Speed Up Your Laptop

14 Ways to Speed Up Your Laptop

Are you frustrated with the slow speed of your laptop to the point that you are considering throwing it away? What if you get to know that there are ways to make your computer faster without expensive investments? Would you be interested in learning more?

Whether you have noticed that your laptop has slowed down gradually over time or suddenly without any signs, we understand your frustration. Laptops can slow down even if you have been diligently maintaining your machine; it is common for users of various versions of Windows OS to be bothered by their system’s slow speed.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can resolve your problem without trading in your laptop or PC. You can declutter, reorganize and optimize your system with a few easy-to-follow technical steps to make your computer as fast as it used to be when you first got it. These fixes are too complicated, so anyone with even basic technical know-how will be able to carry them out.

Today’s post details fourteen methods that can speed up computer that runs on WINDOWS 7, 8, or 10, which is now unbearably slow. Our focus will be on system performance instead of network issues. All of the techniques listed below are for Windows 10. However, any adjustments for Windows 7 and 8 will also be shared, if applicable.

Following are some ways of making a laptop faster:

1. Close system tray programs

Close system tray programs

If starting your computer takes too long, the reason behind this issue could be the number of tray programs that boot at the same time as your Windows. If too many software and apps are launching simultaneously at the starting of your OS, then they will cause the system to slow down.

Consider closing system tray programs by accessing the different items. Find the arrow pointing upwards on the right side of the taskbar, click it, then right-click and close any programs that aren’t necessary or you don’t need. Test to see if it has made a difference in the system launch speed.

2. Stop programs running on startup

Programs running on startup are similar items running in the system tray; therefore, any programs that run automatically when a computer starts will negatively impact the startup speed. So, how to speed up Windows 10? It is essential to know the distinction between software that are necessary and which aren’t. Apps like your antivirus should not be removed as they will make your system vulnerable until you launch it yourself.

To organize the different programs that run at startup, go to the taskbar, right-click on it, and click on Task Manager. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl-Shift-Escape to open the Task Manager. Select the Startup tab to check all the items that run on startup and their impact.

Right-click the taskbar: select Task Manager or press Ctrl-Shift-Escape keys to launch. Go to the Startup tab, and you’ll be able to view each item that runs on startup, along with its impact.

Stop programs running on startup

If you are wondering how to make windows 10 faster? Then analyze the items to decide which ones don’t automatically start when the system loads for the first time. Closing the programs with the highest Startup impact will have the best effect on speeding up the startup. However, be careful not to disable any of the vital programs that the system requires to run correctly.

Hint: Any program published by Microsoft should not be disabled. You can learn about items that you aren’t sure about on Google so that you won’t close down any important ones accidentally.

Right-click on the name of the programs and select Disable to disable items that run on startup; this will not disable the program entirely from the system. 

3. Update Windows, drivers, and apps

There are multiple benefits of keeping the different parts of your software up-to-date: security, while the others are performance-related. Usually, you will get an alert or notification by Windows for an available update; make sure that you go through with the recommended update and don’t put it off for too long.

If you missed a notification or purposefully ignored it, you can always check for available updates in the settings. Click on Start and go to the Settings, then select Updates & Security and go to Windows Updates.

Update Windows, drivers, and apps

Besides, keeping the OS up-to-date is also crucial to keep apps and drivers current because they can also impact speed and security. If you want to learn more about the latest versions you should be using on your system, simply do a quick online search to learn everything you need.

4. Delete unnecessary files

Most of us find it challenging to be productive while working on a cluttered desk or space; likewise, the performance of your computer can be impacted negatively if the storage space is full of unnecessary files, apps, and programs. The bad thing about the mess in your laptop or PC is that it can be completely hidden, and you wouldn’t be aware of what it’s doing to the performance of your device.

So, how to speed up your computer? The main culprits are the large files, typically the audio, video, and high-resolution images that you might be saving on a daily basis and forgetting about them. You can free up some much-needed storage space by regularly deleting and emptying the recycling bin. We suggest that you do it on a weekly basis if you save many files regularly. Please don’t take too long to declutter your files, or you will likely forget about them or make the mistake of removing something important in a hurry.

Top Tip: if your laptop or PC has an SSD, we recommend decluttering and reorganizing on a regular basis because they tend to slow down gradually and face serious performance issues if it is filled to more than 75 percent capacity. On the other hand, HDDs don’t have speed problems until they are 90 percent full. Therefore, irrespective of which type of storage you have, check to see how full it is.

