Is your Windows 10 PC stuttering every few seconds with audio and video issues? You’re not alone. Several users have reported that their PCs lag every few seconds when performing day-to-day tasks or playing games. The problem is that the error occurs unexpectedly, and when it happens, the mouse can freeze or your keyboard may stop being responsive.

If you are playing a game when the error occurs, the delayed or laggy images can drastically affect your gameplay and defeat the whole purpose of enjoying PC games.

Why Does Windows 10 Lag Every Few Seconds?

Many factors could cause your computer to freeze randomly every few seconds, each unique to the Windows OS. It doesn’t matter if you’re using an SSD (solid-state drive) or HDD (hard disk drive), and it doesn’t depend on how fast your processor is. The stuttering issue can affect any system and can be quite irritating.

So, why does a Windows 10 PC stutter randomly? The most common reasons are as follows:

  • Outdated drivers. Usually, outdated drivers are to blame for a sluggish computer. Your device drivers could also be faulty or corrupted, thereby triggering the stuttering issue.
  • Windows updates. Windows updates do not always fix bugs and system glitches. Sometimes, updates create PC issues, causing the system to freeze every few seconds.
  • Faulty hardware could also be responsible for this problem. One of your hard drives or memory sticks could be having issues that are causing the system to freeze.
  • Background applications. If many apps are running in the background simultaneously, your system may be unable to handle all those processes, which affects the PC’s performance.
  • Malicious programs or files. You may have downloaded a malicious app or file unknowingly, which might be causing random freezes or crashes.
  • Incompatible program. You may experience stuttering issues, especially in demandingapplications, because your system specifications do not meet the requirements for the program you’re running.
  • OS upgrade. If you recently upgraded your PC to Windows 10 or 11, this could be the issue as the operating system may not support some programs, drivers, or even hardware.

Regardless of the reason(s) that triggered this abnormal PC behavior, these solutions should help you resolve it.

How to Fix Stuttering on Windows 10

There are different ways to fix the problem on your computer, depending on the root cause. You can start from the first fix and check for the problem. Move on to the next solution if the issue persists. Every troubleshooting step is detailed and you’ll find the procedure for your operating system, whether you use Windows 10 or Windows 11.

You may not have to complete the article to get your answer to “Why does a windows 11 pc stutter randomly?”

Solution 1: Check If Your System Meets the Minimum Requirements For Running Your Software

If you’re running a particularly resource-intensive program, like Photoshop, or are playing a PC game, your machine has to meet certain requirements to support the program or game in question. Otherwise, the PC will freeze or lag since it can’t handle all that pressure from the software you’re trying to run.

Therefore, visit the program publisher’s website to check if your system meets all the requirements to support it. If your system is well capable, then the issue lies elsewhere.

Most resource-intensive software programs depend on your graphics card. So, you have to confirm that your graphics card meets the program’s requirements. What’s more, you may think you’re using the right Intel chipset, when in reality, you’re using one from the wrong generation.

You can check your GPU’s details and chipset make and model in the Windows’ DirectX Diagnostic Tool. Follow these steps on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC:

  1. On your keyboard, tap Win + R to launch the Run dialog box.
  2. After Run appears, go to the text box and type “dxdiag,” then hit the Enter key.

Check your GPU’s details and chipset make and model in the Windows’ DirectX Diagnostic Tool

  1. Click on Yes if you see a pop-up dialog.
  2. Once the DirectX Diagnostic Tool window shows up, go to the System Information section under the System tab to check your PC’s details. You’ll find your processor’s information (including generation) next to Processor.

Go to the System Information section under the System tab to check your PC’s details

  1. If you use a dedicated graphics card, you’ll see two display tabs. Display 1 is usually for your system’s integrated chip while Display 2 shows details of your dedicated graphics card, whether it’s an NVIDIA or AMD GPU.

That's how to see dedicated graphics card's specifications

Solution 2: Update Your Graphics Card Driver

As we said, outdated device drivers are one of the most common causes of slow performance and freezing on a Windows 10 machine. The display drivers are specifically to blame if your PC is stuttering every two seconds with audio and video issues or your game starts to lag.

The only way out is to install the latest graphics card drivers for your PC. You can do that manually or automatically.

