Editor Not Responding for 20-30 secs before playing audio

So everything seems to be working - except it will not respond when trying to edit.

Uploaded my file - no issue.

Tried to edit, hit the space bar - it pauses for 20-30 secs, then plays the audio.

Tried it with several audio files, all of which I’ve used audacity in the past with no issue - suddenly I cannot edit them either, same thing as above happens, doesn’t respond, blue circle of death, white page. ETc. So I uninstall, reinstall latest version - same thing.

I’ve been using audacity for years with no issue. I’ve got a Dell Inspiron 7706 - fairly new - no problems with it - made sure I had all the latest drivers and updates for the computer - all is up to date. It’s the strangest thing and I’m not sure how what the heck is wrong.

any guidance is welcome. Thank You.