Working with a slow computer could be quite annoying, whether it happens gradually over time or all of a sudden. Even if you do try to keep your laptop or PC in good working order, it’s astonishing how rapidly things slow down. This article is for you if you’re using Windows, and you’re saying to yourself “my laptop is slow.”
There are only a few things more aggravating than a laptop running slow. Having to wait a long time for your laptop or PC to open a basic web page or MS Office software may make even the most rational person want to throw their computer out.
Don’t get rid of your old, slow laptop just yet. To make it run faster, try the tweaks we suggest here.
1. Reduce the number of Startup programs
The speed with which your computer boots up is determined by a number of factors, including the hardware and the Windows version you’re running. However, the programs that are set to launch when Windows starts up might have a considerable impact.
When you switch on your computer, several apps start operating quietly in the background, delaying the system’s starting and possibly triggering software problems. You may, however, quickly deactivate programs that you do not need right off the bat. Here’s how:
• Begin by clicking Start, search for msconfig, and open.
• Click the Startup tab in the System Configuration box.
• Uncheck the boxes next to the applications on the list that you don’t want to start automatically when your laptop boots.
It is advisable to untick only the apps that you don’t use on a regular basis or which you know you don’t need.
After that, click Apply and then OK. Restart your computer.
2. Close the applications in the system tray.
If your computer lags, it’s likely that many programs are running concurrently. Items in the system tray usually start up with your computer and then remain on while you use it.
To get to these options, go to the bottom-right side of the screen and click the upwards arrow. If you have any apps open that you don’t need, right-click and close them.
3. Remove apps that you no longer want
Faster starting times aren’t all that matters. When you’re using your computer, you’ll also want to ensure that it’s operating smoothly.
Uninstalling apps you don’t use will save up disk space and RAM and avert your laptop running slow. Trial versions of software preloaded on your computer when you purchased it, out-of-date antivirus products, obsolete software, and games that you do not play anymore are examples of these.
• To uninstall a program go to Start > Control Panel > Uninstall a program.
• Click the application you wish to remove from the list of programs that displays, then click Uninstall.
4. Scan your computer for viruses and malware
Malware or malicious software is a general term that refers to unsafe software that may damage your computer. These may originate from a variety of places, such as email links, software downloads, or even advertisements. Aside from the potential for irreversible harm to your system, several types of malware may slow down your computer.
Installing decent antivirus software may help protect you from viruses and other dangers. There are several excellent free solutions accessible, so you won’t have to pay any money.
Run your antivirus application on a regular basis. Viruses can make your computer laggy and cause data loss, whereas spyware can jeopardize your security by tracking your activities and collecting personal information.
Start your antivirus program and check to see whether it’s up to date. Then, if your package permits it, do a comprehensive scan of your hard drive. Configure regular scheduled scans when you are done with that.
If you do not already have one, there are both free and paid options. Avira, Avast, and Malwarebytes are examples of free protection while Norton and McAfee are among popular paid ones.
5. Clear cookies and cache.
Every time you view a website, your web browser saves a copy of it in the Temporary Internet Files folder as a tiny file known as a cache. It also saves little files known as “cookies” that include your browsing history and personal information. These files might accumulate in size over time.
Clearing your browser’s cache on a regular basis can enable it to run quicker while loading websites and save critical disk space.
These options are usually accessible in the browser settings menu, labeled something like Clear browsing data or Clear cache & cookies in most browsers.
6. Consider updating Windows, drivers, and programs
You’ve undoubtedly heard that it’s a good idea to keep your software updated for security reasons. This is correct, and it may also assist with performance. When an update becomes available, Windows will give you an automated notice. All you have to do now is make sure you act immediately.
You can check at any time if you suspect you’ve missed an update. Select Settings or the settings icon from the Start menu. Then navigate to Updates & Security > Windows Updates from the left-hand menu.
Drivers and programs, in addition to the Windows operating system, should be updated regularly. This is advantageous in terms of not only security but also performance. If you suspect you’ve missed an update, a short web search should reveal the version you ought to be using.
7. Defrag your hard drive
When a PC or laptop saves a big file to the hard drive, it breaks it into smaller chunks and stores them in many places. The hard disk would take longer to access these data as they accumulate over time. This brings up the need for defragging software. This would essentially reassemble the files in a more logical sequence to make possible a performance improvement for your PC.
However, with the release of Windows 10 (and, prior to that, Windows 8/8.1), defragging software is no longer required. These days, Windows manages data considerably more smartly. Defragmenting isn’t necessary for Mac users.
Defragging your hard disk might help you receive a minor performance lift if you’re still using Windows 7 (or an earlier version).
If your slow laptop uses a solid-state drive (SSD), you won’t need to do this since Windows will perform it for you in the background from time to time. It’s generally not a good idea to defrag an SSD manually.
8. Look out for resource-hungry applications
If you notice that your computer is performing more slowly all of a sudden, a certain program is likely responsible for that. Going into your task manager and seeing what’s taking up your resources is one approach to figure out the cause.
• Select Task Manager after right-clicking the taskbar.
• To learn more about the applications that are presently operating on your computer, click More details. The Processes tab should be shown by default.
You may arrange the list by clicking each heading to see which programs are consuming resources the most. Close a program first if it’s still in use and you want to end it. Then return to the Task Manager page, right-click the program, and choose End task if it won’t end. This may put a stop to “my laptop is slow” complaint.
Instead of using Task Manager, you’ll need to go for System Configuration in Windows 7.
9. Perform a disk cleanup
Windows has a built-in utility for removing the junk that builds up over time. On your slow laptop, go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools, and then select Disk Cleanup from the list.
You need to select a drive to clean up and then wait for Windows to calculate the amount of space you could save. Next, select the files you want to delete and press OK.
There are tools (both free and paid) that you can use if you don’t want to do this manually.
10. Tweak your power settings
Windows has a number of pre-configured power plans to suit different preferences. Balanced is the default setting, which considers both performance and energy consumption. However, the latter is only a concern if you’re operating on batteries or attempting to save money on energy. As a result, you may wish to reconsider your option.
If your PC is functioning slowly, the High Performance plan is a better alternative. Although this option consumes more energy, it prioritizes performance and should make your system run faster.
You may set up your own unique plan in addition to the usual ones. Create a power plan on your slow laptop by going to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options. Choose whatever current plan you’d want to start with, give your new plan a name, and click Next.
Basic choices include the length of time the display remains on while you’re not using it and how long the computer stays awake before going to sleep. These won’t have much of an influence on your computer’s performance, but if you click to Change advanced power settings, you can make further changes that will.
11. Install more RAM
An older computer may lack enough Random Access Memory (RAM) to operate newer software. Furthermore, if you run multiple programs at the same time, you may not have sufficient RAM to get by. Installing fresh RAM might provide the boost you need. Thankfully, this doesn’t cost so much these days.
12. Replace your hard drive with a solid-state drive (SSD)
Solid-state drives (SSDs) differ from regular hard drives in that they do not have any moving parts. This increases their efficiency and, as a result, their speed. SSDs are now more affordable as well.
However, there is a need for caution when upgrading your hard drive to SSD. This requires removing case of your slow laptop and messing with power and data cords. If you’re not sure of what you’re doing, we suggest hiring a professional to install the drive for you.