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Your laptop is perfectly capable of running fast. You just have to remove the junk that’s slowing it down. These simple steps will show you how to improve computer performance, so your laptop runs faster.
It can be frustrating to have a slow laptop that gets bogged down by simple tasks. Over time, the files and software on your computer accumulate, and it slows down even more. You might find yourself getting frustrated with programs that take forever to load or don’t work at all. Many people are simply using their laptops as glorified typewriters because they’re too slow for anything else! Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to make your laptop run faster–and we’ll show you how right now!
Video: How to Optimize Your Laptop for Maximum Performance
Method 1: Stop unnecessary startup programs
Your computer loads everything from scratch when it starts up-even if those applications weren’t open before you turned off the computer. These are known as “startup programs” or “startup items.” These programs drain your system resources and slow down your computer by adding to the startup time.
Here’s how to disable them for faster load times.
Step 1: Press Shift-Ctrl-Esc or right-click your mouse on the taskbar and select Task Manager.
Step 2: Go to the Startup tab and manually select any programs you don’t want starting immediately. It’s easy to do by right-clicking it and clicking Disable.
Step 3: Restart your laptop, and you should see an immediate speed improvement. If not, you’ll need to try another method.
Method 2: Close programs starting up with your laptop
Another reason why slow computers are so frustrating is that apps often startup in the background without you even knowing it. These unnecessary programs can take away valuable resources from other applications, slowing them down too.
Here’s how to close these useless running apps for instant speed gains:
Step 1: Locate the upwards arrow on the right side of your taskbar and left-click.
Step 2: You’ll see a list of program icons currently running. To close them, right-click and close.
Method 3: Run Windows updates
Now that you have cleaned up your startup items and closed unnecessary running programs, it’s time to update Windows for an even faster experience. Although Windows does notify you automatically, you may have missed an important one, but it’s easy to check.
Step 1: Click Start and then the Settings icon. You’ll see a new window appear and at the bottom left, click Update & Security.
Step 2: This screen states when you did the last update check. You can also manually check for updates and view any optional updates too.
It is essential to keep your drivers, apps, and software up-to-date. This will not only make you more secure but also optimize performance for the best possible experience! If in doubt, check online, and it’ll advise which version you need.
Method 4: Scan your hard disk drive for errors
An easy way to speed up a laptop is by checking the hard drive for errors. Your files may be corrupt, causing your computer problems and lowering performance over time.
Here’s how to scan the disk:
Step 1: Left click the File icon on your taskbar
Step 2: Right-click Local Disk (C:) and select Properties
Step 3: A small window will pop up. Click the Tools tab and click Check.
Step 4: A new window will open. Click Scan drive, and it’ll run the process in the background, and upon completion, it’ll advise of any errors or not.
Method 5: Run a disk cleanup
One of the simplest things you can do to speed up your laptop is by running disk cleanup to delete any junk files. None of these unnecessary files must be left on your computer as they slowly accumulate and take up valuable hard drive space, slowing down performance over time.
Here’s how to perform it:
Step 1: Hit the Windows icon on your keyboard and type disk cleanup into the search bar.
Step 2: Ensure all the boxes are checked (some are automatic) and click OK.
This will then delete temporary files and other system files you don’t need, and it’s best practice to perform this monthly for maximum performance.
Pro Tip: HDDs usually run fast until they reach about 90% of storage space utilized – so checking how much space has been used could help diagnose your speed issue. SSDs are much better for your data than HDDs because they slow down less as you fill up the drive. It is recommended not to go above 75% on an SSD.
Method 6: Defragment your hard drive
Another way to speed up a laptop is by defragmenting the hard disk drive. It’s much like cleaning your house, where you tidy up and organize everything, so it runs smoother.
Fragmentation is bad for your computer. It can slow things down and make them run more slowly, even though they may not seem like a big deal at first glance! The good news? Windows will automatically defragment files once per week by default – but you’re free to go in manually anytime and run it.
You might be wondering if it’s necessary to defragment your computer’s disk space. The answer is yes, but only for those using traditional mechanical drives such as an HDD (Hard Disk Drive). SSDs work differently and do not need this step of the process, so if you have both types, only the HDD needs defragmentation.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Hit Windows icon on keyboard -> Type “defrag” into search bar -> Open Disk Defragmenter
Step 2: Click the Defragment and Optimise Drives button. After, click on Analyze and let Windows work its magic! It’s a good idea to run this about once every month or two as fragmentation can accumulate over time – but remember SSDs don’t need defragging, so do not worry about those.
Step 3: Click Optimize to defragment the HDD if it’s above 5%
Method 8: Uninstall unnecessary programs and software
One of the best ways to speed up a laptop is by removing unnecessary programs and software. Not only does this free-up valuable hard drive space, but it also reduces the number of background processes that slow down your PC, making it run faster overall!
Step 1: Press the Windows icon, type control into the search bar, and click Control Panel.