Manually updating your device drivers entails checking the currently installed drivers to determine their model and version. You’ll then need to visit the hardware manufacturer’s website and download the correct drivers compatible with your operating system. After installing the drivers, the stuttering issue should be resolved.

You can also opt to use the Device Manager to update the graphics card driver. Here is how to do that:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + X, and select “Device Manager” from the Quick Access menu.
  2. Find and expand “Display adapters”, right-click on your display adapter, and click on “Update driver”.

Right-click on your display adapter, and click on “Update driver”

  1. You’ll be presented with two options. Select “Browse my computer for drivers” and click on “Let me pick from the list of available drivers on my computer”.

Click on “Let me pick from the list of available drivers on my computer”

  1. Select “Microsoft Basic Display Adapter”.
  2. Click on “Next” and follow the prompts.
  3. If this doesn’t work, go back to the “Display adapters” section, right-click your device and select “Update driver”.
  4. This time, select the first option to let Windows attempt to find the latest driver version online and automatically install it on your PC.

Typically, Windows will tell you that it has detected that the latest driver has already been installed.

The next method involves going through the Windows Update client. You can use the client to download available updates.

Here’s how to do this on Windows 10:

  1. Use the Win + I shortcut to open the Settings application and click on Update & Security.
  2. After the WIndows Update page appears, click on View all Optional Updates.
  3. Once the Optional Updates interface shows up, expand the Driver Updates section and select your graphics card driver.
  4. Click on the Download and Install button.

Follow these steps if you use Windows 11:

  1. Press the Win + I keyboard shortcut to bring up the “Settings” app.
  2. Click on Windows Update in the top-right corner of the Settings window or click on the Windows Update tab at the bottom of the left pane.
  3. Once the Windows Update page appears, go to More Options and click on Advanced Options.
  4. Click on Optional Updates after the Advanced Options screen appears.
  5. Next, head to expand the Driver Updates list and tick the checkbox for your graphics card driver.
  6. After checking the right box, click on the Download and Install button.

A more reliable method would be to use a third-party driver updating tool like Auslogics Driver Updater. This is an intuitive program that scans your system for driver-related issues, such as outdated or corrupted device drivers, and fixes them. Once Driver Updater has detected faulty drivers, all it takes to install the newest available driver versions is one click of a button.

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You no longer have to invest time in looking up the driver models and versions on your PC. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about incompatibility issues since only the correct drivers for your system are installed. The program also lets you schedule automatic scans to ensure driver updates are installed as soon as they are released. And, if the new drivers cause issues, you can easily revert to the previous versions.

Auslogics Driver Updater supports Windows 10 and Windows 11, so you don’t have to worry whether the tool will work on your system. It also downloads and installs drivers that are compatible with your operating system.

Once all the updates have been installed, restart your computer and check if the stuttering issue persists.

Solution 3: Close Background Applications

Your system cannot operate optimally when many background apps are running at the same time. So, if you have several applications running in the background, you might experience some stuttering and performance issues.

Additionally, other programs or the system may lag due to all the resources being utilized by the background apps.

Try closing the background apps to see if this resolves the issue. Here is how to do that:

  1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcut to launch the Task Manager.
  2. Locate all the running background applications and processes and close them one by one by clicking on “End task”.

You can also go through the Settings application to disable apps configured to run in the background when your PC starts.

Follow these steps for Windows 10:

  1. Press Win + I to bring up the Settings app.
  2. Click on Privacy when Settings fully opens.
  3. Head to the left pane, scroll down past App Permissions and click on Background Apps.
  4. Now, go to the main screen and head to the list under “Select which apps to run in the background.”
  5. Toggle off the switch beside the apps you want to disable and restart your computer.
  6. You should also disable some Startup apps that automatically start running when you log into Windows. Follow these steps:
  • Go to the home page of Settings and click on Apps.
  • After the Apps page shows up, go to the left pane and click on Startup.
  • Now, head to the Startup Apps list and disable programs you want to prevent from launching at startup.

Follow these steps for Windows 11:

  1. Press Win + I to bring up the Settings app.
  2. Click on Apps in the left pane of the window.
  3. Next, click on Startup.
  4. Now, disable apps that you don’t want to start automatically once you sign in.
  5. Restart your Windows 11 PC.

