Written by: Jay H.
A slow laptop is not only extremely frustrating, but it can grind things to a halt and decrease your productivity. If you’re struggling with a sluggish laptop, you should try these tips before going out and buying a new one. Here are 8 ways you can speed up your laptop.
1. Uninstall unused programs
When was the last time you went through and uninstalled programs you no longer use? You might be surprised by how many resources you can free up by uninstalling unused programs from your laptop. Luckily, removing your unused programs is easy.
To uninstall programs in Windows, click Start, search Add or remove programs, and browse the list for any unneeded applications. To uninstall them, simply click on the desired program and hit Uninstall.
If you’re on a Mac, open Finder and look in the Applications folder. Find any unwanted programs and drag and drop them into the Trash bin. Once you’ve finished moving unused programs, right-click on the Trash can and choose Empty Trash.
2. Remove unnecessary files
Chances are, your drive is filled with unnecessary files like installers, system reports, temporary files, and more. Although each takes up relatively little space individually, over time these files can add up and bloat your drive. A file scanner tool like CCleaner can scan your system and locate unused files and folders and give you the option to delete them.
3. Defrag your hard drive
If you’re using an older laptop, it might use a mechanical hard drive. These often suffer from fragmentation, which occurs when the pieces that make up your files are scattered across the physical surface of the platter. Because of this, it takes longer for the drive head to read all of the bits of your data and slows your machine down. Defragmentation reconstructs the drive so that all of the bits of each file are grouped in the same area, boosting the reading speed.
To optimize your disks in Windows, click on Start then search for Storage settings. Under More storage settings, click Optimize Drives. In the new window, it will display all of your drives. If you have a hard disk drive, under Current status you can see how fragmented your disk is. To defrag your disk, select it then click Optimize.
4. Disable startup programs
You likely have some programs set to start up automatically as soon as Windows boots. While this can be a helpful feature, it also puts a damper on your speed if overused.
Thankfully, turning off startup programs is easy. To disable startup programs, click on Start, then Settings (gear icon), then Startup. From there, simply toggle off programs you don’t need on startup to hopefully speed up your laptop.
5. Scan for malware
Malware, or malicious software, are programs designed to do you harm by consuming your resources, delivering harmful ads, and stealing your information. And they’re incredibly easy to install unnoticed, simply by clicking an unsafe email link or downloading an unsafe program.
Install a reputable malware scanner such as Malwarebytes to regularly scan and quarantine unsafe files. This will not only improve your security but should also improve your laptop’s speed.
6. Install more RAM
RAM is your computer’s short-term memory that enables you to have multiple windows open and running simultaneously. If your laptop is low on RAM, oftentimes you can install more yourself or take it to a reputable computer service technician to do it for you. However, adding more RAM is not always possible and it likely will void any warranty your laptop may be under. Oftentimes, it is worth it though for the extra performance.
7. Replace your drive
Replacing your drive can massively improve your laptop’s performance. If your laptop currently uses a mechanical hard drive, swapping it out for a solid-state drive can work wonders. Solid-state drives are much faster and more efficient than their mechanical counterparts, meaning you’ll speed up your laptop. And if your laptop already uses a solid-state drive, you may want to explore changing it out for a better one.
As with RAM, the downside is that it isn’t always possible to replace the drive in your laptop. Contact a knowledgeable computer service technician if you’re unsure.
8. Get a new laptop
If your laptop is on its last leg or is costing more in repairs than it’s worth, it’s probably time to bite the bullet and get a new laptop. Although this is not a cheap purchase, it is an investment for your productivity and efficiency. If you need help deciding on which laptop to get for yourself or your business, please contact us today to speak to a technology expert.
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