Step 2: A new window opens, and click uninstall a program and then right-click on the program you want to be deleted or changed.
Pro-tip: Uninstalling programs can be a hassle, so it’s important to know what you need. Only remove unused programs and don’t remove any unfamiliar software or any files relating to the operating system, if at all possible, because it may cause problems with your laptop functioning properly!
Method 9: Adjust your laptops power settings
Adjusting your laptop’s power settings is one of the quickest methods to speed up a slow laptop. The reason for this is because it changes how much processing power and energy goes towards running programs you’ve used recently compared to ones you haven’t.
Windows comes with three power options:
- Balanced (default & recommended)
- Power saver
- High performance
The high-performance setting will speed up your laptop; however, this does use more energy, so you’ll either have to use mains power or use your computer in shorter stints before recharging the battery.
Here’s what to do:
Step 1: Hit Windows icon on keyboard -> Type control into search bar -> Click on Hardware and Sound.
Step 2: Click on Power Options, and lastly, Choose a power plan, and you can select your desired level. Click Next.
Your computer’s settings can impact its speed, so it’s essential to know your options. The basic options include how long the screen stays on when inactive and if they go into sleep mode automatically or not. Some progressive changes such as those found in Change advanced power settings may also have an effect that varies depending upon your specific needs!
Method 10: Adjust visual settings and graphics
The visual settings of a laptop can be very distracting and slow down performance. Windows 10 has more graphics than older versions, including fade effects and flyouts. These can help make an application look sleeker, but they also slow down your computer if not optimized.
It’s easy to change the performance settings. Here’s how:
Step 1: In the search box, type control and click through to the Control Panel. From there, click System and Security, System, and Advanced system settings.
Step 2: This brings up a window called System Properties. In the Performance section, click Settings, and it’ll display a full range of performance options.
The default is Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer, so to enhance your laptop speed, click Adjust for best performance.
Method 11: Search resource-intense programs and apps
If you want to speed up your laptop, it’s essential to know what slows down its performance and find ways of speeding it back up. One common reason for a slow laptop is resource-intensive programs and applications that take more memory than necessary or constantly run in the background at the same time as other simple tasks such as opening Word documents.
Here’s how to speed up your laptop by finding resource-intensive programs and applications:
Step One: Press the Windows icon, type Task Manager into the search bar, and hit Enter on the keyboard. When you do this, it brings up the Task Manager box with a few options of what you want to manage listed at the top (Processes, Performance, App History)
Step Two: On the far left-hand side of the Task Bar is an option called More Details. Click this to bring up more information on your computer’s resource usage and performance. You can see which programs are slowing you down!
Step Three: Find any process that seems like it might be related to the issue you are having. For example, if your computer’s speed is affected by a program that uses more system memory than it should, look for how much memory each uses.
Step Four: If necessary, click any resource-intensive program or application and select End task to close it down completely so that its processes cannot run in the background.
Method 12: Scan for malware and viruses
Malware and viruses can take up a lot of your laptop’s processing power, which will affect how fast it runs. If you notice that your computer is slowing down, there’s a good chance something like this may be to blame and should be removed as soon as possible.
It’s essential to know the various ways malware can enter your computer. They could come from emails, downloads, or even advertisements on websites you visit – which is why these must be scanned for malicious software before opening any attachments!
Using antivirus software can help protect against malware, as well as other threats. Some good free options are available to download and use without spending anything!
Our top free antivirus tool is Avast, and this will periodically scan your laptop and remove any malware. The leading paid antivirus software is McAfee, and the lowest plan protects multiple devices in one account.
If you believe your laptop is already infected with malware, we suggest downloading the Avast software and running its scans to detect, remove, and block viruses. It’s also regularly updated, which gives peace of mind knowing you are safeguarded against the newest threats – of which there are several!
Method 13: Turn Cortana off
If you find that your laptop is running more slowly, it might be worth turning off Cortana. This Microsoft digital assistant can run in the background simultaneously as other programs and processes on your computer – slowing down its speed.
Cortana is a helpful feature of the Windows 10 operating system, but it uses up resources and poses privacy risks. In the newest versions of Windows, it’s more challenging to remove Cortana from your computer. However, if you’re willing to edit the registry file, then you can quickly do that as well.
A few more tips
Your computer may not be sluggish because of a slow operating system. Some habits and other apps can contribute to the overall experience being slower than usual for you!
In addition to the methods we discussed above, there are a few more ways you can speed up your laptop. They’re not as effective or powerful, but they do work!
Keep vents and air ducts clean.
Dust and dirt can accumulate over time, which clogs the vents on your laptop. This restricts airflow from being released from inside your device. Poor airflow can lead to overheating and an increase in temperature.
Keeping the vents of your laptop clean will let it run at optimal speeds without any hiccups or slowdowns along the way! Preventing a computer from overheating is vital for ensuring it works without any problems.
