There’s nothing worse than watching your laptop struggling to boot up for over a minute, or waiting endlessly for an app to launch. Or, worse yet, hear the buzzing from inside as the cooling system tries to prevent your motherboard from frying. Some might say it’s time to get a new laptop, or, at the very least, taking your old one to the service, and they might be right. However, why go overboard when there’s a much easier way of dealing with it yourself? Here’s a list of 6 Most Effective Ways to Make a Slow Laptop Faster in 2017
Uninstall Unwanted Programs
The first thing you’ll want to do is take care of everything you’re not using or aren’t even aware it’s there. If you haven’t done it the first thing when buying the laptop, take the time to uninstall the bloatware that came with it (most, if not all laptops that come with an OS – Operative System preinstalled will have loads of programs you don’t need). Don’t blame the manufacturers, though. Seeing as profit margins for PC’s as a whole are low, preinstalling crapware gives them a wee bit more money, and, to be honest, enables them to sell laptops (and desktops, for that matter) at lower prices. There are some really comprehensive lists online for each brand respectively.
On that same note, check your laptop for any freeware your grandma might’ve downloaded that one time you lent her your laptop to check a recipe or something. On a more serious note, though, make sure to check for any such freeware, especially if your antivirus / antimalware program isn’t configured to block such apps. Also, check for any apps that you used to use, but not anymore, and think how likely you are to use them again. If the answer is “not likely”, off they go. Be sure, however, to burn a copy of the installation files, for eventualities.
You could do all of this manually by opening the Control Panel, then clicking on Programs and Features, and then Uninstall a Program. Take care not to remove any programs essential to your computer (and for God’s sake, don’t delete System32!). Usually, they’ll be listed with the PC maker’s name or Microsoft (provided you use Windows, of course). If you’re not sure which way to go about it, use a third-party software designed to make the decisions for you. The PC Decrapifier is a popular choice these days.
Disable Unnecessary Start-ups
What’s making your laptop boot up for hours on end (a bit dramatic, but you get the point) could very well be some programs that launch at on start-up and continue consuming your memory (well, not yours, but your computer’s, stop being literal). Here’s what you’ll want to do – click Start and then type “run” in the search box (or click Run if you can see it). Click Run and type “msconfig” in its search box. Clicking OK should take you to a window with five tabs. Go to Startup and uncheck any unnecessary apps, then click Apply, and you’re done.
On a similar note, you’ll want to assign your laptop a static IP address. You see, whenever you boot up your laptop, it will spend a good chunk of its time trying to get an IP address from the network. If you have one, it will not only prevent it from doing that, but also allow you to have an easier time managing the network (comes in handy if there are multiple devices on the same network). Here’s how you do it – click Start, then Control Panel, then Network and Internet. Go to the Network and Sharing Center, selecting Change Adapter Settings (left panel). It’ll take you to a window showing all you network connections. You’ll want to click (right) on your local adapter and then select Properties. Highlight “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and select Properties once more. You’ll see a new window, and there “Use the following IP address”. Here, you’ll enter the appropriate IP, Subnet mask and Default gateway that correspond to your setup. You’ll find these if you go to Run (remember that part?) and type in “cmd”, then typing “IPCONFIG/All” in the command prompt). It looks like a handful, but it’s actually quite easy if you follow the steps.
Clean up the Space
If your hard drive is full, this will significantly affect the speed of your laptop. Think of it as running on a full stomach (not bad analogy, actually). What you need to do is delete everything you don’t need. So, get rid of your ex’s photos from 2 years ago, and remember to empty the recycle bin. Make sure to keep it under 85%, and burn lots of copies on CDs. Use an external drive, a secondary laptop, use Kindle to store PDF, Word, EPUB or whatever other files you have, or print out the papers you need. Hell, grab an actual book instead of a PDF! Just don’t use USB flash drives to store anything long-term, since they’re not as stable as other types of external storage devices. And if you still don’t have enough space, you might want to think about investing in a new and bigger HDD.
Install an SSD
On a note similar to that which ended the previous section, you might want to consider installing a Solid State Drive (or upgrading the one you already have). SSD’s are invariably much smaller than HDD’s, but they’re not susceptible to fragmentation, and, consequently, faster.
Defrag your Drive
If you’re done removing all the clutter from your hard drive, such as duplicate and/or junk files (there’s a nice tool called Easy Duplicate Finder that lets speed up the process), you’ll want to defragment it (assuming you’re rocking an HDD). Why, you might ask. And also, what? You see, as you use your laptop, it stores data on the hard drive and calls upon it to operate. This continuous process requires constant saving and resaving data in random locations throughout the spinning disk in your drive. What defragmenting does is removing the gaps between these packets of data and moving them closer to the center of this spinning disk. This, consequently, makes reading said data just a modicum quicker, but the effect stacks.
Clean the Dust
This should really be common sense, but somehow, it eludes so many people. Dust can clutter the cooling system, severely constricting the airflow, and guess what then happens? That’s right, the laptop overheats, and you can kiss your 4-hour Minecraft session goodbye. To prevent this, you’ll need to suck out the dust. Open the laptop by removing the exterior (provided the warranty no longer applies), take a vacuum cleaner, preferably the type designed for cars, and switch it on low. You can either suck the dust out or use the reverse setting to blow it out, whichever floats your boat. On the same note, use a toothbrush to clean the intakes and exhausts on your laptop’s exterior, and give some love to the keyboard.