There is nothing more annoying than a slow laptop, yet purchasing a new laptop may be out of the question. Before you give up, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your laptop is functioning as smoothly as possible. Here are a few methods to speed up your laptop:
1. Clean up your hard drive
Files that are no longer needed and maybe safely erased will be removed when you clean your drive. It also clears the Recycle Bin and deletes temporary files.
Follow the steps below to do a Disk Cleanup:
- Select the Start menu or the Windows button from the Start menu.
- Choose from My Computer and Computer.
- Select the drive you want to clean with the right-click menu. Typically, this is the C: drive.
- There will be a representation of how much free space there is on your drive in the pop-up that appears. Click the Disk Clean-up button if the free space on the disc is less than 20% of the entire size.
- Make sure the disc you want to clean is the one you want to clean. The computer will determine the amount of space that will be freed up.
- After you’ve checked all of the boxes, click OK.
- A pop-up window for Windows 7 Disk Cleanup for OS
- Your computer will be able to find files faster if your hard disc is clear.
2. Limit the start-up programs.
Programs can also be set to start automatically in the background on computers. These can be apps you want to run once in a while but don’t automatically start.
Follow this process to prevent programs from starting automatically:
- Right-click anywhere on the taskbar that isn’t occupied.
- Start Task Manager by selecting it.
- Go to the Start-up tab.
- Look through the program list for anything that doesn’t have to start automatically. Then, Right-click any apps you don’t wish to launch automatically and select Disable.
- Disable should be selected.
- You should experience a speedier start-up time depending on how many apps you restrict from starting automatically. Also, because you’ve freed up resources previously used to run these apps in the background, there will be an increase in speed after your start-up.
3. Uninstall unused programs
Many laptops come with pre-installed programs and apps that you may not even be aware of. Alternatively, you may have downloaded an app that you no longer use. These programs can be deleted to free up disc space, allowing your system to find the files you want faster.
Follow these instructions to uninstall programs:
- Select the Start menu or the Windows button from the Start menu.
- Open Control Panel.
- Go to Programs and select it.
- Select Uninstall an application from the Programs and Features menu.
- Uninstall apps you don’t use by selecting them and clicking the Uninstall button.
- For apps that are required to run the system, the Uninstall option will not appear.
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4. Delete Temporary Files
A temporary file is created every time you visit a website on the internet. These files are no longer required after you leave the site. However, they continue to eat up space on your hard drive, so eliminating them will make room.
To erase your temporary files, follow these steps:
- Use the Start menu or the Windows button to get started.
- Choose between Computer and My Computer.
- Click the little arrow in the left-nav bar to expand the files on a local drive, generally (C).
- Expand the Windows directory.
- Choose the Temp folder.
- Hold down the Shift key while selecting the first file in the list, then select the final file with yesterday’s date.
- All of the files that were created before today will be highlighted. Next, press and hold the Delete key.
- Your storage disc will be able to find your files faster now that it has more space.
5. Check your RAM or add more
Your computer’s storage memory is known as RAM or Random Access Memory. The more programs you have open, the more RAM you’ll need. As a result, if you don’t have enough RAM, your computer may slow down, especially while processing huge files or executing numerous tasks at once.
Mac: Select System Memory in the Activity Monitor by going to Library > Applications > Utilities on your Mac. Your RAM should be fine if the pie chart is primarily green and blue. However, if it’s largely red and yellow, you might want to consider adding more RAM.
PC: Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to open the Windows Task Manager. Select the Performance tab and look for the Physical Memory section (MB). If the amount next to Available is less than 25% of your total MB, you should think about upgrading your RAM.
6. Add a solid-state drive.
A solid-state drive, or SSD, differs from a standard hard disc in that it stores data in memory chips rather than using mechanical components. As a result, SSDs are an excellent option to increase your computer’s speed and performance right away. They’re also reasonably priced, with a 256GB SSD costing roughly $75.
SSDs require installation, so if you’re not knowledgeable about laptop design, it’s probably best to get someone to do it for you.
7. Delete Bloatware
Latency isn’t just a problem with older computers. New computers can, too, thanks to bloatware that manufacturers preinstall on their laptops. This can include third-party applications that are preloaded as part of commercial distribution deals between the manufacturer and software providers and the company’s own software and services. Bloatware, crapware, and PUPs (potentially unwanted applications) are all terms for undesired software that can significantly slow down a computer.
Like the obsolete programs and utilities discussed above, these services can clog up processing power and memory and consume valuable storage space. Some preinstalled programs, like the Microsoft Office suite or the Dropbox desktop client, may be beneficial. Still, there’s a strong probability that at least a couple of them aren’t, so it’s worth spending the time to browse through a new laptop and discover any preinstalled software that can be uninstalled.
8. Remove Malware
On the current web, malware is alarmingly easy to pick up, whether through watering hole assaults, drive-by downloads, or malicious email attachments. On the other hand, malware does not always make your computer unusable right away; it might stay on your system for years, leaking data and eavesdropping on your actions. Unfortunately, it can also cause your computer to slow down, and unlike startup applications, it can be difficult to tell whether malware is to blame.
Fortunately, this is a rather simple issue to resolve. Setting up regular recurrent virus scans can help keep your system zipping around without being clogged up by dangerous programs, and a free security package should protect your system from the majority of prevalent dangers on the web.
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9. Clear your browser’s cache.
There is even more hidden stuff taking up space through your internet cache, just like those bothersome files filling up your hard disc. Clearing these out regularly can free up a few gigabytes of storage, allowing your laptop to run faster.