5. Find programs that eat up resources

This one is for when you find that your laptop or PC has slowed down significantly and all of a sudden, then it might be caused by a particular program. So, how to make your computer faster? The easiest way to get to the bottom of this issue is to go to the Task Manager, figure out which software is consuming a lot of resources, and then figure out what to do about it. Here’s what we suggest:

Go to the Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar and select Task Manager. Then click on More details to learn additional information about the different programs currently running in the Processes tab, which should open by default.

Find programs that eat up resources

You can learn more by selecting the various headers, which will give you a clear idea about the program using the most resources. To close a program, initially try shutting down the application. If it doesn’t work, open the Task Manager again, right-click on the app’s name from the list, and select End task.

6. Adjust your power options

Many people are unaware that Windows has some preset ‘power plans’ that can be adjusted according to your needs. The Balanced option is the default setting. The power option you select affects the performance and how much energy your computer consumes. You might want to keep energy consumption down if you are running low on battery or concerned about the electricity bill.

If you wish to make your computer faster, select the High-performance option, better for PCs that have slowed down. This plan prioritizes performance over energy consumption. 

Alternatively, you can also make customized plans by going to the Control Panel, then clicking on Hardware and Sound, choosing the Power Options, and selecting the Create a power plan. You can name your name and click on  Next.

Adjust your power options

Tweaking the options in Change advanced power settings can help you improve the performance of your system.

7. Uninstall programs you don’t use

Sometimes we are oblivious about the amount of storage some programs occupy, which slow down the PC. Suppose you are concerned that the negative impact on your laptop’s performance is caused by storage-hungry applications that you might not be using or have forgotten about completely. In that case, it’s time to uninstall them.

To uninstall any program from your computer, go to the Control Panel; once there, click on  Programs and then select Programs and Features.

 Uninstall programs you don't use

In this window, you will see a list of programs currently on your computer, simply analyze them and find out which ones you can get rid of to free up space.

You can always Google about anything you are uncertain about. There is some helpful software in the market that can assist you in distinguishing between what you need and what you should remove.

8. Turn off unnecessary Windows components

Check if there are any unnecessary Windows components in the Programs and Features screen. To check the Windows components currently running, click the Turn Windows Feature on or off option. 

Turn off unnecessary Windows components

Now check carefully and turn off anything that you don’t need. Ensure that you do not turn off everything at once; you should rather patiently check and confirm the necessity of the component before closing it.

9. Run a complete disk cleanup

You can easily clean up the junk that has accumulated over time with the help of Windows’ inbuilt cleaner. You can easily access the Windows Disk Cleanup Tool by following the steps:

  • Open the Windows menu and type Control Panel in the search bar. After opening the Control Panel and select the System and Security option. 
  • Next, select Administrative Tools and select the Disk Cleanup option from the menu list. 
  • Now select all files that you want to remove, and click Ok. 
  • After these steps, click on Clean Up system files and select the system files you want to remove from Windows 10.
Run a complete disk cleanup

10. Hard Drive Defragmentation

If you are wondering why is my computer so slow? There are chances that your hard drive files become fragmented with time. Your computer can run slow if you have fragmented files. To fix the fragmentation issue, you would have to defragment the hard drive. The defragmentation process might sound like a highly technical process; however, it is simply a process to put fragmented files together to help your computer run more efficiently. 

Windows 10, 8, and 7 can run an automatic process for defragmentation on a set schedule. It is better to schedule a few or at least one automatic defragmentation process per week. You can also defragment the files manually at any time if you suspect an issue or if your computer is speeding down.

Also, note that you can only run a defragmentation process on computers with a traditional mechanical Hard Disk Drive (HDD). If you have a Solid State Drive (SSD), then no defragmentation is necessary. If your computer has both HDD and SSD, then run the defragmentation process only on the HDD.

To run a defragmentation process, follow these steps:

  • Open My Computer and right-click on WINDOWS (C:) (the default name of a Windows hard drive, yours might be different if you have renamed your hard drive)
  • On the right-click menu, select Properties. Now click on Tools, find the Optimize and defragment drive option and click on Optimize. 
Tools
  • Once the Optimize Drives screen pops up, select the HDD drive and press the Analyze option to check the hard drive’s fragmented. If it is fragmented more than 5 percent, then it needs optimization. Select the Optimize option to initiate the defragmentation process. 
Optimize Drives

The Analyze option will not be visible if you have an SSD drive. However, the Optimize option is available for SSD drives. Be cautious with selecting the Optimize option for SSD because it will run the TRIM Command and wipe out all the data that is not considered in use.

11. Disable or adjust graphics and animations

Wondering why is my laptop so slow? If your laptop has one of the latest versions of Windows, then it will have an abundance of graphics and animations. These animations and graphics may help make the software and apps look more attractive and add the majority to the usability of the software. However, these apps can cause computer running slow issue.

