Laptops have become the ideal choice of computers for most people around the world. However, they have the same issues that any other modern software-run devices do – the eventual slowdown.
When you get a brand new laptop, it’s blazing fast, but over time you see it slow down. This happens with pretty much everybody, including myself. So I set out to find out how to make my laptop faster.
Here are 7 mostly free tips to help you speed your laptop up!
Before we begin, it’s important to get some perspective on why these slowdowns occur. A major bottleneck in today’s laptops is the hard disk, which is considerably slower than the alternative, a solid-state drive.
While this is the case, software bloat also contributes majorly to slowing a system down, and in this article, we will focus mostly on the free ways to make sure your laptop isn’t too slow.
How to Make My Laptop Faster Quickly
Turn it off and on again
You might remember this line as a joke, but quite a lot of times, this logic works. When it comes to lower-end laptops, they tend to slow down in the middle of your usage, simply because they cannot handle the load.
You might have too many programs running in the memory, or you might have one or two programs that are choking the processor. Either way, just cleaning all applications from the memory, works.
If it doesn’t, a simple reboot can help provide temporary relief to a lagging system. However, if this is a recurring issue, we can try making small changes here and there to speed up Windows 10.
Uninstall Unnecessary Programs
Now, since we’re dealing with software slowdowns, the best way to begin is to figure out which programs/applications are the culprits. Windows 10 (or even 8 or 7) have a built-in utility you can use to track such apps, one you must be familiar with – Task Manager.
You can summon the Task Manager directly by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Escape. Then click on the Processes tab. This lists out all the running applications that are taking up resources from your laptop at the moment.
You can click on the CPU and Memory tab to sort the apps by those that are using those resources the most. You can then proceed to the Control Panel, head over to the Programs and Features section, then Uninstall a program and uninstall the applications that you found running in the background, that you don’t need.
This is the first trick I use when the question if how to make my laptop faster.
Perform a Disk Cleanup
Windows 10 also has a built-in Disk Cleanup utility, that will help you clear out the garbage files that are taking up space and slowing your laptop down. To do a Disk Cleanup:
- Click on the Start button.
- Click on Computer.
- Right-click on the drive that you want to clean up. Since Windows installations are on the C: drive, it’s ideal to clean that up first.
- In the right-click menu, click on Disk Cleanup.
- Tick all the boxes, and click OK.
Check Start-up Programs
Ever asked your self why is my laptop computer so slow even though I just started it? A major slowdown in laptops is caused by the fact that too many programs start automatically upon boot.
Because of this, way too much of the laptop’s resources are used up before you can even get around to doing actual work. However, you can stop programs from starting up automatically. To do this:
- Right-click on the taskbar
- Click Start Task Manager
- Click on the Startup tab
- In the list of programs that appears, right-click on the ones you don’t want automatically starting, and click on Disable
This will help reduce the immediate bloat your laptop faces upon bootup. The methods that follow will require you to to a little bit more than just merely messing around with Windows 10.
Well, if all the methods mentioned above don’t work, then it’s probably time to give your laptop a fresh installation of Windows. If your laptop came with a Windows recovery disk, you can use it.
If not, you can use the built-in Recovery, or download an image of Windows 10, and make a bootable USB drive. A backup is recommended before you begin.
To reset Windows from within the OS:
- Click on the Start Button.
- Click Settings.
- Select the Update & Security tab.
- In the new window, click on the Recovery tab in the left hand side pane.
- Under Reset this PC, click on Get Started.
- Assuming you have backed your files up, click on “Remove Everything” and follow the instructions.
Switch to a lighter operating system
If your laptop is still too slow after resetting Windows, you might want to get rid of Windows entirely, and move to a lighter operating system, like the Linux distro Lubuntu.
You can get the image file from the official website, and make a bootable USB using Rufus, and then boot into the USB to install the new OS. This method particularly helped me speed up my old slow HP laptop.
Check this video out for detailed instructions:
These are all the good ways to speed up your laptop, for free. However, if you are willing to spend a few bucks, there are many more things you can do.
Install a Solid State Drive, or add RAM
These are the two things that can help you instantly boost the speed of your laptop computer, but they come at a cost. You need to figure out your laptop’s capabilities, and accordingly buy stick/s of RAM, or a new Solid State Drive that you can replace your old hard disk drive with.
Recommended configuration is usually at least 8GB of RAM, and an SSD with 256 GB capacity.
If you need help figuring out whether your laptop is too old and if you should upgrade it or retire it, check out my other article:
Palash is a technology and entertainment journalist who loves to geek out over the latest gadgets, TV shows, and movies.