If the Windows PC keeps stuttering even with background applications disabled, try the next fix.

Solution 4: Disable the CD/DVD Drive

If your laptop has a CD/DVD drive, try disabling and re-enabling it to see if this works. Some users reported that this had fixed their problem, and it may work for you as well. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Device Manager via the Quick Access menu (Win + X). Alternatively, press the Win + R shortcut, type devmgmt.msc into the “Run” box, and hit the “Enter” key.
  2. Locate “CD/DVD ROM drives” and expand it. Right-click on the drive and select “Properties”.
  3. Go to the “Driver” tab and click the “Disable Device” button.
  4. Click on “Yes” and select “OK” to save your changes. This action disables the CD/DVD drive.
  5. To re-enable it, repeat the steps above but select “Enable Device” this time.
  6. Click on “OK” to save your changes and check if this helps to fix the stuttering problem.

Solution 5: Uninstall the Problematic Software

This fix is applicable if you started experiencing the error after installing a particular program. The software may not be compatible with your system. Or it might be glitchy, hence the reason it’s consuming a lot of your system resources and causing the stuttering problem.

To identify the problematic application, launch the Task Manager and check if the suspicious program is the one causing a spike in system resources. If it is, go ahead and uninstall it via the Programs and Features section in the “Settings” app or Control Panel.

Note, there are different ways to uninstall programs in Windows 10 and 11 using the Settings app.

Here’s how to remove apps from Windows 10:

  1. Launch the Settings application and click on Apps.
  2. Use the search feature on the Apps & Features page to look for the program you want to uninstall.
  3. After it shows up, click on it and select Uninstall.
  4. Click Uninstall again and follow the subsequent instructions.

Follow these steps to remove apps from Windows 11:

  1. Launch the Settings app and click on Apps on the left side of the window.
  2. Click on Apps & Features on the right side of the next screen and go to the App List section.
  3. You can use the search box to find the app you want to remove.
  4. Once you get to the program click on the three dots to its (next to the program’s size) and select Uninstall.
  5. Click on Uninstall again in the confirmation box and follow the prompts to complete the process.

Solution 6: Check Your PC’s Power Management Settings

Your computer system has a feature that lets you customize your power plan to control how it consumes power. If you’ve selected an incorrect power plan, your system may not function optimally. Instead, it will start to lag.

Resetting the power plan to its default settings might resolve the error. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Press the Windows logo key and search for Control Panel.
  2. Select “Hardware and Sound”, and click on “Power Options”.
  3. Click on “Change plan settings” next to your selected power plan, and click the “Change advanced power settings” link.
  4. In the window that opens next, click on the “Restore plan defaults” button at the bottom of the page. If you have several customized plans, select each plan from the drop-down list and click on “Restore plan defaults”.
  5. Click “Yes” to confirm your choice.

Once done, restart your Windows PC and check if the issue has been resolved.

Solution 7: Scan Your System for Malware

A malware infection can corrupt system and application files and cause the stuttering issue on your Windows PC. If the error persists, it’s worth giving a malware scan a try. You can opt to use a built-in Windows tool called Windows Security, or you can install a more advanced malware removal tool like Auslogics Anti-Malware.

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You see, the problem with malware is that your ordinary antivirus program might not be able to detect all kinds of threats, especially those disguised as genuine system files or applications. That’s why you need powerful anti-malware software that’s capable of detecting the malware hiding on your computer.

If the tool finds any malicious items, it will quarantine them, allowing you to safely delete them. If the scan comes back clean, then the issue lies elsewhere.

Solution 8: Scan Your System Files for Corruption

If the malware removal tool managed to find malware in your system, then there is a high chance some of the system files have been corrupted or damaged. In that case, running a System File Checker (SFC) scan will help repair all the corrupted files.

To run an SFC scan, follow the instructions below:

  1. Press the Win + R keyboard shortcut, type CMD into the “Run” input field, and hit the “Enter” key.
  2. In the Command Prompt with administrator rights, execute the command sfc /scannow. Give the tool a few moments to check for issues and attempt to fix them.

Once done, reboot Windows and check if the PC is still stuttering.