Luckily, you can adjust the settings to improve the processing speed of your computer. Follow these steps to adjust the graphics and animations of your laptop:

  • Open the Control Panel. Find and select the System and Security option. Then click on System and then select Advanced system settings. 
  • Now open the Performance section and click the Visual Effects tab to open the complete visual effects options and settings list.  
Disable or adjust graphics and animations
  • Now choose Adjust for best performance – to remove all visual effects. You can also remove the visual effects individually; however, the impact on processing performance may not improve noticeably if you only remove a few selected visual effects.

12. Check and remove malware

Apart from other harms that malware or malicious programs can cause, malware can also significantly affect the processing speed. Malware can enter the laptop system via various sources, including software downloads, email links, ads (malvertisements), game/movie/music downloads, and other platforms. 

Installing reliable antivirus software can protect your data and help you protect your computer from the malware that causes performance issues. 

You don’t necessarily have to spend a significant amount on antivirus software because there are plenty of free options that are both trustable and highly efficient, including avast, Avira, and more. 

Reliable antivirus software scans for and removes malicious components that might harm your laptop’s performance. So, you can protect your data and speed your laptop’s performance without any hassle for free. 

Also, remember that free antivirus software is not 100% reliable, plus they come with limited security features. For ultimate protection from malware, you should invest in reliable paid antivirus software like McAfee, Norton, Avast premium, etc.

Although all antivirus software run a virus detection scan multiple times a day, however, if you suspect that malware could be slowing down your PC, then you should run a quick scan and immediately remove the malware with the help of any of our top 10 free antivirus software

13. Disable Windows 10 Cortana

Although Cortana is an excellent digital assistant that makes tasks faster and more convenient, it can slow down your laptop significantly. Cortana is a resource-hungry software, so you might have to give up your helpful Windows 10 assistant if you want a faster laptop. 

Cortana can be a challenge to remove, so comment below if you want us to share a quick guide for removing Cortana. 

14. Upgrade your hardware

If none of our other fixes work for you, then you should consider upgrading your laptop’s hardware. Following are the two Hardware options you should consider:

  • Add additional RAM: Having an older computer means you would most probably have too little RAM to run modern software on your laptop efficiently. You would most probably also not have sufficient RAM to run multiple apps simultaneously. Therefore, the best fix in your case is to install an additional RAM kit and give your laptop a much-needed memory boost.
  • Add an SSD: Although adding an additional HDD would cost less, however, for a little more money, you can add an SSD that’ll significantly improve your laptop’s processing speed. SSDs justify their cost in the long run, so what may seem like an expense now will prove to be an investment in the future.

Bonus tips

It’s not always your operating system that might be slowing down your laptop; other apps and systems also contribute to slow processing speed. Following are a few additional quick tips to help you speed up Windows 10:

Regularly clean your laptop: Some may not even consider this as an option, but believe it or not, dust and grime can contribute to slowing down your computer. Regularly cleaning and maintaining it can noticeably improve the speed and also prevent overheating. 

Removes excessive browser extensions: One of the biggest causes of slow browsing experience is having excessive browser extensions. Regularly remove browser extensions that you don’t often use to improve your browsing experience. 

Maintain regular data backups on cloud storage: Ensure that your laptop regularly maintains a data backup on reliable cloud storage. Maintaining data backup on cloud storage will not only protect your data but also help you clean storage space in your laptop, resulting in improved processing speed. 

Regularly restart your laptop: We might not even consider this option, but rebooting your computer enables updates to take effect and also shut down stuck programs. Ensure that you restart your laptop once or twice a day at least. 

Avoid running multiple programs simultaneously: Allowing multiple programs to run in the background. Rather than minimizing a program, close it if you are not planning to use it anytime soon. 

Reinstalling your laptop’s operating system: After you have tried all fixes, consider reinstalling your laptop’s operating system.

Conclusion

We hope that our fixes will help you speed up your laptop. To maintain your laptop’s processing speed, ensure that you regularly update apps, clean memory, and consider hardware updates (if necessary). 

Invest time in maintaining your laptop, and it will undoubtedly result in faster processing performance. For further help, please write to use and also share your favorite fix in the comments section.

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Sarah is a writer by profession and passion. She is a real tech-savvy who loves everything tech! Talk about the latest tech releases, latest news from the tech world, on-trend tech gadgets, or simple tech hacks – Sarah knows it all! Being a movie enthusiast, she always has a close eye on the latest releases. Her insights about how well the movie will do on the box offices are surprisingly always correct! We call her the “Encyclopaedia of Movies”.