My laptop's about a year old, but I bought it at quite a high spec then so it's still fine. When I first ran Skyrim, it chose the 'high' graphics setting. At first, the game plays very smoothly, however after a few minutes it starts to slow down, and after about 5 minutes or so the game is unplayable (<5 fps).

Quitting Skyrim completely and reloading it seems to solve the problem, but only for another 5 minutes of play. I've tried turning down the graphics options to their lowest setting, but this doesn't seem to help. Is there a way to diagnose what the problem is, and fix it?

  • how much hard drive space do you have left? and how much memory do you have – l I Nov 20 '11 at 19:01
  • 75GB, 4GB respectively. – fredley Nov 20 '11 at 19:19
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    Is it maybe time for -> superuser.com/questions/352030/… ? – StupidOne Nov 20 '11 at 19:21
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    How on earth will clearing out my cookies speed up the game?! – fredley Nov 21 '11 at 9:50
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    If there's cookies inside your computer that might affect performance... – Joe the Person Nov 6 '12 at 23:20

Have you checked your operating temperature? It could be that your GPU/CPU is overheating, and underclocking itself to cool down, especially if it goes away after a few minutes of waiting after shutting it down.

Does it happen with other games? If not it might just be an issue with Skyrim in general (give their support line a message in that case), but if so, make sure your system isn't choked with dust and that you have proper ventilation just in case it is an overheating issue. It goes without saying that you should try to avoid multitasking when you're playing as well, in case something in the background decides to start eating CPU cycles as well.

Honestly, though, there's not a lot to diagnose on. Check your temperatures when running, maybe have a CPU/GPU monitor handy to see if anything obvious is redlining.

P.S. For those who think overheating issues take a long time to dissipate, properly ventilated stuff can cool down pretty fast, especially if it isn't generating any more heat.


After you launch Skyrim, open task manager (Control+Shift+Escape) and go to processes. Select TESV.exe and set the priority to high. This should give Skyrim more processing time. I do this and the game runs smoothly for me, without doing this the game runs very slow.


I have this issue on my MacBook Pro too. What I have experienced is that if I open all the various menus, and then save the game, it will often get better and go away after a couple of minutes.

Notes: The TESV Acceleration layer has helped. However I have noticed with the latest patch (LBA) when I run without SKSE through the normal launcher I don't see it as noticeably as when I run the SKSE launcher, however frame rate is greatly improved for me once I get past the laggy patch with the SKSE/Acceleration Layer active. Hope this helps a little.

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