Solution 9: Update Your Windows

As noted earlier, Windows updates are required to keep your system functioning properly. The updates usually introduce new features, security updates, and enhancements to your OS. Typically, Windows updates are automatically installed whenever they are available. However, you can manually check for updates and install them.

Here is how to do that on Windows 10:

  1. Press the Win + I keyboard shortcut to bring up the “Settings” app.
  2. Into the “Find a setting” input field, type “Updates” (without quotes) and select “Check for updates”.
  3. In the next window, check if any pending updates are waiting to be installed and install them. If there are none, click on the “Check for updates” button and wait for Windows to search for and install all available updates.
  4. You may be required to click on the Download & Install button for feature or quality updates.
  5. After the updates are download, the client may also prompt you to restart your computer to complete the installation.

Follow these steps for Windows 11:

  1. Press the Win + I keyboard shortcut to bring up the “Settings” app.
  2. Click on Windows Update in the top-right corner of the Settings window or click on the Windows Update tab at the bottom of the left pane.
  3. Click on the Check for Updates button once you see the Windows Update page.
  4. You can also click on the Download & Install button next to a cumulative quality or feature update.
  5. Restart your computer to complete the installation.

Sometimes, updates themselves could be responsible for PC issues like random freezes and crashes. If that’s the case, then uninstalling the problematic update should fix the problem. For instance, one of the Windows 10 April updates caused PC games to randomly stutter. Users reported that the issue had stopped after uninstalling the cumulative patch that was part of the update.

To uninstall a Windows cumulative update, follow these instructions:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + I, type “Update history” (without quotes) into the “Find a setting” text box, and select “View update history”.
  2. You can see a list of all the recently installed Windows updates. Click on the “Uninstall updates” link at the top of the page to open the “Installed updates” page in Control Panel.

Note: In Windows 11, you’ll have to collapse the update history list and click on Uninstall Updates under Related Settings to open the “Installed updates” page in Control Panel.

  1. Select the problematic update from the list and click on “Uninstall”.

Solution 10: Keep Apps and Programs Updated

All your applications, including Windows apps and third-party apps, should always be up to date to keep working correctly. If the PC is stuttering every two seconds with audio and video issues when using a browser, update the browser to the latest version.

If this doesn’t work, try disabling all the browser extensions, add-ons, and plugins to check if they are causing the issue. Alternatively, try using another browser to see if the problem gets resolved.

Solution 11: Disable the Notification and Action Center

According to several users, disabling the notification area and Action Center fixed the stuttering issue on their Windows PCs. To try this solution, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Win + R keyboard shortcut, type gpedit.msc into the “Run” text box, and hit the “Enter” key.
  2. In the Group Policy Editor window, navigate to this path: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar.
  3. In the right sidebar, locate the “Remove Notifications and Action Center” policy and double-click it.
  4. On the next screen, click on the “Enabled” radio button. This removes the Notifications and Action Center, and you won’t be able to review any notifications that you’ve missed.
  5. Click on Apply > OK and restart your system for the changes to take effect.

Solution 12: Disable Your System’s High Precision Event Timer Device

The High Precision Event Timer, HPET for short, is a Windows device used to synchronize multimedia streams to reduce the need for unnecessary timestamp calculations. The device is designed to smooth your system’s playback.

It’s true thatthe tool can increase PC performance and facilitate an impressive playback experience. That said, it can cause latency issues and FPS losses when you start playing games. Disabling it can remove the stuttering issues you experience when gaming.

Follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Device Manager via the Quick Access menu (Win + X). Alternatively, press the Win + R shortcut, type msc into the “Run” box, and hit the “Enter” key.
  2. Once the Device manager appears, go to the System Devices category and expand it.
  3. Next, locate and right-click on the “High precision event timer.”
  4. Select Disable Device from the context menu.

Right-click on the High precision event timer, then select Disable Device from the context menu

  1. Click Yes in the confirmation pop-up.

We hope you find this information on how to fix the “Windows 10 is stuttering every few seconds” issue helpful. So, you no longer have to ask, “Why does Windows 11 lag every few seconds?”

If you have additional information regarding how to fix stuttering on Windows 11, please use the comments section below.