The simplest way to clear temporary files from your internet cache is to go to the Settings tab in each of your browsers.
It will take a few moments to discover Clear History, Clear Data, and Clear Cache, regardless of the browser. Then, follow the on-screen instructions, which normally consist of a single click or two of a button demanding the erasure of all data. After that, you’ll have freed up more space in your cache, which will improve the performance of your laptop.
For Safari users, the situation is slightly different. All you have to do with Apple’s browser is go to Preferences and then to the Privacy tab. Keep in mind that when you visit a website, Apple deletes any cookie caches.
However, once you’re on the Privacy tab, you have three options for keeping your cache clean: prevent trackers from tracking you using cookies and website data, always block cookies, and remove stored cookies and data. Choose the option that preferably matches your needs.
There’s also a Managing Website Data option. When you click it, you’ll see an itemized list of all the data you’ve saved, which you can remove one by one or all at once.
Several apps, such as CC Cleaner, may be used to remove your internet cache. On the other hand, a manual delete takes only a minute or two and involves only a few simple steps.
This is readily accomplished for Windows users by opening the Run program, usually in the Start menu or by clicking on the Windows symbol. The Run dialogue box appears after that. Next, you have the option of typing one of three routes in the search window to erase temporary files from your computer: percent temp percent, temp, or prefetch. Then press OK.
By typing one of those terms, you will be taken to the appropriate folder. A dialogue window may appear after you click OK, asking for permission to access the folders. To get an itemized list in the folders, click OK.
Select all the objects with your mouse or by pressing Ctrl-A in the percent temp percent, temp, or prefetch folders, and then delete them by right-clicking and selecting Delete or using the Delete button on the top right-hand corner of your keyboard.
After that, delete all of the folders in your desktop’s recycle bin to guarantee they are permanently deleted.
Some files will not be deleted because they are required for the operation of a specific program. These can be deleted at a later date.
Users of macOS can clear their cache in two ways, both of which allow you to delete redundant files from your laptop and improve efficiency.
In order to go to a folder, first, click Go, then pick Go To Folder. Using Command-Shift-G will get you there faster. This will open a little dialogue box where you can type /Library and hit Enter. Then you’ll see a selection of folders, among which you’ll select Caches. It’s much faster if you write in /Library/Caches as your path, bypassing a stage in the process.
You’ll then see a window showing an itemized list of data, all of which can be permanently erased by highlighting the data with your mouse or pressing Command-A on your keyboard and dragging it to the trash bin.
If you can’t discover Macintosh HD, open up your finder options and make sure Hard Disk is chosen as a device option under Devices. This will bring up Macintosh HD in the original window.
Select Macintosh HD, then the library folder, and finally the Caches folder. Additional data caches to erase from your Mac laptop are also present here. If any of the files have a red label on them, this indicates that they require permission, and you may be prompted to enter your password before proceeding with the deletion.
These are fast steps that take less than a couple of minutes to complete, whether on your HD or Mac laptop. You’ll be able to maintain your laptop running at its best by completing this as normal maintenance from time to time.
10. Update Windows, drivers, and programs
You’ve probably heard that it’s a good idea to keep your software up to date for security reasons. This is correct, and it can also help with performance. When an update is available, Windows will give you an automatic notification. So, all you have to do now is make sure you don’t put it off any longer.
You can always check if you think you’ve missed an update. Select Settings or the settings icon from the Start menu. Then select Updates & Security > Windows Updates from the left-hand menu.
Drivers and software, in addition to the Windows operating system, should be kept up to date. This is advantageous in terms of both security and performance. If you suspect you’ve missed an update, a short online search should reveal the version you should be using.
11. Turn off animations that aren’t needed.
Microsoft’s operating system has become crowded with flashy graphics and dynamic embellishments that do little to increase productivity since Windows Vista (and some would argue Windows XP). Of course, windows will disable some of them by default, depending on how powerful your machine is. Still, if you’re prepared to trade a little more visual appeal for performance, it’s simple to turn off all of the graphics and run on the basic essentials.
To do this, open the Start Menu and type ‘Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows’ into the search box. Select this option and untick everything you don’t want to see on your desktop from the scroll menu (such as shadows, smooth fonts, et cetera). When you click OK, the desktop will transform to a simpler appearance.
Switching everything off on systems other than Windows 10 gives the desktop a Windows 95-style look and feel. However, when everything is turned off, it’s astonishing how much of Windows 10’s so-called ‘flat appearance’ is based on graphical flourishes.
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12. Tweak your power settings
Windows includes several pre-configured “power plans” to fit your needs. Balanced is the default setting, which considers both performance and energy consumption. However, the latter is only a worry if you’re running on batteries or attempting to save money on energy. As a result, you may wish to reconsider your strategy.
If your PC is functioning slowly, the High-Performance plan is a better alternative, as its name suggests. Although this option consumes more energy, it prioritizes performance and should make your system run faster.
You can construct your own unique plan in addition to the usual options. First, create a power plan in Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options. Next, choose which existing plan you’d like to start with, give your new plan a name, and then click Next.
Basic choices include how long the display stays on when 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 speed, but if you go to Change advanced power settings, you can make further changes that will.
Larry L. Marks
I attribute my ideal creativity to natural writing abilities and personality. While I attribute my exceptional technical writing skills to more than six years of experience as a content developer. As a hobby, I write on technology and perform music.