the money. If you have a very old computer that isn’t working well with Norton installed, try downloading the AVG or Avast installer, uninstalling Norton, and then running the installer for your new antivirus program. Both have free options, which will give you adequate protection (not perfect) for most Internet usage. If you want the paid version, you get more protection, more services, and a slightly more intensive program that is more likely to slow your computer. These lighter programs are better for most computers, but you will have to uninstall most adware and useless programs you installed by accident using your Program Manager. The exact method varies slightly based on your computer.

Upgrading Your Computer – The easiest way to upgrade your computer is to upgrade the RAM, but you might not be able to. Check your model to see how much RAM it supports (you can usually Google), and then see if you can add more. You’ll have to ascertain how many RAM slots your computer has, what kind of card, and then search for an upgrade that supports your computer. Kingston is a good brand for the money, and you can get the best deals on Amazon and eBay. There are better deals, but often from generic brands with no quality guarantees.

There are a number of reasons your computer might be running slowly and Norton might not have anything to do with it. In fact, if you have an older computer, it might be as simple as a bit of dust.

About The Author
Katrina O'Reilly
Kat goes by her gamer handle MissTRex. Born in Jaynesfield Wisconsin, she studied game design at Full Sail University. She has a penchant for anything "geeky" and is still a huge gamer.