If you notice your laptop getting extremely hot, this is a sign that the airflow has been obstructed. Clean out the vents immediately to cool down and prevent overheating! This will also help protect against hardware damage to its central processing unit (CPU) or graphics card. Always wait until your computer is cool before turning it back on!
To clean out the vents, you can use a compressed air duster. Be careful when using one though – too much pressure may damage your laptop’s hardware (especially its CPU). You don’t need to blast it with powerful gusts of wind either; spray some into each vent and let any loose dirt fall out.
One final thing to remember is that you should never try and use a vacuum cleaner on your laptop! This will only worsen the problem, as it creates more static electricity around the vents, damaging its hardware components or obstructing airflow even further.
Regularly restart your laptop.
If your laptop is frequently running slow at times, it could be because of an accumulation of temporary files. The longer you use your device without restarting or shutting down properly, the more these rogue files can grow in number and cause problems for its performance!
It’s a good idea to restart your computer every few days to wipe out all temporary files. If you leave it running for too long without restarting, this can result in a “memory leak” where your operating system cannot function correctly.
To ensure that temporary files are deleted regularly, make sure to schedule regular restarts on your laptop every evening or once per day! This way, you will wipe all of these rogue files away, and your computer should function much faster when you restart it. It’ll also ensure any automatic updates are downloaded and installed correctly.
Delete unused browser extensions
Extensions are tiny programs that you can download onto your browser to improve their features. They’re beneficial for people who use their laptops in several locations and want a more customized experience!
Just like other apps, extensions can slow down your system’s speed by using excess resources or creating conflicts with software. One way to prevent this is by removing any attachments you don’t use from your browser.
To remove a browser extension, open up your Internet Browser and click on the menu button (the three horizontal dots in the top right corner). Select “Settings” or scroll down to find it under Preferences or Tools – Extensions depending on which web browser you’re using! Look for the specific extension you want to delete and click the “Disable” button.
If you’re not sure which extensions are causing your laptop’s speed issues, it may be a good idea for you to disable all of them except your favorite one! This way, you can test each extension individually without having any conflicts with other apps or software. Once they’ve been removed, try using your laptop again to see if it’s running faster.
Don’t leave tabs open.
If you’re running many applications at once or have too many tabs open in your internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc.), this can also impede the speed that these programs run without any problems! Closing down unnecessary windows and apps lets your computer focus on the tasks you need and rates up its performance.
When using your laptop, ensure that any tabs in your internet browser are closed, or things like chat programs (e.g., Skype) have been shut down! This will stop them from running in the background and making their requests to use an excess of memory.
Reduce the number of applications that automatically start up with Windows. It’s widespread for people to have a whole host of different programs and apps running on their computers. A lot of these are not even being used but remain open in your taskbar or system tray! This is because they may be set as “startup” programs that automatically open when you turn on your computer.
These applications may seem harmless and convenient, but in reality, they can slow down startup time and take up a lot of virtual memory! They run in the background until you close them – even though it may be unnecessary!
Don’t run loads of programs at once.
So if you’re using your laptop for work, school, or browsing the web – it’s essential that only the programs you need are open. This stops them from taking up lots of RAM and running slowly! Closing down other applications when they aren’t in use will free up resources to allow other apps to perform better without any problems.
Even if you’re not currently using your laptop for anything, it’s still essential that unnecessary programs stay closed to prevent them from slowing down the speed of your system when they have opened again in the future! You can always add more applications and windows into your work or game sessions later on when you need them – there’s no need to overload your computer up front!
Optimize your operating system
Laptops are complex devices that can reach their performance peak at any time. If you don’t take care of your laptop, the various problems it may experience will reduce its functionality and impact daily tasks like browsing or writing papers. For example, malware infections decrease system speed; broken system data makes Windows unresponsive to user input.
It takes time (and computer skills)to perform clean reinstalls of the operating system since this requires removing all old files from hard drives before installing new ones, which could lead to errors during installation.
There are many benefits to reinstalling your operating system. For one, it can help with computer stability and security issues. If you don’t feel like going through all of that hassle, Restoro offers an easy and free way for users to analyze various aspects of the state of Windows 10 itself!
This can help isolate what needs fixing. To use Restoro to fix the problem will mean signing up for a paid account, but you may not need to if you know the solution is simple.
If you’re looking for a way to make your laptop run faster, this blog post should give some great tips. The first thing we recommend is updating Windows 10 or 8 with the latest security patches and installing all of the available updates.
Whenever possible, try to use only one app at a time, so there isn’t too much competition for resources on your computer’s RAM or CPU. This will help prevent any dreaded “not responding” messages from popping up while using other apps. Lastly, consider uninstalling programs you don’t need anymore because they can take up space and slow down performance even more than necessary!
We hope these steps have helped you learn how to make laptops run faster by following our simple suggestions.
Empire Laptops is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.
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